My family and I usually spend some time in Europe during the summer; there are several great conferences to attend, and of course we take the opportunity to visit our parents and relatives. My unlocked Captivate, with a Vodafone Italy prepaid voice+data plan, solved my smartphone connectivity problems. However, I also rely on a USB 3G modem to connect with my MacBook Pro when I’m away from wifi networks. Specifically, I use a Vodafone Italy “internet key” and a nice prepaid plan (5 euros per month, and 1 euro each day I actually use the key, for up to 300MB of traffic per day, which is perfect for email and work).
After upgrading to OS X Lion, I remembered that the “internet key” (a Vodafone-branded Huawei UMTS modem) used to require a PowerPC-era driver. This is bad news: OS X Lion drops support for Rosetta, the PowerPC emulator that allowed users of previous OS X releases to run software and drivers written for older-generation Macs. Thus, no Rosetta, no PowerPC drivers, hence no internet key 😦
Well, it turns out that Vodafone is rewriting drivers and software for modern, Intel-based macs! You can get a preview version here; hat tip to Macfixit, a South African web site where I first found a reference to the aforelinked Vodafone page. [Update: the Vodafone preview page now also comes up first if you do a Google search for “vodafone mobile broadband lion preview”].
Incidentally, getting the software obviously poses a chicken-and-egg problem. I solved it by downloading it using my Captivate. Here, though, I had to work around a small hurdle: the default Captivate / Android browser would not download the .zip file with the driver, saying that it was “not meant for my platform” (or something like that). So, I tried using the Dolphin browser instead, and it worked: the file was downloaded, and I simply copied it to my Mac via USB, and installed it. Success!
Everything works like a charm so far. Looking forward to more travel blogging…