In my long saga of trying to get internet access at my new place (a saga which I will spare you, gentle reader) I tried once or twice to get my laptop to connect to the internet through my phone (a Nokia N95). I have an unlimited-data plan from AT&T (a silly excess since I almost never use the feature) so it wouldn't cost me anything to use my phone as a modem. But I could never get it to work before.
Today, I decided to finally get serious about it, went somewhere with internet access, downloaded all the latest software for the phone, reinstalled everything, and, like magic, it started working.
I can't believe how fast it is. I actually watched an episode of The Office on-line using my phone modem. Sure, the video was reduced-size, but the picture and sound quality were fine and there were almost no detectable stutters. I can't believe the data rate is so good; when I have surfed the web using the browser in the phone, it was very slow. The lesson to be learned here, I suppose, is that the browser in the phone is very slow. The download speed is great. It's not up to cable speeds, or even DSL for that matter. It's about 2/3 the speed of the slowest DSL, but that still makes it ten times faster than dial-up.
Anyway, I'm psyched. It's a good thing I don't pay more attention to technology trends or I wouldn't have these movements of excitement when I learn something that was already common knowledge to everyone else.