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  #1  
Old 10-23-2005, 09:01 AM
Menneisyys
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Default Setting up a Bluetooth Personal Area Network (PAN)

Setting up a Bluetooth Personal Area Network (PAN)

What is PAN, and why may I need it? you may ask. The answer is simple: BT PAN is a very versatile and flexible tool that makes the following possible:
- text or voice chatting between two PDA's (messaging, file sending etc. like in Internet Relay Chat) with, say, either Gphone (see my posts/tutorial here) or Microsoft Portrait (see my tips & tricks here)
- sharing the internet connection on one of your PDA's to other PDA's or even desktop computers
- playing multiplayer games (see my forthcoming article on them)

Note that you'll be able to use any application over BT PAN that you can input the target PDA's internet address (IP for short) to. That is, even very old, natively non-BT-capable old applications (for example, the multiplayer game CanTris, which had been written log before BT PAN became common) will run over BT PAN.

As there're currently no BT PAN setup guides (not even at the infamous Geekzone BT guide page), I've decided to write one myself as a continuation to my previous tutorial on setting up a PAN between a PDA and a desktop PC.

First, before going on, PAN support is painfully missing from the Microsoft BT stack, so, users of MS BT stack needn't read further. (You may want to read this thread on the implications. Unfortunately, both WM5 VGA devices currently sold, the HTC Universal and the Dell Axim x51v have Microsoft BT stack, along with various Pocket PC Phone models.)

Here're the steps you must do:

Switch on the BT unit on your "slave" ("slave" means in here that you won't do much on it, setup-wise) device so that it is visible (BT units are, by default, visible you don't need to explicitly make them so). On the "master" device, go to Bluetooth Manager (click the BT icon on the lower right corner of your Today screen and choose Bluetooth Manager) and go to Tools/Paired Devices. Click Add, and then, the refresh button on the right of the Device: textfield. The already-paired and the visible PDA's/other BT units will be displayed:

click for screenshot

Once the other Pocket PC (here, it has the plain name "Pocket_PC") is found, click it and enter anything as the Passkey (say, 1):

click for screenshot

The slave PPC will now present a dialog, where you need to input exactly the same Passkey:

click for screenshot

After this, just go to New/Explore a Bluetooth device on the master PDA (this can be done on the client too, though) and click the newly paired Pocket PC on the first screen:

click for screenshot

Now, after the service list has been downloaded, choose 'Network Access':

click for screenshot

Click Next and Finish. You're ready; you'll be taken back to the 'My Shortcuts' screen of BT Manager. Here, all you need is tap-and-hold the newly created 'Network Access' icon and choose Connect every time you want to start a PAN:

click for screenshot

The client Pocket PC will now prompt the user for accepting the incoming request.

click for screenshot

Just click Accept and the PAN is active you can run your favourite PAN-capable application.

Finding out my Internet address:

After starting the BT PAN, you may need to look up your IP address you can tell any other devices in the same network to be able to communicate with you/access your resources. Note that your IP address over Bluetooth PAN will always be the same; therefore, you only need to check it once, after setting up and starting BT PAN with the other PDA/BT devices.

Note that you won't need to this if you have, for example, Gphone or a lot of multiplayer games; they automatically display this address so you won't need to look it up at all. Furthermore, some other multiplayer games, for example, those from Fathammer, use dynamic LAN discovery to find out the game server PDA's address. This means you won't ever need to input the address of your PDA into other PDA's.

Also note that giving out your IP is very safe in the case of PAN (this is, for example, I also give them out and don't remove them from my example screenshots, unlike with the IP address of my desktop computer). This IP address has nothing to do with your desktop computer's IP address because it's just a local address not visible from any other network. (Incidentally, being local can easily be spotted by just looking at it: it will start with 169.254, which is in a well-known private (LAN) address space.) In addition, the Windows Mobile operating system is overly simple in that you can't browse the file system of a Pocket PC via a TCP/IP (including BT PAN) connection that is, you're absolutely safe, not anyone connected to your PDA via BT PAN will be able to steal your data.

The easiest way of getting your IP address (after you've started the PAN) is as follows:
- if you have a WM2003 device, go to Settings/Connections/Connections/Advanced/Network Card
- if you have a WM2003SE device, go to Settings/Connections/Network Cards

Now, just choose the Bluetooth PAN User Driver from the "Tap an adapter to modify settings" list and jot down the contents of the "IP address" field. Two example screenshots with valid IP's (you'll see no IP's here if the PAN is not started): my iPAQ 2210 and Pocket Loox 720.

Note that there're several other tools that make this even easier; for example, the great and, for personal usage, free (remember to avoid commercial products like MyIP! They offer no advantages over vxUtil!) vxUtil. (You'll need vxUtil.zip, not vxUtil2.zip! The latter is meant for pre-Pocket PC devices. Also see this thread for other, practical uses of vxUtil.)

In vxUtil, go to 'Functions/Info'; jut down the number above, just under the Pocket PC ActiveSync name (here: PL720):

click for screenshot

That's the IP address you need to feed to all p2p MP game / other usage (for example, Internet connection sharing) that require an IP address.

(Incidentally, if you set other network connections for example, GPRS you need to look up your current IP in exactly the same way in vxUtil. An example screenshot:

click for screenshot

Note that, unlike with PAN, you generally can't connect to a PDA which is connected to the Internet via GPRS because it'll have an address that is just a generic IP shared among many other GPRS client at the same time. With other types of connection, this restriction may be non-existing.)
 
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  #2  
Old 10-23-2005, 11:14 PM
Sproketjockey
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Join Date: Oct 2005
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Default The Joys Of PAN

I have seen the light...

My Personal Opinion of PAN is that it is great, both me and my girlfriend both use iPaq 3970's running Windows Mobile 2003 with the updated BT Manager - the Pocket PC 2002 version in my opinion was lacking in terms of interface, but that is off topic - we both use Microsoft Portrait which for what it does, also gets a high recommendation from us. Because she is not that technically minded it firstly, allows me to update files, etc on her machine from mine and is a great integrated package for just about any application you can think of, excuse my grammar, what I mean is that... you can use it for basic things such as E-mails, Calendar, Notes, etc where the char. recognition, I think, is great, but you can use it for more gadget orientated tasks such as remote control, GPS, etc not only that you can use them for (probably a bit sad) very clear, short range walkie talkies - for example we live with a flatmate and say for example I am in the sitting room and she is in the bedroom working we can have our ipaqs at the side of us and merrily chat away without shouting through the flat and disturbing our flatmate.

Obviously there are more advanced machines out there and machines that do exactly the same things, this is simply a post to say that I am part of the 'I love my ipaq' club and I wanted to share with like minded people - I am a newbie just in case you didn't get that!

I haven't yet looked into games but I noticed a link on the above post (I think) so I will check that out!

Congrats to all for having a really cool forum and I look forward to becoming part of the family.


p.s. I am finding browsing through the forums a bit slow - is this usual - I don't think it is my connection because I have an 8mb line and am having no problems surfing anywhere else.

Keep up the good work all!
 
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  #3  
Old 10-24-2005, 07:37 AM
Menneisyys
5000+ Posts? I Should OWN This Site!
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 5,067
Default Re: The Joys Of PAN

Welcome to the board

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sproketjockey
I haven't yet looked into games but I noticed a link on the above post (I think) so I will check that out!
It's still being worked on (I'm reviewing all PPC games that have multiplayer options - as there're over 40 of them, it's quite a lot of work). I'll let you know when it's ready - hopefully today or tomorrow.
 
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  #4  
Old 10-24-2005, 08:15 AM
Sproketjockey
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That would be great - well I played a demo of Explode Arena (a bomberman style game) and I thought that it was highly addictive - altho the demo only allowed 2 minutes of play time which was oh so very slightly annoying!

I am guessing that the reason the site was so slow last nite was due to volume of people browsing the forums? As currently I am surfing away like there is no tomorrow.

There is tons of useful information on here it's great!

Can't wait for that games review now!

Ta, Sproket
 
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  #5  
Old 10-24-2005, 08:18 AM
Menneisyys
5000+ Posts? I Should OWN This Site!
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 5,067

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sproketjockey
That would be great - well I played a demo of Explode Arena (a bomberman style game) and I thought that it was highly addictive - altho the demo only allowed 2 minutes of play time which was oh so very slightly annoying!

I am guessing that the reason the site was so slow last nite was due to volume of people browsing the forums? As currently I am surfing away like there is no tomorrow.

There is tons of useful information on here it's great!

Can't wait for that games review now!

Ta, Sproket
Dunno, I haven't really encountered speed problems.

Explode Arena is indeed a great game.
 
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  #6  
Old 10-24-2005, 08:28 AM
Sproketjockey
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Oh well, maybe it was just a freak incident ? So whereabouts are you from, I am in the UK v.near to London - St Albans.

I am asking you this because I was wondering whether you know enough about wi-fi to inform me of in and around the london area whether it would be worth purchasing a wi-fi SD Card? I am not sure how much they are and my home network is wired. Any information you have or links to articles that you have already written would be great.


Cheers, Sproket
 
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  #7  
Old 10-24-2005, 08:46 AM
Menneisyys
5000+ Posts? I Should OWN This Site!
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 5,067

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sproketjockey
Oh well, maybe it was just a freak incident ? So whereabouts are you from, I am in the UK v.near to London - St Albans.

I am asking you this because I was wondering whether you know enough about wi-fi to inform me of in and around the london area whether it would be worth purchasing a wi-fi SD Card? I am not sure how much they are and my home network is wired. Any information you have or links to articles that you have already written would be great.


Cheers, Sproket
Well, I can't really help you with the UK prices. With a quick (local) Google search, however, you will find tons of online prices.

For my articles, check out http://www.winmobiletech.com and http://www.pocketpcmag.com/blogs/index.php?blog=3
 
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  #8  
Old 10-28-2005, 07:58 PM
Menneisyys
5000+ Posts? I Should OWN This Site!
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 5,067

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sproketjockey
Can't wait for that games review now!
Here it is: http://www.pocketpcthoughts.com/foru...ic.php?t=44018
 
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