[caption id="attachment_846" align="aligncenter" width="494" caption="Things have gone down-hill even further..."][/caption] I had convinced myself that the horrible experience I was having using my Vodafone K505 USB modem was actually my fault... I've been using the standard 'lite' software that ships with the device which must be quite out of date now.
Having located myself somewhere with a reasonable 3G connection I triggered the software update I'd been offered recently to see if that improves anything.
After insisting on removing the previous installation completely it now completely fails to even load. Of course this may also be my fault (or at least the laptop I'm using) but other USB modems install and work just fine.
I'll be making contact with the Vodafone web relations guys who offer great support to see what's wrong, but this reminds me why I like MiFi devices so much... zero install.