Using a Novatel U760 on Snow Lepoard (with automatic ejecting)
One of the most useful new features in Snow Leopard is built-in support for many common WWAN USB devices used to connect to the internet over a 3G connection. This means that instead of having to use a special application (such as "Mobile Connect" when connecting with Bell), you can just use the new menu applet instead. I'm using a Novatel U760 adapter, and here are the steps I used to make its use seamless under 10.6.
Uninstall the old Leopard drivers
If you've upgraded from a 10.5 installation which had the Novatel drivers installed, you'll need to uninstall them manually. While they still allow you to connect, they do prevent the built-in drivers from working, and don't seem to work with Internet Sharing. There isn't an automatic uninstaller, so for now move the following files to your desktop, and trash them when everything is working with the built-in drivers:
/Applications/Mobile Connect(or whatever your connect application is branded as by your ISP)
Once these files are out of the way, remove the USB adapter and reboot. If you're a CLI hacker, you can use
launchtctl to unload everything without rebooting.
Test that your adapter works with the built-in drivers
After rebooting, insert the USB adapter. The Novatel U760 will present itself as a USB storage device with the drivers to install. Eject the volume ("MobileConnect" in my case), but leave the adapter connected. After a moment or two, the adapter will switch into it's network mode, and OS X will detect the adapter. Click "Network Preferences..." to confirm the connection. OS X automatically filled in the required fields for me, so it should "just work" unless your ISP didn't pre-configure your adapter for you. Click "Connect", and in a moment you should be online. As well, the menu applet will now show your connection status, along with options to connect and disconnect. The Novatel U760 doesn't seem to communicate signal strength properly, but that will hopefully be fixed in a later OS X revision.
Automate the volume ejection process
Remembering to eject and unmount the driver installation volume is a bit of a pain, but OS X has the ability to automatically do this for us.
launchd can be notified to run an action whenever a folder changes, without any additional overhead. Download the attached ca.abdevelopment.umount-mobileconnect.plist and save it to ~/Library/LaunchAgents, or /Library/LaunchAgents to have it apply for all users. This file will automatically detach any volume mounted at
/Volumes/MobileConnect. Log out and back in to have the new file load, or use
If your adapter uses a different volume name, then open up the plist in Property List Editor or TextEdit and change the path as needed. If any other large ISPs are using different volume names, feel free to post them in the comments and I'll add them to this page.