Following some links about the new Gnome Network Manager included in Ubuntu 9.04 I found a blog by Dan Williams who was responsible for much if not most of the underlying work that has made it such a pleasure to use with 3G network devices.
This article where he complains about the firmware on one of the new Huawei 3G cards brought a smile. Been there dude! I often had exactly the same reaction when testing my own cellular device discovery code against various hardware. Then I realized just how sad it was to be able to fully understand and sympathize with a comment like:
…the response to AT+GCAP is simply “+CIS707-A, +MS, +ES, +DS, +FCLASS”. No, it’s not prefixed with “+GCAP: ” like every other modem on the planet that I’m pretty sure the relevant standards (TIA/EIA/IS-131, TIA/EIA-602, and V.250) require..
I need to give this new Network Manager a proper try out on some diverse hardware now as it seems possible that it finally gets Ubuntu up to a level where it is as good an experience as that seen on the best Windows systems.