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.
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.
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!