After upgrading to the latest version of USB Modem (Version 1.5 that now adds support for connection via Bluetooth for Treo 700p), I decided to do a speed test using my regular DSL connection and the two available connection methods for the Treo 700p – Bluetooth and USB. I’ve been using the USB modem connection method and wanted to see if there would be a noticible connection speed difference using Bluetooth instead of USB as the connection method.
These tests were run using a G4 Powerbook running OS X Tiger 10.4.7 and the Palm Treo 700p and USB Modem software version 1.5 connected to Sprint’s EVDO network in St. Louis, Missouri.
11:27 PM GMT
~ 550 mi
Using Treo 700p as a USB Modem:
11:52 PM GMT
~ 550 mi
EVDO speeds are pretty fast, especially compared to an old-school dialup connection. About half as fast as my DSL line.
Using Treo 700p as a Bluetooth Modem:
11:55 PM GMT
~ 550 mi
Using Bluetooth was significantly slower than using USB cable. Nice to be able to connect without any wires though, and still basically fast enough to use. Warning: Nasty Bluetooth Reboot Required Bug When using Bluetooth as the connection method, when the connection gets disconnected or interrupted, you may get a Disconnecting... message that never stops. Apparently this is a knownbug for which there is no good solution. After getting this message the only solution seems to be to reboot your computer, which pretty much stinks. This is NOT the fault of the USB Modem software, I found tons of references to this bug dating back to regular dial-up days.
You can now use Bluetooth along with USB Modem software, and it works, but the OS X bug that requires a reboot to connect again when you use Bluetooth makes it significantly less attractive to use this feature.
I plan to continue using the USB cable connection method since it is significantly faster and does not suffer from the Bluetooth bug above. It also has the bonus feature of charging the phone at the same time.
If anyone has a suggestion for a solution to the Bluetooth disconnecting message bug other than this Applescript (didn’t seem to work for me), please let me know via the comments.
We had a MAJOR thunderstorm rip through St. Louis yesterday that knocked out power, telephone and other services for much of the entire region. Many large trees were literally snapped in half. Tower Grove Park looks like a giant went through it with a baseball bat and started knocking down trees left and right.
Reason #206 to own a Treo 700p and have Sprint service here in St. Louis:
We’re sitting here in Northwest Coffee in Clayton, they have power (thankfully), air conditioning (it’s supposed to be over 100Â° F today) but their DSL is down. No WiFi, no Internet.
I simply hooked up my Treo 700p, enabled USB Modem mode, enabled Internet sharing on my Powerbook, and now I’m serving this small corner of the planet as the only Internet connection.
So, if you have a Treo 700p and EVDO service, you too can be an emergency ISP.
If, like me, you found your new Treo 700p to be AWESOME, except for the $39.99 or $49.99 ADDITIONAL monthly charge to actually USE the Bluetooth DUN feature (that wasn’t mentioned ANYWHERE in the marketing that I saw) so that you can hook up your laptop to it and surf the internet using your phone as a connection, (which I only found out about by calling support and asking why using DUN wasn’t working) then you will probably be VERY interested in this handy $24.95 application from Mobile Stream:
USB Modem allows you to use Treo 600, Treo 650 and Treo 700p smartphones as a USB modem for connecting a desktop or notebook computer to Internet. To surf the Internet from your PC you will need only a USB cable and a Treo with GPRS/EDGE service or CDMA 1x/EvDO data plan.
* Support for Treo 600, Treo 650 and Treo 700p smartphones
* Support for Windows XP, Windows 2000, Mac OS X and Linux operating systems
* Support for USB and Bluetooth connectivity
* Support for background mode so it is possible to make outgoing voice calls or perform other activity on the Treo without disabling the modem mode
* Support for Fax modem operation
* Small memory footprint (30 KB)
I couldn’t get the Bluetooth connectivity option to work. The USB connection option seems to do the trick however. I’m now able to use my phone now exactly as I wanted to without paying the extra EVDO connection fees (hopefully).
Also, I found a bug where if you have Menu Meters installed and the Bluetooth indicator in the menubar as well Menu Meters keeps on restarting while you are connected. If you turn off display of the Bluetooth icon then everything is fine.
Hopefully this won’t get shut down, since it basically enables exactly what you want — internet access on your laptop (in my case a Mac OS X G4 Powerbook) using EVDO speeds.
First, download the trial of the USB Modem software to make sure this will all work for you.
Follow the User Guide instructions to configure your laptop, and install the USB Modem .prc onto your Treo 700p.
Go to Prefs, click on Networking. Make sure that you are currently disconnected. Otherwise the USB modem won’t work.
Click on the USB Modem application
Click the Enable Modem Mode button. Leave the Connectivity method set to USB, and the Background mode set to checked.
Under OS X, open Internet Connect application, and select the Treo 700 USB Modem option. You should see #777 in the Telphone Number, leave everything else blank.
You should see it saying Contacting PPP Server… then Authenticating, then Connected.
Use the internet on your laptop to check your email, ssh, surf the web, instant messenger, whatever
When you’re done using the internet, click Disconnect in Internet Connect, then click the Disable Modem Mode in USB Modem. If you don’t do this, the next time you try to sync using the USB cable you will get an error message stating that the connection is already in use.
Enjoy super-fast EVDO speeds on your laptop wherever you go…!!!
I did find that occasionally you will need to turn the phone off and then back on again to reset the internal networking features after you’ve used it as a modem.
I purchased the software since it seems like exactly what I need, and I’d encourage you to do the same. Also, I haven’t gotten my first bill with the new phone yet, so I’m not 100% certain that there won’t still be a charge for using the phone as a modem. But you may as well give it a shot.
I’ll update this post if I see anything on my next bill — I don’t expect to be using the phone as a modem all the time since I’m usually in the vicinity of a WiFi connection.
If you use Picture Mail or Versamail to email your pictures to Flickr (using the upload via email trick) then the EXIF tags are stripped out of the jpegs that you send.
If, however, you upload your pictures using a Flickr uploading tool from your computer after syncing your Treo 700p, then the proper EXIF tags will be preserved and will be displayed by Flickr. Neat huh.
Here are the pics I’ve taken so far with my new phone:
By the way, if you are using Mac OS X, the pictures are stored in ~/Pictures/Palm Photos/username/Internal/album name. I just drop them into iPhoto (not using iSync… yet) then use the Flickr Export from iPhoto to send to my Flickr account.
I really like the convenience of having a camera in my pocket at all times. The fact that I can instantly publish pictures to both Flickr and my own blog is pretty fantastic.