Monday, October 11, 2010

How to tether your Blackberry to your laptop

I got this question from Penny and thought I would share it:
"I have a Verizon Blackberry Bold 3G Smartphone. I would like to know if I will be able to connect my lap top computer to my phone internet instead of paying for a modum via cable company for when I travel."
Penny, first of all, you will need to contact Verizon and tell them that you want to tether your laptop to your phone. They will (unfortunately) charge you $15 extra for that feature, but it's a lot cheaper than buying an aircard. They should provide you with a user name and password which you will need later.

Once you have the feature enabled, you will need to connect your phone to your laptop. There are two ways of doing this. First is to connect using the USB cable that came with your phone (if you don't have one, they are available quick readily, or let us know). The other option is to use Bluetooth which is a wireless connection between your computer and your phone. To use this feature you need a Bluetooth equipped laptop or at least a Bluetooth adapter. If you haven't use this option before, you will need to do what's called 'pairing' which connects your laptop and phone together. Let me know if you need more information on how to do this. The advantage of connecting by Bluetooth is that it is wireless, the downside is configuring it and sometimes you can lose the pairing and need to repeat the process. My advice is to start with the USB cable and see how you get on. You can always then move to Bluetooth later.

Now your ready to configure your laptop and phone. The easiest way is to use the Internet Protocol (IP) Modem Connection Manager that is included with BlackBerry® Desktop Manager 5.0.1 - it is designed to configure the BlackBerry smartphone as a tethered modem. If you don't have that software and need to configure things manually, here's a link to an excellent article that gives you step by step instructions, depending upon your operating system. Remember that since Verizon is a CDMA network, omit Task 2, and in Task 3, use the option to type #777 in the Dial-Up Phone number field.

Where is Picasa putting my photos?

Here's a question that I got from Roger which is a common question from Picasa users:
"Help - I do not know what has happened to my pictures. I used to stick in my SD card from my camera, to the computer and dowload them to My Pictures and now it seems to that every time I put the card into the computer and it puts them into the Pisca file intstead of my pictures and I have to transfer them to my pictures. Any idea what has happened?"
Roger, the first thing to remember is that you cannot 'put your pictures into Picasa'. Think of Picasa as a tool to allow you to see and manage the photos on your computer. If you have Picasa installed, when you load an SD card or your camera, Windows detects that event and then depending on it is configured, will load the right program to transfer the files. To find out how Windows 7 is configured, open the 'Control Panel', go into 'Hardware and Sound' and then select Autoplay (the second item down). Here you will see all the actions the computer will take when something is connected or a CD or DVD is inserted into the drive. If you haven't connected your camera or card before, nothing will be listed here. It is here that you can tell the computer to launch Picasa when it detects a camera or a card.

Next we need to check how Picasa is configured. To find out how Picasa is configured, load it and then go into "Tools" and then "Options". Look for the 'General' tab on the top of the window. At the bottom you will see a section called 'Save imported pictures in:'. This is the default folder where Picasa will save the photos to (for example, 'My Pictures'). When loading, it will give you the option of creating a new folder in 'My Pictures' to help keep your photos organized (for example 'My Pictures / Grand Canyon').

Hope that helps!