Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Frustrations of Mobile Broadband

EEE PC with Home Page Jessica Watson
BBC Weather Map
XC UK Wind Map

I originally started this post with a gripe about the T-Mobile Black 120 dongle I recently bought. The thing just didn’t seem to work, but after reading a forum page which I’ve labelled ‘More Bad Reviews’ in the Links section below, I tried changing the Settings for the Dongle, and to my surprise, pages started loading at a very reasonable speed. I could even get the BBC Weather Maps with their sequence pages. Even more astonishing I found YouTube videos worked well. Maybe the Dongle is not as bad as I thought? I’ll reserve my final judgment until trying it for a few more days.

Here’s my original gripe:

I bought a T-Mobile Black 120 USB Stick for my ultra-portable EEE PC Windows laptop and despite trying it at various locations I’ve only twice been successful at downloading web pages, and these appeared at an agonisingly slow pace. I’ve tried it in town centres and the open countryside with the same abysmal results. I’m perplexed when I read enthusiastic reviews of the device online, because that has not been my experience, but I still cling to the hope that the dongle will achieve better results during my cruise with ‘Ladybird’.

The system is supposed to work on 3G at fast speeds. Take this article as an example which claims the Stick has been designed, "to give you a stronger signal in those hard to reach places.”


By way of assurance, the comment also adds that the Stick has a slot for an external antenna boost as well! The blurb makes it all sound so easy, “Simply plug in your USB Stick for easy access to your favourite websites,” and, “with speeds up to 3.6Mbps. "Well, you could fool me!”

I wish I had read two reviews at Amazon CO UK before buying the Black 120. Here they are verbatim:

“i bought this as a in between at sorting out my broadband, and even though i have a full signal,
i have to refresh the page 9/10 times had the 3 version a year or so ago, and i thought that wasn't very good but this is worse ,
luckily i didn't join them on a contract !”

“It's almost impossible to get a signal on this thing on any train journey, whereas my O2 mobile works 80-90% of the time.
But the real disaster is the software. After about 2 days it started disappearing a couple of seconds after starting it so I couldn't use the dongle. Unfortunately the Uninstall option doesn't work which means it refuses to reinstall and the Repair option doesn't seem to do anything. The whole thing now just complains that files are missing, while leaving lots of crap lying around. No number of reboots makes any difference.

I have checked the ZTE website (the equally unpromising site you get diverted to) and as far as I can see I have the latest version.

I now have a load of crap on my laptop and in my registry which doesn't work and which I'm going to have to try to get rid of manually. I haven't seen software this bad for some years now. It shouldn't be let anywhere near a computer.

I simply don't have any more time on to waste on this at the moment and am going to have to throw the whole lot in the bin.”


Amazon Co Uk Ratings as above


More Bad Reviews


BBC Weather Maps


UK Wind Maps


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