Tag Archive: howto

Non-Samsung USB Wireless Adapters on Samsung TV – How to

We recently purchased a 40″ Samsung LCD TV (Model No LA40D550) to replace our Jurassic era 29″ Flat screen CRT TV here in India.

The new Samsung TV is pretty cool. Frankly, I did not expect so many features in it! Has 4 HDMI inputs along with a host of other traditional connectors…and 2 USB inputs. You can connect any USB storage device & it plays a good variety of videos including h.264, divx, avi, wmv..etc and ofcourse mp3s and images.

Although this model is not a SMART TV, one cool feature is that this TV supports DLNA! Samsung calls it AllShare.

Well, what that means is, from a Windows 7 PC, one can stream movies/music to the TV. Also from the TV, one can browse & view the media thats on a DLNA server (windows 7 has it built-in). Also, now a days, other devices support DLNA (like my Mobile Phone – HTC Desire HD). So basically, I can play the video that I have on my phone on the TV. And for all this to work you need a WiFi network (works on a wired network as well, but who needs wires :D).

Now, to enable wireless DLNA on this TV you need to purchase the optional Samsung Wireless Adapter – LinkStick (WIS09ABGN), which is a total rip-off at Rs.4500 just for the adapter. Its basically a WLAN adapter, which is Samsung branded. Other 3rd party adapters are available for Rs. 1000 or less but the TV does not recognize it.

So, now for the interesting bit on how to get a Non-Samsung wireless adapter to work on this TV!!… Here are the steps that I followed…(the easiest approach that I could find)

  • Did some research on the Internet & found that the Samsung USB Wireless adapter (WLAN) was basically using a Ralink chipset within it – RT2870 to be precise. So, basically, the TV has the drivers required to control or interact with that chipset. Oh, the TV internally runs on Linux if you were wondering.
  • Now, I had to find a USB WLAN adapter which had the same chip. Did some further search on the internet and found that the Edimax EW-7718Unuses the exact same chipset. Did a quick search on eBay India & found one from Rs. 949 including shipping. Two days, and I had that adapter to play with!
    • You can find other WLAN adapters from other brands too, but make sure that the chipset within it is the same Ralink 2870 chipset & the VID/PID can be changed via the EEPROM (more on this a bit later). Also, please keep in mind that these devices come with different hardware revisions and each revision can have a different chipset. So, you need to be a bit careful here. It won’t burn your TV down if you plug an incompatible USB WLAN adapter, but you will have a useless WLAN adapter with you :)
  • I tried pluging-in this Edimax EW-7718Un adapter to the TV directly and nothing happened. The TV did not recognize it. Then plugged it to my laptop.. and sure enough it was working fine. So, the unit was good.. but the TV was not recognizing it.
  • Did some search again on the net & found this wonderful site called SamyGo.Tv. Not for the faint hearted. Basically they have custom firmware and super cool hacks for Samsung TVs! How cool is that!! This page in particular was very helpful.
  • Every USB device has two identifiers VID & PID, which identifies the vendor and the product. These values are in the ROM and on many of the WLAN adapters, these values can be replaced or re-programmed (i.e, they are on EEPROM). So the TV is basically expecting the WLAN adapter to have Samsung specific vendor ID and product ID. Now we know what needs to be done to get the TV to recognize the Edimax Adapter!
  • So, basically, the Edimax EW-7718Un had the following values
    • VID = 7392
    • PID = 7718
  • For the TV to recognize the Edimax WLAN adapter, I had to replace the above values to the one present on the official Samsung WLAN adapter/linkstick:
    • VID = 04E8
    • PID = 2018
  • According to this wiki page, the recommended approach to make this change is to run some commands in linux, which re-programs the ROM. I searched for Windows equivalent tools to do the same, but could not find anything simple/easy.
  • Well, it had been a while since I had taken Linux for a spin and this was motivating enough to try the latest version of Ubuntu (release 11.1). I set it up in a Virtual environment & started following the instructions on the Wiki page. I quickly learn’t that the drivers did not compile on latest version of Ubuntu.. So had to download the older version of Ubuntu 10.4 and set it up. This time, the drivers compiled perfectly fine!
  • I would consider myself a beginner on linux..and I had to spend some time to figure it out. So, to help anyone else in a similar state, here is what you need to know…
    • The Linux OS by default does not have the necessary drivers for this Chipset (the Ralink RT2870).
    • You download the latest linux drivers from the Ralink website.
    • In the linux world, you need to compile the drivers. So, to do that you need to download the latest updates and development  tools (like the compiler etc) which are not installed by default when you setup Ubuntu/linux. The instructions for this are covered in the Wiki at SamyGo.tv
    • Once the drivers are compiled, you load the drivers using the insmod command (again covered in the Wiki)
  • Once the drivers are loaded, you can then run the command to re-program the VID & PID values in the EEPROM.
    root@localhost:~# iwpriv ra0 e2p 208=04E8
    ra0       e2p:0208=0x04E8
    root@localhost:~# iwpriv ra0 e2p 20A=2018
    ra0      e2p:020A=0x2018
  • Thats it!. Then I plugged the Edimax EW-7718Un adapter to the TV & Viola!!! the TV recognized it as a Samsung adapter without a hitch!
  • Then it was just a matter of selecting my WiFi network, and entering the security key (WEP/WPA/WPA2) and within seconds, the TV was on our home network, DLNA enabled!

Hope this guide is helpful! This should mostly work on the B series, C series & the D series Samsung TVs.

By the way, do check out the SamyGo.tv website & especially this wiki page for other ways to get WLAN adapters working (of other similar chipsets).

Standard Disclaimer applies: I am not responsible to any damage to your TV or the wireless adapter! :)

All the best!

Adding a 2nd HDD to Dell Studio XPS 1647/1645/1640 laptop

Our house was burglarized in early January, and we lost a whole bunch of portable electronics stuff. Our old fully loaded Inspiron 1420 too was a victim of this theft.

After that I was looking for a good laptop to replace it …. and finally ordered a Dell Studio XPS 1647. It took over a month and a half for Dell to ship the laptop and I finally received it last week. Its a pretty good laptop. However, Dell officially supports only one HDD on it. I wanted to use a SSD (solid state drive) as my primary drive for the OS, and then have a second HDD as secondary drive for bulk data storage. So, I bought a 60GB SSD drive and used it as the primary drive. SSD makes a HUGE difference in the performance. No more waits. The entire windows 7 installation was complete in less than 15 mins…  Its a major improvement in performance.

However, the problem is.. the SSD is way to expensive for now. For e.g: 60 GB SSD costs around $170 to $200… and larger capacities cost a fortune. I am pretty sure prices would come down eventually in a year or so.. But for now, I wanted a second HDD to store bulk data – like movies, HD videos that I capture, tons of photos from my dSLR ..etc.. and 60GB won’t suffice. Offcourse, I can connect an external HDD.. but its a hassle with the laptop. So, the search began to see if I could put a second HDD into this laptop. I had heard of people who had replaced their Optical Disk Drives (CD/DVD) with a HDD Caddy and have a second HDD.

So, I did some research on the net and across this specific thread on the notebook review forums, which I visit frequently. Thanks to the author of the thread, I could confirm that this could be done. But since Dell XPS 1647 is a new model (just released), .. no one had really done this, and I believe I am one of the first few to try this out. Not a big deals as such since 1647 is almost similar to 1645/1640 series (except for the processors) and some have reported success on those systems.

So, here is how I did it….. for all the hopefuls :

Pre-Requisites:

  1. Confidence to open your laptop :)
  2. HDD Caddy to replace the Optical Disk Drive – I got one from New Mode Electronics, which sells such caddys. This specific machine uses 12.7mm (height) slot-loading model with SATA external interface. You can buy it on ebay too for a cheaper price, but most of them ship from China and takes a long time to arrive.. and if there is a problem..its  a nightmare to return or re-order.
  3. A second HDD
  4. Dell Service Manual for Studio XPS 16 series – Specially how to replace the Optical Drive

Here is the Pictorial :
Click on each of the image below to see a larger image (in a new window)

Step 01 – Ready to Dismantle the Laptop
Dell XPS 1647 2nd HDD

Step 02 – Remove the Back cover (10 screws to remove)
Dell XPS 1647 2nd HDD

Step 03 – Remove the Rear caps (slide, and pull out as described in the dell service manual). Don’t apply force.
Dell XPS 1647 2nd HDD

Step 04 – Remove 14 screws (this is needed to remove the palm rest). On my system 10 screws were marked “P”, 2 were marked “K” and 2 were flat screws.
Dell XPS 1647 2nd HDD

Step 05 – Turn over, and remove the two screws to remove the palm rest. (Point to remember – once you are done, and when you tighten this later, don’t tighten it too much, else the plastic under it would crack). Once the two screws are removed, use the two tabs to pull out the palm rest (as described in the service manual)
Dell XPS 1647 2nd HDD

Step 06 – Disconnect the cables connected (by lifting the tab – again – its described very well in the service manual).
Dell XPS 1647 2nd HDD

Step 07 – Remove the cables connected (two of them). Now the palm rest is free & the motherboard and the ODD is visible
Dell XPS 1647 2nd HDD

Step 08 – View of the mother board and ODD
Dell XPS 1647 2nd HDD

Step 09 – View of the mother board and the 3 screws that need to be removed to free the OOD
Dell XPS 1647 2nd HDD

Step 10 – One screw at the back to remove the ODD. Point to note – the HDD caddy did not have this screw hole – but the HDD Caddy fits in place securely with other 3 screws.
Dell XPS 1647 2nd HDD

Step 11 – the ODD is now free – You can see the inter-poser (SATA to the motherboard pins) – simply pull it out from the ODD to set it free.
Dell XPS 1647 2nd HDD

Step 11a – View of ODD out of the system
Dell XPS 1647 2nd HDD

Step 12 – The ODD and the HDD Caddy that I got from New Mode Electronics. There is a component that is used on the ODD to secure it to the motherboard – This needs to be removed (2 screws) and put on the new HDD caddy as shown in this image.
Dell XPS 1647 2nd HDD

Step 13 – View of ODD, Securing Component, Interposer, and the HDD Caddy – all side by side.
Dell XPS 1647 2nd HDD

Step 14 – The new HDD caddy with the 500 GB Seagate HDD (that came with my system), interposer and the securing component
Dell XPS 1647 2nd HDD

Step 15 – Plug in the HDD caddy in the system and fasten the screws. From this point, its just a reverse process of putting things back in place (palm rest, screws, rear caps and the back cover)
Dell XPS 1647 2nd HDD

Step 16 – BIOS – now shows the second HDD !
Dell XPS 1647 2nd HDD

Step 17 – Window Shows the second HDD!
Dell XPS 1647 2nd HDD

Total time taken from start to finish (including taking photos..etc) –  60 mins!
So, there you go.. you now have a second HDD in your laptop.. hope this pictorial helps!

What if you want to use you CD/DVD drive ?
Well, I have ordered  a eSATA/USB to SATA cable. Using this cable, I can use my CD/DVD drive as an external driver (on the rare occasions that I use it!)

Dell Inspiron 1420 upgraded from Intel 3945ABG to 4965AGN

Well, we have a Dell Inspiron 1420 [did i mention that before? :)]………. and when we purchased it back in Nov ’07, it came with an Intel 3945ABG WiFi card. The Intel 3945ABG card supports speeds of upto 54 Mbps (802.11g). Its good for accessing the internet, but its slow when you do file transfers between nodes on the local network.

So.., over the past week, upgraded our home network…which involved:
1. Replacing my old D-Link DI-524 router with an 802.11n router
2. And replacing the WiFi Card on the laptop with an 802.11n capable card (Intel 4965AGN WiFi Link card).


Linksys WRT600N Router

For #1, I purchased a Linksys WRT600N router — which is a wireless-N gigabit dual-band router, with storage link — which means, you can connect a USB drive to it, and that drive would be available on your network! (kind of like network attached storage – NAS). So, now, my 750GB Seagate external drive is plugged into it, and all its partitions are now accessible wirelessly as a shared folders! (more…)

Setting up your own website/blog -101

Of-late I have been getting lot of queries on how to create a website/blog. Blogs and online journals have become quite popular with more and more people are getting into the blogsphere.

Naturally, the first thing that people look for is a free solution. And, when it comes to a free solution, the first service that everyone seems to come across is Blogger.com from Google. Yes. Its free. Even I used to host my blog on Blogger.com initially, but after using it for few days, the reality strikes you!. Its painfully slow and totally deprived of some basic features. So, you start your search for “something better”, or “something of your own”, and wonder how to proceed. That’s exactly where this post comes in. I hope that this post would be useful to all those people who intrested in knowing how to create or setup their own website/blog.

Now, if you are a nOOb and looking for just a plain simple blog, without the hassle of setting it up, buying a domain name etc, then I would suggest you try out WordPress.com. Its from the people at WordPress.org (more about WordPress later). Its cool, fast, and much better than blogger. But its basic stuff. Other option is to sign up at livejournal.com. If you are of the adventurous sort and interested in setting up your own site with a blog, read on…

Look Ma, Me got a Domain Name!
First thing that you would need is a domain name. That’s your address on the Internet. That’s how people will reach your site. So, the first thing that you would need to do is, register a domain for you.

Domain name registration typically costs anywhere between $6 to $12, or even lower depending on from whom you register it. I would suggest registering your domain name from either Website.in or domain.JodoHost.com. The money that you are paying is normally for one year. You can register your domain for more than one year too. Other big names in domain name registration include : GoDaddy (has some good deals at times, but do read the fine prints), Yahoo, Net4Domain etc.

The domain name is allocated to you almost immediately once you do the payment. Most of the registrars allow you to pay using credit cards. Its pretty simple and straight forward transaction. Once you register a domain name, you will be provided with a web-based interface to configure your domain name. Your contact information, nameserver information, whois information etc can be setup for your domain using this interface.

Maa, Where do I store my stuff ??
The next thing you would need is space to host your stuff. Again, I would suggest not to go for free hosting. Most of the free hosting folks normally don’t offer any support, and would normally place some Advertisement/pop-up windows etc on your page, which spoils the user experience on your site.

When it comes to paid hosting, you have two options again.

  • Shared hosting – Your site is hosted on a server which also hosts many other websites.
  • Dedicated hosting – The server is exclusive to you!

If your site is personal in nature, and does not receive major hits. (lets say not more than 1,00,000 hits per day), I would suggest you to go for shared hosting. Compared to dedicated hosting, shared hosting is much cheaper too. I would only talk about shared hosting from this point onwards.

What, Which, How, Where ?
Here are the next set of questions that would come to your mind…

What do I get as a part of paid hosting ?
What you get depends on from whom you buy. Normally, you get the following features for an entry level package. Or, in other words, these are the things that you have to look for when you buy a hosting package. I will try to explain what it means in plain english…

  • 200 to 400 MB of hosting space – This is quite a lot. My current site., i.e., this blog + some other pages totals to around 10 MB! That’s it! So 400 MB should suffice.
  • Multiple Domain hosting – This means that you can host multiple websites (different domains) in the space provided. It would be easy to manage multiple sites from one single account.
  • Around 5 to 10 GB of data transfer bandwidth – My site uses around 600 MBs of bandwidth per month. So, around 5 GB is decent enough. If you host lot of videos, jpegs or big files, then 5GB wont suffice. If your website is more of text, then 5GB is quite a lot. Tip: Host your images at a different host. e.g.: photobucket.com or flickr
  • Unlimited e-mail IDs – This is one feature that I love. With paid hosting, you normally get unlimited e-mail IDs on your domain. i.e., you can create ids that you like or want! Unlimited! e.g.: support@yourdomainname.com or junkmails@yourdomainname.com etc, which is quite useful to segregate mails. It also gives a touch of professionalism! You can typically ask the system to forward the emails that you get at a particular id to someother id (say gmail or yahoo), or store it in a mailbox
  • Unlimited mailboxes – with POP3 and IMAP access. So, you can check your mails using e-mail clients like Thunderbird or outlook
  • Database support – This is a MUST if you plan to start a blog on your site. Look for MySQL support. Most hosting providers provide this, but don’t consider it as granted.
  • Web-Based configuration for your site – All you need is just a browser to control your site from anywhere on this planet!
  • FTP access to your site – Very helpful if you want to upload lot of files onto the server. FTP can do it one shot without hassles
  • 24/7 Customer support – Very much needed. If something goes wrong on the server side, these people will help you out.
  • Daily backups – So that you dont loose your data
  • And other features – Other features that you can look for are things like – tools to analyze your log files, Scripts/readymade components, counters, custom error pages etc – Secondary or tertiary features.

So, that should give you a fair idea of what to look for when you buy a hosting package. Make sure that the space provided to you can be used interchangeably. i.e., make sure that you have control over how to split the 200 MB or 400 MB provided to you between e-mail/web space/database etc. So, lets move on..

Which One ? Linux or Windows hosting ?
The next dilemma comes when you have to selecting your hosting platform. Linux or Windows. Lot depends on what you plan to host in the space provided. If you plan to host ASP/ASP.net pages, then Windows is your only option. But, if you plan to host a blog based on PHP / perl etc, then you can either select Linux or Windows. I would strongly suggest to go with Linux option if you are not planing to use ASP/ASP.net pages.

The main reason behind my suggestion is, the stability and cost. Linux hosting is much more stable, faster and cheaper compared to windows hosting.

If you select Linux hosting, it does not mean that you must know Linux!! Its important to understand this. Its just that they use Linux on the server that host your files. In most of the cases, irrespective of linux or windows hosting, you get the same web-based interface to control/configure your site!

How much would it cost ?
For Linux based hosting, you should get packages which start from around $5 per month. i.e., around INR 2500 per year ($60), which is pretty much ok. Again some hosting providers would have better deals to offer. I am just giving you a rough estimate. For windows based hosting, packages start from around $7 per month.

Where do I buy the hosting space from ?
There are tons of hosting providers on the Internet. Some very good, and some rip you off. So, you should be very careful while you select you hosting provider. I would recommend one to do some check on some popular forums (e.g.: Web Hosting Talk etc) and get the feedback on hosting providers that you have short listed on.

My site is currently hosted with a provider called Jodohost.com. You can see their plans here : Linux and Windows. I have been with Jodohost since Feb this year, and have got a pretty good service so far, with minimal downtime and excellent support.

You can use this link to buy your hosting package from Jodohost.com

Other place that you can look for is : Website.in hosting. Website.in hosting lets you select what features you need. i.e., you can configure the features that you need online, and create a customized package for yourself. But compared to Jodohost, its a bit expensive. (for the same feature set).

There are tons of other places. So, go ahead and explore!


Connecting your Domain Name with the Space that you bought!

So, now you have two things with you. You have the address (domain name), and you the hosting space (provided by your hosting provider). You need to associate these two. This is something similar to associating your name with your telephone number. So that every time a person dials a number, you get the call!.

When you buy a hosting space, your hosting provider gives you something called as “Nameserver Adresses(es)“. Normally they give you two Nameserver addresses (some give up to 4). Make note of these address. If you are unable to find it, feel free to ask your hosting provider for it. They should provide you with this information.

Once you get the Nameserver addresses, go to your domain name administration interface. There, you should find a provision to specify these Nameserver addresses. (primary and secondary.. and more…). Enter the values and you are done. It would take anywhere between 24 to 48hrs for the changes to be effective globally.

On the hosting provider side, you need to tell the system that you are hosting your domain. i.e., you need to specify exactly which domain you are hosting, so that the server can name necessary arrangements to display the pages when someone enters your URL onto the browser. Typically, its a very simple job, which would take a couple of mins or seconds. (web-based wizard would be there mostly to help you out!)

So…From now on, when anyone types in your domain name into the browser, it would point to a folder in your hosting space!

To test it out, just upload a simple HTML file onto your hosting space (say index.htm) and enter your domain name in the browser! If you see the HTML page that you upload, congratulates!.. your site is up and running.

Content – Setting up your Blog / Site
Now, you can start uploading your files onto the server, and the changes should be visible immediately on your site via the browser. To upload files, normally, FTP access is provided. Some hosting providers also provide web-based access too. (quite helpful if you are behind a corporate proxy/firewall which blocks FTP ports!)

I assume that you would be more interesting in starting a blog or an online journal. The best software that I have come across for this purpose is called WordPress. You can get it from www.WordPress.org. Its ‘the’ software when it comes to blogs. Its very easy to setup, doesn’t take much of space, makes very efficient use of space, extensible with plugins and cool. And, above all, its a open source.

But before you start installing WordPress, you must setup a MySQL database, which would be used by WordPress. Your hosting provider would normally provide a web-based interface to create a database. Create a database user too with sufficient privileges to access the database. Once the database is setup, you can start the WordPress installation.

So, how much time do you think it would take to setup a WordPress blog ?
5 Mins. Yes. That’s correct. Just 5 mins.

WordPress Installation is pretty simple, and very well explained at the WordPress site. I wont duplicate that information over here. Its too simple and easy!

Only thing that you need to keep in mind is, the URL where you want your blog. If you want it under a separate URL like say … www.yourdomainname.com/blog/ then you need to create a sub folder called blog, and upload all the WordPress files out there. If you want it at www.yourdomainname.com then upload all the WordPress files at the root directory.

For any help on WordPress, you can visit the add themes to your WordPress blog to customize the look and feel. You can find a comprehensive list of themes available here.. You can also add plugins to extend the functionality.

Apart from the blog/content, you can also upload other things like your resume photo gallery etc onto your hosting space, and give different URLs for them!

Using the web-based interface provided by your hosting provider, you can also setup your e-mail accounts/ids and mailboxes.

Ma, Its easy. Ain’t it?
This post is pretty long, but the process is pretty simple. Point is, its pretty easy to setup your homepage without spending too much. I hope this post answers most of your queries!. Let me know how useful (or useless) this post has been to you in setting up your own homepage using the comments section below.

So, let the adventure begin!

Feedbacks most welcome.

Disclaimer: Some of the links to Jodohost.com in this post are affiliate links – if you sign up using these links I earn a small amount as a commission. It does not impact your sign up process as Jodohost. I genuinely believe that the services provided by Jodohost are great and recommend their packages based on my experience.

Update : Website.in was earlier directi.com. Directi.com is no longer into retail domain business.

iPod nano scratch problem (& solution)

Lot of buzz over the net about the scratch problem with iPod nano. My iPod nano so far has no major scratches as such. I haven’t yet removed the protective cover which came with the packing.

Basically, there are two problems..
1. Problem with scratches.
2. LCD cracking/braking.

Problem with scratches is the one that is more prominent, and the LCD cracking is a remote possibility, and apple has admitted that its a problem.

Solution to iPod nano scratching problem

  • If you have the scratch problem with you iPod, don’t forget to check this post on how a $4 can of brasso can make your iPod nano look brand new!
  • Create a home made iPod nano cover!. Download, print.. and your cover is ready. Click here for more info.

I think iPod nano is quite sturdy gadget. After the arstechnica’s endurance test on the nano a couple of days back, today, I came across this story titled “iPod nano vs Washing machine“! – Interesting.

Btw, lot of buzz about apple releasing new version of iPods (5th generation) in october.

Updated : On Oct 12th, apple is planning on a special event titled “One more thing”. We might see a Video iPod soon! (Check this link for a leaked photo!)

BSNL GPRS on Prepaid – How ?

Update – Oct 25, 2005: Finally my GPRS is working on BSNL Prepaid. Check update number 4 given below.

Does anyone knows how to activate the BSNL’s GPRS service for prepaid connections in Mangalore, Karnataka (south) ? Please leave a comment if you can help.

Here is what I have done so far (I use a Nokia 6600):

1. Sent a SMS to 3733 with the text ‘ACTGPRS’.
2. Received a SMS within a few minutes saying my request is received, and the message asked to wait for a confirmation SMS.
3. Confirmation SMS from +444 received tell me that GPRS and MMS service has been activated.
4. I called up the customer care for the configuration settings. They SMS’ed me the settings. (You can get the settings from : This Place too. Its available on the BSNL site too.)
5. Installed the settings. Its as simple as saving the SMS.
6. Tried to connect to the net using opera/netfront/services (built in browser), using the access point created by the configration settings.
7. It tries to connect, but so far no success. The GPRS signal indicator (the little “G”) blinks for sometime and then disappears. No specific error message.
9. Sent a SMS again to 3733 with the text ‘ACTGPRS’, to which I got a reply back saying, ‘GPRS and MMS services are already enabled’.

Has anyone successfully set this thing up ?

I have called the customer care, spoken to them ‘n’ number of times, but its of no use. Typical government stuff.

Any pointers to success would be really helpful.

Update 1 (Around Sept 19th, 2005) : BSNL customer care folks told me that the GPRS service is down for a few days and should be back online withing couple of days.

Update 2 (Sep 26th, 2005) : Called up local customer care center at Mangalore. The person says that Nokia 6600 handset has some problem with BSNL GPRS network! – Can anyone confirm this ? Cant directly trust these folks. Everytime you call them, they give you some new reason. If I get a chance, i will check it with an different handset. BTW, the solution suggested by the BSNL local guy is to upgrade software (firmware to the latest version – costs around Rs. 500).

Update 3 (Oct First week) : Spoke to one more person at the local exchange. Could reach that person after getting redirected atleast 5 times. Almost always, the person at the enter end, conviniently gives one more number saying that the next person is ‘the’ person who can handle this!. Finally, I end up talking to a technical guy (I think!). Now, this person doesn’t say anything about Nokia 6600 problem. He says even he wasn’t able to access GPRS for a couple of days. Asks me to call in a couple of days. I call back after couple of days. He says some settings have been changed just a few days back, and he doesn’t have the settings. Asks me to call back after 20 mins. I call back. Says, settings are too lengthy. Says, he cant tell the settings over the phone (WTF???). Points me the BSNL webpage mentioned above to download the settings. I downloaded the settings again. No change. Still no GPRS. Anyone from BSNL with a decent knowledge of whats happening … reading this ?

Update 4 (Oct 25, 2005) : Finally got my GPRS activiated today. The endless calls to the customer care turned out to be a total waste. Yesterday, I called up the local customer service center in mangalore. They refered me a the number of JTO of mangalore. JTO inturn gave me one more number. It was kind of endless chain. Finally I landed up with some technical person. The person confirmed that all my settings were fine. Then he checked the system (HLR) and told me that my GPRS wasn’t activated at all!. WTF!!!!!!!. He told me that at Mangalore, he wont be able to activate it, and he gave me the contact number of a person in bangalore. The person at bangalore told me that I need to call him up again today. It seems this is happening all the time and that he is fed up. Some how, the reporting system says that the GPRS is activated, but in reality (switch) it isn’t.!

So, I gave the same person a call today. And finally, he enabled my GPRS access. Now, I am able to browse on my phone. But its quite expensive. Only in emergency!

Update 5: For the benefit of all everyone, here are the correct GPRS Settings for BSNL south users for Nokia 6600. These settings work for me.

Navigate to : Menu -> Tools -> Settings -> Connection

Select GPRS (Second item on the screen)
GRPS Connection -> When needed (if you select when available, GPRS will be always active, and you would be charged. So, use with caution)
Access Point -> gprs.cellone.in

Click on ->Back

Select Access Points (first item on the screen)
Option -> New Access Point -> Use default settings
Connection name -> bsnl-gprs (can be anything)
Data Bearer -> GPRS
Access point name -> bsnlwap (not bsnlsouth)
User name : ppp
Password : ppp123
Authentication : Normal
Homepage : http://localhost/home.wml

Then….
Options ->Advance settings
Phone IP address -> Automatic
Primary name server : 0.0.0.0
Secondary name server : 0.0.0.0
Proxy server address : 10.31.54.2
Proxy Port Number : 9401

Done.

If you want to browse the net using Opera, then you must set the proxy server address and proxy port number mentioned above in opera settings too. The same holds true for other browser too.

If the above settings don’t work, then clearly, your GPRS is NOT activated by BSNL. Call up the local BSNL exchange, and ask them to check if GPRS is activated in the HLR.