I recently needed to work out of my notebook, away from office and home, quite a bit. I would usually wifi-tether from my phone. But extended 3G+Data+WiFi on the phone would surely drain its battery pretty quickly. If there is anything the MacBook Air needs, it is built-in 3G connectivity. Some people have 3G dongle, but I don’t. Besides, a 3G dongle would also need an additional SIM card.
Quite surprisingly, the place I was camping out of had good working Wireless@SG connectivity. Superb. I can let my phone rest, and just use the free WiFi. But logging into Wireless@SG’s captive portal is somewhat of a hassle. I also didn’t like the idea that others in the vicinity could easily eavesdrop on my wireless traffic.
Good time to explore Wireless@SGx again, I thought. I had actually tried it out previously. But too long ago, I had forgotten how it was done. It wasn’t a no-brainer kind of thing like simply entering your username and password into the authentication box like the one above.
A quick search on the Internet found irrelevant information, or misinformation, about how to configure a Mac. Either Wireless@SGx had changed things, and/or Mountain Lion was different. For example, there doesn’t seem to be a direct way for a user to create 802.1x profiles that the guides were talking about.
Anyhow, it turns out things are not too complicated. But you do need to go through one important non-obvious step. You need an encoded username. Go to http://pas.singtel.com/wsg_connect/index.php to get that. It’s dumb that the site isn’t encrypted. But anyway, get your encoded username. It’s a long gibberish string, but you can make out our username and domain in that gibberish. Oh yes, since it is a site on the Internet, you’ll need to be on the Internet first to get that encoded username.
Back on the Mac, in an area with Wireless@SGx coverage, just turn on WiFi and if necessary choose to join Wireless@SGx. When OS X Mountain Lion prompts you for your Account Name, enter that long gibberish thing. Enter your usual Wireless@SG password in the Password field. That’s it.
Not complicated. Except that you’ve got to get that silly encoded username.
Good thing that IDA is planning on doubling the Wireless@SG bandwidth cap. 3G is sometimes horrible (at least on SingTel). It might just be useful to think about setting up Wireless@SGx on my phone too. Oh, but I don’t know how I’d manage entering that long gibberish encoded username.