Huawei E3276 and MacBook Air OS X 10.9.3

by Lullanotes on Monday, May 19, 2014

I had a lot of pain to get Huawei E3276 running on my MacBook Air 10.9.3 and I thought I'll share how I eventually managed to self-serve and get connected.

Recently I've upgraded my home broadband to fibre as my contract with SingTel is coming to an end and there was a promotion. In addition, I get 500MB of Mobile Broadband bundled in that runs on 4G/LTE speed. Previously I was using Huawei E173 but that only runs on 3G. I paid an additional SGD 5/month for 24 months to get the Huawei E3276 dongle. I had a good experience with the 3G dongle previously and it ran on my Windows and MAC OS without a hitch.

The Installation and Troubleshooting:

I plugged in E3276 and installation window pops up on my MacBook Air and I went through the installation as per normal and no abnormalities occurred. I brought up the Broadband on Mobile icon and it was already pre-configured with the default settings and I got connected fine. The real problem only came when I was browsing the internet. I found that I could not browse any webpages at all. Thinking that it might have been the data services not being provisioned properly (we know it happens), I called SingTel and verified that everything was fine. I uninstalled everything related to BroadBand on Mobile on my MacBook Air and re-installed but to no avail. The MacBook Air was running OS X 10.9.2 and there was a new update so I updated it to 10.9.3. I then installed the E3276 on Windows 7 and I was able to connect and surf and everything so I now know that it is not a data services or SIM card issue.

I called SingTel again and spoke to someone. She checked the settings on my Broadband to Mobile which, frankly speaking, is also confusing. It is already pre-configured and the APN that is used is "internet" with no username and password but when you checked SingTel's E3276 configuration on their website. it says you should configure the APN to "e-ideas" and the username and password should be set to "65ideas". Don't follow it. I did and it didn't work. To her credit, the SingTel person looped in someone else from Huawei Device Support. She raised some doubts about me using OS X Mavericks and said the E3276 driver I currently have might not be compatible with my OS and she sent me the link to download new drivers.

I downloaded them properly, unzipped it and then tried to run the Mobile_Connect.dmg file. To my horror, it says that "Mobile Partner is damaged and can't be opened. You should eject the disk image". I then re-downloaded the zip file again and tried just in case the file wasn't downloaded properly or was corrupted but no joy. I then installed the driver on my iMac which is running 10.9.2. It's a different machine so I could then narrow down if this is related only to the MacBook Air but you know the answer. It was the same issue.

I then called Huawei Device Support. The guy who I talked to had not much of an experience with MAC OS and frankly I don't blame him. I used to work in Technical Support and I give a lot of latitude to Support because I knew they are also functioning within limited expertise. They do not have a machine with MAC OS in their support centre that they could try out on their own. He did make me try to download the Mobile Partner for Windows which I thought was odd because it's clearly for Windows. However, I still gave it a go and of course, the prompt said this file is for Windows only. In the end, he was apologetic and asked if I could visit their Service Centre instead. I was quite prepared to do it but was not going to give up without a fight.

The Solution:

With the power of the internet, I found this article. These are the steps I took to establish the dial-up connection using standard Mac OS X RAS feature instead of using bundled MobilePartner application:

Click to open Mobile_Connect.dmg.
Right-click Mobile » Show Package Contents » Contents » Resources
Right-click MobilePartner.mpkg » Show Package Contents » Contents » Packages » MobileConnectDriver.pkg
During installation, it might give you a security prompt saying that you can only install if the file is downloaded from "Mac App Store or identified developers". All you have to do is to go to your System Preferences » Security & Privacy » General to change it to "Anywhere" and save it. I was able to run MobileConnectDriver.pkg without a hitch.

Now if you go to System Preferences » Network. You will see the Huawei modem in the list and all you have to do is to make sure the dial-up number is showing as *99# and then try to connect.

After Midnight Thoughts from a Post-Bhutan Vacation

by Lullanotes on Sunday, April 13, 2014

Picture taken during a hike up Tango Monastery

The Boy laughed that I had no idea what I was in for when I signed up for a trip to Bhutan. Indeed, I had no idea what I was in for. I was an over-confident city girl and I thought I would breeze through everything ― the differences in altitude, culture, food etc.

 I only packed my new hiking shoes which I had not even broken into, two mornings worth of trekking through MacRitchie Reservoir, a positive attitude and off I went. Six hours of flight from Singapore and six nights in the Land of Thunder Dragon, I found myself sorely tested time after time but looking back upon my return, I couldn't be prouder and more motivated by certain incidents that happened during the trip but those are stories for another day.

 I set off to learn how the happiest people in the world live and I hope I brought back enough inspiration to guide my own path hereafter.

I Travelled Your Way

by Lullanotes on Saturday, March 8, 2014

I'm too far away from you, I know, in the way I want it to. I could speed past your way in a vehicle and see the light by your window but you'll never ever know that my coordinates did somehow cross yours. It is not the physical proximity of two people and the longer the time they stayed that way that matters. It is the burdensome weight of marital responsibilities and the comfortable relationship you never thought of anything more than friendship that became tiresome to another whose heart beats much faster than yours.

So today I travelled your way.

And I did so at a splendid speed while you stayed stagnant, doing some justice to the years I've kept close to you in your shadow hoping that I might keep up one day. I did so to leave you behind so I can race to be the best I can be and be free to be.

Photo taken from Rob Cartwright Photography

So Lucky

by Lullanotes on Tuesday, March 4, 2014

I recently had a job promotion and a swankier-than-last title change. Because you don't take notice and silence your 'announcement' in the settings, LinkedIn will decide to celebrate for you and broadcast it to your network. The number of 'Likes' and 'Congratulations' poured in and I am very happy because a promotion and/or a title change isn't something that appears at my doorstep everyday. It might be another year or two or three .. maybe four that I have another opportunity as such.

Some people in my network, be it friends or acquaintances, have begun to tell me directly or whispered it to mutual friends that I am 'very lucky'. I don't deny the fact that when I was laid off a few years ago, it took me a relatively short period of time to land myself in a new job. At that time, the new job was a startup company and I didn't know if it was going to be able to survive long in this harsh economy but I needed a job so I took a leap of faith. A few months into the new job, I had to decide if I was going to remain in this industry or go back to being in the Technology sector where all my expertise laid but again, I evaluated the situation and took another leap of faith which eventually paid off when the startup was acquired by one of the biggest companies in the world. Is this Luck or is this the result of my careful deliberation? I would say there is a bit of both.

Have I been lucky? Absolutely! My faith paid off and I worked with one of the best people in the business and he gave me invaluable guidance into the workings of my new world. I met good people who took me under their wings and I started learning business ways I would never had been exposed to and when I was unsure of my direction at work, they gave me a path so I could walk straight home. What then is the problem? You can call me sensitive but the way and the manner in which some congratulations were delivered made it seem like it was just pure luck that I achieved what I did today. To be honest, I am still not earning a whole lot of money out of this promotion but what I did earn was done honestly and with conviction and loyalty. It is a trifle upsetting that instead of getting sincere wishes, it felt like there were also jealous innuendos made by people who actually did better than me in Life and they could not find it in their heart to be happy for my little success.

To these people, I'll like to say no, it was not all luck that I had a promotion.

1. When you were busy dating men, I was sitting in the office chair, having a relationship with my computer.
2. When you read your marriage vows, I was reading endless word documents, sighing "Why me?"
3. Waking up in the middle of the night feeding your babies was tough I know but I didn't have it easy either. I was also up in the middle of the night, attending late calls or trainings.
4. In the weekends when you spent time with your family, sometimes I still had to work through the weekend and once or twice ended up crying on Sunday evenings because it looks like I won't finish the amount of work in time.
5. When the school holidays come and you had to apply leave to take a family vacation, remember, we the singles are usually the one who end up covering your work. We are deprived of taking leave in the month of March, June, September and December because you have children and you automatically think it's your right to.
6. In the times you envy that I had to travel for work but you know what, I probably had less sleep than you do because there are endless networking opportunities that I could not miss out on or had to churn out powerpoints for meetings the next day.

I am always grateful when I get heartfelt congratulations from people about the good things that happened in my life but I hope you don't think that it was all pure luck. The way I talk about my work sometimes is a bit cavalier but behind it all, I am very serious about my success. Depending on priorities, we all have our sacrifices in Life. At the end of the day, you walk in to a loving family ready to welcome you from your tired day at work but I stumble into an empty bedroom. It was a choice and I am not jealous of you so don't you be of me.

Old Enough To Shop For Pearls

by Lullanotes on Sunday, January 26, 2014

Pearls are a symbol of class and grace and much of its fame can be attributed to Coco Chanel's love for fabulosity, incorporating them into her signature look.

Today, I all but dragged my coworker into this jewellery shop aptly named as "The Jewellery Shop" in a shopping centre next to our office after work. I had spied this pearl pendant set in white gold and tiny delicate diamonds in the window display for months walking to and fro the shop during lunch but hadn't had the inclination or courage to walk into the shop to ask for the price.

"Why do you like pearls?" she asked.

I don't have the exact answer except that I know that when it comes to buying expensive pieces of jewellery, I am always thoughtful of my purchases. The last thing you want to do is to feel like you are being saddled with a really expensive purchase that has no resale value and it just ends up as an unloved and ugly heirloom. I always think precious stones like diamonds and sapphires are oh so pretty but are also useless. The only ones which are worth anything when they change hands are those of superb quality and cut and are big as a pigeon's egg but chances are ... normal people like you and me cannot afford them anyway.

So here's what in my wishlist of jewellery I'll like to have at some point in time:

- a pair of diamond solitaire earrings or diamond hoops
- a pair of pearl earrings
- a diamond tennis bracelet
- a plain bangle
- a slim ring with a row of encrusted tiny diamonds
- a pearl pendant and a white gold chain
- a strand of pearls
- a gold necklace with a small heart-shaped pendant or a gold locket

I've started to acquire some of these already, mostly through reselling older and outdated pieces of gold jewellery given by my grandmother and mother for 80% of its value and then topping up some to buy the desired pieces. I feel that the pieces of jewellery in the list above are timeless classic pieces that will transcend time, fashion and generations and they are very versatile. Each of them will lend an air of simple and understated elegance to my outfit of the day. That being said, some of them are quite costly and will take some time before I manage to own them but I don't usually look outside of this list to buy something on a whim and that can only be a good thing. Coming back to the pearl pendant, I haven't gone actively searching, leaving it to Fate and trusting each of them will find its way to me in its own little way.

So it sat at the window display was begging me for a second look for months but I didn't relent. There were all sorts of pearl jewellery by the display window but this pearl pendant was the only one which caught the corner of my eye as I hurried by. Something told me that it would be just right but I wasn't sure if I had the means to. The shop looked expensive and is located in a mall not known for affordability. I finally walked into the shop and asked for the shopkeeper to show it to me. I deliberated over different pieces, trying each design carefully and I went with an open heart, preparing to walk away if it didn't feel right. In the end, I settled for my original choice. Actually I wasn't quite convinced it was The One but months of pent-up longing made me lay down my debit card anyway which turned out to be quite fortunate because the moment I brought it home and had the time to inspect it thoroughly, I fell in love with it. The setting was nice, the weight of the pearl felt really solid in my palm, it had a lustre that some cheaper ones in the shop didn't have, it was the right size and from afar, it looked like a luminous teardrop sitting on my throat, glowing from within.

In time to come, I would probably have a strand of pearls but for now, the one I have is age appropriate and is a lone symbol of better things to come. Suddenly I am not afraid of growing old anymore, if only I can age with grace.

Connecting The Dots

by Lullanotes on Wednesday, January 15, 2014

You can't connect the dots looking forward you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something: your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. Because believing that the dots will connect down the road will give you the confidence to follow your heart, even when it leads you off the well worn path.
― Steve Jobs, Stanford Commencement Adress, 2005

That Tiny Happy Space

by Lullanotes on Friday, January 10, 2014

My friend, Greta and I intended fully to go Greece this year and bask in the warmth of the Santorini sun and hot greek males. We were talking about it for months but yet in a single night, our plan took a drastic change and we are now headed for Bhutan.

In my impression, Bhutan is this country which has a visitor quota and that makes it incredibly expensive to travel there but it must have been a misconception or it had opened up its policy in recent years because you can now travel to Bhutan as long as you meet certain criteria such as spending a minimum amount in Bhutan per day.

The one thing that I realize at my age is that it is hard to find travel partners. A lot of my friends are married, some with kids and others have their boyfriends and the scant few who are free to travel want to go somewhere else that you don't want to go or had already been so I learnt to grab opportunities when the right travel partner comes along. Also, big cities with glittering neon lights are nice but having travelled to four of them last year, I crave for a getaway that has no shopping temptations and to find a little peace and quiet within myself. The mention of 'Bhutan' could not have come at a more opportune time.

Tiger's Nest, Bhutan (awesome picture stolen from here)

I'm just marvelling about how everything seems to fall into the right place at the right time. Last year, I read about Baratunde Thurston's great disconnect and the seed to do the same took root in a corner of my mind. I wanted to go somewhere and leave things behind but I didn't know where to go and when is a good time to go. Now that the subject of Bhutan came up, the seed started sprouting. What better place is there to breathe in fresh air, go back in time to the simple life and share the happiness that Bhutanese do? I am born Taoist but am a Buddhist by belief so I've always wanted to experience such a cultural and spiritual place. My first thought was Tibet but seeing how my friend had to fly back on the 2nd day of her trip due to altitude sickness, I was hesitant to commit. Bhutan is of a lower elevation than Tibet and according to the tour guide, it is at a level which is comfortable enough for most visitors not to suffer prolonged effects. I also imagined snapping great pictures of Bhutan. I cannot call myself an amateur photographer but there is a sense of gratification in having taken beautiful pictures. When they come out nice, it makes me happy so Bhutan is a good place to indulge my trigger happy fingers. The time period I am going coincides with the Talo and Paro Tsechu festivals so there will be plenty of photo opportunities. Tell me, given all the reasons above, does it not seem like a calling?

We are making our initial deposit tomorrow at the tour agency then we can start to be properly excited for the next 2 over months!

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