Sunday, 1 August 2010

O2 And OpenZone

My word, is it two years already ?

It seems only yesterday that Carphone Warehouse Malpas Road Newport promised me faithfully they would have my Orange Mobile Broadband Stick AND my Elonex Web Book in time for a business trip, then failed to get either, and finally came up with the goods as far as the Web Book was concerned, but not the Mobile Broadband Stick, in time for a second trip.

Thank God for Best Western Hotels Free Wi-Fi.

But that was two years ago and the Orange contract is up next week. I've already cancelled it of course, it would be madness to carry on paying the stick plus webbook contract price.

But where to go next ? Ah the problems.

Orange persuaded me to carry on with a new 18 month contract at far less that I'm forking out, and in due course their wonder-stick arrived, and the web book completely ignored it. Orange say they support Bill '666' Gate's wonder OS, and Steve 'Lefties Should Hold Their Iphones In The Other Hand, Stoopid" Job's MACOs, and bugger all else. Which is why the stick went back.

Hey-Ho here we go again.

Three have a really neat device they call Mi-Fi. A little box that connects to their phone network and sprays out broadband connectivity as a "Wi-Fi Access Point". Cool idea for a range of boxes that don't do dongles very well. So, as an experiment, I shell out a quid or two to enable web access on my three phone (which I've only ever used for calls and SMS) and see how the coverage is. Disaster. At home (NP19 7) the coverage is dire and frequently drops out of 3G even though I'm on the third floor in the office. At work (CF3 5) you're lucky to get one bar on the phone service and 3G is a luxury. And at the pub (NP44 3) the coverage is even worse than home.

I call Three Customer Services to cancel the internet add-in given that the three places where I spend my life have no coverage worth a damn, and the man is so surprised their network does not live up to the hype of being the best there is, he refunds my money !

And so my attention is drawn to O2 and a neat business deal they have. Three months free and seven and a half quid thereafter for a gigabyte, AND free helpings of any BT Openzone Hot Spot.

Sounds a deal. And the good bit is the dongle is recognised by Linux right off.

The Free Openzone isn't so good though. Works a treat on a borrowed laptop running the Hell Spawn Of Bill Gates. No luck on Linux though. You get to the registratuon page enter your mobile number and get told the system cannot complete the login call.

Obviously the website is interacting with the "O2 Connection Manager" that in typical Bill Gates fashion takes over your entire machine as soom as you plug in the dongle. And once it has interacted once, you don't actually need the dongle any more, that laptop connects just fine to the OpenZone, utterly disregarding the fact that no USB Dongle is in the slot any more.

Hey Ho, looks like I have my work cut out for me. Again.

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