Dear Board,

I recently got hold of a copy of Linux Red Hat 9.0. I installed it, but couldn't get my internal modem to work. I've found out that it is a winmodem. Checking your information I discovered I needed an external modem (ideally), so I bought a US Robotics Sportster Flash external modem (connected to the PC via a printer serial port).

I followed the instructions given in RedHat's guides, but Linux will still not 'find' my modem. The serial number on the back of the modem is: 607020.

I've tried a few techniques described on other advice boards, but still can't get it to work. I'd therefore be very grateful if someone could let me know what to try next. Is this external modem compatible with Linux RedHat 9.0? Do I need a different modem? Do I need a different version of Linux? Should I re-install Linux?

Here's the reason why I want to move to Linux:
Despite having masses of antivirus software a virus ripped into XP like a chill wind last week and I had to re-install (this isn't the first time). XP does not allow me much flexibility to learn how to manipulate many of the files, has a very restrictive registration system and the whole business of having to keep throwing money at it is an annoyance. Earlier this year I gave up with the MSOffice system (old versions aren't compatible - what a rip-off) and I shifted to OpenOffice - which is just as good, is free, is well supported and allows me to make back-up copies of it. Its even included in the Linux pack I got hold of, so I thought Linux would be the way forward. I'm hoping that I can get into the system and make full use of its versatility (which is obvious from the amount of information I've already got hold of - via the Web). I just need to be able to connect to the web on Linux and I'll be laughing. The rest of the RedHat system seems easy to use - no problem installing an old printer, for example.

I'm prepared to put in whatever effort is required - in order to get Linux fully operational. I can do limited programming, but do need some pointers.

ANY HELP OR ADVICE WHICH WILL SORT OUT MY PROBLEM WILL BE GREATLY APPRECIATED!