As an update to the problem with the non functional modem here are some comments from Bron Gondwana. Because I do not need the modem at the moment I have not tried them. Also, I do plan to do a fresh installation of gentoo or ubunto in the near future – stay tuned for an installation report.
Hopefully, these comments can be of help to someone 🙂 Here we go:
Trouble with some kernel modules:
One thing I notice is that you've had trouble with the modem. I discovered that the important thing was to make sure you blacklist the module. i810_audio The current debian puts it in /etc/hotplug/blacklist.d/alsa-base - but in the past I had to put it in /etc/hostplug/blacklist myself. You'll probably want to check /etc/mod* as well to make sure you're not explicitly loading it anywhere.
How to install:
I'm currently running the 2.6.10 kernel packaged by Debian, but I'm seriously considering building 126.96.36.199 myself because I believe the kernel sleep is working there - I have a friend who's made it work on his (non Dell) laptop just last week, and he's sent me a bunch of patches. If I get it working I'll let you know. ALSA modules snd_intel8x0 and snd_intel8x0m. snd_intel8x0m is the modem interface module, and the driver is a non-free driver from Smartlink (http://www.smlink.com/) specifically: http://www.smlink.com/content.aspx?id=132 or http://www.smlink.com/content.aspx?id=135 I use the Debian package (sl-modem-daemon) which runs: /usr/sbin/slmodemd --alsa -c AUSTRALIA hw:1 You may at least want to change the country! You need to read the readme to see the instructions for building it with ALSA support.
But no fax modem:
Oh, I forgot to mention... the reason I haven't replied recently - I was going to try and send a fax on it yesterday, and I did try - but it's not possible at the moment - the Linux version of the softmodem software doesn't support it. Pity. It was the main value to me as well, since I have broadband and wireless at both work and home - I don't even plug it into anything but power usually!