Sony VAIO P – HSDPA mod

February 12, 2009

So, after more tinkering with the Sony VAIO P, I have successfully managed to mod the Gobi radio from Qualcomm (built-in WWAN) from EDVO-only to EGDE/HSDPA!

I have documented the process with a how-to and some pictures

Enjoy :)


Sony VAIO P – Windows XP downgrade

February 10, 2009

I have successfully managed to downgrade the Sony VAIO P to Windows XP (from Vista). I used this guide started by this person and contributed this information :)

Most importantly, I got both the WWAN (EVDO-only for now) and GPS radios working! Next up: more modding (it’s EDGE/HSDPA time)…


Modding the Acer Aspire One – HSDPA

October 28, 2008

Welcome to part 3 of a multi-part post on moddng the Acer Aspire One!

In part 1, I showed how to take the Aspire One apart, how to upgrade the RAM, and how to add internal Bluetooth. In part 2, I showed how to replace the SSD with a 1.8″ PATA hard drive and how to reassemble the Aspire One…

In this part, I demonstrate how to add internal 3G to the Aspire One (specifically HSDPA). Here’s another video and additional pictures that cover the process – enjoy :)

Read the rest of this entry »


Syncing the HTC Dream/T-Mobile G1

September 26, 2008

There’s been a lot mentioned on the intertubes about the HTC Dream/T-Mobile G1 since it was announced 2 days ago.

I’ve pre-ordered mine, and I’m looking forward to gnawing on it – tasty bits, nom, nom, nom :)

Why? Here’s what I’m excited about:
– First ever Android device
– First HSDPA/HSUPA smartphone on T-Mobile USA”s new AWS network
– Open source, linux-based OS/platform
– Full integration with Google mail, IM, contacts, calendar, and maps (including Street View)
– Android Market application store and Amazon MP3 music store (DRM free)
– Copy & paste, background processes
– Capacitive touchscreen and hardware keyboard
– WiFi, dual-band 3G, GPS, and compass
– 3 megapixel auto-focus camera

Here’s what appears to be missing:
– No Bluetooth DUN (tethering), ObEx (file transfer), and A2DP (stereo audio)
– No multi-touch functionality
– No standard 3.5 mm audio connector (adapter required)
– No video recording and camera flash
– No integration with Google reader and docs
– No UMA support
– Not so sexy design

But there’s one item several people are getting flustered about: syncing the HTC Dream/T-Mobile G1

Read the rest of this entry »


Unboxing the Vulcan FlipStart

July 5, 2008

I’ve recently acquired a virtually new-in-the-box and never booted Vulcan FlipStart with Windows XP and EVDO! The only item missing appears to be the recovery disc(s), which I can live without thanks to Acronis True Image.

Take a look at all the pictures!

Yes I know, I’m about a year late to the party, and I’ve been pretty critical about the Flipstart in the past, calling it the ugly duckling and the zombie handtop. So why now?

Well a lot of things have changed in a year:
– I retired my beloved OQO Model 02 with HSDPA, selling it before it lost too much value
– Vulcan lowered the price of the FlipStart to $699, and then stopped selling it altogether

The tipping point was my Vulcan FlipStart HSDPA mod. The brave soul who volunteered his device for the hacking was experiencing some hardware problems which I was only able to resolve thanks to the outstanding assistance I received from Vulcan customer support. Being able to swap EVDO with HSDPA without reaching for my soldering iron was the icing on the cake…

So I started looking for a used FlipStart for further hacking. And for the record, I still think the FlipStart is aesthetically challenged :)


Vulcan Flipstart HSDPA mod

June 6, 2008

Recently, a member of handtops.com (where I’m a moderator) lent me his Vulcan FlipStart and Fujitsu LifeBook U810 for me play with!

Last year I published an HSDPA mod for the OQO Model 02. Today I bring you an HSDPA mod for the Vulcan FlipStart :)

This time, instead of taking pictures, I decided to stream live video:
Part 1 covers disassembling the FlipStart and replacing EVDO with HSDPA
Part 2 covers reassembling the FlipStart and testing the result

I used the mini-PCIe card from my Sierra Wireless AirCard 875U together with the Sierra Wireless 3G Watcher.

Other than my connection (apparently) getting throttled by AT&T, everything ended up working pretty well…

I’d like to publicly thank the intrepid member of handtops.com who lent me both devices!


Cradlepoint PHS300 review

May 31, 2008

A few months ago I wrote about rocking a router in my pocket by running JoikuSpot to share HSDPA over WiFi on my Nokia N95-3

This solution works well enough, but only provides minimal control over routing and wireless setup. Furthermore, WiFi range is limited and battery drain is significant.

Enter the Cradlepoint PHS300, a battery/AC powered, pocketable, mobile wireless router designed to interface with a variety of USB 3G modems and phones.

The PHS300 is a black box resembling a 2.5″ hard drive enclosure, and is equipped with a USB port, a power connector, and power switch. The top features 3 status LEDs (power, 3G, & WiFi) and the bottom hides a Li-ion battery behind a removable cover (see my unboxing pictures).

Initial setup was as simple as inserting my AT&T SIM (MEdia Net data plan) into my Sierra Wireless AirCard 875U modem, plugging it into the USB port, and turning on the PSH300.

Within seconds, all 3 LEDs turned green and an additional WiFi network appeared. After connecting my computer to this WiFi network and opening my web browser, I was greeted with a login screen.

Once logged in (using the last 6 digits of the MAC address assigned to the PHS300), the web interface is similar to the one featured on most modern cable/DSL wireless routers. So I personalized the configuration, and I was immediately impressed with the routing features offered by the PHS300.

You see, before this review, I was thinking: “Why bother with a dedicated mobile wireless router when there’s software like JoikuSpot and WMWifiRouter?” Well now I know :)

The PHS300 supports PPP, DHCP, NAT with SPI, SSID enable/disable, Internet access control (services, URL, & MAC), 64/128-bit WEP, WPA/WPA2, WPA-PSK/WPA2-PSK, UPnP, multiple and concurrent VPN pass-through sessions (IPSEC, L2TP, & PPTP)… Hmmm, that’s quite a mouthful!

Performance and stability are top notch. Battery life is about 2 hours, as advertised.

Of course, all this flexibility comes at a cost. The PHS300 is larger and heavier than most mobile devices, and still requires a 3G modem or phone to function. Together with my Sierra Wireless AirCard 875U, it makes for quite a bulky and unwieldy monster beast :)

So, what’s the verdict?

If you need basic mobile routing for personal use, or a truly pocketable solution, I suggest you pick software like JoikuSpot (especially if you own a compatible smartphone).

But if you need advanced mobile routing for a small group, or emergency routing for a small business. I highly recommend the PHS300.


Is that a router in your pocket?

February 6, 2008

Or are you just happy to see me?

Once upon a time, in a land far away, I used an OQO Model 01+ and Motorola E815 connected via Bluetooth. I hacked the phone and tethered the computer to Verizon’s EVDO network. Every now and then, I’d share the 3G connection over WiFi, turning the computer into a router, and allowing other devices with WiFi around me to access the cloud – all this while walking down the street or driving down the freeway…

But here’s the cool part: the entire setup fit easily, without wires, in the many pockets of my trusty cutoff cargo pants!

The setup evolved over time. I replaced the phone with an LG CU500 on Cingular’s HSDPA network (now AT&T). Then I replaced the computer with an OQO Model 02, which I promptly modded for HSDPA (built-in).

And then, having narrowed things down to a single device, I was rocking a router in my pocket – I was ready for the mobile revolution :)

Eventually, I ended up with a Nokia N95-3 featuring both 3G and WiFi and I started thinking… Wouldn’t it be nice if there was a Symbian application that turned the device into a router in my pocket? Wouldn’t it be great?

Well now you can have your cake an eat it too – you too can be packing a router in your pocket! Say hello to JoikuSpot for Symbian, WMWifiRouter for Windows Mobile, and Cradlepoint for other devices.

I’ve been playing with JoikuSpot on my N95-3 and it’s working like a charm.


My Macworld predictions

January 12, 2008

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I’ll be blogging live from Macworld next week, uploading pictures in real time and broadcasting live videos.

Keep an eye on the following:
My Twitter account (real-time links to all my Flickr and Qik content)
My coverage here (articles)
My Flickr account (pictures)
My Qik account (live videos)

In the meantime, hot on the heels of TUAW and Gizmodo, here are my Macworld predictions:

  • New MacBook Pros, with LED backlight, optional flash storage, optional optical drives, optional built-in HSDPA (3G), available now
  • Ultra-slim. ultra-portable Mac with “touch” features and dock
  • iTunes 7.6
  • Movie rentals
  • iPhone 1.1.3 software with cut & paste
  • iPhone SDK
  • New WiFi iTunes store features
  • New media device, replacing and/or updating Apple TV and/or Mac mini, available Q1
  • New cinema displays with built-in iSight and LED backlight
  • “One more thing”: 16 GB iPhone with HSDPA (3G), better camera, and GPS, available Q2
  • Some people have suggested that Apple will introduce WiMax instead of HSDPA (3G) on the new Mac portables and perhaps on the iPhone…

    As much as I’m excited about mobile WiMax (4G), there’s no real coverage in the US yet. Sprint is supposed to introduce its WiMax service (named Xohm) sometime this year – the service is supposed to be contract free, but pricing is still unknown!

    Unless Apple becomes an MVNO, why would they deal with another carrier when they already have a relationship with AT&T? Then again, they also have a relationship with Intel, one of the major forces behind WiMax.

    Perhaps Apple will introduce a WiMax base station along with WiMax equipped devices. Apple adopting WiMax would definitely tip the scales in favor of the standard (like when Apple pushed USB and WiFi) – so I’m skeptical, but I’m hopeful.

    One thing is certain – Macworld promises to be more interesting than ever this year :)


    Tasty bits – 35 (holidays edition)

    January 7, 2008

    Happy new year :)

    Here’s last month’s tasty bits, a little behind once again! I’ve decided to stop numbering the column hereafter…

    JKK added HSDPA to the Asus 701 (Eee) – I’m working on a similar mod using a Sierra Wireless AirCard 875U HSDPA modem…

    Also I’ve started using Qik to stream live video with my Nokia N95!

    I’m keeping an eye on all the CES madness this week and I’ll be at Macworld next week, so stay tuned :)

    Asus 701 (Eee):
    WiMax-Enabled Asus Eee PC Confirmed
    How to add internal 3G HSDPA to Asus Eee PC
    How to add touch panel to Asus Eee Pc
    It’s official: upgrading the Asus Eee PC memory keeps warranty intact
    eeeXubuntu: Ubuntu distilled for your Eee
    Ubuntu on the Asus Eee PC: Part 1 (or How to run a functional Ubuntu install off a USB drive)

    Nokia N810:
    Nokia N810: unboxing and first impressions
    Canola2 Now Out!

    Nokia N95:
    Nokia N95-3 Finally Gets an Update to v 11.2.009
    The N95 classic hits v20 firmware
    The N95’s camera quality? It just got better…
    Hands-on with the Nokia N95 8GB for North America!

    Nokia N82:
    Nokia N82: impressions after a week…
    Nokia N82 hands-on
    Nokia N82 preview: First look
    Nokia N95, N95 8 GB and N82: The evolution of the multimedia computer

    More Nokia:
    Cellphones: Alleged Nokia N96 Spy Shots Look Yummypianoblacklicious
    New Slider: Nokia’s Patent Reveals Innovative Six- or Eight- Megapixel Slider Phone
    Video streaming from your phone QIK-ly, as in: instantly
    All About N-Gage – Totally CONFIRMED Star Wars N-Gage Video
    emTube – YouTube client for S60 phones
    Nokia Internet Radio
    Clarification: Upcoming Nokia IS a QWERTY Nseries

    Apple iPhone:
    Breaking: iPhone Firmware 1.1.3 Video and Evidence Confirms Update Is Real, Breaks Unlock, Third-Party Apps
    How to Install Applications on iPhone 1.1.2 (Video Tutorial)
    Syphon lets you save iPhone text messages
    Control Pro Tools with your iPhone
    Apple doesn’t give us MMS on the iPhone, so the community does
    iPhone gets video recording capabilities
    Not all is lost: partfoundry developing GPS module for iPhone
    Fixing YouTube on your Jailbroken iPhone
    Mobile Safari plug-in downloads files to your iPhone/iPod touch
    Apple relents, sanctions custom ringtones!

    OQO Model 02:
    OQO Announces model e2 with Built-In HSDPA Mobile Broadband Capability
    OQO does WiMax and 64GB SSDs

    Neonode N2:
    Neonode N2 officially coming to the US
    Review of the unique Neonode N2 multimedia phone

    BlackBerry 9000 (aka. BlackBerry 8xxx):
    BlackBerry 9000 specs revealed, our early Christmas present to you
    BlackBerry 8xxx hails from Rogers!
    BlackBerry 9000 series spy shot revealed?

    Samsung:
    Hands-on with the Samsung G800
    Hands-on with the Samsung P520 Armani
    Samsung’s P720, F490 make their video debut

    Other:
    Google Maps for Mobiles shows your location, even without GPS
    Verizon Wireless will open network for non-Verizon devices, services
    Photo of the Sony Ericsson P5i Leaked
    Wibrain’s B1 UMPC gets showcased on video – Engadget
    Hands-on with the LG KU990 Viewty
    A teaser shot of Motorola’s 5 megapixel multimedia maven?


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