Stompbox: HowTo Switch to Sprint Merlin S620 Linux

Just a quick notice about switching to Sprint from Verizon.

So far the network is more stable but not a lot faster. I don't get disconnects at all on Sprint where I'd average 2-3 per day on Verizon. I don't yet have an external antenna adapter and I'm pretty sure that will help with the speed. It helped a bit with the Verizon speed but not stability.

Getting switched over was very easy and just took a couple minutes. I changed the USB IDs for the modem. Check in dmesg or /var/log/messages for these values after you plug the card in the first time. Modify this line in /etc/modules:

usbserial vendor=0x1410 product=0x1110

There were minimal changes to /etc/ppp/peers/1xevdo:

/dev/ttyUSB0
230400
debug
noauth
defaultroute
usepeerdns
crtscts
lock
persist
maxconnect 0
lcp-echo-interval 30
connect '/usr/sbin/chat -v -t3 -f /etc/ppp/peers/1xevdo_chat'

I don't think I made any changes to the chat script /etc/ppp/peers/1xevdo_chat:

TIMEOUT 120
'' 'ATZ'
'OK' 'AT&F0'
'OK' 'ATE0V1'
'' 'AT+CSQ?'
'OK' 'ATDT#777'
'CONNECT'

BitTorrent vs BitKeeper [fiction]

The first clue to middle management that something was terribly wrong came when Bill Farun, CEO, stormed into Jim's office demanding to know why some 12 year old in Prague had our source code.

The answer to that question is as humorous as it is scary. Round about 6 months ago Jim, one of those managers who clawed his way to the top because of his incompetence, had just returned from a lunch meeting with a friend. He called us all into his office, and there we sat, desite the cramped quarters and struggling ventilation, listening in horror as he proceeded to tell us all how BitTorrent would save our failing development life cycle.

It appears that his friend had describe the joys of working with a version control system called Bit Keeper and the cool ways they were using BitTorrent to reduce bandwidth costs of shipping huge ISOs to their customers. Somehow Jim came to the conclusion that these were two forms of a similar product and instead of paying for a Bit Keeper license he decided that we'd use the free and totally cool bittorrent.

Cast aside now the notion that we'd had already worked up and submitted a migration plan from CVS to Subversion. I'm convinced that he accidently deleted the plan and wasn't willing to admit it. Every time someone would suggest that Subversion was a better choice he would go off on a rant. He even went as far to Google for complaints about subversion and quote them back to us every time it came up.

Somewhere about 3 months ago I think Jim finally realized that the P2P app BitTorrent and the version control software Bit Keeper were not anywhere near the same product but his pride and ego dictated that he continue to force the decision upon us. His demeanor changed but his resolve and determination didn't budge.

Just two months ago Jim finalized his plan to use BitTorrent as a version control system. It involved a publicly reachable tracker, thankfully hosted on our server but in the DMZ, a few ugly bash scripts, and a code of ethics. "Ethics!?" I screamed, looking at the other developers, "Did he say ethics?". Then turning to Jim I said, "You mean to tell me that our entire version control system is based on trust and some voodoo code of ethics?" Jim beat me down with that shut-up or you'll be coding COBOL for the rest of your life look. I decided then and there that following this path was much more hazardous to his career than mine so I shutup and listened.

Obscurity was the key to our security. Jim couldn't figure out a way to make BitTorrent secure (the VPN maybe?) so he just told everyone to keep the address quiet. I'm not entirely certain how the first leak occured, maybe a network sniffer in a hotel lobby, maybe the laptop that was stolen, or maybe some careless chatter on IRC late one night, but regardless of how, it did happen. Three weeks to the date of implementing Jim's brilliant plan the entirety of our intelectual property was sitting on a publicly accessible warez server in Prague.

Last I heard Jim was coding COBOL for the insuance company across town.

HOWTO – Cancel a Verizon EVDO Contract Without Paying

VZW-Letter.png

There is a simple and nearly foolproof way to get out of a Verizon EVDO contract without paying the early termination fee.

Use a lot of bandwidth. Lots and lots of movies, music, and CD images. Don't do anything illegal or unethical, just hit youtube.com, video.google.com, Flickr and last.fm. Watch movies, listen to streaming audio while you watch the movies, load up hundreds of pictures in browser tabs while you listen to streaming audio and watch movies. Download a few ISOs from ubuntu.com before you go to bed to keep the love going all night long.

Be sure to chew up at least 10GB in a month. That might be difficult if you have crappy service but if you persist I'm sure that you can do it. If you need some help and run Linux, try the following command from a shell: "wget -p --mirror --span-hosts --timeout=30 http://yahoo.com/". About the same time your disk is full you should be getting a letter in the mail from Verizon like this one.

Of course all this is just hypothetical advice and any encouragement to actually follow these steps is purely in the imagination of the reader. I don't condone or encourage these actions. If Verizon chooses to stop waiving the early termination fee it's not my fault and you will probably have to fork over the bucks or hire a good lawyer. I'll leave it to you to decide which is cheaper.

[UPDATE]
Looks like Verizon is putting the brakes on a mass exit:
http://www.evdoforums.com/viewtopic.php?t=2366&postdays=0&postorder=asc&start=135

Heads up everyone verizon is changeing all customers contracts I just left vzw and signed up with cingular now with vzw if you make any changes to your plan you will have to commit to at least 1 year contract or if you now get terminated for using to much data while under contract you will have to pay the E.T.F. here is the new contact that vzw sent me.

Note about Verizon Wireless’ Broadband Access

Just an FYI for anyone considering using Verizon's Broadband Access.

I just received a termination notice from Verizon for using too much bandwidth. The letter states that I used more than 10GB in a 30 day period. I called to protest and the representative that answered the phone told me that such high usage was proof that I was violating their terms of service by watching streaming video and music. I checked my past bills and I've used 6.3GB per month for the last 3 bills. They count both incoming and outgoing bandwidth.

I've read up on evdoforums.com and it appears that 10GB in 30 days or 5GB per month for 3 months is the trigger.

Verizon has no dispute process, once you get the letter they will cut you off and there is nothing they will do about it. No warnings, one strike and you're out.

As for my network access I'm signing up with Sprint now since they actually advertise great for streaming video and audio right on the features page. I also haven't heard of anyone getting term notices from Sprint for high usage.