03 November 2007

Mobile phone as modem

One goal I had for my new mobile phone was to be able to use it as a modem to connect the computer to the internet using Bluetooth under Ubuntu. It was easy to get the phone and the computer to recognise each other's existence, but I was stumped on the next step. So I asked for help on the Australian Ubuntu users' list and several people answered, each giving me a different piece of the puzzle: one helped me get the Bluetooth connection working, one gave me a set of scripts to do the dialing, and one had some other hints and tips to make my life easier. I don't know what age group(s) these guys are in, but I asked them to explain how to do things "like you would explain it to your grandmother" and they did a fine job, even the one who started out talking in incomprehensible (to me) geek-speak. I followed their instructions carefully and on my first test -- IT WORKED! I won't actually use the mobile phone as a modem except as a last resort, because of the costs involved and its slower speed compared to our home broadband connection, though the phone company does have a monthly data plan I can sign up for at times when I expect to be using it a lot (like next year's planned outback expedition).