Sunday, November 20, 2005

My quest for the perfect wireless world

So after my unplesent experience with CDMA, and the difficulty of carrying a full fledged phone around all the time (I even took it to Blue waters last week), just to satisfy my online cravings, I decided to take a plunge and upgrade my cell phone.

Those who have seen my old cell phone know how ugly it looks, with bits of colors torn from the cover and the keypad virtually erased (well, ok .... most of gadgets end up looking so), wouldn't second guess that it was about time I upgraded.

After flirting around with the new Nokia 6230i, I decided she was too expensive for my purse, and decided to go with the next best thing – the SE K700i. Thanks to my friend Asanga and his underground contacts, I managed to get a decent price (I think).

Well after charging it for a good 2.5 hrs, which gave me some time to skip through the manual, I got right down to business – with Linux ofcourse.

Since my notebook doesn't have inbuilt support for Bluetooth, I used the IR port instead. Irda is fairly well supported in Linux, except when it comes to enhanced modes that are specific to the IR chip. Unfortunately, my IR chip isn't detected by the findchip tool.

Nevertheless, using IR to emulate a standard COM port is how I generally connect the two. Tools such as irdadump and irdaping are useful when it comes to debugging the connection.

Transferring files to and from was quite a breeze (as usual), using the command line tools such as ircp, irxfer and obexftp. The challenge was connecting via GPRS. Thanks to google, I was able to quickly find details of how to set that up. Even though there are no drivers for my Irda chip, using the irtty_sir module, it turns out, I can still connect, thanks to serial emulation!


Here is the wvdial.conf I used to connect to Dialog


[Dialer Dialog]
Modem = /dev/ircomm0
Baud = 57600
SetVolume = 0
Dial Command = ATDT
Init1 = ATZ
Init3 = ATM0
FlowControl = crtscts
Username = ""
Password = ""
Phone = *99***1#
Stupid Mode = 1


Next I wanted to check if GPRSEasy Connect could do the same and sure enough, by selecting Sri Lanka – Dialog from the drop down provider list (yup, they know we exist!), and selecting SE K700 (700i wasn't in the list – but then again, my software version is old), I was able to easily connect.

gprseasy

So there you have it folks - everything works, and I didn't have to install a single third party driver. GNU/Linux rocks!

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