Originally Posted by TheOneAndOnlySM
also, that winmodem isn't going to do u any good, find a nice fairly inexpensive external modem (there are binary drivers for winmodems but are glitchy and very hard to install/configure)
Trust me, I know. I learned the hard way by trying to get my Lucent/Agere (aka Ltmodem) to install. It was fine as long as you stick to any kernel prior to 2.6.x, but anything after that and you might as well write your own device driver. Being this is for a newbie, almost all current Linux distribubtions (distros) use some kind of 2.6.x kernel.
Although, I got this PCTel modem installed pretty easy. I use the Debian-based Knoppix, and it uses .deb packages. Super easy to install.
Since I have Knoppix, and I don't know anything about vmware, I cannot help you all the way to solution. Yet, I am sure to help you in other areas. I can say that I am have penggy problems myself (see this link