Speedtouch USB modems on Linux

Q I finally have a broadband connection thanks to a USB SpeedTouch 330 modem, which, according to a multitude of pages on the internet, can be used with Linux. Here is the problem: they all mention that I need to download firmware and perform several steps with the firmware in order to get the modem working. My understanding of the meaning of firmware is that it is the software that sits on the modem itself; so if I carry out the instructions as spelled out on http://linux-usb.sourceforge.net/SpeedTouch/fedora/index.html for Fedora I should end up with a working modem for my Fedora system. If I have to update the software on the modem to get it to work with Linux, will it stop the modem from working with my existing Windows XP installation? I really don't want to proceed any further until I find this out as flashing things like BIOS/firmware scare the living daylights out of me!

A As the firmware is distributed by SpeedTouch, you shouldn't encounter any problems when you use the modem under Windows XP. As always when doing any firmware or BIOS upgrades, you should ensure that you have a backup of the existing image - in fact, this should be at the top of your to-do list. Most likely, if something goes wrong when you try to update, you'll have to send the whole thing back to SpeedTouch for them to fix it for you. We've rarely had problems ourselves with flashing devices, other than if there is a hardware issue on the device which corrupts the image. We think it would be fine to flash the modem, although you may wish to check with the nice people in SpeedTouch's technical support department first to verify that the image will work.

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