I've recently downloaded Ubuntu 12.10 and it seems great. I just can't get my Three Ireland mifi dongle to work at all. When I plug it in, it only recognizes it as a storage devise. Any ideas on how to establish a permanent connection to this mifi dongle? I'm in Ireland and running a Dell Inspiron 1520 with 3GB of RAM and using the Huawei E586 mifi device. I really want to continue using this OS, but is everything this complicated to get up and running on it?
You can resolve this by:
(a.) Plugging in a USB WiFi adapter to your Dell laptop, or using its inbuilt WiFi capability, OR
(b.) Finding the correct USB mode-switch settings, so that it (your USB device) switches back to being a modem (and not just a storage device).
Back in Windows-land, someone had the 'bright' idea that, as all devices need a 'new' driver, any newly plugged-in device should first 'pretend' to be a USB storage device - and attempt to auto-load the driver (stored for that purpose on the device). Then, when the driver starts up it knows to send a command to switch the USB device back into being 'whatever'.
However, Linux (and in particular Ubuntu) does not need lots of new drivers. More importantly, having a device attempt to auto-load a driver (or any executable code) is plain dangerous - and may also breach security policy and/or be prevented by anti-virus software (or similar protective measures).
Instead Ubuntu (and other Linux variants) provides the 'USB mode switch' function, complete with a large (and growing) list of brands / devices, and the data needed to control them. Unless you are using an unusual (or new) device, a simple update will usually resolve these sorts of issues.
Drivers off the Huawei site worked perfectly for me! Make sure you read the instructions and it's easy going, took about 30 seconds. http://consumer.huawei.com/en/support/downloads/detail/index.htm?id=13971