Maybe it was one of my threads that you found! But it seems to be quite a common problem. However, as another Linux newbie I can assure you that these forums provide very valuable information and support. With others' help I seem to be gradually getting through my own difficulties. I'd have been completely lost without it.
That being said, what kind of modem is yours? Is it a conventional dial-up modem, a broadband ADSL one or a router-modem using ethernet? The ways to deal with them are different. There's also something called a winmodem, but as that doesn't affect me I'm afraid I haven't found out how to distinguish it from the others.
All the best,