Thursday, March 31, 2011

Tethering Nokia E51 to CentOS 5.5 on HP 6730s

According to Wikipedia, tethering is a method to share the Internet connection of an Internet-capable mobile phone. This sharing can be via cable, or wirelessly over Bluetooth or Wi-Fi — if Wi-Fi, the tethering feature is often branded as a mobile hotspot and can typically service several devices.

As a result of a sometimes slow ADSL connection, I decided to have my own mobile hotspot as a backup.

Indeed, mobinil offers a relatively acceptable plan of 110 MB / month for 20 EGP. Exceed your quota during the 30 day limit, and the speed drops AFAIK from 1.2 mbps to 64 kbps. After all, for me this is a good backup plan to accomplish quick logins and short browsing.

So, I went straight to Ovi store and downloaded Joikuspot Light edition 3.1. To have free apps downloaded to your PC, just click the app, then click `send to a friend` button. The address bar changes to something like ``. Simply replace the in the address bar from `send-to-friend` to `download`. Anyhow, Joikuspot light edition was cool enough to get the job done and let my HP 6730s browse the Internet using my Nokia E51 as a hotspot. But I had one problem irritating me, the light edition provides no security at all. Your hotspot can not be renamed, you can not change the 802.11 channel, you can not use encryption and of course you can not choose encryption method accordingly.

Due to all these limitations and lack of hotspot and connection security, I decided to opt for the paid version of the application, Joikuspot Premium. Actually, the paid version is placed at suitable price, EGP 13 only. A combo meal from cookdoor costs more than the double of this figure :D .. Any how, the premium version had no limitations and provided 64-bit and 128-bit encryption. Trying to use either, the connection always failed. I was at odds of what is going wrong, despite providing the right key, the connection always timed out at stage 4 of 5 as mentioned in /var/log/messages.

Doing a somehow prolonged search on Google, I figured out it was my aging wireless Intel card driver causing the issue. Joikuspot creates the connection in ad-hoc mode and my driver fails to authenticate in this mode. I updated my driver from `iwl5000-firmware-5.4.A.11-2` to `iwl5000-firmware-` and everything ran smoothly since then thanks to Allah.

To update the driver, I did the following:

1- Made sure I have the old driver package at hand, of course rpmforge repo was enabled at this moment:
# yumdownloader iwl5000-firmware-5.4.A.11-2.nodist.rf.noarch.rpm

2- Got the new driver package from elRepo:
$ wget

3- Removed the old driver:
# yum remove iwl5000-firmware

4- Rebooted, for that I was too lazy to find out what is a much less step to do. I speculate I could have just restrated the network, but no prblem. I am not so much into my laptop's uptime :D

5- Installed the new driver package:
# rpm -ivh iwl5000-firmware-

6- Restarted the network:
# /etc/init.d/ network restart && /etc/init.d/NetworkManager restart

Voila! A working backup, tethered, encrypted connection between:
A- Laptop:
H/W: HP 6730s with Intel Corporation PRO/Wireless 5100 AGN [Shiloh]
S/W: Centos 5.5 and NetworkManager-0.7.0-10

B- Mobile:
H/W: Nokia E51
S/W: Symbian S60v3 and Joikuspot Premium 3.1

Monday, March 28, 2011

Conditional Thinking

It has been long since I last wrote here, but I believe the idea I am about to discuss is worth highlighting.

After Jan 25 Revolution, I am having a new state of mind. It is refusing the conditional thinking. For many years, I have been doing many things without questioning `is it necessarily?`. I mean, for a very basic example, whenever you turn on both hot water and cold water taps, warm water should flow, right ?  ... Not necessarily! Many scenarios can take place. One of the taps may be broken, both may be broken, the heater may not be working, the water may be warm but carrying rust, water may be already cut off or indeed warm water may come out.. You name it.

My point here, these are two things interacting with each other based upon our action, yet the results are not guaranteed. What would you think of human beings interacting with each other, again, at a very basic level ?

If you scold me, there are many scenarios, I may ask you why you are scolding me, I may wait till you calm down, I may listen to your reasons, I may laugh, I may smile, I may scold you back, I may shout at you, I may cry, I may remain silent, I may ask people to witness your scolding, I may complain to other/s, I may officially escalate you, I may kill you, etc ...

Why stay limited to one option when there are many ?!?!

The next time you do a daily routine or interact with a beloved or someone you dislike, free your mind from memories of similar situations and become like a newly born, a vanilla-mind. Trust me, If (A), it is not necessarily (B). You will do better :)