Endlich Funkamateur

Ein Funkamateur, der das Hobby Amateurfunk betreibt. Also mit erfolgreich abgelegter Amateurfunkprüfung bei der Bundesnetzagentur und zugeteiltem Rufzeichen.

Die erste Berührung mit Funkgeräten waren japanische (CB)-Funkgeräte in ca. 1980. Ich habe die immer noch, natürlich stark zerbastelt, liegen in einer Kiste im Keller. Dann ca. 1985 bei einem Sommerkurs in der Bremer Kunsthalle: ein Kurs, in dem wir uns mit wenigen Bauteilen auf Reißzwecken ein Radio gelötet haben. Empfangsdraht an die Heizung, Stöpsel ins Ohr, bißchen drehen irgendwo, zack, der erste Sender im Ohr. Später dann – in Kenia – der erste Elektronikbaukasten, als sog. Short Wave Listener (SWL) täglich Radio hören, mit 18 irgendwann das erste Amateurfunk-Handfunkgerät in der Hand: Standard C168, das der mittlerweile leider verstorbene Funkamateur Hermann (DK8RT/5Z4RT) aus Deutschland organisiert hatte. “Wenn Du damit funken willst, musste aber die Lizenz machen.” Yo, will ich. Funkgeräte sind verlässlicher als die Telefonleitung im Haus, die in jeder Regenzeit den Geist aufgibt. Mobilfunk gibt es in Kenia zu der Zeit nur nach ETACS-Standard, für das in Kenia nur 2000 Leitungen/Nummern im System vorgesehen waren. Zwischen den vielen illegalen Kurzwellensendern aus Somalia sind auch etliche Funkdienste in Nairobi auf VHF unterwegs, die größtenteils keine Betriebsfunkfrequenz beantragt haben. Alleine, sie fallen weniger auf als die dicken Geländewagen der Vereinten Nationen mit ihren Kurzwellenantennen an den Stoßstangen. In einem Land ohne verlässliche Normen und funktionierender Infrastruktur sind autarke Kommunikationsmittel wie Funkgeräte eine sinnvolle Investition.

Standard c168
Nicht unser Auto, dafür mit etwas längeren Haaren, hippem FjällRäven-Rucksack und dem geliebten Handfunkgerät Standard c168: JKE in ca. 1994 bei Maralal in Kenia.

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Kommentare Werktags nur von 8 bis 19 Uhr.

Zwei Artikel unter vielen, die mich im Oktober unterhalten haben und die ich gerne teilen möchte:

23 Thesen zur Zukunft der Medien – von Jochen Wegner

Digitales Leben – oder: Eine Frage der Lehre

Wie gerne hätte ich auch hier kommentiert, jedoch:

“Wir wollen die Qualität der Nutzerdiskussionen stärker moderieren. Bitte haben Sie deshalb Verständnis, dass wir die Kommentare ab 19 Uhr bis 8 Uhr des Folgetages einfrieren. In dieser Zeit können keine Kommentare geschrieben werden. Dieser “Freeze” gilt auch für Wochenenden (Freitag 19 Uhr bis Montag 8 Uhr) und für Feiertage.”

Bei einer derartigen Betrachtungsweise – nicht nur bei der sueddeutschen.de, die Zensurversuche gibt es auch beim Spon & Co. – sowie der selten gelebten Diskussionskultur (in Deutschland meinem Empfinden nach nicht wirklich existent bzw. zu faschistoid oder zu schwarz-weiß), spare ich mir viele Kommentare und denke an den Spruch meiner Mutter: “Junge, wer soll das alles lesen?”.

Am Wochenende zumindest niemand.

#youknowyourKenyan

twitterkenyaA Twitter meme, started by Alen Wekesa (@iAlen), a Kenyan resident in Tanzania, on how to know you’RE Kenyan.

In chronolocigal order, just because some of them are so true. Incomplete, mixed-up list as of 08. September, lunch time, RTs (re-tweets) not included. Enjoy + pls feel to add some more, either via a comment or via Twitter.

  • @zionafrika #youknowyourKenyan when you arrest all youngest with dread locks for the clam that they are mungiki member
  • @jke #youknowyourKenyan When a conversation with another Kenyan goes like this: “Ah, so you’re from Kenya? Where from?”
  • @jke #youknowyourKenyan in the diaspora when your folks in Nbo only call you to ask for kitu kidogo or for that *urgent* Paypal transaction
  • @Udisco #youknowyourkenyan when you call every City/Town Council “Kanjo”…
  • @jamesmurua #youknowyourkenyan When your roadside maindi dealer doesn’t have pili pili and you raise a hissy fit.
  • @bytebandit #youknowyourKenyan when you meet a childhood playmate who had one of those nicknames e.g. toi, boi, mdogo etc
  • @mkaigwa #youknowyourkenyan when you call your daughter “Mum” and your son “Daddy” #buthowwouldiknowidonthavekids?
  • @majiwater #youknowyourkenyan when customer serivce agents always have an excuse and blatantly deny responsibility for not delivering service.
  • @tchenya #youknowyourkenyan when All children have annoying nicknames. (bebi, toi, boi, kadogo, nyako, dadie, toto, kanono, twig)
  • @tchenya #youknowyourkenyan when u don’t have genuine containers or utensils, you only use margarine, ice-cream Blue band, Kasuku, Kimbo
  • @africafeed #youknowyourkenyan If @coldtusker and @Kahenya accuse you of corruption.
  • @majiwater #youknowyourkenyan when ‘no’ or ‘I dont know’ dont exist in your vocab. You always have an idea or always an expert.
  • @majiwater #youknowyourkenyan when recycled and repackaged ‘visions’ and ‘dev plans’ since independence still give you hope of a brighter future
  • @mountainous @youknowyourkenyan when you belive that voting for the same clowns every year because they have defected to a new party will change anything
  • @mountainous #youknowyourkenyan when you blame TV for corrupting the morals of Todays Children yet you let them watch what they want.
  • @paulakahumbu #youknowyourkenyan when you laugh at how bad things have gotten here… sad sad sad
  • @Kizee_Brian #youknowyouarekenyan if traffic lights are just a suggestion and you do what you want anyway #youknowyourkenyan
  • @tchenya @mountainous #youknowyourkenyan when youTotally agree with the wrong grammar #wearekenyan off course
  • @paulakahumbu #youknowyourkenyan when your politicians say “dont worry El nino will solve the drought problem” – praying 4 one disaster to solve another!
  • @Mkaigwa #youknowyourkenyan When you don’t remove the plastic cover from your remote, your car seats or your new mobile phone!!!
  • @mkaigwa #youknowyourkenyan When you don’t remove the plastic cover from your remote, your car seats or your new mobile phone!!!
  • @mkaigwa @paulakahumbu Hilarious! What about the fellas and ladies on Facebook using pictures of celebs (and having no other pics) #youknowyourkenyan
  • @mkaigwa #youknowyourkenyan when you want to say what another Kenyan wanted to say first @Tchenya I was just about to tweet that. #iknowImkenyan
  • @mountainous #Youknowyourkenyan when the only time you visited the game park was during a school trip (Sad!)
  • @paulakahumbu #youknowyourkenyan when you miss every deadline – Africa time is… ouch!
  • @paulakahumbu #youknowyourkenyan when you use a cute chick avatar on twitter and you’re a guy! Cheap stunt to get followers!
  • @tchenya #youknowyourkenyan when your follow #youknowyourkenyan instead of #youknowyouarekenyan
  • @tchenya #youknowyourkenyan when your radio station reads news from your daily newspaper and you still have to listen to news.
  • @mountainous #youknowyourkenyan if you are still waiting for the ‘Serikali’ to ‘give’ you a job! <== Kwani its an entitlement, look for it.
  • @mountainous #youknowyourkenyan when you complain about everything, power, roads, water, school, food, etc and do nothing!
  • @tchenya #youknowyourkenyan when you read #youknowyourkenyan tweets to understand who you really are
  • @jke #youknowyourKenyan when you are still waiting for Nyayo Car.
  • @mountainous #youknowyourkenyan when you insist on negotiating every purchase!
  • @inteligensia #youknowyourkenyan when you write tweets long enough that they continue next line (via @TChenya)
  • @tchenya #youknowyourkenyan when you use twitter instead of woofer.com
  • @tchenya #youknowyourkenyan when you write tweets long enough that they continue next line
  • @mountainous @youknowyourKenyan when you ask for a WARM BEER! This has been pointed out so many times by foreigners.
  • @paulakahumbu #youknowyourkenyan because nobody has a landline anymore
  • @paulakahumbu #youknowyourkenyan when your power is off 3 days a week and they double your bill , and you don’t say anything.
  • @careyeaton #youknowyourkenyan when you don’t question the publication of prices of sacks of vegetables in the newspaper.
  • @paulakahumbu #youknowyourkenyan when power company bills u wrongly by 20,000 & says pay & we’ll resolve the problem – or we’ll disconnect u immediately
  • @careyeaton #youknowyourkenyan when you tell foreigners that ugali is cuisine.
  • @mountainous #youknowyourkenyan when you must have a #HARAMBEE for everything! Amen!
  • @mountainous #youknowyourkenyan when you must have a #HARAMBEE for everything!
  • @Akarumba #youknowyourkenyan when your MP says ‘I dont earn a 6 figure salary, I only make 800,000!! – Unbelievable!
  • @careyeaton #youknowyourkenyan when the only thing you know what to do when you drive up to a gate is hoot
  • @inteligensia #youknowyourkenyan When you tell ignorant peeps that r runners keep fit by running to school, running from lions (via @paulakahumbu)
  • @mountainous #youknowyourkenyan when you groove to gospel tracks at the disco
  • @mountainous #youknowyourkenyan when you have worn a pair of safari boots
  • @Akarumba #youknowyourkenyan when your MP says ‘I dont earn a 6 figure salary, I only make 800,000!!
  • @paulakahumbu #youknowyourkenyan when a hole in your ear works like a “KWS smart card” – know what I mean? Free park entry 4 life!
  • @paulakahumbu #youknowyourkenyan when you actually take that 500/- before entering the poll booth…and then vote for the idiot!
  • @paulakahumbu #youknowyourkenyan when you proudly wear shorts, long socks safari boots and say “I’m from Keeeeenya”
  • @paulakahumbu #youknowyourkenyan When you tell ignorant peeps that r runners keep fit by running to school, running from lions – I do it all the time :)
  • @paulakahumbu #youknowyourkenyan coz billions r made by foreigners fm biopropsecting and none of it comes home – stonewash story
  • @RookieKE #youknowyourkenyan when your mother’s sitting room has all your graduation potraits,and she wants more.
  • @paulakahumbu #youknowyourkenyan when you pay a processing fee then fly to Nigeria to collect your “winnings” in an online lotto scam – WTF?
  • @inteligensia #youknowyourkenyan because our politiians s think ‘blog’ is a rude word (via @paulakahumbu)
  • @VIKKISECRETROXS #youknowyourkenyan when you’re disapointed at the “chai” lattes at Starbucks and you wanna go home everytime you think of REAL tea
  • @VIKKISECRETROXS #youknowyourkenyan when Obama being president is a reason to drink
  • @MosesKoinange #youknowyourkenyan when you drink on the beach and feel NOTHING hahahaa
  • @paulakahumbu #youknowyourkenyan when you can’t work without a steaming cup of tea at your side
  • @paulakahumbu #youknowyourkenyan because our politiians s think ‘blog’ is a rude word
  • @paulakahumbu #youknowyourkenyan when u shake ur fists at pedestrians as ur matatu overtakes traffic by hurtling down pedestrian paths on major highways
  • @paulakahumbu #youknowyourkenyan when you put 5 teaspoons of sugar in each of your ten cups of tea – then wonder why u got diabetes
  • @mountainous #youknowyourKenyan when you start reading the newspaper with sports, then stars, then cartoons………
  • @paulakahumbu #youknowyourkenyan when the boss of your online company talks about the ‘interweb’ in a fund raising meeting – ouch!
  • @davdalx #youknowyourkenyan when you say your instead of you’re, but still follow the trend
  • @bytebandit #youknowyourKenyan when you say “imbox” while referring to “inbox”
  • @gishungwa #youknowyourKenyan if you bargain everything including bus fare
  • @bytebandit #youknowyourKenyan when you see a commuter taxi aka mathree conductor hanging precariously on the door.
  • @mountainous #youknowyourKenyan when you have peculiar calling habits eg jamming the network promptly at 5PM every Friday
  • @paulakahumbu #youknowyourKenyan when you get used to washing in a bucket
  • @paulakahumbu #youknowyourKenyan when the presidential escort rounds roundabout wrong way crashes into matatu beats up driver 4 risking presidents life
  • @paulakahumbu #youknowyourKenyan when you realize your convent school classmates are involved in corruption scandals – gr8 education!
  • @paulakahumbu #youknowyourKenyan when peeps greet you with their twitter names in public – “Hi I’m miss Wretched” @misswretched gr8!
  • @paulakahumbu #youknowyourKenyan when most of ur tweeps greet u in the morning n ask if you slept well :-)
  • @natekev #youknowyourKenyan when international artistes fail to show up in ur country days to their concert
  • @dnyaga #youknowyourKenyan when you speak #swanglish (Me i kulad, i somad, … , then i lalaad!) (via @mtotowajirani @kenyanpundit @intelligensia)
  • @bytebandit #youknowyourKenyan if you get an adrenalin rush and dance like whoa!! when the DJ hits a gospel track in the club.
  • @bytebandit #youknowyourKenyan when someone says “crips” instead of “crisps”
  • @Wyndago #youknowyourkenyan when you utter half a word in the middle of a sentence just to complete it ‘..then he ca..? He came’
  • @inteligensia:#youknowyourKenyan when you speak #swanglish (Me i kulad, i somad, i twittered, then i lalaad!) (via @mtotowajirani)
  • @kairitu #youknowyourkenyan when some random mamaz show up at your house and tell the mboch “tumetumwa na mwenye nyumba tuchukue gas,fridge….etc”
  • @mountainous #youknowyourkenyan when you sin all week long and expect that going to Church, listening to Christian music on Sunday will erase it all
  • @gitts #youknowyourkenyan when you buy a Toyota yet you wanted a Subaru
  • @gitts #youknowyourkenyan when the car in front of you is a Toyota
  • @kairitu #youknowyourkenyan when you cant wait for mayoral elections to happen coz most definately cityhall watauana
  • @AkelLove #youknowyourkenyan when you’ll take anything that’s free.
  • @AkelLove #youknowyourkenyan when your president is senile.
  • @gitts #youknowyourKenyan when you pronounce heart, hat, hurt and hut the same way
  • @kairitu #youknowyourkenyan when the goverment announces an emergency vaccination then the parents go like “they want to make our kids sterile”
  • @gitts #youknowyourKenyan when you have a VHS tape of Sarafina in your digs
  • @gitts #youknowyourKenyan when you are surprised that the road doesn’t have any potholes
  • @gitts #youknowyourKenyan when telling a story you say half aword and wait for it to be completed
  • @gitts #youknowyourKenyan when you have a dog called simba and mbwa kali sign on your gate
  • @gitts #youknowyourKenyan when you pronounce Milo me-lo instead of my-lo
  • @gitts #youknowyourKenyan when every time you alight from public transport you have to check your pockets
  • @inteligensia #youknowyourKenyan when your neighbours kids are called ocampo, obama and bolt! (via @mtotowajirani)
  • @magaribina Si #youknowyourKenyan when you somehow manage to turn every third sentence into a question, yeah ?
  • @magaribina #youknowyourKenyan if you measure distance by shillings ( si mbali – ni thirty bob tu)
  • @MosesKoinange #youknowyourKenyan when someone shows up 2 hours late and says ‘don’t worry, it’s African time” (time to kill them!)
  • @mountainous #youknowyourkenyan when the whole village (including the chief) come for your graduation ceremony and insist on decorating you with Tinsel!
  • @mountainous #youknowyourkenyan when christmas lunch or any party isn’t complete without Chapatis
  • @mountainous #youknowyourkenyan when you expect “Serikali” to do everything for you, feed, educate, cloth, employ, treat. Heck even pay your Dowry!
  • @mountainous #youknowyourkenyan whenever you asked by a TV reporter about any calamity/problem you respond starting with “Serikali inapaswa kusaidia…..
  • @wilfylou #youknowyourkenyan when you say excusssss instead of excuse me.
  • @mountainous #youknowyourkenyan when you ask for a salary advance the week after payday!
  • @mountainous #youknowyourkenyan when your ultimate concept of going out is Nyamachoma in a dingy joint while grooving to Mugithi/Benga/lingala
  • @mountainous #youknowyourkenyan when you think only people from Central love money, We ALL love money!!!!!
  • @mountainous #youknowyourkenyan when you actually believe HIV/AIDS only infects unmarried/loose/poor/uneducated people
  • @mountainous #youknowyourkenyan when you insist on staying on the more expensive, unreliable, congested cellphone network
  • @egm_photo #youknowyourKenyan if you complain about the dirty condition of the streets/roads, yet you toss stuff out of your car window free style!
  • @iAlen #youknowyourKenyan when you send a hot chick credit and she flashes you back to just say thanks!
  • @iAlen #youknowyourKenyan when you can’t get your grammar right even in the hash-tag @paulakahumba
  • @mountainous #youknowyourKenyan when you stop the matatu infront of your gate then spend all day bitching about how Matatu are causing jam
  • @mountainous #youknowyourKenyan when you wait till the last minute to do your back to school/christmas/household shopping
  • @mountainous #youknowyourKenyan when you flash someone and when he @ she calls back you only say you wanted to say Hi!!!!
  • @mountainous #youknowyourKenyan when you call someone just to ask ‘uko wap?’
  • @iAlen #youknowyourKenyan when someone insists there only one First family and Wambui et al know otherwise…..
  • @iAlen #youknowyourKenyan when you call State House and the person on the other end goes, “You want a srap?” lol
  • @bnalyanya #youknowyourKenyan when you can’t get your grammar right even in the hash-tag
  • @iAlen #youknowyourkenyan when on Sunday Kibaki didnt go to kabarak for sunday service!
  • @iAlen #youknowyourkenyan in Tanzania having a Tusker and its just tastes like crap!
  • @iAlen #youknowyourkenyan when your in Tanzania and wabongo are speaking in Swa!
  • @Shiko_Msa @iAlen @paulakahumbu @crystalsimeoni when peeps queue at express counter with trolleyfulls #supermarkets #youknowyourkenyan. @toneendungu
  • @iAlen @Shiko_Msa @crystalsimeoni @Mwirigi #youknowyourKenyan when there’s no news on the news (its the same old same old) haha
  • @iAlen @Shiko_Msa @paulakahumbu @crystalsimeoni RT #youknowyourKenyan when goodbye’s end in “nice time”…uh…yeah you too…
  • @Mwirigi #youknowyourKenyan when there’s no news on the news (its the same old same old)
  • @crystalsimeoni #youknowyourKenyan when goodbye’s end in “nice time”…uh…yeah you too…
  • @iAlen @paulakahumbu #youknowyourKenyan when you say “Hello” and he answers “fine” …what the hell do you say next? hahahahahahahahaha
  • @iAlen @kainvestor@Shiko_Msa @paulakahumbu RT #youknowyourKenyan when someone calls you and says “who am I speaking to?” hahaha
  • @paulakahumbu #youknowyourKenyan when you get back from holiday and your manager says “your back from China?”
  • @iAlen #youknowyourKenyan when you’re next door neighbour is a Mungiki adherant and you cant report it to the authorities
  • @paulakahumbu #youknowyourKenyan when someone calls you and says “who am I speaking to?”
  • @iAlen #youknowyourKenyan when you start negotiating for you wallet from the pickpocket on a mathree
  • @paulakahumbu #youknowyourKenyan when being able to say “I’ve never given a bribe” is something worth getting a prize for
  • @iAlen #youknowyourKenyan when you steal from public coffers and get reappointed Minister
  • @paulakahumbu #youknowyourKenyan when you say “Hello” and he answers “fine” …what the hell do you say next?
  • @iAlen @queenkenya562 @MosesKoinange @paulakahumbu #youknowyourKenyan when you call a parastatal and the receptionist goes, “kunatia?”
  • @paulakahumbu @Shiko_Msa nice one …and #youknowyourKenyan when she says “Imagine” in response to every statement
  • @iAlen #youknowyourKenyan when you call a parastatal and the receptionist goes, “kunatia?”
  • @Shiko_Msa @paulakahumbu when the word ‘otherwise’ is a greeting #youknowyourkenyan?
  • @paulakahumbu #youknowyourKenyan when police refuse your offer of pie in a bag in response to “can u give us something for lunch” – I did that :) ha ha
  • @paulakahumbu #youknowyourKenyan when police get into ur car 2 get 2 next police check then offer u KSh 200 for fuel – 4 hours later!
  • @paulakahumbu @ialen #youknowyourKenyan when the radio DJ tells a crying woman who called in to stay with her brutal husband for the sake of the kids :(
  • @paulakahumbu #youknowyourKenyan when the breakdown service truck is being towed – I saw that today!
  • @paulakahumbu #youknowyourKenyan when the traffic police are push starting their car
  • @paulakahumbu #youknowyourKenyan when u turn on radio and they r playing Roger Whittaker – we must b the only people on the planet who listen to that crap
  • @iAlen @paulakahumbu #youknowyourKenyan when you get “leave a message” when you dial 911 lolest @moseskoinange @ialen @kainvestor
  • @paulakahumbu #youknowyourKenyan when they give you anti malaria pills for a headache
  • @paulakahumbu #youknowyourKenyan when you get “number out of service” when you dial 911 or KWS hotline for that matter
  • @paulakahumbu #youknowyourKenyan when you get “leave a message” when you dial 911
  • @paulakahumbu #youknowyourKenyan when you tell the guy who jumped the q to go back to the end and he says “do you know who I am?”
  • @paulakahumbu @moseskoinange @ialen @kainvestor #youknowyourKenyan when ur warned “uta lala ndani” for worn tyres
  • @iAlen #youknowyourKenyan when Michuki rattles at you and you cant do anything about it!
  • @iAlen #youknowyourKenyan when half of the MP’s in the house have past criminal convictions! ouch!
  • @iAlen #youknowyourKenyan when 17 screaming cars 42 bikes with flashing lights pull traffic off road 2 let Rais attend to a golf lunch on a Monday
  • @wayneryner #youknowyourKenyan when you rape, steal n kill and expect your kids to love n respect you
  • @paulakahumbu #youknowyourKenyan when 17 screaming cars 42 bikes with flashing lights pull traffic off road 2 let Rais attend to a golf lunch on a Monday
  • @iAlen #youknowyourKenyan when F 2 is beckoning at midnight
  • @iAlen #youknowyourKenyan when your listening to Genge!
  • @iAlen #youknowyourKenyan when Kenyans dont know about twitter Trending Topics and cant contribute…..hah
  • @iAlen #youknowyourKenyan when karaos on night patrol arrest you and ask for your grandfathers ID….
  • @iAlen #youknowyourKenyan when Museveni attacks Migingo and Kibaki is comfortably sleeping and doing nothing about it
  • @iAlen #youknowyourKenyan when the First Lady goes srapping journalists at mid night….i wirr srapp you
  • @iAlen #youknowyourKenyan when you are enjoying succulent nyama choma at Dagoretti Corner or Olepolos….yummy
  • @iAlen #youknowyourKenyan when you hear your President saying Kubaff in public…lol

Know of any other reasons that fit into this meme? Go ahead and comment or participate by adding a “#youknowyourKenyan” to your Tweet!

(Twitter logo based on the wonderful work of Gopal – thx!)

3x 3G modems

I recently bought a new notebook (HP 6930p) and made sure it also comes with extra antennas (next to the WLAN antennas on top of the display) so that I could install a Wireless Wide Area Network (WWAN, pictured below) adapter which I had to buy separately.

P1030684
HP un2400 wwan adapter on the HP 6930p

The good part about this wwan adapter – an HP un2400, also known as Qualcomm Gobi 1000 – is that it supports different frequency bands so it can work in many different parts of the world. This, however, and maybe that it is hidden under a cover inside this computer so you don’t have to carry extra gadgets, is the only good part about this modem.

My other computer is a netbook which also has a wwan modem – an Asus eeePC 1000HG. Just slip in your SIM card (underneath the battery), boot into WindowsXP or Ubuntu and you’re ready to go online, simple as that.

P1010641
HUAWEI EM770 Mobile Broadband modem on the eeePC 1000HG

The HP un2400 modem on my HP notebook, though, will ONLY work when the (main) battery is inserted. HP names “carrier certifications” as the reasons for this requirement as:

  • This prevents SIM fraud
  • This prevents any possible corruption if the SIM is removed while the notebook PC powers on

Yeah…right.

Just to remind you: the 3g modem on my Asus eeePC will work either way – whether the battery is inserted or not, it just works.

And then there’s this thing called “Firmware” – which also is a very peculiar process on the HP modem. Whereas most gadgets will normally come with their own (preloaded) Firmware (which may or may not be updated by end users), this Qualcomm Gobi modem requires an initial load of the firmware prior to its use (HP’s Connection Manager will take care of this under Windows XP). Once you restart your computer, you will have to reload the firmware. The only possible reason for this – to my understanding – is that it enables the modem to adjust to different wwan environments. But that’s about it. Needless to mention that you won’t find any drivers for this device for Win7, and I’ve only come across a few users who managed to get this device working under Ubuntu after lots of fiddling.

And again, no problems with my netbook & its Huawei EM770 3g modem. Real plug & play, regardless of the operating system.

“So where’s the problem?”, you may ask, “aren’t laptops/notebooks and netbooks designed to be run from battery power anyways?” – Well, yes, BUT! I always remove the battery on my notebook when I’m about to connect it to a stable power supply for a longer period. Like when I plug it into the docking station at home, I always remove the battery. I do this to save it from being constantly charged. It’s a precaution that helps me keeping the battery at ~90% initial charging capacity after three years usage (as seen on my old HP nx8220 notebook). It’s a proven method that worked for me and saved me from spending another EUR 80,- on a spare battery.

And the worst part about this wwan adapter is that HP locked the BIOS to _ONLY_ use these modems. It wouldn’t be possible to use the 3G modem from the eeePC on the HP notebook.

Alternatives

Now, this is the part where I actually want to talk about alternatives to these internal solutions, which are often still considered to be the optimal solution. As described above, it’s a not-so-perfect solution for those who want to use other operating systems then Windows XP and/or Vista. It’s an epic fail that HP still needs to realize. An epic fail on all of their “EliteBooks” as HP calls this series (HP 2530p, 6930p, 8530p).

The eeePC I have is also available without such a 3g modem – the price difference used to be EUR 100,- less. People (not me, I got it cheaper :-) actually paid this difference in order to get a netbook with an internal 3g modem. As for the eeePC, the price difference is (was) justified as you had to cough up about the same amount for an external modem some time ago.

However, now, in September 2009, things are a bit different. Be it Germany or Kenya, you’re actually able to get an external USB-based 3g modem for something like EUR 20,- to 30,- – which is a decent price, I’d say. Sure, you could even get it for less (in Germany) if you go for a 24month contract with a network provider but I am only talking about prepaid solutions here.

E169
the popular Huawei E169

And these USB sticks are the very reason for blogging all this. I think that these external 3g modems are still the best solution for the following reasons:

  • they are supported by different operating systems & often well documented on the internet
  • they often come with their own software so you won’t have to worry about that part
  • power consumption on these devices is moderate, also because they are easier to remove (and wouldn’t require a software switch on the OS) – just unplug them
  • some of these sticks come with an extra socket for an external (UMTS) antenna
  • some of these sticks come with an extra flash memory capacity
  • they are relatively cheap these days
  • they can be used on more than one computer – just unplug them and hand them over to your friends (provided you have an unlimited data plan)

The disadvantage of course is that you’d have an extra device at the side of your notebook which blocks one of the often limited USB ports.

In the past I’ve also used thethering my Nokia phone to the computer and using its 3G capabilities to surf the net; and on my old & beloved (and now sold) HP nx8220 notebook I had used a PCMCIA (PC-Card) version of these 3G modems which I blogged about earlier. The PCMCIA version worked fine, albeit the PCMCIA port being known for quickly draining the battery (which also became obvious as it heated up pretty quickly). My new HP notebook has an ExpressCard slot, so this could also be an alternative if USB ports are really limited and already used for other devices.

To be honest, with this limitation of the internal 3G modem on my HP 6930p to Windows XP & Vista (and probably also Win7 one day), I’d probably go for another machine in future. I actually don’t know about the 3G modems on a Dell E6400 or Lenovo T400(s) – all of them seem to come with a Gobi device these days -, but I hope they aren’t as crippled as this Qualcomm Gobi? HP uses on their EliteBooks.? And signal strength (RX/TX ratio) actually isn’t so much better with the internal antennas which have to compete with the WLAN antennas for the limited space above the display. However, I understand that it isn’t the modem which sucks (some websites claim it even comes with an internal GPS chip?!) but rather HP’s policy which prevents us from using alternative operating systems and even locks the system down to this device only.

And with my policy of drawing a clear line between user data and the operating system + hardware, the external USB modem is just so much more convenient. It’s a plug & play device that adds modularity & flexibility to the system.

telefonische Erreichbarkeit zum Festnetztarif

In 2008 haben die meisten Internetsurfer ein Konto bei Skype, Gizmo oder anderen sog. Internet Messaging Diensten. Der große Nachteil von Skype & Co ist jedoch, dass man nur online erreichbar ist (PC muss online sein), eine Weiterleitung auf ein Telefon kostenpflichtig ist und/oder bei Skype zB eine lokale Nummer – wenn überhaupt – nur gegen Aufpreis erhältlich ist. Außerdem ist Skype recht teuer – mal abgesehen davon, dass niemand weiß, ob der Dienst wirklich so sicher ist. Mein Kumpel KP sagt mir, dass Skype in China abgehört wird. Für unsere instant messaging Kommunikation zwischen Dland & China verwenden wir daher einen privaten & verschlüsselten Server in Deutschland.

Wem das jetzt alles zu kompliziert ist und wer einfach nur telefonisch über eine Festnetznummer erreichbar sein möchte, kann sich entweder einen Telefonanschluss legen lassen, einen entbündelten DSL Anschluss mit VoIP Telefonnummer beantragen oder einen O2 Handyvertrag mit zusätzlicher Festnetznummer für den Bereich im Umkreis des Wohnortes klarmachen. All diese Varianten gelten aber nur für einen festen Wohnsitz.

Wer wie ich öfters umzieht, mobil bleiben muss aber trotzdem auf den Komfort einer Festnetznummer nicht verzichten möchte, dem sei folgende Alternative ans Herz gelegt, die ich nach 4 Jahren Gebrauch wirklich nur empfehlen kann:

Sipgate.de

sipgate logoBei Sipgate.de gibt es nach der Registrierung & Verifizierung durch ein Ausweisdokument eine kostenlose Festnetznummer (sofern verfügbar), über die man dann erreichbar ist.

Und zwar weltweit.

Früher hatte ich hierfür immer eine Bremer Telefonnummer, mittlerweile habe ich eine Frankfurter Nummer beantragt – der Wechsel fand innerhalb von 2 Werktagen statt! Neben Sipgate gibt es in Dland natürlich noch ein paar andere Anbieter, allerdings gibt es nicht überall eine lokale Festnetznummer. Lokal bedeutet hier: eine 069 Vorwahl für Frankfurt am Main (statt bundesweit einheitlicher 0180er Nummer).

Weltweit bedeutet: überall wo ich einen (breitbandigen) Internetzugang habe, bin ich über meine Frankfurter Telefonnummer erreichbar. Wenn ich also über die Weihnachtsfeiertage nach Bremen fahre, kann ich mein Telefon dort anschließen und bin weiterhin über die Frankfurter Nummer erreichbar. Gut für mich, gut fürs Geschäft. Weil: eine Festnetznummer ruft man schnell mal an, eine Mobilfunkrufnummer dagegen rufen nur diejenigen ungehemmt an, die keine andere Möglichkeit haben oder für die ein Anruf netzunabhängig gleichteuer ist. Anrufe ins Festnetz sind also oft günstiger – daher möchte ich auch übers Festznetz günstig erreichbar sein.

Hier in FFM habe ich ein Targa VoIP Telefon direkt über LAN an den DSL Anschluss des Vermieters angeschlossen. Wer kein eigenständiges VoIP Telefon hat (gibts bei eBay ab 30,- EUR), das so wie mein Telefon ohne den Umweg eines aktiven Computers direkt an den DSL Anschluss angeschlossen werden kann, greift alternativ zu seinem besseren Nokia Handy, dem iPhone oder anderen Handys, für die es eine Softwarelösung gibt. Um die ganze Funktionalität auszureizen, habe ich den Sipgate Anschluss natürlich auch auf meinem Nokia N95 Handy konfiguriert. Wenn ich jetzt also meine Frankfurt Festnetznummer anrufe, klingelt es gleichzeitig auf meinem VoIP Telefon in Bremen (natürlich grad nicht eingesteckt), auf meinem Targa VoIP Phone in Frankfurt und auf meinem Handy. Ideal!

Zwei weitere Gründe, die für Sipgate sprechen:

a) die Sipgate Website ist komplett personalisiert:
Konfigurationseinstellungen werden pro Endgerät personalisiert dargestellt, d.h., ich sehe eine Seite mit Screenshots für zB mein Handy und den nötigen Einstellungen, die nur für mein Sipgate Konto gelten. Das ist echt super praktisch!

b) Wer lediglich erreichbar sein möchte, zahlt nix.
Erst wenn man selber über Sipgate heraustelefonieren möchte, muss man sein Konto bei Sipgate aufladen. Dies kann später auch automatisch geschehen, zB bei Unterschreitung des Guthabens eines bestimmten Mindestbetrages.

Selbstverständlich gibt es bei Sipgate auch einen netzbasierten Anrufbeantworter, eine Faxfunktionalität (Faxe verschicken & empfangen) und eine eigene (vorkonfigurierte!) Softwarelösung für den PC.

Wer wirklich nur günstig übers Internet telefonieren möchte und wem die Erreichbarkeit über eine Festnetznummer egal ist, fährt natürlich mit InternetCalls besser. InternetCalls gehört zur Betamax GmbH, die auch VoIPStunt , VoipBuster und SIP Discount betreiben. InternetCalls hatte ich vorletztes Jahr auf Empfehlung von TurboDave ausprobiert, eine recht günstige Alternative. Wer eine Fritz!Box am DSL Anschluss betreibt und fürs Sparen ein paar Umstände in Kauf nimmt, kann je nach Bedarf einen günstigen VoIP Anbieter aussuchen (zB Anruf von Dland nach Kenia aufs Handy kostet bei Sipgate 0,35€/min und bei InternetCalls 0,19€/min.).

Für Entwicklungshelfer und andere Exildeutsche ist ein Sipgate Konto + Erreichbarkeit unter einer deutschen Festnetznummer (bei vorhandenem Internetanschluss) meiner Meinung nach die beste Wahl. Vor allem auch deswegen, weil sich die komplette Abwicklung der Buchhaltung und Einstellungen bei Sipgate online erledigen lässt und flexibel genug ist, Änderungswünsche zeitnah umzusetzen.