[kwlug-disc] Mobile internet

Khalid Baheyeldin kb at 2bits.com
Fri Jul 2 13:11:06 EDT 2010

On Fri, Jul 2, 2010 at 12:29 PM, Insurance Squared Inc. <
gcooke at insurancesquared.com> wrote:

> Looking for a mobile internet solution (mostly webmail) for our one week
> vacation up north.  Have decent (probably analog) reception where we are on
> Bell, I think there's little to no Rogers connectivity.
> I want to hook this on to my linux laptop.
> questions:
> 1) Any ideas on the least expensive way to do this through a mobile
> internet stick? Bell said 'it doesn't work on linux' which I suspect means
> 'it's not posted as compatible, therefore I'll just say it doesn't work,
> even if it does".

Many internet sticks work with Linux happily. Vendors did not test them and
don't want to support them, so they say "does not work with linux" as in "we
don't know nor care if they work, so we say they don't".

The issue with any mobile internet stick is that the plans are very

2) Better ways to do this?  i.e. I've got unlimited data on my blackberry
> storm, anyone ever tethered their blackberry to a linux laptop?  I think
> that doing so makes Bell grumpy, not sure if I care.
> 3) any other thoughts on how to do this?  I'm not keen on paying $600-$700
> to get one week of email at the cottage we rent ($40/month/1 year fees+$100
> for the mobile stick).

You hit a nerve there.

Here is my story ...

Right now I am typing this from a cottage resort near Parry Sound. They have
internet to the owners' house via satellite using Xplornet
http://www.xplornet.com/. They attached a wireless router and some areas can
get internet via WiFi, if you can stand the mosquitoes.

This ISP is very slow. I measured it using SpeedTest.Net to Markham,
Ontario, and latency is between 787 and 1055 milliseconds! And download
speed is 0.5MBps.

Really makes me think that 1995 is back with dialup on 33KBps modems.

No wonder there are things like http://www.xplornetsucks.com/forums/

All in all, it is tolerable, something being better than nothing, and not
having to deal with 100 emails per day upon return.

There is Rogers cell phone reception there (started only last summer), but I
dare even consider a mobile internet stick. Compare that to going to the
USA, and seeing many people with netbooks and USB sticks surfing on Ubuntu.

/me envious of USians sometimes ...

Where are Iridium and Thuraya when you need them ...
Khalid M. Baheyeldin
2bits.com, Inc.
Drupal optimization, development, customization and consulting.
Simplicity is prerequisite for reliability. --  Edsger W.Dijkstra
Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication. --   Leonardo da Vinci
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