Sunday, May 27, 2012

RocketModem II with Linux kernel 3.x

Got a Comtrol 6-port RocketModem II around 8 years ago. The original plan was to use it in our fax machine pool. But it never get its chance as the other modems just wont die :P.

Recently as we moved our machines to a new data center, it is a good time to put it back to work. With so many spare parts lying around in my house, it is not difficult to find a motherboard with PCI slots for it. The hard part is the software. The card was designed 10 years ago with drivers for Linux kernel 2.4. But now for the new machines, we are going to use Ubuntu 12.04 with Linux 3.x kernel.

The first attempt was to use the build-in driver of Comtrol in the Linux kernel. But it just wont work. The modem responds "OK" with every AT command it received but doesnt act on it. Then tried to compile the obsolete drivers but there were just too many things to fix in the source that I eventually gave up.

Eventually, tried to compile and load the latest RocketModem IV drivers. Lo and behold! Everything just works! Problem solved!