Tethering my AT&T Tilt to the Eee PC

Car Geekery

As John was behind the wheel this past Saturday, I had many hours to burn; thus, I decided to try my hand at getting tethering working. I was attempting to tether my AT&T Tilt (HTC Kaiser II) with my Eee PC 1000 running Ubuntu Jaunty 9.04. When I was buddy breathing (IE Charging) the Tilt off the Eee PC the night before, I had noticed that it showed up as a wired network connection to the Ubuntu – tinkering ensued. I spent about 2.5 hours google’ing around under PIE (Portable Internet Explorer… sigh) on the Tilt while trying to find an answer. This is especially difficult on a tiny screen; visiting sites not designed for a mobile device; and then of course there’s the cell service dropping periodically.

Anyway, I plugged in the phone and found out that it did indeed act like an Ethernet adapter to the computer, and even provided it an IP address via DHCP (169.something). I could ping the phone, but that was about it. I had remembered previously a “modem” application of some sort on the device so I found it, WModem Modem (Under Start > Settings > Connections) and launched that. Whenever that was enabled, the phone stopped providing network service and Ubuntu picked it up as an iPaq on ttyUSB0. I spent a good long while tinkering around here with the assumption that I could simply dial the phone like any normal modem. I found out that under Jaunty if I right clicked Network Manager and clicked Edit Connections there was a tab titled Mobile Broadband. I added some connections; thankfully, they had pre-made ones for AT&T and AT&T w/ Tethering. That was cool… so easy… but… I couldn’t dial them. I’m not a newb, but I don’t know what the new dialer is called apparently (and many applications are hidden in Netbook Remix, as far as I can tell). I spent a longggg time trying this approach but eventually gave up, being unable to dial the connections.

As I had exhausted all possible google’s that I could think of centering on Ubuntu, I switched to the phone. Then came the magical google ‘internet connection sharing at&t tilt‘. As it turns out the HTC Kaiser II comes with an application called “Internet Connection Sharing” (which I had seen mentioned elsewhere), but it is removed by AT&T and replaced with that god awful “WModem Modem”. Luckily for me (and you) the handy hackers at XDA Developers have ripped it out and provided the cab for download!

You can get the application on the XDA Forum (Login Required) or by my local mirror.

It is damn simple to use, and worked like a charm for me. Download the .cab to your device (via computer then ActiveSync, or just PIE it up directly from your device). Install the CAB. Launch Internet Sharing (Start > Programs). Make sure your USB cable is already plugged in. Click “Connect” and enjoy. For me, it kicks out the Phone<->Computer connection momentarily and comes back with the computer assigned to a 192.168 address. At this point the computer is online using the phone as a gateway. Shiny!!! While I didn’t conduct many “benchmarks” other than actually using the connection (offline Gmail is extremely handy for its flaky connection mode), I can say that when I did an apt-get install (while in full 3G coverage in Sacramento) I got a max of 100KB/s download; I was floored. Granted the average was much slower, but 20-50KB/s for a mobile connection is still awesome. It was enough bandwidth to pull up and watch the Caltrans Live Traffic Cameras, which were helpful for our trip, but that is a story for another post.

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3 Responses

  1. James says:

    I just looked this page back up because last night I found how to get online with the internet coming in from the phone to laptopA, which passes it to laptopB (both ubuntu boxes).

    So shoot me an email and I will be glad to help you find the file on your Tilt.

  2. Jon says:

    Yea, I think ICS is the best option since it works with EVERYTHING. I didn’t know that ICS was actually on the phone already, I couldn’t find it – but it is great that you did.

    I recently got a hold of a HTC Fuze and while I haven’t tried to tether it, it has ICS easily accessible so I predict no issues with that either.

  3. James says:

    Great Tip!

    I do this same thing on my HTC Tilt and Ubuntu. On the tilt, the Internet Connection Sharing is buring in the Windows folder on the phone, and named something very arbitrary.

    What’s handy is that you can just copy and paste it to a more convenient directory and use it to tether with AT&T quickly and painlessly on your phone.

    I am a serious dog enthusiast and use it while working on my website about dog training (quick plug http://www.alphadogwiki.org ) if I’m on the road.

    I didn’t have much luck with the WModem or AT&T w/ Tethering Option in Ubuntu, and ICS seems to be the best way.

    Good Post!

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