Dial-Up Internet Anywhere

Use your Treo 650 to connect your laptop to the Internet, even if the carriers say it can’t be done

by John B. Carnett
John B. Carnett

Dept.: Void Your Warranty
Tech: Treo dial-up
Cost: Free
Time: 10 minutes
Dabbler | | | | | Master

If your Treo 650 can connect to the Internet, and your laptop can connect to your Treo 650 via Bluetooth, shouldn´t you be able to get online with your laptop, anywhere you get a cell signal, using your Treo as the conduit?

In fact, you can. The function is called dial-up networking (DUN), and your Treo has it. You just can´t see it. Instead, when you click on your phone´s Bluetooth screen, you get the screen at right, without DUN. Why? Sprint says it´s because PalmOne, the Treo´s manufacturer, did not have the correct DUN drivers when the Treo launched. Cingular says the same thing.

But Matthew Fogle, a telecom IT worker and hacker who goes by the name Shadowmite, doesn´t believe them. That´s because he pulled apart the Bluetooth system file inside the Treo and found that the DUN option was there; it was simply programmed not to show up. So he modified the file and surprised the frustrated Treo community by posting it on a treocentral.com forum.

Fogle says he´ll pull the instructions and hacked files from his site (shadowmite.com) if the carriers ask him to, but a Sprint spokesperson says that although it´s not supported, enabling DUN with the hack will not violate your terms of service. Check out the instructions below, and start dialing in.