Laptop Question

I was wondering if I could get some pointers on mobile communication equipment. I recently bought a IBM ThinkPad T22, and need to know what type of PC card, data cables, etc I need to access the internet in the car. I use Nextel as a wireless service provider. Do I need to purchase equipment from them, or can I go buy the stuff at an electronics store? Obviously, this is my first time owning a laptop, so I'm sort of clueless on the internet aspect of things. Thanks
 
go online and get a wilson trucker antenna that fits your phone - but first contact your provider and make sure your phone supports data
or get an edge card (I dont like em - cant beat a kickass antenna)
better get going this process can take some time - plan on a week or two minimun
 
Thanks for the info. I spoke with Nextel today, they said I have to buy a data cable and software for the laptop in order to access the internet. From what I gathered, one end of the data cable hooks into the USB port, and the other goes into the phone and that's basically how the mobie modem works, which kind of didnt make any sense because I thought you have to hook something into the integrated modem, and insert some type of PC card. I'm just going to take the laptop into the Nextel store and have them show me what all needs to be done with it. The internet plan itself is rather pricey, $54 a month, but it comes with unlimited access and doesnt use your plan minutes. This should be interesting.
 
Ok good you have a data phone....
and letting them set it up on your laptop is the only way to go to get it handled because the software can be glitchy - and after they get you going you may find you want to get that Wilson trucker antenna which plugs into your phone too - because reception in the plains states is NOT like where you live - in fact its non exsistant at times....(so get a nowcaster back home for backup)
well keep us posted and good luck!
 
The old phones didn't have a modem built into them (not sure if thats proper technology explanation but thats the idea behind it)... with the newer phones they all have modems built into them so you don't need the PCMCIA modem cards anymore. Only with the older phones.

The problem with this is that the new phones are all obtaining data over the digital signals. Although this means much higher speeds, it means that your connectivity range is usually much less than it used to be with the older, slower analog phones with PCMCIA modem cards.

I know some chasers have been looking for the older phones, buying them off Ebay and such so they can get an analog connection to depend on. AT&T is a great company for such a service.

However, I am very much a fan of the digital age. I like the higher speeds and can deal with not having coverage *everywhere*. Fortunately for me, I live in Minnesota and SprintPCS has outstanding digital data coverage just about everywhere in this state. I believe its pretty good in Oklahoma as well. Cingular seems to be taking the cake though since they just merged with AT&T and are sharing technology.

One last point I wanted to mention is that it was my impression that external antennas really don't do much for digital signals. I was told this once, and have found that I never really benefitted from connecting an external antenna. I may be wrong, but I think this is more of a benefit if you're planning on an analog connection.
 
Well, we had a thread on cell phone antennas and there were a number of guys running the Wilson antenna direct to their cell phones with pretty good results - the best results were having the antenna WITH an amp - my thought are if you can get ANY more signal its worth it (only a $70 invetsment plus mount) Ill know more next month
Good Luck
 
I finally got everything setup, after bouncing through hell and high water with Nextel :x . After playing telephone games with their tech support for 8 hours, I finally found out that all I needed was the USB data cable and the Dashboard internet access software from the phone company. I have it all setup now and everything is running fine. I finally have use of my SwiftWX and F5 data programs. From what Andrew was saying in his post, the digital coverage is pretty good in most areas. I travel to Oklahoma rather frequently for business and chase purposes and have always had a reliable signal...even in the rural areas. The only dead spot I can think of off the top of my head would be the I-35 area between Emporia and Eldorado, mainly in rural Chase County, KS, other than that the signal is fine elswhere. Thanks again for the help guys.
 
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