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View Full Version : Wireless T-mobile Hotspot- Has anybody used them with their Mac?


Eniregnat
May 12, 2003, 12:49 PM
Has anybody used a T-Mobile Hotspot (http://www.t-mobile.com/hotspot/)? Starbucks (www.starbucks.com/hotspot) and Borders (http://www.bordersstores.com/features/feature.jsp?file=tmobile) both offer the service and are close to my appartment. I would like to use the service. I have a revB iBook. Is all I need an older Airport card or is the service not Mac compatable?

andrewlandry
May 12, 2003, 01:05 PM
i've used a hotspot at starbucks with an iBook (old airport card) and it worked fine. fortunately, i live near other places that offer free wi-fi so i've never needed to use it since.

Eniregnat
May 12, 2003, 01:21 PM
Thank's. I am currently solvent, but that will change when my staff and I are laid off. I am dropping all of my unessential services (like my ISP), but I still need to be able to access my email and I need to update my website from time to time. At 10cents a minute, with no contract, it fits my budget well. There may also be some free wi-fi networks in my area, but I wont know until I get a card.

evil
May 12, 2003, 01:28 PM
ive done it at my university. worked fine

chimay
May 12, 2003, 01:57 PM
Setup a T-Mobile account when I was on holiday in the states earlier this year and it worked fine in a Starbucks in S. Fran !
Easy to use and you can't beat surfing the web while having a good mocha.

Swordsman
May 12, 2003, 02:03 PM
Does anyone know where the free wi-fi networks are in LA?

Eniregnat
May 12, 2003, 03:00 PM
Swordsman, this I can help you with. Like Hotline, Warez, and other para-legal networks it is questionable if it is proper to speak/write about them on this board. Many ISPs believe that shared bandwidth is theift, others see it as ok, and some even invit it. Most ever college campus has some sort of free wi-fi network, sanctioned or not. There are a lot of legal and pay-per-use wi-fi networks/nodes out there. Below are some links.


AirShare.Org (http://www.airshare.org/share/nodes/index.cfm) A good place to start. Links to lists.
A CNET article about shareing Wi-Fi (http://rss.com.com/2100-1033-947239.html?type=pt%E2%88%82=rss&tag=feed&subj=news)
If your up for the work, try a little war driving (http://www.wardriving.com/). From Wargames "war dialing".
The Signs (http://www.warchalking.org/) of a free wi-fi network might be in in sight.

Key words to search with.
free, wi-fi, wifi, hotspot, wardrive, nodes, freespot, 80211, 802.11,etc...

Foxer
May 12, 2003, 04:04 PM
Worked fine for me on 12-inch PB on the T-mobile networks in the admiral's clubs in several airports I've visted. Airport extreme, if that really matters. Haven't tried it at a Starbucks - I think their coffee tastes as though it's been burnt.

freundt
May 12, 2003, 04:38 PM
I work at Starbucks in the music department, so take nothing I say as truth...I do know however, from talking to some of the folks who work with T-Mobile, that Macs are a decent percentage of the user base for the T-Mobile Hotspot. Whenever I go into a store around here (seattle), I almost always see 3 or so Powerbooks.

So, yes you can use it with your Mac. You can goto http://www.starbucks.com/retail/wireless.asp for some more information.

As for the coffee tasting burnt? Try the Ethiopia Sidamo.. Good stuff... Much better than House Blend.

not *really* towing the company line( I swear),
_f

Eniregnat
May 12, 2003, 05:01 PM
I hadn't thought about it, but Starbucks would have a music department. It reads like you have a fun job, music + caffeine. I like French and espresso roasts, so Starbucks flavor appeals to me. Besides, when Starbucks expanded into air ports, ages ago, they were the highlight of the day. Before then all one could hope for was one of those blended slurry coffee drinks from a machine with a giant straw.


7. Can I connect using a Macintosh computer?
Yes, T-Mobile supports Macintosh users. Macs with AirPort cards installed usually require little or no configuration. You will need to set your AirPort card to select the T-Mobile HotSpot network. See the AirPort card documentation for specific instructions. I just found the proper FAQ on T-mobile’s site.

Now all I need is an affordable Airport card and a
Pringles (http://www.airshare.org/learn/articles/features/pringles2.cfm) can.

freundt
May 12, 2003, 05:10 PM
Originally posted by Eniregnat
I hadn't thought about it, but Starbucks would have a music department. It reads like you have a fun job, music + caffeine. I like French and espresso roasts, so Starbucks flavor appeals to me. Besides, when Starbucks expanded into air ports, ages ago, they were the highlight of the day. Before then all one could hope for was one of those blended slurry coffee drinks from a machine with a giant straw.

Yeah, It's really great.. the music department here is actually a small music company called Hear Music that was bought by Starbucks in 1999. Hear Music has a couple of retail shops in california. We also put together all the music you hear overhead in the stores as well as the compilations.

The people in Hear Music are great people...and talk about music knowledge..one guy has about 15,000 + CDs in his collection :rolleyes: ... not to mention his Wax...

Anyways,
Glad you found the info you needed.

_f

Eniregnat
May 12, 2003, 05:18 PM
Cool- thanks.:)

Swordsman
May 12, 2003, 05:42 PM
Thanks for the links, Eniregnat!

janey
May 12, 2003, 08:00 PM
Originally posted by Swordsman
Does anyone know where the free wi-fi networks are in LA?
http://www.apple.com/airport/hotspots.html
i have used the tmobile hotspot thing with my alubook and a macrumors member once met a centrino user at starbucks (http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?s=&threadid=25649)...

Eniregnat
May 22, 2003, 09:08 PM
Live and direct for the road.

t-Mobile Hotspots and my Mac. They work. The signal strength is awful, even inside Starbucks or Borders (2 bars). Now to build a Pringles dipole antenna and a few passive repeaters. Does anybody know where I get a pigtail to coax for the Airport card?

iShater
Jun 5, 2003, 12:38 PM
Originally posted by Eniregnat
Live and direct for the road.

t-Mobile Hotspots and my Mac. They work. The signal strength is awful, even inside Starbucks or Borders (2 bars). Now to build a Pringles dipole antenna and a few passive repeaters. Does anybody know where I get a pigtail to coax for the Airport card?

Is this problem with all places you tried? I am thinking about getting this since broadband seems to be banned from my area. Even the pay-as-you-go seems a little pricey because of the 60min minimum session. hmmmmmmm.

DreaminDirector
Jun 5, 2003, 01:57 PM
Yeah, I read that 60 min minimum too and thought that was a little underhanded. So everytime you sit down to check your email, it's gonna cost you 6 bucks.

Well, look at it like this, Starbucks is going to jack you of six bucks with coffee or for bandwitdh....

iShater
Jun 5, 2003, 02:02 PM
Originally posted by DreaminDirector
Yeah, I read that 60 min minimum too and thought that was a little underhanded. So everytime you sit down to check your email, it's gonna cost you 6 bucks.

Well, look at it like this, Starbucks is going to jack you of six bucks with coffee or for bandwitdh....

As I mentioned in another thread, I decided to go for this solution. Got the pay-as-you-go plan for starters. At least this will help with system updated and big file downloads. I figure I if I use it more than 4 times a week ($24), then I will go for the yearly plan.

Eniregnat
Jun 5, 2003, 04:04 PM
I just used it to test if it would work for me.
I plan to drop my land line and get a t-mobile cell and T-mobile Hotspots plan for around $60 a month. It will defintly save me on my long distance bill.

iShater
Jun 5, 2003, 04:24 PM
Originally posted by Eniregnat
I just used it to test if it would work for me.
I plan to drop my land line and get a t-mobile cell and T-mobile Hotspots plan for around $60 a month. It will defintly save me on my long distance bill.

How much do they charge you for the hotspot access if you have a plan with them? will you get a data package with your calling plan for real wireless connection? i.e. on the road?

Eniregnat
Jun 6, 2003, 10:56 AM
If you access through a Hotspot, you can get unlimited access for $20 dollars a month. Their Internet phone access, like most, is a joke. Lots of AOL and IM features, light weight news pages etc... Data access is a different add-on and it requires that you have a phone that is data compatible and that you purchase a service. It looks as though you must sign up through the phone part of T-mobile to get this service at this price.

Wano
Jun 7, 2003, 12:16 AM
I have taken my Powerbook to both Borders and Starbucks and I never get a reception. But, I don't have an account..but still shouldn't the network still show up on my computer?

Eniregnat
Jun 7, 2003, 03:04 PM
Yes. The site must have a pink Hotspot logo somewhere near teh caffee. If you goto (all one word for old school programmers) t-mobiles website you should find a list of hotspot locations. It isn't up to date, but it is pretty good.

Heart Break Kid
Jun 7, 2003, 06:22 PM
just out of curiosity isnt it possible just to force yourself onto their network without paying? i mean - if i can borrow my neighbors wireless bandwidth - why cant it be done at starbucks?

Eniregnat
Jun 16, 2003, 11:18 PM
Pardon the delayed reply, but I they just caned 80% of the staff at my work.
I have less than 5 days to pack up my studio.
Currently I have 1.4 terabytes of audio offline and unusable because our primary server ate it’s self.
Sorry, just needed to vent.

HeartBreakKid

Technically, unless your using some interesting tools, you aren’t forcing yourself onto a wireless network. If your using some sort of elegant or brut force solution to find addresses and passwords that would be forcing.

The Hotspot works only with browsers that have the protocol to search and load a Java$cript applet before any web page is accesses. This applet then redirects the browser and creates a dynamic interface. “Forcing” yourself onto the network in traditional terms isn’t possible with out a lot of work. You might be able to dopple an identifier, but that would be more work than it was worth. It probably wouldn’t work for very long ether.

On the illegal side, you could pirate somebody’s account.
What you can do is find out how T-mobile sets up its accounts. They use a predictable algorithm for assigning account names and passwords for all mobile phone users. The only difficult part would be finding the password, which is 4 digits. If you know the user, you could probably find out those 4 digits. I'm not a phreak and don't recommend attempting this.
Perhaps I should try to help T-mobile with this securty flaw.

The security conscious person would likely change their not so random account name and not so random password.

It should also be of note that one of the 3 hotspots I have visited have a “free” access wi-fi network with in reach.

Next project-> A very well tuned antenna.

iShater
Jun 17, 2003, 09:29 AM
Originally posted by Eniregnat
Pardon the delayed reply, but I they just caned 80% of the staff at my work.
I have less than 5 days to pack up my studio.
Currently I have 1.4 terabytes of audio offline and unusable because our primary server ate it’s self.
Sorry, just needed to vent.

It should also be of note that one of the 3 hotspots I have visited have a “free” access wi-fi network with in reach.

Next project-> A very well tuned antenna.

Sorry to hear about your work, hope it works out for ya.

"Free" access? as in a public network? These exist?!

chicagdan
Jun 17, 2003, 09:52 AM
I've found the T-mobile service to be expensive and mediocre. For Mac users in Chicago, I recommend going to coffee houses that use the FaceFive network ... $3 an hour, $7 a day, $20 a month and a few of the coffee houses have outdoor seating where you can pick up the wifi signal (we Chicagoans try to enjoy our 90 days of good weather as much as possible.)

Here in Wicker Park, there are three FaceFive coffee houses within a mile, Atomix on Chicago Ave is my favorite (and it's always packed with Macheads.)

Eniregnat
Jun 18, 2003, 11:40 PM
Originally posted by iShater
Sorry to hear about your work, hope it works out for you.

"Free" access? as in a public network? These exist?!

Re work: It sucks. I take pride in my work and I hate to see the employees, clients and my work treated so poorly.

Re Free: Yes. Most of the public Hotspot networks that a person may stumble on (A net stumbler is a tool designed to sniff out such networks) are run across that don't require a password are deliberately free. If you run into one, or learn of one via war-chalk marks or node map treat it with respect. Often the free bandwidth is obvious. They often have names like "free", "gratis", or "any user".

As for tools. I don't use any. I'm an os 9.2 user and there are no (few) tools out there. I would have to create my own stumbler. I do not believe it is in ethical to use elegant tools (linguistic and/or intuitive) or brute force tools to enter networks. If people want you to use their networks they will make it obvious. Don’t forget, shareing bandwidth is para-legal, and breaking into somebodies network violates a number of federal laws (mostly in title 47 of the CFR (http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/)). I'm to old to be that stuped.

For my purposes, T-mobile is really cheap. $20 a month for unlimited access. I have had no bandwidth problems, and should I travel, I have access at a lot of airports both inside and outside the US. I haven’t found them mediocre. In my town there is no other choice, especially if one doesn’t have a landline, cable and can’t afford DSL.