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There are no drivers to operate the modem as a USB device. Using a crossover cable (one should have come with the modem), you should be able to connect to it via the Ethernet ports on your computer and the modem.
OK..The problem is that you are using a software "Winmodem", that has no driver support in the Linux kernel. There is a company called Linuxant (http://www.linuxant.com/drivers/) that makes Winmodem drivers for the Rockwell/Connexant chipsets. They have a free, downloadable driver limited to 14.4kb/s, and a full 56k driver available for $20 USD. Hope this helps.
A shell script is a plain text file that contains instructions for a Unix style shell to run. The most common shell on Linux is BASH.
e.g. a minimal example
#!/bin/bash # script that says hullo echo "Hullo world"
(you would normally do _much_ more than that.)
By the way most Linux distros have easy to use tools to set up modems (dialup and pppoe). Or you can usually access the modem/ADSL router directly through a web interface. (see the documentation that comes wioth your modem. (you wont need those silly disks you got with your ISP account :)
It sounds like you have Vista but want to install Linux as a dual boot. Have you ever tried a live CD? A live CD is a CD you can download for free for just about every major distribution. You can run the live CD without installing linux to try it out on your system. If you like it, you can install it from the live CD onto whatever hard drive you wish. Most major linux's installs are graphical just like windows so you shouldn't have any problems. You can get a live CD from most major linuxs'. I recommend Ubuntu because that's what I use and I could help you with it once you got started. You can go to the site and download it and burn it as an ISO.