SteveO Reviews

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Palm Centro DUN with Asus eee PC

I purchased an Asus eee PC to use when traveling due to its sub 2 pound heft and small footprint. I also have a Palm Centro that can be tethered to the eee via bluetooth or USB and it can be used as a wireless modem to provide EVDO speeds using Sprint’s PCS network. This write up is for a Sprint Centro (but it can also be used with the various Treo’s). First, you’ll need the data plan with Sprint. If you haven’t yet heard about Sprint’s SERO plan, add a comment and I’ll provide more details. Basically, the SERO plan gets you unlimited data, roaming, etc. for about $30 a month. Sweet deal. OK, onto the steps involved:
1) Log into your sprint account at sprint.com. Under the My Sprint tab, click on Settings and Preferences (Note, as of Dec ’07, these are the links on the sprint.com site). Over in the left nav, click on the link “Power Vision Password”. Set up your new password and provide your email address on the second page (you shouldn’t be charged for any of this even though it might appear that way on the page).
2) On your Centro, go to Preferences > Network and click on the “Modify” button. You’ll see your user id (which you’ll need later) and a field for your password. Put your newly created password in there (sprint says the password change might take up to 2 hours, but mine was good in 5 min).
3) Download USB Modem here: http://www.mobile-stream.com/usbmodem.html. Yes, there is a trial, but registering is less than $25.
4) Copy/install the usbmodem.prc file to your Centro. I did this from my Mac, but if you only have an eee, then you might need to connect via bluetooth to get the file copied over. You can always resort to copying to the memory card and transfer it that way.
5) Launch USBModem from the Centro and click on the “Enable” button at the bottom. Then on the eee, click on Network in the Internet tab. Click on the Create… button. Then select Dial-up. After a few seconds, you should see two items listed, an Intel modem and your Centro. Click the Centro and click Next.
6) Continue through the wizard using #777 for the phone number (no prefix needed) and input your user id and password referenced above.
7) On the last step of the wizard, check the box to connect and click on OK. You should be online!

It’s late and I’m not sure if I covered everything correctly (mainly going off memory at this point) so add a comment and I can further investigate. -Happy surfing!

UPDATE: Feb 2, 2008
A reader over at the eeeuser forum found my blog post and liked it, but said he was getting disconnected every couple minutes. I actually had the same problem, but forgot to mention that in my original post. Sorry about that. Here are the details to get that fixed. It involves going into a terminal window and executing some strange commands, but trust me, it’s all good.

Open console (hit Ctrl Alt T) and type:

sudo kwrite /etc/ppp/options

Scroll down and the find the line that says:
lcp-echo-interval 30

and comment it out so it looks like this (basically just add the #)

#lcp-echo-interval 30

save and then exit

Try your Centro connection again and all should work fine now. I haven’t tested it, but this should also work with the latest Treo models like the Treo 755p, Treo 700p, and Treo 650. Happy surfing.

SteveO

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