Verizon Wireless/Sierra Wireless MC7750 on Lenovo T430s with Ubuntu 12.0.4.1

The Lenovo T430s I have for work comes with a Verizon Wireless 4G card built-in. It took weeks to get it working on Windows 7. Turned out that I had a bad SIM card.

Once I was able to get it to work in Windows, it was time to get it working in Ubuntu.

The USB ID for the MC7750 is 114F:68A2. It is also listed in Windows as “Gobi 4000 HS-USB Modem”.

Ubuntu didn’t recognize the 4G modem out of the box. I found a driver here. Here is more information. This modem wasn’t in there, but I went ahead and modified the source to add in the USB ID. Here are my diffs:

sierra.patch and sierra_net.patch

Save these to the folder where you downloaded the driver. Then

tar xvf v3.2_1740_kernel-3.0.directIP.tar
cd v3.2_1740_kernel-3.0.directIP
patch  -p0 < ../sierra.patch
patch -p0 < ../sierra_net.patch
make
sudo make install

and then reboot.

Success! Or sort of. It showed up as registered on Verizon. I could see the signal strength. Finding the right settings for NetworkManager is the next step.

There are three options for the number:

#777
*99#
*99***3#
*99***4#

The username should be the [email protected] and the password is vzw.

I’m still working on this. It isn’t dialing, but I’m having a hard time finding the right combination.

My Firefox Extensions & Tweaks

I’ve had/wanted to rebuild my work laptop several times over the past few months. Sometimes I have another machine nearby to validate what I’m adding. Lately that case is the exception. To help me remember and to share with all of the ones of you, here are my must have Firefox Add-Ons/Extensions:

Several of the above are from my Widescreen Firefox post (signified by a *). The others are primarily for security & privacy (signified by a !) or convenience (signified by a ^).

Since I’m away from my main machine I might have missed an extension, but t These are the mainstays of my Firefox experience.

In the Customize Toolbar dialog I enable “Use Small Icons” and remove the search bar, the home button, and the bookmarks button.

There are more customizations, but this is enough for now. I will post additional tweaks to this later.

The other todo is coming up with a good mechanism for distributing the various add-ons’ configurations to other systems. Dropbox may be the obvious solution, but check back here for updates.

Has this been helpful to you? What are your must have extensions or tweaks to Firefox? I didn’t even get into my about:config adjustments. Those will be updated here, too.

Fix Firefox StatusPanel Colors in Ubuntu

Here’s my Stylish style for fixing the dark StatusPanel (the mouse over pop up at the bottom of the Firefox browser window).

@namespace url(http://www.mozilla.org/keymaster/gatekeeper/there.is.only.xul);

.statuspanel-label {
  background: #666666 !important;
  color: #DDDDDD !important;
}

Create a new style, name it what you want, and paste in the above.

I will flesh this out more later.

Using tmpfs to mount /tmp in RAM

On a Unix/Linux/BSD device /tmp tends to see heavy usage. I’ve moved mine into RAM to ever-so-slightly improve performance and more significantly reduce SSD I/O.

To do this I edited

/etc/fstab

as root with my favourite editor. I added the following line at the end:

tmpfs           /tmp            tmpfs   defaults,noatime  0       0
tmpfs           /var/tmp        tmpfs   defaults,noatime  0       0

You can reboot at this point and you’re all set. You could manually mount this but it could cause problems with your system.

UPDATE: Ubuntu and Lotus Notes for Linux don’t like mounting /tmp as nosuid and noexec.

Let me know if you do this and how it works for you.

Fix Backspace to go Back one Page in Firefox 2 and Above

I’m a big fan of using the keyboard for tasks instead of always relying on the mouse. In Ubuntu, Firefox wasn’t honouring the use of backspace to take me back a page. I found a fix here that surprisingly still works.

In short, open a new tab and type

about:config

Search for backspace. Double click on “browser.backspace_action” and change the value to 0.

xclip and mrxvt

Mrxvt is a great Unix/Linux/BSD terminal client. It is light weight and supports tabs. I’m still waiting for Unicode & UTF-8 support. If non-Latin support is more important than tabs check out rxvt-unicode/urxvt. These are both based off of a beta of the wonderful but languishing rxvt terminal.

Anyway, one of the things I’m trying to do is make my various systems as keyboard consistent as possible. Mrxvt doesn’t support keyboard copy and paste out of the box. I found a post that details how to set it up.

This tip makes use of my newest favorite CLI tool: xclip. Here’s how.

On Ubuntu 12.04, install xclip:

sudo apt-get install xclip

Then using your favorite editor edit (or create) the file

~/.mrxvtrc

Add the following lines at the end of your file:

Mrxvt.macro.Ctrl+Shift+v:            Paste CLIPBOARD
Mrxvt.macro.Ctrl+Shift+c:            Exec !/usr/bin/xclip -o | /usr/bin/xclip -selection clipboard

Save the file and restart your Mrxvt.

Viola!

Let me know if this works for you. If you get this working under rxvt or urxvt, let me know!