Tether Android to Ubuntu for free Internet

A couple of weeks ago I was without Internet (thanks to AT&T), and was forced to go to Starbucks to check email and commit work I had done. While I like going to Starbucks, it was not the best working situation for someone who works from home.

Since I have an Android (HTC Evo) I thought about USB tethering the device to my laptop and Internet sharing, but Sprint hits you with a $29.95/month fee to use that option.  Since I am completely able to work locally without a connection to the Internet, I decided to tough it out and wait until AT&T figured out their mess and got me turned back on.

Fast forward a couple of weeks later… (yes, I am back on the net)

I found some neat applications for my phone that enable someone to bypass the tethering options that Sprint charges for.  One popular application is PdaNet, but it is limited to Windows and Mac. (For those who are still limited by those two platforms, give PdaNet a try.)  Another application I stumbled across called EasyTether has Linux support, so I gave it a try. (I am actually writting this blog post while using it)

The application for the Droid was available on the Droid Market Place, and their website has the Ubuntu file available for the PC connection. http://mobile-stream.com/easytether/drivers.html

I installed the “Lite” version from the Droid Market Place (FREE!!! but limits you to non-SSL pages, unless you pay the $9.99 for the full version) The application walks you through the couple of simple steps needed to use it, and even gives you the address above to get your Windows/Mac/Ubuntu/Fedora up and running.

Once I installed the DEB file on my laptop, after downloading it, all I had to do was connect my phone to USB and open the connection via command line.

The command to link up is:

easytether connect

Now the next time I am without Internet I am ready. 🙂

HTC Evo com.htc.bg problem

So about a month ago my HTC Evo started giving me an error message almost every time I looked at the phone. The message was “The process com.htc.bg has stopped unexpectedly. Please try again.” or something similar to this. It didn’t seem to cause any problems, so I simply clicked the “OK” button and moved on. However, it was a pain the butt to do this almost every time I tried to do something on the phone.

There was nothing that jumps out at me as a single cause for this new error. Some on the web stated it was due to the 2.2 upgrade, but I upgraded to 2.2 almost 3 months prior to getting this error so I know that was not it. I tried un-installing a few apps that I installed around the time it started, but that didn’t work.

I searched the web and found many solutions ranging from turning off the Facebook auto sync, turning off the weather auto sync, and other such things. But basically I think it is a shame to turn off features on the phone to fix a problem. I mean why would I buy a super cool phone, then turn off features that caused me to buy it in the first place to solve a problem? It just didn’t make sense to me.

A couple of days ago I finally had enough and decided it was time to back up the contacts and other data to the SD card and reload the phone to the factory settings. Doing it was easy. Simply click the Menu button, then select Settings. Then I selected the SD & phone storage option, and at the bottom is the Factory data reset. From there you follow the prompts and watch the phone reboot a couple of times. After about 10 minutes I had a brand new phone again.

Of course it took me a bit longer to reload the apps i wanted, and restoring the contacts. But it is done.

So, I still am not sure what caused the error, but it is not happening any more. Problem solved, and I still have all of the nice features I wanted without disabling them.