[This article was originally published in the newsletter of the
Cajun Clickers Computer Club — www.clickers.org — in early 2002. ]
After using a cable modem for almost three years, across the Thanksgiving (2001) holidays, I finally broke down and bought a cable modem, the Toshiba PCX-1100U, which has both Ethernet and USB jacks for connecting to the home computer or LAN. The upstream cable connection is a standard RG59 "F" connector. Toshiba says Mac users have to use the Ethernet connector, not the USB connector.
My rental unit was a Com21, which I had used for almost three years and which never gave me a problem. This model came out before the standardization of cable modems to the DOCSIS standard, so I did not consider it a viable selection for purchase (if Cox even allows you to purchase it).
The 1100U comes with preliminary testing software and a quick start sheet, as well as a manual. You connect the modem to your computer, but not to the cable system’s cable, and then run the software to check that it is ok and that your connection with it is ok. This includes system checking to make sure that your computer meets or is better than the cable system’s minimum requirements. Note that you do not have to run this software, and I did not. It also comes with an Ethernet cable and a USB cable, one of which you will need to connect the cable modem to your computer.
My cable modem package also included Norton Internet Security 2001 Family Edition — Norton Antivirus 2001, Norton Parental Control, Norton Privacy Control and Norton Personal Firewall — including 90 days of free updates, which are $39.95/year afterwards.
Connection is simple, but it requires contacting the cable operator and a delay of 45-60 minutes to allow the cable operators servers to all be updated with the new information.