Muahuahauhauahauha!!! It works, it works !!!!!
To make a long story short, in order to setup ur phone lines the cable company had to put the modem where there was a jack within reach. Which meant my room, because it's the only one you don't have to route a cable from here to timbuktu!
They also hooked up a second modem in the living room for us to hook up our router to, only problem? I need the router in my bedroom to avoid the OpenBSD 4.3/WPA issue or make some drastic changes instead of hooking her up via wire.
I've been mentally thinking about switching them as soon as I noticed that the cable guy didn't leave anything hooked up to the jack, then it clicked in my head.
The set top (cable) box is probably just a signal repeater taht relays information without concern for routing information. They probably had to have the modem hooked up to the land lines in order to dial into the modem and tell it the setup information for the phones.
We are totally land line less until the phone company gets off their fat asses and forks over and the land lord gives the cable company written permission to hook up, which is unreliable at best.
I yanked the stuff, disconnecting the phone from the one; then the cable and power from both, and switching modems. Plugging them both in to power and then setting up the rest. Hooked up the phone and sure enough, it worked without issue.
Hooked up the other modem in my room and moved the router but I couldn't et any external routes :-(. So shifting from plan A to plan B (guessing the modem was tied to the cable box), I went to switch set top boxes until I saw what happened, the cable must have fallen when I tied off the Ethernet cable at the modem and I forgot to plug the dang thing in ^_^. Ok, so I'm schlemiel...
But I was right the first time hehe :-)
And now as soon as I get the power plug (read lack of) situation sorted, I'll have my file server back online! And once I've got the booting issue sorted on the other computer, I can get slacking at installing linux on that one and jetting ovr the wifi drivers.
I hooked the CD-ROM back up to the machines secondary EIDE channel as the master but no luck, even as secondary slave. Since I've proven it's not the cable, I'm going to have to take a look at the jumpers and probably see if I can google a manual.pdf of some sort. If screwing with those settings don't work, well I guess I'll need to dd myself a floppy disk to start the install.
As long as the file server gets back online, I can live without a 4th system running. Heck, once upon a time... Any body having four computers at home would probably have to be another Warbucks to afford it hehe. But in my case, 2 out of 4 PCs were free, pardoning the cost of a a sprig of PC2700 to get the one girl functional.
You know, technology is insanely simple -- it just takes a lunatic to realize it!