Thursday, April 17, 2008

Three's dongle and OSX

Well it's been a week since I received one of Three's new HSDPA USB dongles on loan for review. They're probably regretting sending it to me...


Because this isn't a review, and it doesn't look like I'll be giving one. After a week in my company the dongle is still sitting in its box on the shelf. I still haven't managed to get it to work with my Intel Macbook which, despite claims of support, seems to be due to problems with the connection software and OSX Tiger.

Interestingly I have tried the dongle with my old PowerPC iMac, which is the only machine I have on my desk right now running Leopard, and unlike my laptop, which is still running Tiger, it works without any problems...


On first connection Three's software creates a HUAWEI Mobile network device, and oddly two more unconfigured devices; DIAG and PCUI

Not that my desktop was in need of mobile broadband, but the dongle does connect to the Three network successfully, creating a HUAWEI Mobile network device which, despite my previous complaints, does actually show up in the normal modem drop down menu. So it looks like there is no need to touch the proprietary connection software after your first connection to the network...

Having seen the software actually working now it looks to me as if, under Tiger, the problem is that it's not correctly updating the network devices list the first time it attempts to use the device.

In summary, if you're running OSX Tiger I'd advise steering clear of Three's new mobile broadband dongle because there seems to be some serious software problems. However if you're running OSX Leopard, or Windows come to that, it's likely you'll be okay.

However as I am running Tiger, unless I can resolve the driver problems, I'm pretty much at a dead end. As always of course, you mileage may vary...

Update: From the screen shot it looks like it is possible to get 3's dongle working under Tiger. Milage, as always, does seem to vary...

Update: After manually configuring the network interfaces, the dongle is now working.