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Wireless T-mobile Hotspot- Has anybody used them with their Mac?

Discussion in 'Macintosh Computers' started by Eniregnat, May 12, 2003.

  1. macrumors 68000


    Has anybody used a T-Mobile Hotspot? Starbucks and Borders 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?
  2. macrumors member

    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.
  3. macrumors 68000


    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.
  4. macrumors 6502

    ive done it at my university. worked fine
  5. macrumors newbie

    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.
  6. macrumors newbie

    Does anyone know where the free wi-fi networks are in LA?
  7. macrumors 68000


    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.

    Key words to search with.
    free, wi-fi, wifi, hotspot, wardrive, nodes, freespot, 80211, 802.11,etc...
  8. macrumors 65816


    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.
  9. macrumors member

    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),
  10. macrumors 68000


    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.

    I just found the proper FAQ on T-mobile’s site.

    Now all I need is an affordable Airport card and a
    Pringles can.
  11. macrumors member

    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...

    Glad you found the info you needed.

  12. macrumors 68000


    Cool- thanks.:)
  13. macrumors newbie

    Thanks for the links, Eniregnat!
  14. macrumors 603


  15. macrumors 68000


    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?
  16. macrumors 604


    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.
  17. macrumors 6502a


    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....
  18. macrumors 604


    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.
  19. macrumors 68000


    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.
  20. macrumors 604


    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?
  21. macrumors 68000


    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.
  22. macrumors 6502

    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?
  23. macrumors 68000


    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.
  24. macrumors 6502a

    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?
  25. macrumors 68000


    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.


    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.

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