I don’t have a clue whether it works! No, really! I have a T-Mobile stick that looks exactly like the one on this page. On the back it says “web’n’walk Stick III”, and “HSPA USB Stick” and “Huawei Technologies Co. LTD”. This may or may not be similar to other sticks called “web’n’walk stick III” in other countries — I found mention of a similarly named device in Germany, but there were also links there to drivers made by a company called Option or similar, and I don’t think that has anything to do with what I have. So once more, fancy marketing names are being used to make it impossible to compare hardware devices.
Why am I interested? Well, because at some point I found that my stick wasn’t working with my MacBook anymore. This is likely to do with the fact that I had upgraded to Snow Leopard at some point, but I’m not sure. I don’t use the stick very often, and I can’t actually use it at home at all, because there’s no mobile phone or internet reception here. So how did things work before? I’m not sure about that either :-) I remember installing some sort of software from T-Mobile, which had the visible result of popping up a window every time I stuck in the stick. But I don’t remember ever doing anything useful with that window — I closed it down and went to my network preferences window. In there I had a “modem” item installed, with a “phone number” of #99*, and by starting a connection on that “modem”, I was able to get online.
What? — I hear you cry, no counting of volume in and out, text message reception, and all that other important functionality that the real T-Mobile software comes with? No. Nothing like that. Really. What a bunch of useless crap, come to think of it. Get me online, that’s all I want. So, the other day I downloaded a few drivers from Huawei, which may or may not work with my device. When I was going to try them while in Newcastle, they weren’t working — but then I found that I was apparently in a really bad spot for reception, since my iPhone couldn’t hook up either. It is possible that with these new drivers everything is fine again, but I’ll have to drive somewhere and try again to find that out. So I had a look at the T-Mobile pages today. They even have an FAQ page about Snow Leopard, which basically says they don’t have a clue, it may be a problem etc… and it lists devices that this ground breaking piece of enlightenment applies to — hey, there’s no web’n’walk stick III in the list! In fact, that precise item is nowhere. They have a web’n’walk stick without the III — is that the same? Who knows. None of their software packages makes any promises regarding Snow Leopard, in fact some things, like the firmware update for the stick, are not even available for the Mac at all. I downloaded everything anyway, just need to find some time to try it all out.
Meanwhile — T-Mobile — how about some application of the good old KISS principle? That’s “keep it simple, stupid”, for those who aren’t familiar. We don’t need huge big applications with fancy UIs and stuff to run a mobile internet dongle. Drivers, and perhaps an installer, that’s all. Snow Leopard has been out long enough now and, really, the number of Macs sold in the UK isn’t that insignificant. I think I must be having a blunt language day today, but I really feel like asking you just to take your thumbs out and get on with it. Otherwise, we may just all move on to those blog posts about getting out of T-Mobile contracts that were sold under false pretenses — yes, I got this stick with the explicit promise it would work on the Mac, and there was no “but always use last year’s operating system!” addition.