Hey, this mobile 3G stuff really works

Headed home from Toy Fair, I’m a passenger in a moving vehicle, enjoying fast wireless broadband somewhere in rural Pennsylvania. It’s one of the promises of the “information superhighway” that’s moved from the cutting edge to general availability in the last couple of years.

Things change quickly: just last summer, Joel took wireless broadband with him on a week in the woods, and it barely worked at all.

In my case, I’m on a Vaio P–a neat little laptop I’m reviewing this week–but there are many ways to go about getting a car area network. If you have a 3G USB modem, you can grab a battery-powered compatible router. Several vendors make similar devices which have radios built in. And, of course, there are lots of laptops and netbooks, like the Vaio P, which have it all baked into the box: internet sharing can be a pain to set up on Windows, mind you.

Until now, such wonders have always been practical, for us: rented Evdo sticks for conferences, review units, pre-prroduction samples that don’t work right. It’s nice to finally get to enjoy it, for once.

About Rob Beschizza

Rob Beschizza is the Managing Editor of Boing Boing. He's @beschizza on Twitter and can be found on Facebook too. Email is dead, but you can try your luck at besc...@gmail.com
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4 Responses to Hey, this mobile 3G stuff really works

  1. PrometheusG says:

    I’ve been tethering my phone to my laptop via bluetooth for nearly a year now. AT&T unlimited data for $20/month on PickYourPlan. It’s only 600 down / 160 up, but it’s good enough when other options are unavailable.

  2. strider_mt2k says:

    Nice!
    I have yet to set up the “unofficial” tethering link to my Dell Mini 9, but I’ve still been impressed by some BBG and Gizmodo surfing here and there on my i910 Omnia where I could never think of doing it before.

    Bully for us! Here’s to living the future! :D

    (for as long as I can afford it any way…)

  3. haineux says:

    My bay-area employer runs no-charge commuter busses. They provide mobile internet, which is superb because I can run the remote desktop software and chat software and finish up that last bug while on the way home.

    (Yeah, yeah, enabling me to work even more hours, but the way I figure it, once a quarter is a novelty, especially since I don’t have to miss the bus OR work when I arrive at home.)

    This is all very future-tastic right up until the guy two rows ahead of you uses 99% of the bandwidth to watch the high-quality stream of CNN while the guy behind you uses the mobile phone to have a shouting match with the overseas developers. And there’s the woman who’s planning her wedding…

    So yeah, in the future, everyone needs custom-fitted earphones that block 99.9% of external sound, super-comfortably.

    And IP notifications that your stop is next….

  4. zuzu says:

    Shame that the new MacBook / Pros don’t use a discrete mini-PCI-e card for 802.11 Wi-Fi anymore… Replacing that with a 3G WWAN card seemed like a dream come true. USB dongles that have to be plugged in and out tend to ruin the practical aesthetics.

    And, of course, there are lots of laptops and netbooks, like the Vaio P, which have it all baked into the box: internet sharing can be a pain to set up on Windows, mind you.

    Just as soon as boot 132 hackintosh can be ported to the Vaio P, I’ll be $900 poorer.

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