[SATLUG] stay away from verizon wireless unless you have a win pc

John Pappas j at jvpappas.net
Sun Aug 31 12:47:29 CDT 2008

On Sun, Aug 31, 2008 at 07:11, Borries Demeler
<demeler at biochem.uthscsa.edu>wrote:

>  > To be clear, only the initial activation requires Windows.  After the
> > initial activation, nearly any EVDO/HSPDA card will work in Linux.  There
> > are some resellers that sell pre-activated cards, and some corporate
> stores
> > can assist with the initial activation to avoid the need for Windows.
> Just curious - can't you just hook up your phone directly to the laptop?

Yes.  I have a Treo700p and Centro, both have "Power Vision" (aka Data
Access), so they both work "Tethered" via BlueTooth out of the box, but to
use the USB cable I had to install USBModem software on the phone, as Sprint
disables tethered mode, unless you pay them another 40/month.

> Sure, it would probably not be possible to make phone calls while on
> internet,

I can make outbound calls and send TXT, but inbound does not work while

but I just hook my Razr to my laptop using a USB cable and that works out of
> the box, no initialization needed. I only use it as a regular dialup modem,

 IIRC, you are using minutes when connected that way, since you have
established a dialup "cirucuit", rather than using EVDO/GPRS packet

> since I don't want to pay for EVDO, so I have Internet everywhere, but only
> at dialup speed.

I bet you are not getting much more than 14.4Kb.  I would be interested to
know what a speed test would show.  It can't be very fast....

> Can you use a phone for EVDO connections out of the box as
> well, or do phones also require Windows initialization?

The initialization for the phones must occur before you can make a call.
Since there is a UI on the phone, there is no need for software.  The cards
have no inherent UI, so the software (Written for windows) has to interface
with the modem to "activate".

> P.S. I would write a letter to national Verizon customer relations and
> bitterly complain about your experience. If they choose not to support
> Linux, the least they should be able to do is to initialize it for you.

That I agree with.  They should provide the activation service to their
customers.  Especially since the standard activation process requires a
weird combination of numbers (MSID, ESID, ActCode, etc) and a telephone call
to tie it all together.

They got plenty of windows computers in their offices, and why not have
> the software there to handle your request? Is this a USB, PCI or PCMCIA
> card? If the latter, they may not have notebooks laying around, but they
> should just get an adapter instead.

Agreed. I have activated my last couple cards (ExpressCard/USB) through USB
sharing and a VMWare WindowsXP VM.  They used to have a PC hooked up to
demonstrate the aircards, so that could have been used for activations as


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