Darth Reed

Now that I have a place to put my quasi-technical babble over at MSDN, the space is reserved for me to spew my political bile and enjoy all things sci-fi. Heh.

Saturday, September 24, 2005

Bluetooth Sprint modem experience in Rita's aftermath

Since Rita seems to have eaten Time Warner/RoadRunner in my little corner of Houston, I was getting ready to start kicking myself for never having signed up for Verizon’s data service... $80 a month used to seem a bit too steep. Then it occurred to me that I might be able to find and download some 3rd party widget which would enable me to use my PPC-6600 as a modem. Imagine my pleasant surprise to discover that it was already built in! (No, I don’t normally read the fine manuals. Why do you ask?) Unlike my old Treo 600, no 3rd party widget is required. WModem is very nice -- a big thank you to everyone at Microsoft and Sprint for making it so easy to use.

I had a Merlin Aircard at the last place of entertainment, and it was a bit pokey; this connection through the 6600 seems to be a little faster even through Bluetooth, but it’s still only 115k after all. (I’m using Bluetooth because I can’t figure out how to disable ActiveSync 3.8 which automatically starts synchronizing via the USB connection, and I don’t want to give myself the uninstallation/reinstallation headache. And even after I manually kill the ActiveSync connection and finally get Windoze to try to recognize the phone as a USB modem, it gives up after failing to find the driver.)

The Bluetooth connection was cake to setup as a standard Bluetooth modem (it eats up two new phantom COM ports) and then it was super easy to create a dial-up connection to #777 with no authentication credentials (presumably the phone itself provides sufficient identification to the Sprint data network). No need to use the expensive AT&T Global dial-up thing that Avanade provides; if you’ve got Sprint data coverage, this is mo’ bettah. And the best part, if you don’t like getting phone calls, is that the phone won’t ring while you’re using it as a modem.

In short, I’m blogging Rita (the non-event that she was in Houston) via Sprint’s PCS network from my Tecra... while that teasing little blinking light on the RoadRunner modem taunts me. I can almost hear the daemonz of disconnectedness laughing at me! Almost. Although one could wish for faster than what Sprint offers now, I’ll thank them kindly for the 115k that I do have, and at least now I know that I won’t be sitting around the airport lamenting my disconnected state anymore!! (Since friggin' T-Mobile HotSpots are never where you need 'em.)

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