For grins, I tried going back to the original "system restore" Win2k OS on the Sony CDs that came with the PC. Still no modem, which was strange. Reformatted the HD and installed a clean copy of XP from CD, still nothing. I'm assuming that there's a hardware problem. I can install the newer drivers from Conexant but they do nothing, because the OS doesn't know about the modem hardware. Tried reassiging serial port IRQ, address, and interrupt using the Vaio setup program, that didn't help.
I partially disassembled the laptop and found the Ambit board, but I couldn't pull enough plastic "stuff" off the machine to get full access to the board. My plan is to remove it, put the machine back together and boot it up to see what happens, then put the board back in and try it again. Anyone know where I can get disassembly instructions for this thing? I don't mind digging into hardware, I've designed/built/fixed much more complex gear than this!