Posts Tagged 3G

If the iPad can do this stuff, I’ll buy it

So the 3G version of the iPad (announced Wednesday) is still three months away, but I already have some expectations that, if met, would cause me to fork over $630 for the sucker…these expectations are realistic technology-wise, though I’m pretty sure they would require a jailbreak to get working…

1. SIP VoIP, over 3G and WiFi, with Bluetooth and in the background
I’ve successfully run phone calls over AT&T’s HSPA network, so assuming the processor on the iPad is “all that” this shouldn’t be difficult. If I can get a SIP client that connects to a Bluetooth headset and allows other applications “up front” without killing voice quality then I’ve got a very versatile system for nformation gathering while “on the phone.” This is particularly useful when you see my other requests below:

2. Full-fledged RDP, SSH and VNC clients…and either GoToMyPC or LogMeIn if at all possible
The iPad can be an excellent remote access tool; its screen has enough resolution to run any modern OS without having to scroll around. Add in the keyboard accessory and you’ve got a lovely little remote terminal that works anywhere AT&T has service (I’m talking about the 3G version here). Or any other non-AWS GSM or 3G carrier for that matter; the device is unlocked. SSH would be a godsend for doing command line heavy lifting, though you’d need a host to SSH to in this case (not a big deal for me). Even nicer, all of the above will likely be available for the iPad as App Store apps; no jailbreaking required.

3. A high-quality PDF viewer
I want a PDF viewer that can search and copy text, preferably at least as good as Preview. Yes, Preview can be outdone with PDFs…it’s not the most compatible piece of PDF reader in the world unfortunately. Read the rest of this entry »

Tags: , , , , ,

Force 3G on a Sierra Wireless aircard on a Mac…here’s how

So I bought an AT&T data plan earlier today. SIM-only, no contract. Pretty cool, since their less-than-a-month-old 3G network around here is still pretty speedy. I didn’t need an aircard as I purchased a Sierra Wireless USBConnect 881 back during the days of “unlimited” GoPhone data for $20. The card lay dormant after “unlimited” became 100MB (big difference) but today it meant the difference between signing a contract (aka not getting service) and not signing one.

One problem arose when I got home: my aircard kept switching to EDGE during the middle of a data session. Not a good thing for a $60 + taxes and fees data plan. So I needed to force 3G on the card. The problem there was that only the Windows Sierra and AT&T clients allow forced 3G. So (not knowing that settings are stored on the modem and thus once I set 3G-only on my Windows computer it would be 3G-only on my Mac) I scrounged around and found this page. I followed those instructions and was able to make sure my aircard was 3G-only.

If you don’t want to read through a (relatively short) page on how to kick your aircard into high gear, you’re in luck. Here’s what you’d do on a Mac to force-3G a Sierra aircard. Note that this procedure was performed on OS X 10.6.1 and with the Apple “native” driver installed (a tiny download from here). This is also with the latest modem firmware, which I had to use the Sierra driver (vs. the native one) to upgrade to.

  1. Go to Terminal (Applications > Utilities)
  2. Type in screen /dev/tty.wwanCMD 115200 and hit enter.
  3. Type in AT!band? and hit enter.
  4. If you see the number 02, you’re already locked into 3G-only mode. Otherwise, type in AT!band=02 and hit enter to set the mode. If you wanted to go 2G-only, the code would be 04 instead of 02. AUtoselect is 00.

Hope this helps! Now I’m cooking along with 2-3 bars of signal (-87 dBm right now) and pulling down these speeds:

Though connection quality is quite a bit more variable than Sprint’s (slower, particularly on uploads) connection at my place…

In comparison, SPrint usually pulls down 1.3 Mbps down, 300-500 kbps up and gets a B on connection quality.

Tags: , , , , , , ,