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The only thing that matters in my experience is that you have a true modem rather than a Winmodem.
The OS may be crippled by not having the software to support the connection methods/authentication scheme but third party software should be available. My favorite site is Freshmeat.net for Unix apps.
I guess coming from a mac background, I am looking for an installer of some sort, but I am finding that the linux route is usually to edit a configuration file. This is quite cool as the configuration files actually make sense, unlike the gibberish found in windoze.
I already upgraded the ram and changed the grub.conf to show the change..wow..kinda geeky, but it worked.
I'm staying in the KDE environment for now, which is a very elegant interface, my teenagers' friends are coming over asking me to put it on their machines..so it must be pretty "phat".