Hmmm the Alcatel 'Snotblob'.
I remember thee. A great device for sorting out the men from the boys USB socket wise.
Basically if you had a VIA USB chipset you were screwed as it didn't push enough power to the snotblob. Spent many a lunch hour down Maplins hunting out NEC USB chipset PCI cards for friends.
When I had my ADSL installed in 2001 it was still a two engineer job. You had to have a ADSL box installed in the house. Was rather nice to have a proper purpose built box installed just where you wanted it in the living room. Much better than all the poor sods that had to put up with the splitter plugs in the hallway much later.
Still use the ADSL box today. However, the speed has improved. Back in 2001 it was a staggering 512Kb. Now it's a better 18Mbps and while I can get FTTC, I really can't be bothered. I'll wait till they move me over for nothing due to legacy needs.