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[ale] Upgraded and the modem quit working.

I'm tearing my hair out.  Here's the story.  I upgraded to hamm (Debian
distribution  via the
autosh script and grabbed the 2.0.34 kernel and recompiled it.  As far
as I can tell, the modem worked OK after those steps.  I then reviewed
my installed packages and upgraded a bunch of them.  I also installed
diald and tried to configure it.  I couldn't get it to talk to the
modem, so I tried to run pppd manually.  It didn't work.  I then tried
to talk to the modem via minicom.  No response.  Minicom stays
off-line.  It never talks.  I wrote a specialized comm program some time
ago for another purpose and set it up to try to talk to the modem. 
I've got a pretty full machine and have some problems with IRQs.  I've
got a SB16 PNP card which isn't working on Linux yet, so it may be that
it is interfering somehow, but that doesn't explain why it stopped
The IRQ line  up is:
IRQ     used by
3       PCI ethernet card
4       ttyS0   (on-board serial port)
4       ttyS3  (us robotics ISA modem)
5       SB16
7       lpt
9/2     Dunno, when I boot it says "unknown pci device"
10      SCSI card

Now I know that sometimes having the same IRQ for two devices can cause
problems, but it used to work.  Besides, I went into the bios and
disabled the ttyS0 (COM1) port to eliminate the possibility.  Nope.  

I have a Cisco IDSN serial control port hooked to ttyS0 and I can talk
to it OK with minicom, so I know serial ports in general are working.  I
also know that there isn't a serious hardware conflict with the IRQ 4
being shared since I can run Win95 and use both serial ports at the same
time with no problems.  If there is a conflict, it's a Linux problem not
a hardware problem.  Besides, when I disabled COM1, COM3 (ttyS2) should
have started working.  \

I've run out of ideas.  I thought it might be setserial so I disabled it
entirely.  Setserial sees the port and correctly identifies it, but I
thought maybe it was putting it in a unusable state, so I did a chmod
000 /bin/setserial (or whatever the path was).  I removed the diald
package so it wouldn't try to diddle the port.  I did a grep for ttyS?
in /etc/ and /etc/init.d to see if something was messing with the port,
but not that I could see.  

The machine is at home and I'm at work, so I can't get a list of
installed packages right now, but there aren't any installed that I can
identify that would affect serial operation.  Does anyone have any
ideas?  What can I try next?  What packages might affect the serial
port?  As far as I can tell, I upgraded most of the base packages (at
least the ones that I had installed) a few admin packages and some in
the libs since some of the packages I installed were dependent on them.

Thanks for any ideas.  

To see my .signature file, go to http://reality.sgi.com/jwl/signature/