Sunday, September 26, 2010

Using Micromax BSNL 3G Modem on Ubuntu 10.04.

While doing my new job at Jharsuguda I am also introducing people to Ubuntu Linux and many people are using it booting from USB stick. BSNL provides Micromax USB modem for net connection and I had specific request from one person yesterday to help him set it up on Ubuntu. I brought his modem home and tested it as following.

While googling for this modem I discovered that usb_modeswitch was necessary to detect it as modem instead of mass storage device. I downloaded the latest version of usb-modeswitch and usb-modeswitch-data from Debian repositories. Then I proceeded as  follows:

When I plugged in the Modem it got mounted as a CD. I got its vendor and product ID (thro lsusb) and unmounted it:

$ lsusb
Bus 002 Device 004: ID 1c9e:f000
$ eject /dev/sr1

I found the configuration file for ID 1c9e:f000 in /etc/usb_modeswitch.d/
Since I did not want the configuration on my machine I simply used it:
$ sudo usb_modeswitch -c /etc/usb_modeswitch.d/1c9e:f000

The modeswitch reported success I got the new ID for the device:
$ lsusb
Bus 002 Device 005: ID 1c9e:9605

I inserted the driver thro:
sudo modprobe usbserial vendor=0x1c9e product=0x9605

and the Network Manager detected it as BSNL Mobile Broadband device using the same set up which I use for the Mobile.

There is a wonderful script Sakis 3G for doing all this automatically.

Update on 12th May 2012: I have posted today about using this modem on Ubuntu 12.04 and it is entirely different. Click here to read.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Using Nokia Mobile GPRS net connection via Bluetooth.

Since I have come to Jharsuguda I am using Nokia Mobile GPRS through USB connection to my Laptop to access internet. Although, it is painfully slow but it works. When the Mobile is connected through USB cable to the Laptop it gets detected as new Mobile Broadband device and after choosing BSNL East (my service provider) it works after putting correct access point (APN). The APN was which has been changed to bsnlnet recently.

The problem with USB connection was very short cable provided by Nokia. Moreover, I had to sit in the balcony of my flat to get constant signal strength.

Today I decided it to use Bluetooth. I switched on Bluetooth and it got detected and I could browse the files on the Mobile and transfer files from/to the Laptop. It was also detected by the Network Manager but not connecting to internet.

After googling for the solution I discovered that I need to write the following in
rfcomm0 {
        bind yes;
        device mac-address;
        channel 1;
        comment "Bluetooth PPP Connection";
The mac-address of the phone and channel could be found by following command:
$ sdptool search DUN

 For connecting I had to use the following command:

$ sudo rfcomm connect 0
Then I could use the connection which was set-up via USB but without USB cable (through Bluetooth).

Now the mobile is kept in the balcony and I am sitting in the bedroom posting this.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Restore panels in Ubuntu.

In Ubuntu 10.04 Lucid Lynx the shutdown applet was found missing once. After restart it reappeared. Today I found the Network Manager applet in top right corner. Although this may be happening due to some bug I found the following way to restore the panels. Open a terminal or if the top panel is missing and you can't click on Applications/Accessories/Terminal press Alt+F2 and type 'gnome-terminal' (without quotes) in run box and type the following commands:
$ gconftool --recursive-unset /apps/panel
$ rm -rf .gconf/apps/panel
$ pkill gnome-panel
That's it. Your panels would be restored with default settings.