On the topic of software and firmware updates, a much more exciting (and a much less reported) update that has been recently released a firmware and Connection Manager update for the Novatel Wireless Sprint broadband card (ver. 3.08.029).

The reason I write about this is two fold – one, I had written pretty extensively on this forum about the broken update that was last released by Sprint. A number of Novatel Wireless card users faced the issue of the Connection Manager constantly dropping connectivity and the card freezing up.

I had found a solution that involved using the Windows Connection manager and circumventing the Sprint software entirely.

I upgraded to the new version yesterday – and I am happy to report that the upgrade works flawlessly. After the update late last night (in a hotel room in Reston VA), I used the aircard extensively for some office work that involved downloading presentations of significant size and then fooled around youtube watching random, useless videos – and I it worked like a charm. I didn’t get disconnected once during the process. To be entirely sure, I left the connection on overnight, downloading my share of podcasts on iTunes. I wake up in the morning – and sure enough, the connection was still on despite being idle for a majority of the night.

Also, there are changes to the Connection Manager GUI – the Connection Manager window now clearly displays whether the established connection is EVDO or Rx1TT( the slower, legacy CDMA data transfer protocol)

All in all, a very positive experience. I will test the Connection Manager and the firmware update out during my Amtrak ride back to New Jersey tomorrow evening. I can’t possibly think of a better test of a broadband network’s strength and the robustness of the equipment than being on an express train and constantly monitoring the performance.

Will report about that in a later post.

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