Thursday, 4 December 2008

Going mobile with a Linux netbook

A friend of mine bought a Linux based Acer Aspire One netbook, and asked me to help get it working with her Three (a UK 3G network) mobile broadband dongle. It's not entirely straightforward to figure out, but is pretty easy once you know how.

Initial setup


- Click on Settings and run the Aspire's Live Update program to update the operating system with the latest patches. Reboot when prompted. Keep doing this until Live Update reports that all updates have been installed.


- Shutdown the Aspire, and plug in the Three modem.


- Boot the Aspire, and select the Mobile Partner app on the Connect tab.


- Wait for Mobile Partner to detect the modem.


- Select Tools -> Options, and the click the New button.


- Give the profile a name, such as 'Three mobile broadband' and configure the following options:


  APN type: Static

  APN name: three.co.uk

  Access number: *99#

  Username: three

  Password: three

  Protocol: chap


- Save the profile.


Daily use


- Boot the Aspire, and plug in the modem. If a file browser window opens, close it.


- Run the Mobile Partner app on the Connect tab.


- Wait for Mobile Partner to detect the modem.


- Click the Connect button.


- When Mobile Partner has connected, minimise (don't close) it, fire up the web browser and away you go!


And what's the PostgreSQL angle you might ask? There isn't one. Sorry.


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