Best option(s) for internet access while on vacation with Powerbook G4

Joseph S

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Dec 23, 1999
Messages
2,862
The hotels all seem to offer local calls for .50 each, which could get expensive in 6 weeks. My current cell plan expires with Sprint this July and I'm looking toward perhaps a switch to T-Mobile and a Bluetooth phone.

1) How fast is the modem connection you get with your
a)Bluetooth phone as modem?
b)Cell Phone as modem via USB?

2) Does anyone know the coverage of t-mobile in the Irving/Dallas area? I will need to recheck the Milwaukee coverage again this year. I'm really looking probably whatever is the provider with complete coverage in Dallas/Irving. Last year, in Milwaukee Sprint was my best option.
(Not necessarily looking for published data on coverage, but user experience. T-mobile/Voicestream claimed coverage at my location last year, but came up one street short.)

3) Any 802.11b/g wireless semi-nationwide/nationwide providers

Info:
Powerbook G4 12" with bluetooth, modem, and 802.11g.
Current cell plan/phone is Sprint PCS LG5250
ISP will likely be Earthlink
 

Camp

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Dec 3, 1999
Messages
2,301
1) How fast is the modem connection you get with your
a)Bluetooth phone as modem?
b)Cell Phone as modem via USB?
I'd like to hear this too. I imagine it's pretty slow.

Assuming you're staying in hotels, most now offer broadband access for ~ $10 per day. I've been to a few hotels that even have an active wireless network.
 

Steve_Ch

Supporting Actor
Joined
Oct 14, 2001
Messages
978
Just go to T-Mobile site and get the latest locations. On their "Hot-Spot" (Wifi locations), I am reasonably sure they are at Starbucks and Borders, that should cover just about most urban and suburban area
.
 

TedE

Stunt Coordinator
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Oct 16, 2000
Messages
118
If you're with Earthlink I think they have a nationwide 800 number service. I have Earthlink (was with Mindspring before they were bought up) and I believe that they still support it for a small monthly fee. Not positive though. Even if not, Earthlink should have a local number for you to dial. $0.50 a call isn't that bad unless you plan on dialing up a couple dozen times a day.

And a lot of hotels are offering cheap broadband. I know of a couple Holiday Inns I've stayed at for business have been around $2.50/day for unlimited usage.
 

Tekara

Supporting Actor
Joined
Jan 8, 2003
Messages
783
Real Name
Robert
I own the same exact cell phone as you so this will be a pretty exact solution.

you can buy a cell phone to serial cable that you can use to attach your cell phone to your computer. then using sprints dailup service you can use your minutes to surf the net. you have to spend 5$ extra a month for the web service and the internet speeds you'll get is 14.4kbps. now the sprint phones use a very nice optimizer which will let your internet connection rival any 56k connection when you load up your average image intensive site. the optimizer is a server that recompresses images for faster download.

now then, during my month wait for verizon to hook up my DSL service, and I'll probably be using it again for the first month or so in my new apartment I'm moving into. I just use it during my nights and weekends when I have unlimited minutes. it's a sturdy connection, but it is only a 14.4 connection. I was able to check my mail and the forums with it without trouble, but downloading and playing games is out.

for 5$ a month I think it's worth it.

however you can go to sprint and upgrade to the vision plan and get a new cell phone. the vision plan has an internet service plan that's unlimited minutes at over 112kbps which is nice. almost enough to make me consider upgrading my phone and forgoe broadband alltogether (new apartment isn't wired for DSL so I would have to get adelphia cable which is a pitiful service).
 

Joseph S

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Dec 23, 1999
Messages
2,862
for 5$ a month I think it's worth it.

however you can go to sprint and upgrade to the vision plan and get a new cell phone. the vision plan has an internet service plan that's unlimited minutes at over 112kbps which is nice. almost enough to make me consider upgrading my phone and forgoe broadband alltogether (new apartment isn't wired for DSL so I would have to get adelphia cable which is a pitiful service).
Thanks for the info.

It looks as if the internet access status of said hotel is unknown. The site lists yes, but the staff says no. At this point I plan to pick up the usb data cable just in case. One person indicated that they did once have high speed internet, but believes that no longer exists.

I already have the $5 added fee because I was using a Treo 90 to LG5250 data cable to upload DB info from my Treo 90. The browsing speed of that had me very worried and my plan only includes 300 minutes with nights beginning at 9PM. However, if there are better phone options like this 112kbps vision deal I'm all ears seeing as I only have 2 months left on my Sprint contract and will be using probably a few 1 hr blocks for work.

On a side note:
Boy does that PB G4 12" armwrest get hot!!!! I'm bringing my keyboard and trackball for sure. Installation of the Airport and memory doesn't appear to be an issue at all with the neat little comparments on the bottom. Upgrading the HD looks like it might require a few hours of precision work that I have no intention of doing at the present time. Too bad I couldn't wait for the 15" Al model, I would have liked DVI and Gigabit ethernet and the 17" is just too big. There's always ebay for when I get back.
 

Joseph S

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Dec 23, 1999
Messages
2,862
Ok, I knew there was a reason I haven't used a modem in 8 years. There's nothing like connectiing at 12kbps on a 56K modem, the busy signals, and disconnects galore.


Here's the solution I ended up with, eventually.
Sanyo 8100 Sprint PCS Vision Phone
Phone to USB Cable
Sprint PCS with Unlimited Vision plan
Dial #777 with PPP and PCS Vision Modem script

about 14k/s of downloads on a 230,400bps connection. Not too bad and there's no dialup ISP required. DNS server not provided, use your home internet connection for that if needed.
 

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