Infrequently Noted

Alex Russell on browsers, standards, and the process of progress.

sooooooo geeky

I'm somewhere just south of Burlingame as I write this, on my way to work just as fast as CalTrain will take me. Now, it's not unusual for me to be working or blogging or hacking on projects on the train, but it IS unusual for me to have network access at the same time. Thanks to bluetooth, a small hack for my new Treo and an all-you-can-eat data plan from Sprint, I think it's going to be less unusual.

When Sprint first rolled out their CDMA 1xRTT service ("vision" in sprintspeek), I bought a Samsung A620 phone and accompanying data cable to take full advantage of the then-new service. My mobile life was pretty good given that I tunnel everything over a personal VPN connection to avoid Sprint's lame http proxy. Then I moved to California and, somehow, mysteriously, my 1xRTT just stopped working. Not only could I not make a handset call to "#777" and receive a modem connection string, I couldn't even get the darn thing to work over the cable.


Eventually, I got used to being disconnected on the train, and it is one of my most productive times of the day, but that doesn't mean that I don't want my mobile computing nirvana back. So I took the plunge on a Treo650. Sprint (and, it seems, Cingular) have dissabled the DUN profile in the bluetooth configuration menus of their Treo650s, but some enterprising person provided a hack to re-enable the feature. The DUN profile allows you to use your Treo as a modem for your laptop over bluetooth, and when combined with the 1xRTT data service, a connection that doesn't use my phone minutes or require another ISP. The upshot is that now, in addition to being able to sync my treo wirelessly, I can use it as a data connection wirelessly too. It's SOOOO geeky, and yet it gives me that warm fuzzy "I can check code in from anywhere" feeling.

Horray for technology, even if it does arrive 5-10 years later than we expected it would.