Mobile broadband is go!

Huawei E220I bought a Huawei E220 last week. It took a week or so to arrive. Then I wanted to get myself a 3 mobile broadband account. That turned out to be a pain in the ass. You need to sign a contract, so you have to go through a credit check. As I don’t have any paperwork in Aus, Ross kindly agreed to sign the contract. Alas, having only been in the country a few months, he failed the credit check. After some initial skepticism, Toppo kindly agreed to sign on the dotted line. Bravo!

So, today, this post comes to you via mobile broadband.

There were some initial glitches though. It took some serious farting around. I tried installing vodafone’s linux software, that didn’t work. It could see the modem most of the time, but it wouldn’t connect. Not sure why, some weird wvdial errors. Yet wvdial on it’s own would work fine.

Then I tried umtsmon. It worked ok. But it’s an ugly little application and it wouldn’t disappear into my system tray. Plus, NetworkManager thought there was no connection, so all my programs thought they were offline. Pain in the ass.

Finally, I upgraded NetworkManager to 0.7. Then bingo, it works like a charm.

I want to keep an eye on bandwidth consumption, so I’m using the Net Monitor screenlet. It’s not quite perfect as it tracks usage by calendar month. But it’ll do as a start.

Ubuntu

Top marks to Ubuntu. You plug in the modem and it “just works”. No farting around switching modes or any of that nonsense. In fact, if you know the init strings, you can just dial and go. Once NetworkManager 0.7 goes final and makes it into Ubuntu, mobile broadband will be a cinch.

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