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Old 10-09-2010, 08:29 AM
Brad Rogers
 
Default Communicating with USB Modem

On Sat, 9 Oct 2010 03:21:36 -0400
Hal Vaughan <hal@halblog.com> wrote:

Hello Hal,

> I have a Debian Lenny system and I've plugged in a USB 56K modem.

From <http://tldp.org/HOWTO/Modem-HOWTO-2.html> (the Linux Documentation
Project) comes this;


2.9 USB Modems

USB = Universal Serial Bus. Most USB modems are winmodems, so many will
not work.......

Unless, of course, you know that this particular device should work with
Linux.

--
Regards _
/ ) "The blindingly obvious is
/ _)rad never immediately apparent"
Two sides to every story
Public Image - Public Image Ltd
 
Old 10-09-2010, 11:24 AM
Camaleˇn
 
Default Communicating with USB Modem

On Sat, 09 Oct 2010 03:21:36 -0400, Hal Vaughan wrote:

> I have a Debian Lenny system and I've plugged in a USB 56K modem. (I
> know that's as outdated as a Model T, but I need it for business.) When
> I type "cat /proc/bus/usb/devices" I get this:

(...)

As Ron suggested, better look at dmesg messages.

- If the device is not detected, it will (not) be there.

- If the device is detected but has problems for being setup, it will be
there.

- If the device is properly detected and configured, it will also be
there.

> From what I can find, that means the actual device file for this modem
> should be at /dev/bus/usb/001/002, but I know I could be wrong on that.

USB modems should fall under "/dev/ttyUSB0"

> I'm trying to communicate with this modem. I've used Minicom, with the
> device I mentioned above. There are no /dev/ttyACM0 devices, as
> sometimes happens with a modem. I've tried all /dev/ttySx, where x is
> from 0 to 4, with no results. The problem with Minicom is that it can
> take time and a lot of frustrating keypresses to try one device after
> another. Also, I'm not sure the serial port speed settings are at all
> appropriate in Minicom for USB modems.

Don't go nuts with this. Just plug the modem, open a console, type "dmesg
| grep -i usb" and put the result here (for very long logs, upload the
result to "www.pastebin.com" or any service like that) :-)

Greetings,

--
Camaleˇn


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Old 10-09-2010, 03:39 PM
Hal Vaughan
 
Default Communicating with USB Modem

On Oct 9, 2010, at 7:24 AM, Camaleˇn wrote:

> On Sat, 09 Oct 2010 03:21:36 -0400, Hal Vaughan wrote:
>
>> I have a Debian Lenny system and I've plugged in a USB 56K modem. (I
>> know that's as outdated as a Model T, but I need it for business.) When
>> I type "cat /proc/bus/usb/devices" I get this:
>
> (...)
>
> As Ron suggested, better look at dmesg messages.
>
> - If the device is not detected, it will (not) be there.
>
> - If the device is detected but has problems for being setup, it will be
> there.
>
> - If the device is properly detected and configured, it will also be
> there.
>
>> From what I can find, that means the actual device file for this modem
>> should be at /dev/bus/usb/001/002, but I know I could be wrong on that.
>
> USB modems should fall under "/dev/ttyUSB0"

There's no /dev/ttyUSB0. Just the usual /dev/tty and the same with 0-63 on the end and /dev/ttyS0 through S3. I tried all of them and all the possible USB devices in that directory.

>> I'm trying to communicate with this modem. I've used Minicom, with the
>> device I mentioned above. There are no /dev/ttyACM0 devices, as
>> sometimes happens with a modem. I've tried all /dev/ttySx, where x is
>> from 0 to 4, with no results. The problem with Minicom is that it can
>> take time and a lot of frustrating keypresses to try one device after
>> another. Also, I'm not sure the serial port speed settings are at all
>> appropriate in Minicom for USB modems.
>
> Don't go nuts with this. Just plug the modem, open a console, type "dmesg
> | grep -i usb" and put the result here (for very long logs, upload the
> result to "www.pastebin.com" or any service like that) :-)

As you and Ron suggested. It's the last device. No errors, and remember it showed up in /proc/bus/usb/devices and looked okay (I numbered the lines in the output from grep):

235:[ 1.849802] usbcore: registered new interface driver usbfs
236:[ 1.849824] usbcore: registered new interface driver hub
237:[ 1.849848] usbcore: registered new device driver usb
238:[ 1.853655] USB Universal Host Controller Interface driver v3.0
243:[ 1.854354] uhci_hcd 0000:00:1d.0: new USB bus registered, assigned bus number 1
245:[ 1.854438] usb usb1: configuration #1 chosen from 1 choice
246:[ 1.854455] hub 1-0:1.0: USB hub found
251:[ 1.956563] usb usb1: New USB device found, idVendor=1d6b, idProduct=0001
252:[ 1.956566] usb usb1: New USB device strings: Mfr=3, Product=2, SerialNumber=1
253:[ 1.956567] usb usb1: Product: UHCI Host Controller
254:[ 1.956569] usb usb1: Manufacturer: Linux 2.6.26-2-686 uhci_hcd
255:[ 1.956570] usb usb1: SerialNumber: 0000:00:1d.0
260:[ 1.956976] ehci_hcd 0000:00:1d.7: new USB bus registered, assigned bus number 2
263:[ 1.968481] ehci_hcd 0000:00:1d.7: USB 2.0 started, EHCI 1.00, driver 10 Dec 2004
264:[ 1.968538] usb usb2: configuration #1 chosen from 1 choice
265:[ 1.968555] hub 2-0:1.0: USB hub found
269:[ 2.072362] usb usb2: New USB device found, idVendor=1d6b, idProduct=0002
270:[ 2.072364] usb usb2: New USB device strings: Mfr=3, Product=2, SerialNumber=1
271:[ 2.072366] usb usb2: Product: EHCI Host Controller
272:[ 2.072367] usb usb2: Manufacturer: Linux 2.6.26-2-686 ehci_hcd
273:[ 2.072369] usb usb2: SerialNumber: 0000:00:1d.7
281:[ 2.196626] usb 1-1: new full speed USB device using uhci_hcd and address 2
282:[ 2.347904] usb 1-1: not running at top speed; connect to a high speed hub
283:[ 2.352211] usb 1-1: configuration #1 chosen from 1 choice
285:[ 2.485485] usb 1-1: New USB device found, idVendor=047e, idProduct=2892
286:[ 2.485488] usb 1-1: New USB device strings: Mfr=1, Product=2, SerialNumber=0
287:[ 2.485490] usb 1-1: Product: Agere USB2.0 V.92 SoftModem
288:[ 2.485491] usb 1-1: Manufacturer: Agere Systems


Thanks!



Hal

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Old 10-09-2010, 04:44 PM
Camaleˇn
 
Default Communicating with USB Modem

On Sat, 09 Oct 2010 11:39:49 -0400, Hal Vaughan wrote:

> On Oct 9, 2010, at 7:24 AM, Camaleˇn wrote:

>> Don't go nuts with this. Just plug the modem, open a console, type
>> "dmesg | grep -i usb" and put the result here (for very long logs,
>> upload the result to "www.pastebin.com" or any service like that) :-)
>
> As you and Ron suggested. It's the last device. No errors, and
> remember it showed up in /proc/bus/usb/devices and looked okay (I
> numbered the lines in the output from grep):
>

(...)

> 285:[ 2.485485] usb 1-1: New USB device found,idVendor=047e, idProduct=2892
> 286:[ 2.485488] usb 1-1: New USB device strings: Mfr=1, Product=2, SerialNumber=0
> 287:[ 2.485490] usb 1-1: Product: Agere USB2.0 V.92 SoftModem
> 288:[ 2.485491] usb 1-1:> Manufacturer: Agere Systems

There you got it. It's an Agere soft modem.

Bufff... as per this doc╣ you could try "sl-modem" package from non-free
repo (it seems that your device -SV92U2- uses the "Scorpio" chipset) but
prepare for the worst ;-(

OTOH, LSI (the owner company of Agere) states that the modem supports Linux,
so you can ask them for a driver :-?

╣ http://www.modemsite.com/56k/lucentamr.asp

Greetings,

--
Camaleˇn


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Old 10-09-2010, 07:29 PM
Hal Vaughan
 
Default Communicating with USB Modem

On Oct 9, 2010, at 12:44 PM, Camaleˇn wrote:

> On Sat, 09 Oct 2010 11:39:49 -0400, Hal Vaughan wrote:
>
>> On Oct 9, 2010, at 7:24 AM, Camaleˇn wrote:
>
>>> Don't go nuts with this. Just plug the modem, open a console, type
>>> "dmesg | grep -i usb" and put the result here (for very long logs,
>>> upload the result to "www.pastebin.com" or any service like that) :-)
>>
>> As you and Ron suggested. It's the last device. No errors, and
>> remember it showed up in /proc/bus/usb/devices and looked okay (I
>> numbered the lines in the output from grep):
>>
>
> (...)
>
>> 285:[ 2.485485] usb 1-1: New USB device found,idVendor=047e, idProduct=2892
>> 286:[ 2.485488] usb 1-1: New USB device strings: Mfr=1, Product=2, SerialNumber=0
>> 287:[ 2.485490] usb 1-1: Product: Agere USB2.0 V.92 SoftModem
>> 288:[ 2.485491] usb 1-1:> Manufacturer: Agere Systems
>
> There you got it. It's an Agere soft modem.
>
> Bufff... as per this doc╣ you could try "sl-modem" package from non-free
> repo (it seems that your device -SV92U2- uses the "Scorpio" chipset) but
> prepare for the worst ;-(
>
> OTOH, LSI (the owner company of Agere) states that the modem supports Linux,
> so you can ask them for a driver :-?
>
> ╣ http://www.modemsite.com/56k/lucentamr.asp

I had a reference, and now I can't find the darned link, to it working on Linux, otherwise I wouldn't have bought it -- unless I had a bunch of tabs open when I was researching modems at Newegg and hit "add to cart" on the wrong one -- which could happen.

I can't remember where (so it could have been the manufacturer's site), but there was one place I read that if it's USB, it had to use the Hayes command set and would work on anything, but Brad's link to TLDP shows that wrong. Next time when I see positives on something like that, I'll look for the flip side, just in case.

I've already ordered one from NewEgg that has several reviewers saying they're using it on Linux.


Thanks!


Hal

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Old 10-09-2010, 08:17 PM
Brad Rogers
 
Default Communicating with USB Modem

On Sat, 9 Oct 2010 15:29:40 -0400
Hal Vaughan <hal@halblog.com> wrote:

Hello Hal,

> I can't remember where (so it could have been the manufacturer's
> site), but there was one place I read that if it's USB, it had to use
> the Hayes command set and would work on anything, but Brad's link to
> TLDP shows that wrong.

To be fair, that link mentions the usual state of things, and I did
qualify it by saying something along the lines of "unless you know this
one does work with Linux".

A quick Google found this;
<http://www.agere.com/docs/PCS_Catalog_052606.pdf>, which states the the
modem does indeed run under Linux. However, in the (brief) time I
searched, I couldn't find any links to the driver itself.

--
Regards _
/ ) "The blindingly obvious is
/ _)rad never immediately apparent"
You're only 29 got a lot to learn
Seventeen - Sex Pistols
 
Old 10-09-2010, 08:22 PM
Camale├│n
 
Default Communicating with USB Modem

On Sat, 09 Oct 2010 15:29:40 -0400, Hal Vaughan wrote:

> On Oct 9, 2010, at 12:44 PM, Camale├│n wrote:

(...)

>> Bufff... as per this doc┬╣ you could try "sl-modem" package from
>> non-free repo (it seems that your device -SV92U2- uses the "Scorpio"
>> chipset) but prepare for the worst ;-(
>>
>> OTOH, LSI (the owner company of Agere) states that the modem supports
>> Linux, so you can ask them for a driver :-?
>>
>> ┬╣ http://www.modemsite.com/56k/lucentamr.asp
>
> I had a reference, and now I can't find the darned link, to it working
> on Linux, otherwise I wouldn't have bought it -- unless I had a bunch of
> tabs open when I was researching modems at Newegg and hit "add to cart"
> on the wrong one -- which could happen.

I can give you at least one reference (the manufacture's tech. specs):

***
http://www.agere.com/docs/PCS_Catalog_052606.pdf

(page 5)

ÔÇô SV92U2: USB 2.0 device controller, 48-pin TQFP Stack Bus

(...)

OS support: Win98SE/2000/ME, WinXP, WinXP 64-bit, Vista (Native Support),
and Linux
***

If that is indeed your device, don't give up so easily :-) Just try with
"sl-modem" drivers or ask LSI/Agere for advice, it could work.

> I can't remember where (so it could have been the manufacturer's site),
> but there was one place I read that if it's USB, it had to use the Hayes
> command set and would work on anything, but Brad's link to TLDP shows
> that wrong. Next time when I see positives on something like that, I'll
> look for the flip side, just in case.
>
> I've already ordered one from NewEgg that has several reviewers saying
> they're using it on Linux.

When it comes to modems and linux, the only way to hit the right device
is by using a RS-232 modem. No drivers needed and straight-forward setup
for all kind of services (dial-up connection, fax facility...).

Yes, yes... I know. Serial port is a scarce resource in modern
motherboards and n[eo]tbook computers ;-(

Greetings,

--
Camale├│n


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Old 10-09-2010, 09:28 PM
Hal Vaughan
 
Default Communicating with USB Modem

On Oct 9, 2010, at 4:22 PM, Camale├│n wrote:

> On Sat, 09 Oct 2010 15:29:40 -0400, Hal Vaughan wrote:
>
>> On Oct 9, 2010, at 12:44 PM, Camale├│n wrote:
>
> (...)
>
>>> Bufff... as per this doc┬╣ you could try "sl-modem" package from
>>> non-free repo (it seems that your device -SV92U2- uses the "Scorpio"
>>> chipset) but prepare for the worst ;-(
>>>
>>> OTOH, LSI (the owner company of Agere) states that the modem supports
>>> Linux, so you can ask them for a driver :-?
>>>
>>> ┬╣ http://www.modemsite.com/56k/lucentamr.asp
>>
>> I had a reference, and now I can't find the darned link, to it working
>> on Linux, otherwise I wouldn't have bought it -- unless I had a bunch of
>> tabs open when I was researching modems at Newegg and hit "add to cart"
>> on the wrong one -- which could happen.
>
> I can give you at least one reference (the manufacture's tech. specs):
>
> ***
> http://www.agere.com/docs/PCS_Catalog_052606.pdf
>
> (page 5)
>
> ÔÇô SV92U2: USB 2.0 device controller, 48-pin TQFP Stack Bus
>
> (...)
>
> OS support: Win98SE/2000/ME, WinXP, WinXP 64-bit, Vista (Native Support),
> and Linux
> ***

I see that, the one thing that is discouraging me is that, while I know they are talking about the chip, the pictures are of PCI modems, not the USB ones, and I think mine is later. (They show a USB modem on page 5, but different form factor than mine.) Still, mine may work.

> If that is indeed your device, don't give up so easily :-) Just try with
> "sl-modem" drivers or ask LSI/Agere for advice, it could work.

I tried the page you linked to, which had a link to the site with drivers, but that 2nd site is all blank web pages -- still looking for the sl-modem drivers. Did I miss a link? That's possible. (The dead link is: http://www.smlink.com/. It's from the last paragraph of that page, the only section that covers Linux there.)

>> I can't remember where (so it could have been the manufacturer's site),
>> but there was one place I read that if it's USB, it had to use the Hayes
>> command set and would work on anything, but Brad's link to TLDP shows
>> that wrong. Next time when I see positives on something like that, I'll
>> look for the flip side, just in case.
>>
>> I've already ordered one from NewEgg that has several reviewers saying
>> they're using it on Linux.
>
> When it comes to modems and linux, the only way to hit the right device
> is by using a RS-232 modem. No drivers needed and straight-forward setup
> for all kind of services (dial-up connection, fax facility...).
>
> Yes, yes... I know. Serial port is a scarce resource in modern
> motherboards and n[eo]tbook computers ;-(

A little backstory here. My small business mines data, and a lot comes from some dial-up systems where you can get passwords, but most people ignore them now since they're harder to deal with (therefore, if you're bigger, less lucrative, if you're smaller, good money). I have a US Robotics RS-232 running on the main system now and I have another that was brand new, that I pulled out and tested, then put back in the box. I guard those modems carefully. They work and I know they work.

But an idea hit me this summer. I haven't been programming in about 3 years (I'm a screenwriter by passion, so I've been doing that). This idea that hit me would take several months of programming and it'd be a game-changer for me in terms of income from the data mining. But to do it, I have to decentralize, which means instead of having one computer here doing dial-up, I'd have to put a computer in each client's office and have it do dial-up there. I won't get into all the reasons and thinking behind what I'm doing, but, in short, I want what's in their offices to be as simple as possible and to be a black box. I do not want them hooking up a keyboard or monitor to it ever. I don't even want them to think of it as a computer, EVER! So I'm looking not at low end as in cheap, but as in saving money and still getting a good embedded system. Each system will need a modem and I'll keep backups (of the computer and modem) on hand, ready to ship when needed.

I have used a USB-to-RS-232 converter with success for a FOSS project to control an HD radio (http://halblog.com/hdradiocontroller.html), but an RS-232 modem is more expensive and the converters are expensive, too, putting the price per modem well over $50 each.

I've ordered a Rosewill that looks good. It costs more than the one I have now. I'm going to try any drivers I can find for this one, but considering the price of the other one, with shipping, is $30, if the drivers don't work and the manufacturer doesn't help, I'm not going to knock myself out over this one. I can always use it on a Windows machine and use that system for testing (to have my other ones dial in).

As it is, though, considering how cheap these are (this one and the replacement people have tried on Ubuntu), I think spending more than a few hours on this one might be a diminishing return. Still, if all it needs are drivers, then I'll be happy with it!

Thanks for the input and I'll look for the drivers and see if I can get them working. I'll let people know what I find out in the long run on this.



Hal

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Old 10-09-2010, 10:49 PM
Camale├│n
 
Default Communicating with USB Modem

On Sat, 09 Oct 2010 17:28:31 -0400, Hal Vaughan wrote:

> On Oct 9, 2010, at 4:22 PM, Camale├│n wrote:

>> I can give you at least one reference (the manufacture's tech. specs):
>>
>> ***
>> http://www.agere.com/docs/PCS_Catalog_052606.pdf
>>
>> (page 5)
>>
>> ÔÇô SV92U2: USB 2.0 device controller, 48-pin TQFP Stack Bus
>>
>> (...)
>>
>> OS support: Win98SE/2000/ME, WinXP, WinXP 64-bit, Vista (Native
>> Support), and Linux
>> ***
>
> I see that, the one thing that is discouraging me is that, while I know
> they are talking about the chip, the pictures are of PCI modems, not the
> USB ones, and I think mine is later. (They show a USB modem on page 5,
> but different form factor than mine.) Still, mine may work.

Yep, if you carefully read that doc, it seems the shape of the device may
vary:

***
- Reference design will include board, connectors, USB cable,
and plastics
- Three different form factors
***

>> If that is indeed your device, don't give up so easily :-) Just try
>> with "sl-modem" drivers or ask LSI/Agere for advice, it could work.
>
> I tried the page you linked to, which had a link to the site with
> drivers, but that 2nd site is all blank web pages -- still looking for
> the sl-modem drivers. Did I miss a link? That's possible. (The dead
> link is: http://www.smlink.com/. It's from the last paragraph of that
> page, the only section that covers Linux there.)

Oops, sorry. I thought I already told you "sl-modem" drivers are
available under debian "non-free" repo (lenny, squeeze, sid):

http://packages.debian.org/lenny/sl-modem-daemon

:-)

>>> I've already ordered one from NewEgg that has several reviewers saying
>>> they're using it on Linux.
>>
>> When it comes to modems and linux, the only way to hit the right device
>> is by using a RS-232 modem. No drivers needed and straight-forward
>> setup for all kind of services (dial-up connection, fax facility...).
>>
>> Yes, yes... I know. Serial port is a scarce resource in modern
>> motherboards and n[eo]tbook computers ;-(
>
> A little backstory here. My small business mines data, and a lot comes
> from some dial-up systems where you can get passwords, but most people
> ignore them now since they're harder to deal with (therefore, if you're
> bigger, less lucrative, if you're smaller, good money). I have a US
> Robotics RS-232 running on the main system now and I have another that
> was brand new, that I pulled out and tested, then put back in the box.
> I guard those modems carefully. They work and I know they work.
>
> But an idea hit me this summer. I haven't been programming in about 3
> years (I'm a screenwriter by passion, so I've been doing that). This
> idea that hit me would take several months of programming and it'd be a
> game-changer for me in terms of income from the data mining. But to do
> it, I have to decentralize, which means instead of having one computer
> here doing dial-up, I'd have to put a computer in each client's office
> and have it do dial-up there. I won't get into all the reasons and
> thinking behind what I'm doing, but, in short, I want what's in their
> offices to be as simple as possible and to be a black box. I do not
> want them hooking up a keyboard or monitor to it ever. I don't even
> want them to think of it as a computer, EVER! So I'm looking not at low
> end as in cheap, but as in saving money and still getting a good
> embedded system. Each system will need a modem and I'll keep backups
> (of the computer and modem) on hand, ready to ship when needed.

I see... It's quite difficult to keep the track of manufacturers making
cheap and linux friendly devices. One has to perform a big search in the
web (reading forums, mailing lists, asking users to get accurate
feedback...) to find out what USB modems (chipsets) play fine with linux
distributions.

> I have used a USB-to-RS-232 converter with success for a FOSS project to
> control an HD radio (http://halblog.com/hdradiocontroller.html), but an
> RS-232 modem is more expensive and the converters are expensive, too,
> putting the price per modem well over $50 each.
>
> I've ordered a Rosewill that looks good. It costs more than the one I
> have now. I'm going to try any drivers I can find for this one, but
> considering the price of the other one, with shipping, is $30, if the
> drivers don't work and the manufacturer doesn't help, I'm not going to
> knock myself out over this one. I can always use it on a Windows
> machine and use that system for testing (to have my other ones dial in).
>
> As it is, though, considering how cheap these are (this one and the
> replacement people have tried on Ubuntu), I think spending more than a
> few hours on this one might be a diminishing return. Still, if all it
> needs are drivers, then I'll be happy with it!

O.k. I also think geting an USB modem to work should just be plug and
play and no needing to mess with drivers at all. But it could worst:
there are some embedded modems (those you can find in notebooks) that
lack of any driver and they render completely useless.

So, trying the driver (provided that there is one) is worth a try. If
they do not work, just put the Agere modem into another machine as you
said or give it to a friend who can make profit of it :-)

> Thanks for the input and I'll look for the drivers and see if I can get
> them working. I'll let people know what I find out in the long run on
> this.

Whatever USB modem you finally can put into work, just tell us. That
information it can be very useful for other users looking for a similar
solution :-)

Greetings,

--
Camale├│n


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Old 10-09-2010, 11:26 PM
Hal Vaughan
 
Default Communicating with USB Modem

On Oct 9, 2010, at 6:49 PM, Camaleˇn wrote:

> On Sat, 09 Oct 2010 17:28:31 -0400, Hal Vaughan wrote:
>
>> On Oct 9, 2010, at 4:22 PM, Camaleˇn wrote:
>
>>> ...
>>
>> I see that, the one thing that is discouraging me is that, while I know
>> they are talking about the chip, the pictures are of PCI modems, not the
>> USB ones, and I think mine is later. (They show a USB modem on page 5,
>> but different form factor than mine.) Still, mine may work.
>
> Yep, if you carefully read that doc, it seems the shape of the device may
> vary:
>
> ***
> - Reference design will include board, connectors, USB cable,
> and plastics
> - Three different form factors
> ***

Yeah, I missed it. When I start researching, I look at everything, then as I focus on some parts, I am not as good about making sure I read all of it. Oops!

>>> ...
> Oops, sorry. I thought I already told you "sl-modem" drivers are
> available under debian "non-free" repo (lenny, squeeze, sid):
>
> http://packages.debian.org/lenny/sl-modem-daemon
>
> :-)

I found that just after writing my last email on this thread, but just before I had to leave to take my Mother to "night out" meal - didn't have time to add in that I had found it. Thanks. The issue, though, is that needs another package, one that's not a dependency, it's "sl-modem-modules-2.6.26-2-686". I'm looking, can even find it in a package pole, but can't find the package itself.

>> ...
>> But an idea hit me this summer. I haven't been programming in about 3
>> years (I'm a screenwriter by passion, so I've been doing that). This
>> idea that hit me would take several months of programming and it'd be a
>> game-changer for me in terms of income from the data mining. But to do
>> it, I have to decentralize, which means instead of having one computer
>> here doing dial-up, I'd have to put a computer in each client's office
>> and have it do dial-up there. I won't get into all the reasons and
>> thinking behind what I'm doing, but, in short, I want what's in their
>> offices to be as simple as possible and to be a black box. I do not
>> want them hooking up a keyboard or monitor to it ever. I don't even
>> want them to think of it as a computer, EVER! So I'm looking not at low
>> end as in cheap, but as in saving money and still getting a good
>> embedded system. Each system will need a modem and I'll keep backups
>> (of the computer and modem) on hand, ready to ship when needed.
>
> I see... It's quite difficult to keep the track of manufacturers making
> cheap and linux friendly devices. One has to perform a big search in the
> web (reading forums, mailing lists, asking users to get accurate
> feedback...) to find out what USB modems (chipsets) play fine with linux
> distributions.

Yes, it is. I am seriously considering, when I get the right modem and know things are lined up and am starting production of the new system, to just order 20-30 of whatever I find. I'll just eat the cost then and make it up as I deploy them. I don't want to find the right modem, order 3-4, then find it not in production anymore. Again, I'd go with RS-232, but the expense is greater and, honestly, when they're going in someone else's office, so I have to be sure I can ssh in (which is a project in itself, considering different offices and different sysadmins), I have to be aware I will NOT have hands-on access. It sounds picky, but using an adaptor on a plug in such a case is just another thing that can go wrong and that I could spend hours trouble shooting to find some oaf jarred it and there's a loose connection. The fewer the connections and the simpler the system, the more time I get to spend ballroom dancing instead of patching software. (I'm a believer in setting up a system, then letting it do the work while I don't!)

>> I have used a USB-to-RS-232 converter with success for a FOSS project to
>> control an HD radio (http://halblog.com/hdradiocontroller.html), but an
>> RS-232 modem is more expensive and the converters are expensive, too,
>> putting the price per modem well over $50 each.
>>
>> I've ordered a Rosewill that looks good. It costs more than the one I
>> have now. I'm going to try any drivers I can find for this one, but
>> considering the price of the other one, with shipping, is $30, if the
>> drivers don't work and the manufacturer doesn't help, I'm not going to
>> knock myself out over this one. I can always use it on a Windows
>> machine and use that system for testing (to have my other ones dial in).
>>
>> As it is, though, considering how cheap these are (this one and the
>> replacement people have tried on Ubuntu), I think spending more than a
>> few hours on this one might be a diminishing return. Still, if all it
>> needs are drivers, then I'll be happy with it!
>
> O.k. I also think geting an USB modem to work should just be plug and
> play and no needing to mess with drivers at all. But it could worst:
> there are some embedded modems (those you can find in notebooks) that
> lack of any driver and they render completely useless.

Yes, that's true. And, unfortunately, I had information indicating that any USB modem would be similar to RS-232 in that it'd be plug-n-play. That's not so. And, while I'm looking at embedded computers (right now I'm waiting to see if the new Soekris Net-6501 will do well for me), at least the modems aren't embedded! And if I do use Soekris, they have a serial port -- you HAVE to use as a terminal during setup, so once I get the original image created and working, I can copy it to an image file and easily install it on flash cards and just insert it, without using the serial port on each one. And when they're deployed, I may be able to use it for an RS-232 modem, but I'm not committing to that yet.

> So, trying the driver (provided that there is one) is worth a try. If
> they do not work, just put the Agere modem into another machine as you
> said or give it to a friend who can make profit of it :-)

I'm still looking for the other package, but if it means doing anything with the kernel other than installing that one package, this is the end of the lien for that modem and it gets stuck on my iMac to be used by my WinXP virtual machine under Parallels. I'm already getting close to the point that I'm concerned about all the steps it takes to use it. Adding non-free to sources.list before installing packages isn't a problem, but if I have to do config steps, that could move it out of the low-maintenence category.

>> Thanks for the input and I'll look for the drivers and see if I can get
>> them working. I'll let people know what I find out in the long run on
>> this.
>
> Whatever USB modem you finally can put into work, just tell us. That
> information it can be very useful for other users looking for a similar
> solution :-)

Definitely! I'm still trying to remember what led me to this one, whether it was a Newegg review that's been deleted, something on a web page, or that I clicked "Add to Cart" on the wrong tabbed page. I always try to document, on a reading list, the working solution, so others won't have to puzzle it out.

Thanks for all the help!



Hal

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