Matt RaibleMatt Raible is a Java Champion and Developer Advocate at Okta. developer.okta.com

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10+ YEARS


Over 10 years ago, I wrote my first blog post. Since then, I've authored books, had kids, traveled the world, found Trish and blogged about it all.

EVDO ExpressCards for MacBook Pros

When Bruce said he wasn't getting a MacBook Pro because they didn't support EVDO Cards, I had a hard time believing him. Last week, I saw a co-worker using an EVDO card and have completely changed my perspective. He was able to get 7.9 MB/s (from the Bandwidth Speed Test), while only getting T1 speeds from an ethernet connection. Needless to say, I was instantly sold. Since Virtuas supplies EVDO cards to its employees, I've been yearning for one ever since.

Verizon V640 As Bruce noted, the current models don't fit in MacBook Pros because they ship with ExpressCard slots instead of PMCIA. I did some research last weekend and found MacBook Pro owners have two options: 1) a USB adapter or 2) the Verizon V640. The V640 is obviously the better solution as it's more compact, but they're not shipping yet. The good news, according to EVDOinfo.com, is they will be soon.

July 7, 2006 @ 8:30AM CST Update

Verizon is in the process of sending Novatel V640 ExpressCards (aka XV620) to their warehouses, we are expecting the ability to order them over by the end of this week, however, this can be delayed based on Verizon Official Launch dates.

I'd love to have one of these bad boys for Raible Road Trip #10.

Posted in Mac OS X at Jul 08 2006, 11:10:01 AM MDT 6 Comments
Comments:

7.9MB is impossible...they can only burst to 2MB/sec. If they got 7.9MB, comething got cached...they are physically unable to run at those speeds. See:

http://dts.vzw.com/faqs/VZAccess/faq_natlbrdbandaccess.html?sp_link=1#item4

You will likely see 250-600KB averages in Denver and when sufficiantly close to a tower with full bars, you will get 1.2-1.5MB speed. 2MB will be only in the best conditions w/o many users connected to that particular tower.

You do not need an EVDO card to surf with your Mac. A phone is sufficient and will produce the same speeds as a card. This is called tethering. Verizon typically will charge an extra $15/month to allow tethering, although they need to catch you first.

The Verizon 640 is *not* the only phone supporting this. Nearly their full lineup of phones support EVDO, including the popular V3C/M Motorola RAZR. If you are looking to get a phone, I recommend the MotorolaQ or Treo 700p. The MotorolaQ will rewuire hacking some drivers on your Mac to tether it via USB, but the700p is ready to go out of the box. I recommend these phones because they allow you to retrieve your email and surf the net or IM, w/o a computer. Something that comes in handy when you are in a tight situation like whenboarding an airplane, etc. I also recommend getting a phone that has bluetooth. Although the connect speeds will be slower with BT, it also comes in handy when yuo need to make a rapid connection to the net w/o having to hook up a USB cable...again...very handy when you need to get mail, etc, and you dont want to dig through you rbackpack hunting down the cable.

Any phones that do not directly support tethering usually can be tethered with quick hacks. I recommend howardforums.com as it seems to have information on just about any phone and how to hack them.

Posted by Jeff Genender on July 08, 2006 at 12:55 PM MDT #

Whoops on the Verizon 640...I thought you were referring to the phone...not the card...my boo boo. In anycase, if your company is paying for it, the card is good. But if you pay for it, the phone is good because you get a discount..its $44.95 for EVDO service unlimited data plan, and couple that with a 20% corporate discount, you can get that down to $35.96. That is a lot cheaper than the $59.95 monthly service you will pay for ther card.

Posted by Jeff Genender on July 08, 2006 at 01:03 PM MDT #

I'll eat my shorts if somebody can actually get 7.9MBps on Evdo. I typically get about 600-800Kbps (a tenth of that) when travelling in the US, and that's with a pretty good signal. Still nothing to sneeze at. One thing to keep in mind w/regards to getting the card vs. using your phone is that, to the best of my knowledge, the majority of the phones out there can not do both Evdo data and voice calls, So the card is pretty much more convenient if you don't wish to interrupt your data access all the time.

Posted by Colin Sampaleanu on July 08, 2006 at 01:52 PM MDT #

One thing to keep in mind w/regards to getting the card vs. using your phone is that, to the best of my knowledge, the majority of the phones out there can not do both Evdo data and voice calls, So the card is pretty much more convenient if you don't wish to interrupt your data access all the time.
That depends on the phone, and some allow you to fully send voice calls over to voicemail. i.e. The MotorolaQ, when tethered will send all calls over to VM. Yes alhough the card is convenient, you are also paying the full extra $60/month for it. But then you lose the capabilities of having inet service via a PDA phone, which IMHO, is very useful. If you don't mind paying for a full service phone *and* a card, then, yes, that clearly would be the ideal configuration...but that is $$$.

Posted by Jeff Genender on July 09, 2006 at 04:44 PM MDT #

Can I tether my mac to any Verizon PDA and use EVDO?

Posted by tim l on July 17, 2006 at 12:26 PM MDT #

I see that you list the 700p as ready out of the box. VZW does not list it as supported for tether but support it via DUN. The blackberry 7130 apparently does not support either. Your info seems to contradict this., Thoughts>

Posted by Tim l on July 17, 2006 at 12:29 PM MDT #

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