Ming the Mechanic:
Bluetooth

The NewsLog of Flemming Funch
 Bluetooth2003-03-07 11:20
10 comments
picture by Flemming Funch

Bluetooth seems to be becoming a really cool thing. Even though I haven't succeeded in getting very far with it myself. For the uninitiated, Bluetooth is a standard that allows cellphones, headsets, handhelds, laptops, or whatever, to communicate wirelessly with each other over short distances, like when they're within the same room. I've got a Nokia 6310i phone with bluetooth and GPRS (for always-on Internet kind of stuff) and a Palm handheld with a bluetooth card. The idea was that the Palm would use the phone (while still in my pocket) for Internet connection, and be able to run ICQ instant messaging all the time. Well, I succeeded in making that work only once or twice, for a short period of time. The phone seems to have trouble connecting and disconnects often. It seems like other owners of the 6310i have similar problems, and I probably should have chosen the Sony Ericsson T68, which was what my cell provider actually recommended, and which apparently does bluetooth beautifully. The bluetooth adapter for my Palm m505 is kind of fragile the way it sticks out, so it wouldn't really be practical to leave it plugged in in my pocket. And I just had to have the Palm serviced because the connector for the little bluetooth card no longer held it in. And even when I got the connection to work, I realized quickly that my Palm organizer shut off after two minutes or so, breaking the connection, so there was no way I could keep ICQ running. Anyway, others are having more fun.

A Swedish programmer came up with a way of using his cellphone for remote controlling his Macintosh. The latest Mac laptops come with built-in bluetooth, and it apparently talks beautifully with Sony Ericsson phones. So this guy made a program that allows you to start and stop music on the Mac. And other people are coming up with new scripts. Like, the Mac can know when you walk into the room, and can start picking up your e-mail, and that kind of thing.

And for those of you who've actually played with bluetooth connections, and noticed that all the cellphone and computer really found in the local wireless area was each other, this from BoingBoing is cool:
"I am in Levi, Finland, at a meeting where we are talking and playing and working wireless. I pull out my laptop, fire up the bluetooth manager to connect with my cell phone to dial up a connection and ... whoa ... is this slooooow ... where *did* the connection go ... and just when I am about to give up I see hundreds of bluetooth devices on my laptop's bluetooth manager! Headsets, phones, devices, all revealing themselves in low security mode. It's a shock, as I can hardly believe my eyes. Like looking at a Windows Networking window at a LAN party or conference, but these are phones and devices and laptops aplenty. Later I try it in my room and the same thing happens, with a few less connections but the same effect..."
It is a couple of years since I was in Helsinki, but it certainly was cellphone central with everybody being glued to a Nokia phone.


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