Two days of misery

Damn GPRS. That’s all I can say. I spent almost two days trying to connect my Mac via the E680i Linux-based smartphone to the Cingular GPRS service.

My husband’s phone, the SonyEricsson K700i, worked out of the box, no problem. Using my Linux phone though, it wouldn’t get an IP address from Cingular and so the connection would drop (using the same modem script for both). Connecting the phone directly to GPRS, it works! Connecting to GPRS via the Mac[-bluetooth-]phone, it doesn’t!

I posted my situation and all detailed logs to 4 different forums (e680i forum, howardforums, Cingular forums, MacCellPhone mailing list) and no one knew of the answer.

When googling all day yesterday, I came across a reply of a similar problem from a guy named Clifford. Reading his reply, it was obvious that the guy knew a lot about PPP and how it works and what caveats it has. I emailed him. Good man Clifford, came back to me with a 3 suggestions. I tried the first one, didn’t work. I tried the second one, didn’t work. I tried the third one, and it WORKED! I needed to enter a DUMMY remote IP address on my /etc/ppp/options file on my OSX as such:
:192.168.0.254

Apparently, many GPRS providers don’t want to reveal their remote IP address, and the Linux phone or OSX is setup’ed that way that it would go crazy and won’t accept the assignment of an IP if the other side doesn’t reveal its IP address. Of course, the funky part is that other phones work, and that phone’s direct call to GPRS works too. It’s just that the Mac link doesn’t when used with Motorola Linux smartphones. Weird stuff!

Anyways, now it’s fixed, and I will be writing a tutorial about it: any Motorola Linux phone (they are all the same internally), Cingular GPRS and a Mac. Update: Tutorial is up.

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