Just a quick word for anyone else in Belgium trying to install the Belgacom ADSL starter kit on a Mac. The kit includes a Speedtouch 330 USB ADSL modem. Here’s what’s wrong with it:

  1. The drivers that are included will not work on any recent Mac. They’re 4 years old and they’re written for Mac OS X 10.1. On top of this, the documentation is totally outdated. Download new drivers here.
  2. You may need to install the BSD subsystem if you haven’t already. It’s on one of Apple’s install disks. The reason for this is unclear. It looks like some part of the modem’s initialisation script uses grep.

On top of this, the account management system

  1. uses a certificate issued by CertiPost. CertiPost (a division of the Belgian Postal Services) may deliver some worthwile services, but issuing certificates without being a trusted certificate authority isn’t one of them. This means that you will have to put up with a warning about a potentially insecure site every time you enter the management page. It also means that will be a lot easier for someone to build a spoof site to collect your account information.
  2. doesn’t seem to work in either Safari or Internet Explorer 5.2 for Mac. At least, it didn’t on 2006-01-27.

The problems with the modem can be solved by buying or renting a model with Ethernet instead of USB. ADSL modems with an Ethernet connection are by default compatible with Mac OS X. You won’t have to install any software. You will be able to connect the modem to an Airport base station or any other broadband router.

The problems with the account management page are insurmountable.

FYI, Telenet works without problems and is quite a bit faster.