Telecom USB modem on Lucid Ubuntu

My mother runs Ubuntu (Lucid) on her laptop and she needed to make her NZ Telecom USB modem work. Getting an XT USB Modem working in Ubuntu provided a great starting point but there were a few things I had to do differently. I recommend printing the Rob the Geek article and then following this post for extra guidance.

The key issue is:

[these particular devices] respond to the system by default as a CD drive or USB hub so Ubuntu (with the stick in it’s native form) doesn’t see it as a modem device.
Getting an XT USB Modem working in Ubuntu

Fortunately, I had the option of dual booting into Windows XP so I could modify the modem (thus enabling Ubuntu to detect it as such). The missing step in the documentation for me was that I needed to install the modem under Windows first before I could see it in the Device Manager. In Windows XP, it was Control Panel>Classic View>System>Hardware Device Manager. I discovered the relevant port in my mother’s case was COM5. Yours may be different.

I used Hyperterminal for the next step. It wasn’t exactly intuitive to me but I got it to work. My main problem was I couldn’t see the interface responding as I typed in the command – at least not until it was entered. The command IIRC was AT+ZCDRUN=8

Hyperterminal command

I received:

>> Close autorun
state result (0: FAIL 1: SUCCESS): 1
>> OK

I could then reboot into Ubuntu. The Ubuntu steps (look at Rob the Geek’s instructions) “Just Worked” and the modem just works. I was also successful getting another Telecom XT mobile going for my father-in-law on his eeebuntu netbook. So this was not a fluke.

In conclusion, there was only one small thing stopping everything else from working. Once fixed – complete success and an easy and intuitive user interface.