Blackberry Pearl as a Bluetooth modem, the saga

I've had a Blackberry Pearl (on Cingular, the new AT&T) for about half a year now, and I love the thing. I was even more excited when a guy named Grant wrote a script so the Pearl could be used as a Bluetooth modem with Mac OS X. Unfortunately, the script didn't work for me -- until last month, that is. Below is the comment I submitted to Grant's website, which serves as a sort of bitch-fest venue for folks who can't get thing to work. I have been impressed at how helpful Grant has been to everyone; we even had plans to meet up in the Bay Are to do some debugging, but our schedules didn't quite mesh.

Grant -- I'm in Hong Kong, and am connected via my Blackberry Pearl now. After months of problems, here's how I got it working (you're not going to like it).

First of all, I am on the International Unlimited Data Plan.

  1. Opera and other apps that connect directly did not work on my BB.
  2. I called Cingular's data services people repeatedly. Not a single person could help. If I even brought up that I wanted to use apps that access the internet directly (like Opera), they stopped trying to be helpful. Cingular Blackberries "do not work with Opera," I was told. I escalated, and was told I'd get a callback. I never did. I don't know if they changed anything on my account.
  3. I walked into a Cingular store, and finally found someone who wanted to help. Every single Blackberry in the store had Opera installed and working. He said all BBs work with Opera out of the box on the Cingular network. "We put Opera on all of our phones here!" So much for consistency.
  4. The rep could not make my Pearl work with Opera. Obviously, if it wasn't working with Opera, there was no way it was going to work as a Bluetooth modem. He finally told me to call in to Cingular to swap out my Pearl. "It has to be a hardware problem," he said. He told me to tell Cingular that "the browser isn't working" (and to omit the fact that the browser in question was Opera).
  5. 5. I walked out of the store. It was too late to call the hardware replacement number, so I waited.
  6. I got home and tried Opera. It worked. I tried BB as a Bluetooth modem. It worked.

After months of frustration, it finally works, and I have no idea why.

I seemed to be getting about 8-10 KB/s from the Hong Kong Airport. That's not impressively fast, but it was faster than the free WiFi that they supposedly offer.

What is funny is that the broadband speed test at DSL Reports showed my closest servers as being the ones closest to its Blackberry server location in Canada:

Anyway, I'm glad that it all works now, but I wish I knew why it suddenly started working.