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.


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