The Mac perspective of Geekdom

Vodafone Mobile Connect - How's it stack up?

By Loweded Wookie, in , posted: 21-Nov-2006 07:28

With the release of the VMC 2.06 software (still not up on Vodafone NZ's site) I was finally able to get my Vodem working on my Intel Mac Mini.

The software is installed using the Vise X software which I like on account of its uninstaller but I still prefer Apple's installer for simplicity and configuration. The install required a reboot (often the case with hardware and software that needs to install files in the System folder). Once rebooted I plugged in the Vodem and ran the software.

Device not found came up. Oh crap I thought until a quick last minute read of the readme file said I needed to wait until the two lights showed up on the Vodem. Sometimes it does pay to view the readme. By the time I had finished that the Vodem had booted up anyway.

 Click image for fullsize.

Notice the bar for the signal strength. This will play a part in the upcoming images.

Clicking Activate sets up a connection in Internet Connect. I use the menu bar to connect to the Internet because it's easier than running another application. As such the screen I see is this:

Internet Connect

Select the NZ Vodafone option and click Connect and you're up and running. Interestingly the VMC software will not work if you are connected. The connection is completely independant of the VMC software. All you see is the Device not connected error that I mentioned before. That being said though VMC does display the statistics once the connection has been closed down.

I ran some speed tests for Auckland, Adelaide, Los Angeles, and London. These are the results:





Los Angeles:

Los Angeles



Before you have a go at me for speeds I remind you of the image above for the signal. These speeds are awesome considering the terrain I am in.

I live on the outskirts of Upper Hutt, which is in a valley, and my house is halfway down a hill. 6-800Kbps (sustained) is more than fine by me. What's even more fine by me is the 1-350Kbps upload speeds.

When Vodafone releases Home Phone next year I will now have absolutely NOTHING to do with Telecom, just like I currently am now. Sure I have to pay through the nose for it at the moment but this could end soon.

All in all Vodem rocks. It's portable, it's fast, and it looks so delicious I want to lick it. Better yet, it seems to match the style of Macs so you don't have a big ugly box hanging of your machine.

Thanks Vodafone for finally bringing out 2.06 of VMC (albeit only from the main Vodafone site).

Other related posts:
Mac Vodem Software on Vodafone NZ
It's here it's here it's here (giggles like a little school girl)
Why I'm an Apple fan

Comment by freitasm, on 21-Nov-2006 10:41

The screenshot looks good - but perhaps you should resize it to 480x360 pixels to make it readable?

Author's note by lowededwookie, on 21-Nov-2006 11:48

Ironically the image would have been okay if this site worked on Mac browsers.

For some reason I can't make a blog entry using Safari or Camino. Using Safari the image is resized correctly but the post disappears.

Active Server Pages (ASP) are very hit and miss on non-IE browsers. Go figure.

Comment by bradstewart, on 21-Nov-2006 13:45

The site works fine on Mac browsers. Try Firefox

Also saying ASP is hit and miss on non-IE browsers.. Thats rubbish. Firefox and Opera have no problems at all.

Comment by freitasm, on 21-Nov-2006 14:21

You just have to resize the image - there's nothing to do with ASP or the browsers.

Comment by juha, on 21-Nov-2006 17:57

Wookie: get a GUI resizer like Image Tool:

or use one of the many command line ones ported to OS X.

Author's note by lowededwookie, on 21-Nov-2006 22:06

Wanna hear something funny?

It's difficult to add posts using Mac browsers like Safari and Camino but the readability issues you guys are having aren't an issue in either of these browsers.

Seriously, I see them crystal clearly despite having resized them on this site.

I tried to create a link to the proper image using IE7 but it complained about not having permission to do so despite me being logged in, then IE went nuts and the pop-up window kept following me around the screen. Every single time I tried to do this.

I'll try making the link in FireFox. Ran out of time earlier.

Author's note by lowededwookie, on 21-Nov-2006 22:18

Got the link working now.

No resize issues for Windows users.

BTW ASP is hit and miss on none-IE browsers. You should see the mess that our job tracking system at work is. Only IE will work. FireFox, Opera, Safari, Camino none of them work although Opera is the closest if you set it to spoof as IE but it still doesn't work properly.

If the site has been coded using something moronic like FrontPage then the Javascript is actually JScript and that isn't supported by the other browsers.

There are definate issues posting on this site using Safari though which is interesting considering it and Opera are the only two browsers that pass the Acid2 test. FireFox claims it but doesn't.

Comment by bradstewart, on 21-Nov-2006 23:28

Well it seems you are talking about non-compliant ASP code. That will happen with any bad code. Geez don't blame ASP for it.

For the record IE7 renders pages much better than FF does. Not sure what 'issues' we are supposedly having. But none here.

Comment by juha, on 22-Nov-2006 09:01

The pop up window can be killed if you manage to hit update somehow and the page refreshes (or if you manually refresh). It's a pain though.

The HTML/Rich Editor doesn't work in Opera AFAICT. Don't know why that would be, as Opera runs Javascript fine.

Comment by freitasm, on 22-Nov-2006 10:19

The pop up windows is not even ASP. It's TinyMCE (, which fully support standards.


Comment by Marko, on 3-Dec-2006 12:44

I notice that you are running Vodafone VMC with a Mac??

Can you end my neverending - two month old - battle with Vodafone Oz and tell me whether you can iSync fine with .Mac and iDisk? They only have PeeCee's, apparently, which seems quite absurd considering they've sold me a Mac product!?!?

Anways, I've lost my synching ability with iDisk - it constantly errors with Server Unavailable and Cannot Log on to Server. I can use Backup to upload to the Apple server, download email fine, but cannot sync bookmarks, documents, etc, which is highly frustrating.



Author's note by lowededwookie, on 3-Dec-2006 16:20

I have no problems at all.
There could be a couple of issues involved.
1stly check to see if they are compressing files as they come in. Vodafone NZ did this with GPRS and when their plans were lean on the data. They compressed things like images giving you a low quality image. This compression also occurred on the HTML/txt documents as well.
It might be that the compression technology is causing the passwords, etc to not be transmitted properly and thus not allowing you to login.
I believe this compression can be turned off if requested. I had issues with this sort of thing before I got 3G but I've not had this on 3G.
Aside from that I can't offer much assistance aside from maybe Vodafone AU blocking any traffic not HTTP/POP/SMTP/IMAP.

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Loweded Wookie
New Plymouth
New Zealand

I'm a Mac user and as such see some of the cooler side of the computing world.

I don't say this as a fanboy but as someone who lives both sides of the fence.