Wednesday, June 27, 2007

OQO + Sprint Mobile Broadband woes?

So I love my OQO with its integrated Sprint Mobile Broadband service...



...when it works. Too often lately I have strange connection problems that I never had in the past with my previous laptop and an external Novatel USB mobile broadband modem. As you can see from the picture above, sometimes it works great. The signal is usually strong, and the connection speed is perfectly fine for this little device. I've used it multiple times to jump on to the work VPN, run Outlook, and catch up on emails while riding the train.

Except, once in a while, like today, the computer takes on a mind of it's own, and decides to be a complete pain in the ass.



Once in a while you get dumped off shortly after connecting. Invariably it tells you that the device can't be found. It sometimes helpfully suggests that I remove the device and re-insert it, which I obviously cannot do. As you can see from the screenshot above, I do have the device enabled in the OQO Wireless Dashboard control panel. So, why can't it be found?

It takes a reboot (or sometimes two) to make it start working again. And sometimes it'll only work for about fifteen minutes before complaining again. Not good, not acceptable.

It doesn't seem to be a coverage issue. As you can see from the top screenshot, I've got a good signal, and yet, this is where I am when the issue is occurring today.

What I don't get is that the connection manager software is laggy and slow. Every once in a while it freezes up for many seconds at a time. My previous sprint mobile device, the Novatel USB external modem doesn't do this (on the OQO or any other laptop). So, I'm concerned that this is hardware related, or that these things just don't work so well integrated into the OQO.

I've emailed OQO support just now about this issue, and hope they can nudge me in the right direction. The Sprint mobile broadband is a huge part of why I bought this device. OQO, don't let me down here.

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