Modems (modulator/demodulator) translates digital data from the computer into an analog stream that can be sent over a phone line. They used to be external, then built on cards and then to save even more manufacturers made "winmodems" where some functions of the modem were offloaded to the PC and the drivers for it were written for windows.
IRQs. Back in the day every device would have it's own IRQ. Now devices share IRQs and when the CPU is interrupted it performs and interrupt check to see which device interrupted it. dsmeg can show you the IRQ information and you can use it in conjunction with grep so you don't have to sift through the whole output. Henry also showed me how to find a devices name using dsmeg | grep expression_here after I heard him talking to Devin about mounting a drive. I always had to use some convoluted method I found on google involving fdisk whenever I wanted to mount something. Anyways thanks to PnP (Plug and Play) you don't have to worry about IRQ and COM ports these days.
I fell ill Thursday but I'll tell you that story about the game server. It's not interesting and doesn't involve any epiphanies. Basically I run a game server where there are no rules per se but there are people breaking the boundaries of the game by exploiting glitches. Unfortunately I have no evidence (logs aren't any help) and but I have a fairly good idea on who it is. I could ban them but I prefer to be able to lay out the evidence. The problem is this affects the other players so basically do I ban someone without any evidence, hope it rids the problem or wait to get some at the expense of the other players. (I'm not asking you to answer that, that's just the question swirling around in my head). Told you it was uninteresting.