Friday, October 05, 2007

Troubles with Bluetooth

So somehow (I think on Digg) I heard about GrandCentral, an internet company that offers "one phone number for life". Naturally they were purchased by Google and only recently opened up for new customers again. I decided to sign up and got a pretty sweet number that I'm looking forward to trying out. Of course it also has all the options it should like contacts and stuff, but it has some cool features as well like visual voice mail and the like. Well I decided to try to port my contacts over from my phone to my computer and then upload them but ran into some trouble.

The first problem is that of my LG CU500 phone with AT&T (formerly Cingular, formerly AT&T). It only allows me to save my contacts either on my phone or on the SIM card and not onto the MicroSD card I have that conveniently plugs into the computer via a USB adapter via a MiniSD adapter (or is it the other way around?). I have no way of plugging my SIM card into the computer to get the contact information. I can however use Bluetooth to send a vCard with the contact information on it from the phone to the computer, and it so happens that I have a Bluetake 007si Bluetooth Dongle for just this sort of situation. Problem solved right?

Well the first issue I had was that when I plug in the dongle there is no immediate indication on the part of GNOME or Edubuntu that anything has happened. The little blue light on the dongle only lights up intermittently as well so I figured it wasn't even working. I googled the problem and found some stuff that made me use the Terminal (this should never HAVE to be used if Edubuntu ever hopes of capturing a significant population of educators) to install the Bluetooth tools and while I was not at all surprised to discover that the process didn't proceed as the howto described I was a little surprised to discover that the Bluetooth software was evidently already installed on my system. Nice!

So I tried to pair my phone and computer through the dongle. Everything's working fine, the comptuer shows up on my phone, but then my phone asks for the passcode. I try the default 0000 and it doesn't work. I try all other kinds of combinations in case I ever actually programmed a passcode into the thing and nothing works.

I go into Add/Remove... and add the Bluetooth tool for GNOME. No luck. I add the Bluetooth tools for KDE and my phone now shows up but it can't connect.

At this point I'm not sure what to do. I've googled and looked through forums and it seems like a pretty standard complaint. Now granted that Bluetooth still isn't quite ready for primetime (astounding considering how prevalent it is now) as even with XP I would have trouble getting all the features to work with my Bluetooth stereo headphones without proprietary software. In fact I imagine the trouble has as much to do with my phone as Edubuntu. Nevertheless, this is yet another case of me trying to expand the capability of my Edubuntu machine and falling into the time warp trap of googling, scanning forums, using the Terminal, etc. to try and get the new capability to work. None of those things should ever be necessary, and at the very least, shouldn't Edubuntu at least tell you that it has detected a dongle? At least it's Friday. -joe

1 comment:

Grant said...

I have an identical issue with a no name usb dongle which i want to talk to my nokia - it does it fine - but asks for a password to pair - and I have no idea what it might be - so its doubly frustrating -ubuntu sees nokia, nokia sees ubuntu - no password - stymied!