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Huawei E1752 on Ubuntu 10.04
Jun 26th, 2010 by miki

Today I managed to get a Huawei E1752 3G modem (USB id 12d1:1446/140c, usually called E1552 by lsusb) running on Ubuntu 10.04 without all the hassle described elsewhere (see this, this or this or this …).

This particular modem came from the danish cable ISP YouSee, in an offering known as Mobilt Bredbånd (mobile broadband), targeting their existing cable internet customers. Pricing starts at lowest offering of 1 Mbit/384 kbit transmission speed with 1GiB/month data limit at DKK 99/month (~USD 16.5 ~EUR 13.3).

As many recent USB modems, this one is a mode switching type with multiple personalities (Option ZeroCD(TM)). At plugin it defaults to an emulated CD mass storage drive (USB ID 12d1:1446), with an onboard Windows driver and dialer (Mobile Partner). When detected by a driver knowing it’s schizophrenic nature, it can be manipulated, utilizing psychotherapeutic tricks, to switch it’s personality to the modem it actually is (USB ID 12d1:140c). Hence, on non-Windows systems some magic needs to be established to make the modem actually behave like a modem.

One incarnation (se discussion about other stuff here) of this magic is called usb_modeswitch. That is also the solution chosen by the Ubuntu distribution team, and it is present in the repositories and configured for the Huawei E1752 in Ubuntu 10.04 ‘Lucid Lynx’, so we just need to know that we need it. You do now…

Activating usb_modeswitch is a matter of installing the usb-modeswitch package. Find it in Synaptic or issue the following in a terminal:

sudo apt-get install usb-modeswitch

Now all you have to do is insert the modem and check (we like to be certain, right?) with lsusb that you have the 12d1:140c modem device instead of the 12d1:1446 mass storage device.

The Gnome Network Manager should now pick up on the new modem device, and offer you the possibility of adding a new mobile broadband connection. In my case, it defaulted to an Oister connection, but removing that and using the wizard to create a TDC connection (YouSee is a part of/close associate of TDC) did the trick, after reinserting the modem once more.

Now I wonder why my own E160G modem works without usb_modeswitch installed…

Under the Sam(e)sung
Jun 23rd, 2010 by miki

A quick note about my feelings and observations after using my new Samsung N210 (white) netbook for a couple of hours during the last 2 days.

The new fellow was bought at danish netshop Proshop.dk (product page) for DKK 2551 (~342.75 EUR ~420.50 USD). Delivery was DKK 59 and took from order at thursday 17th until delivered monday 21st (danish mail is not to blame, I expected it to arrive friday, on stock and all but Proshop decided to wait until sunday 20th before processing the order).

Even though I’m a software junkie, I’m by no means a commercial hardware junkie (software is the enabler anyway, ya ‘now!). I don’t buy off-the-shelf  systems every other day, or have a job where I try out a horde of different netbooks/notebooks. Bear that in mind; these observations come from a newbie netbook user, with experience from larger more gfx capable laptops.

All of the below are under the overall judgement that says: I like this machine very much, it will indeed fellow me  in many a journey in the time to come.

List’o’Niceness

  • battery time (just keeps on running, after 7.5 hour still 25% left)
  • multitouch pad (pinch zoom, two-finger scroll (didn’t know I needed this!))
  • light and easy to handle, battery acts as a kind of handle bar
  • screen is crisp and clear
  • soo silent (put ear to chassis to hear hdd, haven’t heard fan yet)
  • very snappy feeling, in both Linux (Phoenix HyperspaceUbuntu 10.4 NE) and Windows 7 Starter (first encounter, but positively surprised)
  • pgup/pgdn keys are just above cursor keys, nice!
  • no heat

List’o’Annoyness

  • no internal mobile broadband (slot present behind battery)
  • all usb is in front = mobile broadband adapter is always annoying
  • right shift key squeezed too much, keep hitting <> when shifting (might be DK keyboard specific)
  • home/end keys with Fn qualifier requires getting used to (didn’t know I used these so much)
  • alfa keys a bit offset to the left, keep writing 2 (argh…) 1 more than I need
  • no space/mark between f4 & f5, f8 & f9
  • caps lock indicator is hidden with other system leds (why isn’t it purple or something to stand out from power/wireless/hdd led?)
  • num lock and scroll lock is indicated using osd from windows app, could be problematic in non standard environment
  • no multitouch out-of-the-box on Ubuntu 10.4 (will be looking into this)

Oh, and of course, it needs a name! My N210 is named khandro, after a tibetian deity, meaning “cloud fairy” or “she who traverses the sky’.

Let the fairytales begin…

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