Posts Tagged ‘mobile broadband’

Mobile broadband – USB dongle modems

Thursday, May 1st, 2008

I’ve been playing with a mobile broadband for the past few weeks, with a USB modem dongle courtesy of 3mobilebuzz. In return for a three months free trial – free loan of the hardware, with free (unlimited) data usage – the deal is that I have to post my thoughts about it. So here goes 🙂

Huawei E169 modemThe idea
The EEE PC, and the slew of EEE PC alternatives that have followed it, have started to get more people thinking about mobile computing. It’s now possible (and not too expensive!) to have a fully-fledged personal computer that is so small that you can leave it in the bottom of a bag and have it with you all the time on the off-chance that it might come in useful. And so light that you’ll barely notice.

I love the EEE PC. You can do a surprising amount of work on such a small machine. With the built-in wifi, if I’m at home or in a coffee shop, I can get online and do even more.

But that leaves a lot of places where I can’t get it online.

And that’s what appealed about the idea of mobile broadband dongles. Because for the size and weight of something like a USB memory key in the bottom of my bag, the EEE PC can now be online (pretty much) anywhere.

Plug it in, wait a few seconds, and it’s online. Internet access anywhere, anytime. Proper Internet. That is a very cool thing.


Using a 3 mobile broadband dongle with the EEE PC

Thursday, April 24th, 2008

I’ve been loaned a USB mobile broadband modem by 3 to try out for a few months. I’ll write a proper post about why I’ve got it and what I think of it later. First, I wanted to share how I got it working with my EEE PC.

What am I talking about?
The modem is a small USB dongle – not dissimilar in appearance from a USB memory stick. You put a SIM card in, and the small mobile phone radio inside gives an Internet connection to any computer that it’s plugged into.

The dongle is a Huawei E169G.

So what’s the problem?
The dongle is supported on Windows and Mac OS. Not Linux. My EEE PC still runs the original Xandros Linux.

Should it work on Linux?
Posts on the eeeuser forum suggested that it wouldn’t be possible.

Other dongles seem to have caused less trouble, but the E169 wouldn’t work.

The consensus seemed to be that:

Huawei 169 requires a patch to usb-storage driver to recognize the hardware similarly to 220… I think that ASUS is on a way to produce a small upgrade package to fix the issue for E169.

And a little Googling failed to turn up anyone who has got the Huawei E169 to work with an EEE PC on Linux.

Still… how hard could it really be, eh? 🙂