Grandma’s Ubuntu computer needs a modem

Dell doesn’t offer a modem with the Desktop configuration.  No problem, I thought, I’ll buy the PC anyway and just bop out and pick one up.  Hold on.  Before I left for the store, I did some quick research on Linux and modems to make sure that what I picked up would work.  It’s a good thing that I did that.

The new machine doesn’t have a serial port (no parallel port either) so I couldn’t use an external serial modem which is the recommended method of getting a Linux computer connected over dial-up.  The new external USB modems are supposed to be incompatible (for the most part) as well because lots of the modem functionality is now software based, as in Windows software based.

Both Office Depot and Office Max carry  the Hawking HM92P PCI modem online for about $15.  Thos modem comes with … gasp! … Linux drivers.  Sweet, I’ll pick one up as we swing through the town running a series of errands.

First we went to Target.  I’ll see if they carry it here.  Nope.  Just Supra models.  Oh well.  Stop in at Office Max.  Hmm.  Not here either.  They have US Robotics and Supra.  Both are a lot more and I didn’t fully check them out.  WalMart is right next door so I walk down there while my wife and kids are check out with some school supplies.  Striking out at WalMart as well.  Okay.  Lets go to Office Depot.  What!?!  No Hawking modem in stock there either.  Damn.  Just the expensive stuff that only runs on Windows.  Hey, Radio Shack is just down the block.  Not there either.  They did have an AOpen modem that probably would have worked … at 14.4K!  Not.

This is really frustrating.  I’ll just have to run down to Fry’s today.  If they don’t have something more compatible, I’ll have to order something online.  I’ll do some more research before I go too.  Perhaps I’m passing by on a model that will work but only says “Windows” on the box.


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