Mac OS X Lion Says Good-Bye To Analog Communications [Modems]

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Lion (4 and a half years) - Panthera leo

Mac OS X Lion has killed off a number of things including, but not limited to Rosetta, visible scrolls bars, Quicken (see Rosetta), and unnatural scrolling. Now another casualty is the venerable analog modem.

According to users on MacRumors Forums it is true that Apple has killed off support for the analog Apple USB Modem in Mac OS X Lion since the device is no longer working after they upgraded from Mac OS X Snow Leopard.

I tried plugging my own Apple USB Modem into an available USB port on my iMac and MacBook Air (both running Mac OS X Lion) and I received the following error message.

The problem is being blamed on two issues: the required modem drivers are missing and the drivers only work when your Mac kernel is running in 32-bit mode. Since Lion generally runs in 64-bit kernel mode by default the drivers will not work unless you boot your machine into 32-bit mode. A lively discussion about 32 vs. 64-bit mode can be found here.

The forum discussion included a work around that required modification of your system files and instructions on starting your Mac in 32-bit kernel mode. Unfortunately at press time I wasn’t able to get the suggested work around to work on either of my Macs.

One person, HellDiverUK, on the forum made a comment that I can agree with when they asked, “Modem?” followed by “Last millennium is calling, it wants its outdated technology back. ”  I think Apple agrees and that they are telling you that it looks like it is time to say good-bye to the analog modem and look to alternatives like encrypted email, zip files, PDFs, or secure FTP.

I know it is hard to let go of technology sometimes, but seriously I haven’t needed to send a fax in a while now. Instead I’m using alternatives like the ones I mentioned above. I think you can too.