[FoRK] M$fi and the palm pda

Tom Higgins < tomhiggins at gmail.com > on > Sun Dec 10 21:37:34 PST 2006

I wound up eating over at the taco del mar on MLK tonight and found a
M$fi(metrofi) tenna perched over the intersection outside the window.
I pulled out the palm lifedrive [1] and got down to testing out the
whole "pda's need to buy the premium service" line M$fi is telling
folks[2].

I did the usual scan and connect for the AP, no problem. i opened up
the web browser, blazer [3],  and went to any page. i was redirected
to a m$fi auth page where in a 99 year old self employed femake making
150K a year signed in.....no problem. i waited for the next page to
load, that being the msn page, moraly ugly but technically still no
problems. i then called up a bookmark to a site i frequent
and........

No problem. The banner ad was proportional to the page thus a small
section on top. I turned my browser on to fast mode (no grfx and no
css layout) and no banner other than a tiny img tag. Every 15 mins or
so i got a full page ad that redirected to what i was really trying to
get to....no problem.

I opened up the iRC client, upiRC and connected to the ptp irc
server...no problems.
I browsed around using a smb browser..no one was sharing anything so
no results but no errors either.

I was then told to either get my face out of the palm and eat dinner
or my wife was going to dump salsa on my head...ok so this was the
only problem..The palm was put away.

So basically the palm worked great with not a hitch or hiccup. The
experience when compared to a PTP node though was not so hot. Yes i
realize I am not the most objective judge of this but I did try to
keep an open mind about things. With a PTP node there is the initial
splash scree and then your off doing what you want without a "and now
a word from our sponsor" injected banner on the page or in some cases
as a full page redirect. The M$fi auth was a tad nosey about what it
wanted to know about me. Age, income, do I rent or own...year you can
almost see your email address (required) being sent off to various
spam lists:)-. Yes   i realize this is how they think they are going
to make money...but in the week since the launch we already have posts
about simple adblocking in firefox doing away with the banners and the
ability to put in any old info in the nosey auth doing away with any
useful data they might get to resell.

And the Myth of PDAs not being able to browse and thus needing the pay
services...BUSTED.

Id like to hear reports from other PDA users experiences.

The bottom line...if there is a PTP node around that gets my use. If
not and I want to deal with the nosey auth etc i will use m$fi and
hope maybe someone will but up a PTP in that location.

-tomhiggins

[1]  http://www.palm.com/us/products/mobilemanagers/lifedrive/

[2] http://www.metrofi.com/general_faq.html
"Can I connect any 802.11b/g wireless device such as a PDA to the
MetroFi network?
Only devices that support an advertisement banner can authenticate and
connect to the MetroFi wireless network for Free. However, if you are
a current paying customer, you should be able to access MetroFi
network in your coverage area with any 802.11 enabled mobile device.
Please contact us with the MAC address of the mobile device that you
are trying to connect to the network.

Subscribe with MetroFi for $19.95/month for high-speed Internet
service with no ads and surf in your network area with hand held
devices such as the Sony Play-Station(r)Portable, PocketPCs (Asus,
Dell Axim, HP iPAQ), PDAs (LifeDrive, Tungsten C, Palm, Clie), or
other wireless 802.11 devices to the MetroFi network."

[3]  http://www.palm.com/us/products/mobilemanagers/lifedrive/blazer.epl

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