How To: Get Your 3 Internet Key Working With Low-Res Screened Netbooks

three key howto.jpgIt's a pretty big design flaw: 3's Internet key software only works on monitors with a screen resolution greater than 800 x 600. So on netbooks like the HP Mini 2140, which boasts a 1024 x 576 screen, the software just doesn't work. Fortunately for me (and now you), the guys at 3 are familiar with the problem and walked me through how to work around it*.

1. Click on 'Start', 'Control Panel', 'System', 'Hardware' and then 'Device Manager'. 2. Click the '+' symbol next to the modem option. 3. Right-click on the HUAWEI device, select 'Properties' and then the 'Advanced' tab. 4. In the 'Extra initialization strings' please enter the following information.

AT+cgdcont=1,"ip","3services" <—- For Prepaid AT+cgdcont=1,"ip","3netaccess" <—- For Postpaid

5. Click 'Apply' and 'Close'. 6. Click on 'Start', 'Control Panel', 'Network Connections'. 7. Double-click on the Huawei dial-up connection present and ensure the phone number of *99# is correct. 8. Click 'Dial'.

However, that's not the entire story. If you're using a netbook like the HP Mini 2140 that doesn't have a built-in modem, chances are you won't see the Huawei dial-up connection in the Network Connections folder. You'll need to create a new one.

1. Click Start, Control Panel and Network Connections. 2. In the left hand pane, select Create New Connection to start the new connection wizard. 3. Click Next, Select "Connect to the Internet" and choose Next again. 4. Select "Set up my connection manually" hit next, then choose "Connect using a dial-up modem" 5. Name the ISP (3 Australia will do the trick) and hit Next 6. In the phone number window, type *99# and press next. 7. Leave the password and user details blank, hit next then finish.

To connect, you can now manually do so through Start -> Connect To -> 3 Australia.

There are other alternative solutions, like software which adds scrolling bars to your monitor's screen. This way doesn't let you use the key's software either, which limits the ability to send SMS messages and monitor your session usage as easily. But it will let you use your internet key with a lower resolution monitor, and that's the most important element here.

* Note - The HP Mini 2140 comes with Windows XP SP2 pre-installed, so these instructions are designed around that OS. If you're running another OS on your netbook, you should still be able to workaround the situation following this guide, you'll just need to find the corresponding section for your OS of choice.

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