Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Howto Hack SprintPCS / Palm (pt3)

The moment of truth: Configure the Palm for network access via a paired SprintPCS phone.

At this point, our Palm has a trusted connection to the phone via Bluetooth, but no way to tell the phone to get it online. We need to establish a Network Service over which we can connect. The fastest way to configure the connection is from the Preferences screen, and selecting Network.

Tap New and change the name from "Untitled" to "SprintPCS" (the name is arbitrary). The username will be the device phone number. The password is the same password used to access the SprintPCS account management website. If you do not know the website password, you can do another human engineering hack: Call Customer Service and tell them you can need to know how to access your phone's e-mail account via your browser. The password will get reset in the process.

It is best to save the password in the device, as the connection will only give you a few seconds to respond to the prompt. Tap the word "Prompt", enter the password in the window, and tap OK. For connection type, select "Edit Connections...".

We will need to couple the Network Service to the Trusted Device. Tap New and select a new name-- perhaps the phone's model number. Change "Connect To" to "Phone" and "Via" to "Bluetooth". Now we will identify our Trusted Device, by selecting Tap to Find. In the new window, select the Trusted Device configured in the previous section. Tap OK to return. The model will remain "Standard GSM".

Next tap Details, and change the speed to 115,200. A tap of OK returns to the Edit Connections screen and another tap of OK will prompt for a confirmation. Tap Yes to make this the default connection. Tapping Done will return to the Network screen. Clicking Connection should now show us the option we just defined. Highlighting the option will select it.

The box labeled "Tap to enter phone" will open a new window. First try the number #777. (Yes, the pound symbol is part of the phone number.) Tap OK to save the number. If #777 does not work, you may need to use #999. To test the settings, tap Connect.

If the connection is properly defined, the phone will open a window indicating "Connected as data modem". The Palm will display a window indicating "Connecting", "Signing On", and lastly "Established". Once the connection has been tested, tap Disconnect. This should return the phone to the service screen.

Now lets test the system in production. Tap the Home Icon and select Web to launch Blazer. Input the URI http://wap.oa.yahoo.com and tap Go. The Palm should connect to the phone, and load the page.


1. The phone will not remain connected. This is correct-- and good, as it will allow incoming calls.
2. IT is normal for the Palm to take up to a minute to establish a connection.
3. When done, it is best to turn Bluetooth off. This prevents an application from trying to bump you off a call, and makes your device more secure.

So... Is it worth $959.76? Probably not.

I do, however, have one more trick up my sleeve. Before we go that route, we need to get a laptop running Red Hat Enterprise Linux on the network. Stay tuned.

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