This article describes my adventures with an Optus@Home cable modem and
RedHat 7.0 Linux, but the principles are similar for Bigpond Advance and for
other variations of Linux. You do not need to be a rocket scientist to get a
cable modem going with Linux but you do need to be comfortable with installing
Linux and basic things like typing files, editing them, creating folders
(directories) and shutting down, etc.
You don't need fancy hardware for a Linux gateway and just about any old PC
(Pentium 133MHz or better) will do the job. So if you have an old PC that's
gathering dust because you haven't the heart to throw it out, it can be
resurrected and pressed into service.
If you don't have one, scrounge it - there are lots of old machines "out
there". It only has to have 64MB of RAM and a 1GB hard drive, although you might
be able to get away with 32MB of RAM and a 540MB hard drive at a pinch.
To make scrounging even easier, you don't even need a monitor or a keyboard
once you have it all set up. Nor are CD-ROM and floppy disk drives necessary
once Linux is installed. You will need to have all these items for installation
and setting up though - perhaps temporarily borrowed from another machine.
You also need two network cards - one to connect to the cable modem and the
other to connect to your network hub. Speed isn't an issue here and 10MB cards,
even ISA types if you can get them going with Linux, will do the job. However,
PCI plug and play network cards are easier to get going, as Linux is very good
at detecting these.