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Thread: How to: Using Boost Mobile low cost internet on a Mac

  1. #1
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    How to: Using Boost Mobile low cost internet on a Mac

    I'm posting this thread from my Boost Mobile Motorola i455 phone and my Mac Mini.

    I've been following Purdoom's excellent Boost Mobile thread but the discussion is for Windows users. I wanted to access the net on my Mac using Boost Mobile. Why?

    Boost mobile is pay as you go. You put money in it and you're good until the money runs out or 3 months. You can add data access, giving you mobile internet for just 35 cents a day or about $10 a month, no limitations. End of story. It's slow, but all I really want to use it for is to broadcast my car's position using the built in GPS in the phone and the mologog application and perhaps use it to refresh the Google Earth cache when it runs out. It appears to be fast enough for that.

    I only have a cell phone for emergencies so I really could care less what the per minute rate is. I'm not going to burn it up talking on it anyhow. After poring through a lot of posts, I got it working. Here's how.

    1. Purchase the Boost Mobile Motorola i455.

    Approximate cost $60. It comes with $10 of free airtime. The i455 is an iDen phone, which means it goes faster in urban areas with that type of service (it's on Nextel's network). Too bad I live in the sticks and won't benefit from that very often.

    2. Purchase a USB data/charger cable for the phone.

    Approximate cost $20. The first one I bought didn't fit even though the ad said it would. The proper model number is NNTN5405. Make sure you get the right cable. Thanks to Thanatos for the link. I found a Buy It Now on Ebay and got the right one.

    3. Activate the phone and make sure you add the data service to the plan.

    4. You'll need to do two things to make the modem active, then you'll have to set it up. First, get a modem script for the iDen phone. I found my script here: OSX Hacks. Follow the instructions to put it in the Library/Modem Script folder.
    Restart the computer then plug the phone into the cable and the cable into the computer.

    5. Second, you have to tell OSX to activate the new connection. You do this by going into the System Preferences-->Network panel. You should see this
    .

    Now you want to choose the "Network Port Configurations" in the drop down list next to "Show:" You'll notice that the phone shows up with a blank name.


    That's your phone but don't worry about renaming it just now.

    6. Now that OS X knows about the phone, you need to set up a location that allows you to use it in the car. I found that the easiest way to do this was to use the Assistant.

    A. Click on "Assist me..." at the bottom of the window and you'll see a window that asks you if you need assistance. [insert image You do. Click on the "Assistant..." button.


    You'll see a window that asks you to name a new location. I chose "Motorola i455" as my location name. Click "continue".

    B. You'll be asked how you connect to the internet.



    Choose "I use a telephone modem to dial my ISP". Click "Continue".

    C. The assistant requires you to enter stuff that isn't necessary. All you really need is the ISP Phone Number, but the assistant requires you to enter an account name and password. Since they don't matter, I chose "Mobile" as my account name and used "some" as my password. You can use whatever you want. The only thing that really matters is that you use S=2#777 (I've also heard that S=2 also works) as the ISP Phone number.

    Click "Continue".

    D. Now you tell the Mac which modem script to use. From the drop down, find "Motorola i85 iDen". It it isn't there, you have forgotten to put the modem script in the Library-->Modem Scripts folder or you have put it in the wrong place. Also, check "Ignore dial tone". Click "Continue"


    E. The assistant will now show you a confirmation screen and give you an opportunity to try to connect to the internet. Go ahead and do it. If everything is working properly, Internet Connect will open up and you'll see the following as it connects to the internet.



    The assistant should confirm for you that you are connected to the net under the location name that you picked.



    You can now surf the net, pick up your email, run Google Maps, etc. Whatever you can do with the net, as long as you are willing to do it S-L-O-W-L-Y (I get 2400 baud here in the sticks).
    7. When you are not using your modem, you can switch back to your old configuration by choosing Apple-->Location and selecting the proper location. In my case, you can see that "Automatic" is my out of the car configuration.



    When you want to use the modem again, switch back to the Motorola i455 location.

    8. One more thing you want to do before you are finished, is to set the modem up so its ready for the car. Go back to "System Preferences-->Network and select that blank line in the "Show:" drop down that represents your phone. It should look like this:


    9. Select the PPP tab and then the "PPP Options" button and check "Connect automatically when needed, uncheck "Disconnect if idle for 10 minutes" then click "OK"

    Close the control panel and make sure you answer "Apply" when it asks you to save the changes.

    That's it! You're now online with the net from the car for 35 cents a day! Check email, use iChat, surf, just really slowly. Too slow for you? Try Verizon's EVDO for $70 a month. It's much faster.

    ************************************************** *********

    Update: I have installed Mologogo on the Boost Mobile phone. Now you can see where the iBug is at all times. Go here to see where it is right now!
    Attached Images Attached Images  
    Quote Originally Posted by ghettocruzer View Post
    I was gung ho on building a PC [until] just recently. However, between my new phone having internet and GPS and all...and this kit...Im starting to have trouble justfiying it haha.
    Want to:
    -Find out about the new iBug iPad install?
    -Find out about carPC's in just 5 minutes? View the Car PC 101 video

  2. #2
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    Sweet dude. I wrote a post asking about mobile internet a while ago and this is awesome. I will do it as soon as I put the screen in my car, that's the hardest part of my install.

  3. #3
    Low Bitrate mr2mac's Avatar
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    Thats great!

    Would this be possible via bluetooth connection? I have a samsung D900 and gave up trying to use it as a modem. I have a data cable but no drivers for mac.

    Might have to give it go, again.

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    I don't really know. I'm standing on the shoulders of giants. I just read a bunch of stuff other people figured out and managed to get it to work on my phone.

    The mologogo app is a nextel app, so I don't think it would work for you. As far as using the D900 as a modem, the best bet would be to try checking into it at Howard Forums to see if anyone has done it themselves.
    Quote Originally Posted by ghettocruzer View Post
    I was gung ho on building a PC [until] just recently. However, between my new phone having internet and GPS and all...and this kit...Im starting to have trouble justfiying it haha.
    Want to:
    -Find out about the new iBug iPad install?
    -Find out about carPC's in just 5 minutes? View the Car PC 101 video

  5. #5
    FLAC PURDooM's Avatar
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    Excelent writeup bugbyte! As a new mac user (just got a used powerbook g4 back in october) this is very usefull to myself.
    Current projects: iGmod reloaded (Latest release) (put on hiatus indefinatly)

    Unlimited Internet and gps tracking for $6 a month with boost mobile!

    Carputer 2: www.lmaocar.com

  6. #6
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    Glad I could help. Your thread inspired me to try and figure it out.
    Quote Originally Posted by ghettocruzer View Post
    I was gung ho on building a PC [until] just recently. However, between my new phone having internet and GPS and all...and this kit...Im starting to have trouble justfiying it haha.
    Want to:
    -Find out about the new iBug iPad install?
    -Find out about carPC's in just 5 minutes? View the Car PC 101 video

  7. #7
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    Boost in action

    Update: I've had a chance to try the whole setup out in the car. As Purdoom said in his original Boost post - this is craptons better than I thought it would be.

    My goal with this was to get Google Earth, using G2GE, my GPS and the mobile cell modem to work together inexpensively. I can tell you that it does work -better than I had expected.

    Today I drove around town with the whole setup running, using the phone as both a cell modem to supply the map data on Google Earth while simultaneously running mologogo on it to transmit my location to a website in real time (see a link to it in my signature).

    Because I set the modem configuration to connect when needed, I didn't have to tell it to dial up and connect. I thought I would, but when I opened Internet Connect, it was already online. I used the connection to pull up the mp3car web page (natch) and also to pull up the mologogo position page. It was a little weird to use the device that was transmitting my location to also pull up the web page that was displaying it, but there you go! All for .35 a day.

    I didn't check my email but there shouldn't be any reason it wouldn't work.

    Only once did I have a glitch when an error message popped up that said the connection was terminated due to the other side not responding. I don't really know how it would fair on a lengthy trip where you were going in and out of coverage. I wonder if you would have to clear that error all the time or if there is a way to suppress it.

    I wonder also how hard it is to write an app that checks if the net connection is good or not and reconnects if its dead.

    Anyhow, I have to say that for the price its a pretty sweet deal!
    Quote Originally Posted by ghettocruzer View Post
    I was gung ho on building a PC [until] just recently. However, between my new phone having internet and GPS and all...and this kit...Im starting to have trouble justfiying it haha.
    Want to:
    -Find out about the new iBug iPad install?
    -Find out about carPC's in just 5 minutes? View the Car PC 101 video

  8. #8
    Maximum Bitrate pepsibobby's Avatar
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    when i click on the link it dosnt work...in your sig.
    Cant code cause I dont know how, but give me the paint bucket and my eraser and have at you!

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    Admin. Linux loser.
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    Hmm. I just clicked it and it worked.
    Quote Originally Posted by ghettocruzer View Post
    I was gung ho on building a PC [until] just recently. However, between my new phone having internet and GPS and all...and this kit...Im starting to have trouble justfiying it haha.
    Want to:
    -Find out about the new iBug iPad install?
    -Find out about carPC's in just 5 minutes? View the Car PC 101 video

  10. #10
    Variable Bitrate daclothe's Avatar
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    Spotted bugbyte @ 09:23 PM on 03/31/200
    it's working!

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