My Motorola Droid (purchased on November 10th, 2009, 4 days after the release) is still running Android 2.0.1. I guess this is somewhat out of laziness - I love the Incredible and its new (and more refined) Android version and UI, but my phone is rooted. I’m not willing to give up root, or any of my apps, and I have yet to find a tutorial for the upgrade to 2.1 (or 2.2??) without losing root or my apps or data.

Anyway, I’m in North Carolina for the weekend and though the hotel advertised free wifi, much as I feared, nobody bothered to do a site survey or a real installation, and the signal level in my room is useless (despite a pretty low noise floor). So after a little googling, I managed to find the Barnacle Wifi Tether (Market link) app. Sure enough, it allows any Droid users with a rooted phone to setup an ad-hoc wireless network for tethering without a custom kernel. In fact, I’m writing this right now on my MacBook Pro tethered to my phone over WiFi. I’m seeing 764Kbps down and 234Kbps up. Not enough for serious work (forget my girlfriend’s hope of playing Warcraft), but definitely enough for email, web browsing and SSH on a much larger screen.

My only real complaints are that it’s an ad-hoc network (which apparently is a limitation of the Android WiFi driver for the phone), it doesn’t support anything better than WEP (so no online banking, and the usual security concerns with what I’d equate to public open WiFi), and I can’t seem to figure out how to get the MAC ACL to work.

But given how little I travel, it’s definitely a good app, a quick install and setup, and a lot less complex than trying to get USB tethering working when I eventually get Linux on the MBP.


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