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[ale] Winmodem useless or usable?



> 
>   I just got a new laptop.  I was just told it's built in modem is a
> winmodem.  Can I just count that out or can I actually use it?  Anyone
> got any docs, etc?  I've heard winmodems are bad news in Linux. 

Forget about it and go buy a nice PCMCIA modem.

It's not a technological issue, it's a political/business issue. Simply put
no Winmodem manufacturers are releasing information on how to program the
device. Essentially a Winmodem is complete only when coupled with its
Windows software driver, which has neither public source nor specifications.
So there's no easy way to develop a Linux driver for the hardware.

As long as there are alternatives, no one is going to fight to get Winmodems
working. Since someone will continue to build and sell external modems and
PCMCIA modems, the fight to get Winmodems working will probably wait another
day.

It's not fair, but until Linux gets a solid 20 to 25 percent share, it
doesn't make sense for the manufacturers to expose themselves to all kinds 
of support issues by making their specs public.

BAJ