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Switching to MediaOne

I'm setting up MediaOne at my house.  The cable modem furnished with
this installation is a 3Com HomeConnect (#3cr29220).  I looked for any
useful technical info at all on the website, and found
essentially nothing.  3Com's site is no better.

When they did the installation, the MAC address was hard-coded into the
config somewhere.  My Linux box is still connected to the old RCN service.

Here's my question:  when I move the Linux box over (it has a really
crufty old NE2000 clone adapter, and an ancient 2.0.36 kernel which
can't accommodate the specific Ethernet card with which I had the
installer perform this installation), will I tear my hair out so much
trying to get this to work that I'll wind up throwing the old Linux
box out, or is it as simple as calling MediaOne to report the different
MAC address?

I struggled in vain to get a newer kernel to run on that box, and at
this point I'm inclined to buy yet another system from MicroCenter.
(Stuff like this has led to a 5-PC household already.  This would be
the 6th machine.  Believe it or not I have a specific reason for
keeping each and every one of these machines, which range from Mac to
Win95 to Win98 to two flavors of Linux.)

One example:  since the RCN service doesn't care about the MAC address,
in the past I've simply plugged in a Windoze box to find out the assigned
IP address via DHCP, and then ifconfig'ed the Linux box to that address.
(Again, the old crufty installation dating back to about 1996 makes it
tough to make things like DHCP-client run on that Linux box.)

One other thought I had was to buy a different cable modem which has the
right firewall features built in.  (This particular Linux box does NAT
and simple firewalling, and basically nothing more:  it seems a waste to
buy a Pentium 500 just because it'll take half a day--time and patience
which I simply don't have any more--to screw around with my old P133).

Any suggestions?

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