Mike Swanson

April, 2008

  • Mike Swanson's Blog

    Internet Sharing with the Samsung BlackJack and Windows Vista

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    I was waiting for a flight out of Orange County Airport earlier this week, and after I fired up my laptop, I couldn't find any publicly available wireless networks. So, I decided to try using my Samsung BlackJack (SGH-i607) for internet connectivity, because I had remembered reading about the feature awhile back. I tried to get things working for about 10 minutes before I had to give up. I'm not a cell phone expert, but I can usually mind meld with devices and figure them out within a short period of time. Not this time.

    So last night, I dug in. After a few hours following forum threads across hundreds of posts, reading technical support notes, downloading drivers, and playing with configurations, I finally figured out how to properly set up and use the internet sharing feature with Windows Vista via Bluetooth. I thought I'd document the procedure here so that others don't have to go through the same painful process.

    As mentioned, I have a Samsung BlackJack (SGH-i607) phone that I upgraded to Windows Mobile 6.0 a month or so ago, and I'm running Windows Vista SP1 on a Dell XPS M1330 laptop. My service is AT&T (formerly Cingular), and I have an unlimited data plan (update: Blake Handler notes in the feedback to this post that an unlimited data plan may not cover the "tethering" feature I describe here, so it's worth checking the details of your account to avoid any surprises). The following instructions are based on these devices and software versions, so your mileage may vary if you're using something slightly different.

    1. Update Your Connection Profile
      On your BlackJack, go to Start/Settings/Connections/GPRS/AT&T IMS. It should say Connects to: The Internet, and most likely, Access Point: ims.cingular. Change Access Point to be isp.cingular (all lower case). Both User name and Password should be blank. Change the Authentication Type to be CHAP. Both Primary DNS and Secondary DNS should be 0.0.0.0 and IP address should be blank. Press Done two times to return to the Connections screen.
    2. Activate Bluetooth and Make Your Device Visible
      Choose Bluetooth, then Bluetooth again. Click Menu, then Turn On Visibility. Choosing this option will automatically enable Bluetooth and make the device visible. Exit the menu and click Done four times to return to the startup screen.
    3. Establish a Connection Between the Phone and Your PC
      In Vista, choose Start/Control Panel/Network and Internet/Network and Sharing Center/Setup a connection or network. Choose Connect to a Bluetooth personal area network (PAN), then click Next. Click the Add... button to launch the Add Bluetooth Device Wizard. Check the box next to My device is set up and ready to be found, then click Next. After a few moments of searching, your device should show up, likely titled SGH-i607 (unless you've changed its name). Select the new device, then click Next. When asked about a passkey, choose Use the passkey found in the documentation and enter 0000 (four zeros), then click Next. On your BlackJack, you will be asked to confirm the connection, so select Yes. When asked for the passcode, enter 0000 (four zeros), then select Next. You should receive an Info screen stating that Your Smartphone has connected with your machine name. Click OK. Then, enter a display name for your device (or simply leave it as its default), and click Next. On the Services screen, click Done. On the PC, you should see a Completing the Add Bluetooth Device Wizard. Click Finish.
    4. Configure Internet Sharing
      On your BlackJack, select Start/Applications/File Explorer. From the My Documents folder, select Up, then scroll down and select the Windows folder, then scroll way down and select Internet Sharing (follow the steps later on to create a handy shortcut for Internet Sharing). Change PC Connection to Bluetooth PAN, and ensure that Network Connection is set to AT&T IMS. Select Connect.
    5. Connect to the Internet
      On the PC, make sure the SGH-i607 is selected, and click Connect. If everything goes according to plan, the status on your BlackJack should say Connected, and you should have internet access on your laptop. To disconnect, simply select Disconnect on your phone. Or, on the PC, right-click the small Bluetooth icon in the notification area, select Join a Personal Area Network, select the SGH-i607 device and choose Disconnect.

    I'm sure Bluetooth uses up more battery power, so it's probably a good idea to disable Bluetooth when you're not using it. Select Start/Settings/Connections/Wireless Manager, then select the Bluetooth option.

    To create a shortcut for Internet Sharing and make life easier the next time you want to use the internet, connect your Blackjack to the PC using the USB cable. I don't know of any way to do this without involving the PC. On your PC, click Start/Computer, then look for your SGH-i607 device, and double-click it. Double-click the root folder (indicated by a backslash), and look for a folder called Windows. If you can't see the folder, select the Organize menu, then Folder and Search Options. Click the View tab, and uncheck the option that says Hide protected operating system filed (Recommended). You'll receive a warning; select Yes, then click OK. When you can see the Windows folder, double-click it, then scroll down and right-click on Internet Sharing.lnk. Choose Copy from the drop-down menu. Find the Start Menu folder (probably by scrolling up) and double-click it. Right-click anywhere on a blank area, and choose Paste from the drop-down menu. On my phone, I had to turn it off and restart before I could find the new Internet Sharing icon under the Start menu.

    Whew! Hope you made it through all of that! Fortunately, after you've gone through these steps once, you only need to perform steps 4 and 5 to connect to the internet. If you find any problems with these steps, or if you have any recommendations that have worked well, please leave feedback.

  • Mike Swanson's Blog

    Over One Million Wallpaper Visitors

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    I watched the stats for my wallpaper page tick past one million a few days ago. Wow! If you'd have told me when I posted my first macro photo years ago that it'd be the most popular page on my blog (by a long shot), I wouldn't have believed it. I haven't actually added up the individual downloads, but it would easily exceed one million, since I get a lot of direct links from other sites. I average a little over 4GB downloaded each day. Interestingly, more people download the widescreen versions of my wallpaper than the standard ones. I wouldn't have expected that.

    I receive a request almost every other day from someone who wants to use one or more of my photos for a project. I almost always say "yes," because I really enjoy seeing how the photos are featured. All I ask for is credit for the photo, a link back to my wallpaper page, and a sample or photo of the finished project. Over the years, my photos have been used: as wallpaper for Windows Vista, as a backdrop for a concert, in car brochures, in magazines, as large glass panels in a Japanese architecture firm, as a background for plasma displays in universities, in annual reports, and many others. It's quite inspiring.

    So, to commemorate the occasion, I've just added 10 new photos for your enjoyment. Most of them should feel like spring, except maybe the deep blue image. It's the only photo I liked from a series that involved food coloring.

    On to the next million!

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