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1. What are Winmodems ?

1.1 They are modems...

A Winmodem, like other modems, is used for accessing to phone services, as BBS, Internet, Voice Phone, Fax, etc. It is raccorded to a phone line and is caracterized by its speed. If you want to learn more about modems, I report you to the Modems-HOWTO.

1.2 ...not as real modems are !

But they are WINmodems. That is, they need Windows to work. Why ? Simply because they are stupid. They need a special software, a driver, to accomplice their complete task. Who says software says OS, and the drivers included with the modem are, at 99%, exclusively for the MS-Windows platform. But with the democratization of Linux, some manufacturers, like LT or Motorola, decided to create a linux driver for their modems. But they have not understand linux philosophy: the drivers they provide works, of course, but they are 'Closed Source'. They are free, at the sense of the price, but not under the GPL. It means that the sources are not available.

So, some 'hackers' decided to make an Open Source driver, but they do not know a lot about their modems, because manufacturers don't want to communicate the specifications of their modems, so the OpenSource drivers are often in the alpha or beta status.

1.3 How to know I have a Winmodem ?

1. Try to get the name of the serial port where your modem is connected (under Windows or MSDOS, example: COM1 COM2, ...).

The name of your modem under Linux is /dev/ttySx, where x is the number of the serial port under DOS, - 1. < Example: Under DOS: COM1, under Linux ttySx, with x=1-1, so ttyS0

2nd example: Under DOS: COM3, under Linux ttyS2

and so on

2. Make a symlink from /dev/ttySx to /dev/modem, by typing

rm -f /dev/modem<p>
ln -s /dev/ttySx /dev/modem

3. Download and install the minicom package. Then run 'minicom -s'.

Choose 'Serial Port Setup', type 'A' for setting 'Serial Device', delete all the line, and type '/dev/modem'. Then validate by [Enter]. Type [Esc], and choose 'save setup as dfl, then choose 'Exit'.

Wait a little time, then type 'AT' if the modem answers 'OK' then you have NOT a Winmodem, you have a standard modem...

If the initialisation time takes too long, then you have a Winmodem. Use this document for try making it useful. Log in as root.

4. Exit from Minicom by typing CTRL+A, then X.

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