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Old 12-31-2001, 10:04 PM   #1
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Question Linux, Winxp, and modems

Hey all,

When I had to reformat my brand new pc within 5 weeks of its arrival, :smash: I logically assumed that the problem was with Win Me (but you already know that, right?), so while awaiting the xp CD from Dell, I decided to take the Linux plunge. I got and installed Linux Mandrake 8.1 standard edition. Install went better than I expected, but now I have some questions....

1. Now I have to reformat the Windows partition AGAIN (long story), and I have the feeling that Windows xp, thinking it is the only operating system in the world, will reconfigure the bootup so I can't choose to start Linux anymore. I made a Linux boot disk, but I'm not sure exactly how to return the boot partition to giving me a menu once I'm IN Linux (assuming I get there ).
I'm going to do this once I log off the 'Net, and by the time I get back here I will probably REALLY need to know this!

2. I apparently have a dreaded Winmodem (Conexant HCF v90 56k Data Fax PCI modem). I want to eventually be able to ditch Windows entirely (or at least use it a heckuva lot less--did I mention I really HATE Windows?). I need some advice here...what are my options? I've thought of a few things, but I have no clue if they're doable or not:
a. Has anyone heard of a driver for this modem? That would obviously be the easiest.
b. I've heard about WINe, the WINdows Emulator, that supposely will run Windows apps under Linux. I do believe I have it installed. Is it possible to get my modem to dialup using WINe? (Presumably to run Winsock.)
c. If I wanted to buy a new (REAL) modem, what's the best one to get? (Yes, I've been to the hardware compatibility list, but that doesn't list any in the "yes, this works" category.)
d. At this point I'm considering DSL as an alternative, but will *that* work? If so, is it possible to network a WinXP/Linux pc with a Win 98 machine to share that connection?

I'd appreciate any help, suggestions, or even just a nudge in the right direction.


Dani, hopefully-soon-to-be Linux disciple
(i.e. I'm the guinea pig - I've got about 8 people waiting to see if Linux works out for me before they try it. )
Old 12-31-2001, 11:19 PM   #2
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a. if your looking for drivers for winmodems that work under linux, there is usually a fat chance but some do have drivers.. check out for more info on winmodems that work in linux.
b. i don't think it would work that way, but you could try it.. but wine is still a little unstable.. you could try Win4Lin or vmWare to do that task with a little more ease most likely. i have heard good things about Win4Lin as its not so much a resource hog like vmware is...
c. best one to get on modem is a hardware modem... the ones that have the com/irq jumpers on the card itself... or a external modem that connects to your serial port, almost at least i would say all external modems work in linux...
d. yes, i believe its possible.. and dsl shouldn't have too many problems getting connected.
Old 01-01-2002, 06:18 PM   #3
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First, thanks for replying, trickykid.

I'm still confused, though.

I went to see about Win4Lin, but as far as I can tell, the only Mandrake Linux distribs it works with are 7.0-8.0, and I have 8.1.

I have been to, but I wish I could find a "How to Use this Site" page or something, because I'm kind of dizzy from going around in circles. Truth is, I'm not entirely sure what I'm looking for. (I feel like I'm back in Algebra, where I could work a quadratic equation indefinitely...I never knew when I'd arrived at the answer I was looking for.) Any hints?

I know I'm supposed to find the chipset of the modem I have, but I've got no clue how when all I've got is the model #. And once I get it (assuming I do!), what do I do with it?

Yeah, I know I would need a hardware modem, but I wish someone would just give me some brands & model numbers of something they've actually seen that's worked (yeah, I know, my mileage may vary, but hey, if I get one I'll just make sure I buy it from someplace with a good return policy, so if it doesn't work, I just take it back).

So, if anyone reading this has a modem that works in Linux Mandrake 8.1, please tell me what brand/model #. I promise I'm not going to yell at you if it doesn't work for me!

Also, how does one TRY that WINE thingie? I know it's there, but I don't know how to access it, let alone how to ask it to try dialing up via Winsock. Can this do any damage if it doesn't work? Or will it just...not work?

Wow, it's weird to be back on the newbie side of the message board again. I got online for the first time in like 1989, and after I figured a few things out I started writing help docs for newbies. (At the time, everything was DOS based, and d/l'ing required an advanced degree in Geekology...the help file to tell you how to d/l the message board reader was IN the file that you d/l'd, which was SUCH a help that I wrote a step-by-keystroke guide for newbies on how to get set up [which I *emailed* to them] I'm back to start!)

BTW, there needs to be a confused icon ( %-) ) in the message icon choices.

Help? Please? (She said desperately....)

Dani, who is going to do something drastic if she's forced to re-re-reformat and re-re-reinstall Windows again after installing all 24 apps and utilities that are on today's agenda...what a time-sink!
(I could be playing Breakout! )
Old 01-02-2002, 02:36 AM   #4
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What you need to do with your winmodem is throw it out a window
But in the meantime you can have alook at the winmodem database to see if the one you have will work or to find an internal that does work. I know that NetComm make a full hardware internal and all externals that connect by the serial port are hardware modems. Avoid USB externals almost all of them are winmodems wrapped in plastic. If you go for the DSL then as long as the DSL modem connects via ethernet you'll be fine.
Old 01-03-2002, 03:28 AM   #5
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well... i can pretty much promise that trying to get winsock running with wine is a waste of time... honestly... i've never seen wine run anything more impressive than solitare. trying to reverse-engineer closed-micro$oft-socket calls and transfering them to a *nix program-calls would be impressive... wine isn't there yet...

you'll probably need to ask some questions at a hardware store to get the right modem on the first try - i bought three modems when i was replacing my winmodem - all of which i was assured by the sales peeps that they would work in linux. (and of course, only the most expensive one ($50) did ) you'll need to find the person in the store who doesn't look at you like you don't know what you're talking about when you ask if it's a software modem or a hardware modem. and keep the receipt.

i agree about the confused smilie ... there also needs to be one for extreme embarrasment for when i give out really bad advice
Old 01-04-2002, 01:08 PM   #6
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Thanks! Now *that's* info I mostly get! :-)

Now, can you tell me what kind of modem you have? It'll give me a place to start. Always easier to find something when you have more of a clue what you're looking for, ya' know?

So, WINE isn't worth the bother, huh? Now *that's* a time-saver...guess there's no point trying to find it and figure out what to do with it.

I've been contemplating the whole DSL thing because it would give my roomy and I both faster connections for about the same $$$ (if it went down to $40 from the $50 last time I checked that would probably go a long way to convincing me). We would also, presumably, gain the ability to, say, share my printer (hers is waiting for cartridges to arrive in the mail and won't print black & white when the color cartidge is out, go figure) and her scanner. Then I could also, presumably, back her up without having to temporarily install a second hd, copy stuff over, uninstall it, temporarily install it in my box, and write to CD, then uninstall it <panting...out of breath>. So it might pay off just in the time it saves me. But I don't know how I can be certain that it would work with Linux. Might have to go to the source (i.e. the Mandrake folks) for that one before I invest in that...God only knows how much getting set up will run me....

Hey, any luck with any *other* WINE-type app? Because my news/mail reader is rumoured to have worked with Linux with a little help, and I like it so much I'd like to keep it.

Old 01-04-2002, 02:09 PM   #7
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I have/had a zoom v92 external which worked fine, and now have an alcatel usb dsl modem/stingray device which also seems to be working fine (and is supported by MDK8.1 out of the box (almost!).
Course you'll need NIC's, NAT, Firewalls etc. All to be found here at linuxquestions.
Old 01-06-2002, 04:04 PM   #8
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Hi Jim!

Thanks for the info. I've been told that DSL *should* work, but it's always nice to hear from someone who's actually *had* it work, IYKWIM.

Might be a bit before I can manage that, but that's okay...I have plenty of stuff to learn in the meantime.

Now to start new threads for a couple more questions...



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