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Yet, Internet connection sharing is an easy-to-use feature on my Xiaomi Redme Note 5 phone that has wasted me whole evening to get it right. Funny thing, really, since as a user I was supposed to enter Settings, navigate to Mobile Hotspot, define password and swipe to enable it. Also from that point of view, that’s all you can do, due to lack of any other configuration options. But as it turned out, there is a subtle “bug”, that causes it not to work on any Xiaomi phone (with MIUI and without).

Short story long… Of course data connection on the phone itself was always working fine. I could browse the net, connect via VPN to work network, watch YT, listen music from Spotify etc. Several times I needed to share this LTE connection with the Windows 10 laptop to perform some immediate tasks and it always failed. No matter what hour I tried, or the part of the city I was sitting. Then I mostly gave up and turned back for few moments to my BlackBerry Passport phone, where it was always working smoothly ;)

Finally I realized it’s time to find a solution to this issue. And here it is, few hours later.

I browsed the Internet and found all those misleading guides, that lead to nothing, so simply skip them:

  1. First I thought it was due to problem with the way my APN (settings for data-connection) was defined:
    • Switched to IPv6 only
    • Reset everything to default
    • Confirmed with my mobile operator, whether default is right
    • Switched APN type to ‘default’
    • Switched MVNO type to ‘GID’
    • Switched to IPv4/IPv6
  2. Set hotspot frequency to 5 GHz
  3. Reset device, place SIM card in secondary slot
  4. That all was wrong, still I could only to connect the PC to the hotspot, but no packets were actually transmitted over the LTE. Then I thought – maybe it’s the problem with Windows itself. So I tried:
    • Forced IPv6
    • Reset network settings to default
    • Hardcoded Google DNS – 8.8.8.8
    • ipconfig /renew
    • ipconfig /flushdns
    • ssh to any external server

Continuously nothing working correct, even when all the guides I have seen were claiming, it should be fine long ago. I have even found info about Samsung and Huawei devices, where IP ranges or default DNS can be defined directly on mobile.

Then boom! What if this is Xiaomi-only related “bug”. And that’s true. It flies around since several years and xda-developers.com has even a fix, that looks like:

  1. install Android SDK
  2. enable developer mode on the device
  3. enable USB debugging and especially USB debugging extra security settings (without it further commands will throw security exception; also it might require registering at Xiaomi portal as developer)
  4. connect the device via USB
  5. in command prompt type adb shell to issue further commands on the device directly
  6. check value of tether_dun_required, that in my case was `null` as described in the original fix, with command: settings get global tether_dun_required
  7. if the value is different than ‘0’, hotspot will not work
  8. to set it type: settings put global tether_dun_required 0
  9. exit shell and reboot the device


And now it works finally!

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It’s been quite a while since I upgraded my machine for daily development. Till four months ago I was still using my 2011’ MacBook Pro with some additional upgrades done down the line (described them here and here). Nevertheless it was more often seen it became older and older and somehow the speed and work comfort was insufficient anymore.  

Once decision was made, for the first time in my life I wanted to buy my next laptop wisely. So I wrote requirements!:

  1. it should be small – 13’’ would be preferable, but 15’’ should go fine too
  2. it should have some brand new processor and 32GB RAM or more
  3. display should support al least FullHD on IPS matrix; 4k resolution is probably unnecessary for 13’’
  4. it should allow to plug-in 2 external monitors simultaneously
  5. must have 1Gbit Ethernet socket (as there is no WiFi inside an office due to security reasons)
  6. should support 2 SSD drives, at least one must be PCIex NVMe
  7. good secondary graphic card will be a huge advantage (as the MacBook had only the build-in Intel HD Graphics 3000 – slow as a 3-wheel kid bike)
  8. doesn’t need DVD drive
  9. should support Windows 10 Pro x64
  10. BT 4.0, TPM module, SD-card reader will be an advantage
  11. not too heavy


And then started looking around for anything matching my wishes. Unfortunately, and I cried about it a lot, Apple was out almost immediately. Since I wanted to max the spec on the day one and never care about an upgrade in the future, MacBooks turned out to be extremely expensive. 2 sometimes even 3 times more than the competition with similar components. That is insane. I like them, but I am not such a fan boy.

Also Lenovo jumped out from the competition, but mostly by my personal preferences. Few years back I had two business editions of T51 and I was using them happy until both died almost at the same time, few months after warranty period. I don’t want to say anything bad about Lenovo’s quality as they were really good hardware. It just kept worrying me at the back of my head.


My final choice became: MSI GE62VR Apache Pro i7-7700HQ/32GB/1TB GTX1060 with Samsung 512GB 960 Pro M.2 2280 NVMe as the main drive. After those four months of usage I am really satisfied with this laptop.


Pros:

  • it’s fast (~9 seconds for cold boot to be logged in in Windows, including PIN typing)
  • the quality of colors of the build-in display in really impressive
  • supports 3 displays simultaneously (2 externals and the build-in), that gives lots of space for developer
  • Steelseries keyboard, which is stunning with key reprogramming (changed Pause/Break into Delete) and customizable colors
  • touchpad can be disabled with a shortcut (Fn+F3)
  • it has GTX 1060 and let play newest games with really good quality and framerate
  • is VR-ready


Cons:

  • it almost can’t work without power supply (1.5h if doing only presentation with only HDMI projector attached; when Visual Studio or similar IDE is running it goes down to less than 1h)
  • the given HDD is extremely noisy, I mean it!
  • playing newest games on ultra might make the center of keyboard really hot (65C or more)
  • chassis bottom is plastic not aluminum


I hope you find it useful.