Tag Archives: Asus Eee

Tethering in iPhone OS 3.0

For the non-cognoscenti, one of the upcoming features of the next version of the iPhone operating system is that, with the approval of the phone network, you’ll be able to use your iPhone as an Internet connection for a computer.

The worrying part of all that is the “approval of the phone network” part, as it’s quite possible that O2 will decide not to offer this feature to UK iPhone users. Which would suck rather a lot, really.

I’m hoping they will allow it, and here’s why:

1) Your SIM card that gives you access to the service is already portable. There’s nothing stopping you putting it into some other device that maybe does support tethering, and using the unlimited data from that device.

2) Lots of people jailbreak their iPhones. You can bet those lot will hack it up to allow tethering, and it would be pretty bad if the legit people got stuffed quite so badly.

3) There’s already an acceptable use policy. Use for web, email etc. is fine, and that’s pretty much what people want tethering for, so that they can use those things from the slightly more comfortable environs of a full-size computer. They could already easily cut off people who used it for BitTorrent or the like with that existing policy.

Honestly though, for me it’s just not that big a feature. Unless you count my Asus EEE, I don’t really have a laptop. My iPhone has rather neatly filled the portable computer niche for me – the only things I would feel uncomfortable using it for would be typing out a lot of text, so long emails and blog posts have to wait for a proper computer.

Short emails and Twitter though – very much iPhone territory.

I have to confess, I’ll be interested to see if Apple announces a hardware refresh, and if O2 will offer any sort of upgrade deal. If the terms are reasonable, I can easily imagine myself taking it up, especially if it fixes some of the slight hardware complaints with the existing phone (poor battery life, no camera flash, no camera video!)

Even with those defects, and the many others, the iPhone is still quite possibly the best gadget I’ve ever owned. You can tell the quality of the product by the number of imitators it’s spawned; the iPhone and the EEE both fit into this commendable category.

Targeting the core demographic

So I’m just having a look at the stats for this site.

Top search terms for all time:

  1. andy simpson
  2. asuseee
  3. weeping angel doctor who
  4. sally sparrow
  5. weeping angels dr who
  6. weeping angel dr who
  7. andy simpson music
  8. revision sucks
  9. weeping angel
  10. office 2007 student deal

I think this rather clarifies that my core audience seems to be people interested in me, followed by Asus EEE users, then Whovians.

So people interested in me, you’re in the right place. Congratulations.

Asus EEE folks, you’ll want to check out eeeuser.com because it’s a fantastic resource, the wiki is well worth having a look at. Also, if your institution has some sort of VPN-over-insecure-network as a way of connecting to their network, it’s a hell of a lot easier than trying to hack in WPA Enterprise.

We all love Sally Sparrow. This seems to be a universal truth. The fact that we’re instead getting Catherine Tate, a re-run of Martha (she was OK, I guess…) and Rose (again? They don’t make barriers between parallel worlds like they used to) for the next series of Dr Doctor Who is just brain-numbingly painful to me. I sometimes wonder if Russell T. Davies actually has some kinda soft mulch inside his cranium, instead of the finely-tuned ninja-writer-brain possessed by pretty much everyone else writing on that show. Is the head writer supposed to be the worst of the lot?

I mean, I think the biggest achievement of the Sound Of Drums / Last of the Time Lords two-parter was to make you not notice the huge plot holes. I mean, why exactly did the Master go to all the trouble of becoming Prime Minister? One would think that controlling an army of 6 billion armoured robotic spheres would do the job well enough.

Never mind that the Doctor said he permanently fused the controls on the Tardis, only to then fix them again at the end of the episode. Maybe he just locked the controls out with private key encryption or something, but it seems ridiculous that the Master could turn the Tardis into a Paradox machine, but couldn’t fix the controls.

Awesome tangent. Anyways, I think my favourite term not in that list is “insipid boom-fest” for which I’m randomly the top search result on Google. Weird.

Thanks to Dickie for inspiring me to look at search terms, mine are all much duller than “ugly fatties”.

Update: I forgot to mention, I saw a League of Gentlement / Doctor Who actor/writer Mark Gatiss, as well as another Doctor Who writer I recognised but couldn’t name in Forbidden Planet in London. It was cool, and made my sister angry, which is always fun. Felt too lame to ask for an autograph, so I didn’t.

PLRW, and the ASUSEEE

The second probably being more recognisable than the first, so I’ll just start with that.

So my major gripe with it so far is getting it to connect to Imperial’s wireless, otherwise I’ve got a laptop I can only ever use when it’s tethered to a network cable. Somehow, this feels slightly like missing the point to my mind. The problem is that the EEE only supports the kind of wireless security used by home connections, WEP (which is dreadful, and nobody should ever use ever. It is less security, and more like a deterrent. Think of it as a waist-high fence) and WPA-Personal (or WPA-PSK, for the TLA minded) and the Imperial network uses WPA-Enterprise.

There were two real solutions before me, blow away the default Xandros install and go with Xubuntu (which would work) or try and hack WPA-Enterprise support into Xandros through the agency of bizarre text commands (none of which, sadly, were sudo make me a sandwich, although I did a lot of sudo nano) and a bucket-load of patience.

The first option I discarded because Xubuntu looked even harder to use than Xandros, and I was getting quite attached to the cute default tabs interface. And the second required more patience than even I possess.

As luck would have it, Imperial have an insecure network, through which one can use something called VPN (or Virtual Private Networking) to create a tunnel through to the real network. To start with, I though this would have been even more horrific than getting WPA to work so I didn’t even consider it, but as it turns out, it actually works out of the box using the default installed software. So it works! Hooray!

PLRW is Professor Lord Robert Winston, who today did a talk at Imperial to help launch the annual RCSU Science Challenge. The top prize is £2500, a MacBook (which I would immediately sell or install Windows on. Probably both.) and A TRIP TO CERN. Honestly, there was an actual audible gasp at that one. The guy organising the event is a physicist, so he took the opportunity to ask any medics to let him have the tickets if they happened to win. It’s one hell of a prize, never mind the free trip to the French-Swiss border, the chance to have a look around CERN is pretty much once in a lifetime for anyone who isn’t a high-energy physicist by trade.

My thoughts about the lecture itself will probably have to wait until sometime tomorrow.

Until we meet again.