Tuesday, January 8, 2008

SURFING (the net) WITHOUT SPENDING (your per diem)

I've been confronted with a common problem amongst free-lancers: how to get onto the Internet without getting gouged by the hotel or having to rely on a weak, intermittent, or password protected press signal at the venue.

Well, for those of us with a Sprint Treo freedom is nigh. We can use them as modems for our laptops. There a couple of different approaches to this end ranging from the entirely legal and very expensive to what we could euphemistically call "creative" and free.

To stay within the law Sprint requires a "Phone as Modem" contract costing $39.99 per month. That's a lot of money if you ask me. In addition Sprint requires basic data services starting at $15.00 per month to get the ball rolling. That's $660.00 for an Internet connection? C'mon!

A second method requires basic data services and a visit to PDAnet to pay for and download their software. It's $34.99 for the software and it loads easily. You can be surfin' the net within minutes using the USB sync cable that came with your phone. PDAnet will not take any responsibility for any additional fees should Sprint notice your additional data usage but from my experience it's only those folks downloading music or movies that cause any concern.

A further, more creative method requires just basic data services, a little ingenuity, and the desire to stick it the "man". It may be the most challenging technically but for tech geeks like us it's a piece of cake. I suggest a Google of the phrase "Internet on Air" which will lead you to Trevor Harmon's web page detailing directions for your 650, 680, 700 or 755p. It took me about 30 minutes to download the hack, get a trial version of Resco Explorer (which is a really cool software program - think Windows trees for your phone) and then move the hack via Resco to my phone's RAM. Again, common sense use of data services is suggested. Simply checking your mail and surfin' the net shouldn't be a problem.

One additional note: I used the USB cable that came with my 755p because I have a pre Bluetooth laptop but if you have Bluetooth on your laptop you can surf via Bluetooth.

Now that's cool.

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