Saturday, July 15, 2006

Bluetooth Internet Gateway

The more I work with Bluetooth, the less I like it. It's one of those things that, in theory, sounds like a good idea... Kinda like communism. In the real world, getting this mess of Bluetooth devices to work together requires a lot of patience and persistence. For instance, I was happy to find that I could use one of my Linux systems as a Bluetooth gateway to allow my Palm to connect to the Internet (HOWTO Set up a Bluetooth Access Server.) Unfortunately, I can't use the Linux system to Hotsync.

The good news is that Windows XP has the ability to do Internet Connection Sharing, thus allowing the same system to do both jobs. Oh, wait a minute... It turns out that ICS only works as long as the line from the ISP terminates on the XP machine. My XP system connects to one of those new fangled home routers. So, we're back to square one: one system dedicated to each task.

But wait! What is that on the horizon? A Windows app that will act as a Bluetooth gateway? Yes: Over at Palm Info Center I found a page about Howto: Bluetooth Internet with Windows XP, which outlines the use of Intuwave's m-Router. This app was designed to be used with Symbian technology, but will work with Palm just as well.

It is excellent... And its is available as a free (as in beer) download.

Note: I have to stop m-Router in order to Hotsync, as only one of the two apps can access the Bluetooth dongle at a time. Occasionally, WXP will not realize that the program was stopped, and will have to be booted in order to switch to the other task. Same for the Palm. If I've used m-Router at home, then want to use SprintPCS on the road, I have to hard reset the Palm.

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