6 Ways To Connect Linux to the Outside World That Are Not Wireless, Bluetooth, or Ethernet - page 2
Linux -- No Failure to Communicate
You'll probably need some kind of terminal emulation program for either serial or modem communications. Minicom is a popular terminal emulator program that comes with most Linux distributions. It does require some configuration before it will work with a specific setup. You can start the configuration directly as root with the command:
# minicom -s
Wvdial (weave-dial) is another important application needed to actually connect the modem attached to your computer to another one. You'll need a wvidal.conf file with the appropriate settings for the device you're using. These include things like the device name, baud rate (speed), phone number to dial and modem setup commands. Wvdial is available for all the popular Linux distributions.
If you intend on connecting to the Internet over your dial-up connection, you'll need some type of PPP (Point to Point Protocol) program to make it happen. PPPD is a PPP daemon that comes with virtually every Linux distribution. Wvdial is essentially a PPPD driver or client program for dial-up connections. The Linux Documentation Project is again a great source of information for everything to do with PPP and Linux.
Kde fans have a good tool in the form of KPPP that performs essentially the same purpose as Wvdial. There's a KPPP Handbook on the KDE doc site with everything you always wanted to know and more.
Finding a way to connect to an old computer often comes down to serial communications. Linux is perfectly suited for the task from both the hardware and software perspective. You'll have a much greater chance of success getting Linux running on an old computer with the right hardware (serial or modem) than you ever would with the latest version of Windows. Chalk up one more for the Penguin!