2014-06-01 · in Tech Notes · 188 words

My local phone cabinet in Dundee was upgraded to FTTC in May 2014. After I placed the upgrade order with my ISP, it occurred to me that this was my last chance to use a particular piece of networking equipment.

Alcatel Speed Touch USB ADSL modem

I have no idea what possessed Alcatel to make it look like that.

This was the USB ADSL modem that BT provided our student house with when we had ADSL installed in 2001, and it lived for several years in the kitchen, plugged into the one USB PCI card that we could find that would make it work fairly reliably with the Linux userspace drivers.

The 58FR kitchen, April 2003

Not long after that photo was taken, we replaced it with a cheap-and-cheerful second-generation standalone router in bridging mode, and the frog was consigned to my junk box.

I was expecting to have an interesting story to tell about how hard I'd had to work to make it semi-functional again after ten years — but, irritating to the last, once I'd provided its firmware, the modem synced up first time at maximum ADSL1 speed, and ran reliably for several hours. Score one for Alcatel!