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Free Wireless Internet On Your Laptop – Through Your Cell Phone!

Free Wireless Internet On Your Laptop – Through Your Cell Phone!
Blackberry Wireless

This is a neat little hack that I discovered last week when looking for a new cell phone plan. I had just gotten a BlackBerry Pearl, and the plan from T-Mobile came with unlimited data transfer for wireless internet on their EDGE network. (By the way this also works with other blackberry’s on other networks, and possibly other smartphones.)

I immediately installed mobile versions of GMail (never even bothered to look at the standard BlackBerry Mail app), Google Maps, and a 3rd party program to sync with my Google Calendar. I was quite happy with the whole experience given that I’d assumed it would cost a lot more for the whole “internet on a cell phone” experience. Remarkably enough, it didn’t. I was paying the same monthly rate ($59.99) as before with Cingular, except now I was getting all these new “web” features.

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But then I discovered the killer app that was truly LifeHack.org worthy! A way to get that unlimited wireless on the cell phone to transfer over to my laptop.


In essence, some people have figured out how to use the blackberry as a wireless modem for their laptops using bluetooth. This has two big advantages:

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  • While regular wireless internet is only available in limited locations, this wireless is available everywhere (or at least everywhere you have cell phone service)
  • Unlike T-Mobile’s HotSpots or other paid wireless services, this is free (or another way to look at it: you’re already paying for it)
Blackberry

And the really cool part is that if you have a laptop with integrated blue-tooth (the MacBook in my case, although some PC’s have this as well) then the entire process takes place wirelessly. In fact you never even have to take the phone out of your pocket! You can just connect at any time, as if it were a modem, in a few seconds.

(Note: if your laptop doesn’t have blue tooth, it will still work through the USB cable.)

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To be fair, the speeds you get aren’t exactly blazing. It’s been years since I’ve used a 56k modem, but from what I can recall (and what others have reported) the speed you get with this setup is comparable to a 56k modem.

What this means is that it’s perfect to have in case you need to pull up GMail in an airport or remote location, but you aren’t going to be getting serious work done on it. Still, it has saved my behind a few times already, and after all it’s free if you have the blackberry, so why not take advantage of it.

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Here are the instructions for PC and Mac (with screenshots).

Happy Surfing!

Brian Armstrong is an entrepreneur who spends all his time “working” in coffee shops, by the pool, or at home in his underwear. Today he seeks to help others break free from the corporate world and start their own business. You can get three free chapters of his book, Breaking Free, and hear interviews with self-made millionaires at his website.

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Last Updated on March 13, 2019

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

1. Work on the small tasks.

When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

2. Take a break from your work desk.

Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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3. Upgrade yourself

Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

4. Talk to a friend.

Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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6. Paint a vision to work towards.

If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

7. Read a book (or blog).

The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

8. Have a quick nap.

If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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9. Remember why you are doing this.

Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

10. Find some competition.

Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

11. Go exercise.

Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

12. Take a good break.

Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

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Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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