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  #1  
Old 06-12-2002, 06:34 PM
Jason Dunn
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Default Bluetooth needs to get its act together

Ok, it's time for me to roll up my sleeves and rant a little. Ed sure stirred up some controversy with his post yesterday, and numerically speaking it seems that most people seem to think that Bluetooth is a great technology. But what about the implementation? Vote in the poll and tell me what you think.

The common thread I see with the people who think Bluetooth rocks is the focus on the implementation rather than the standard. To a certain extent, that's true - if there's a company out there that's doing a really poor job of writing their drivers and software, that company is to blame, and not the standard. But those of you taking this stance are ignoring the most important factor here: consumers don't care about pointing fingers, they just want something that works. If I buy a car, drive it off the lot, and promptly have two of the four tires explode on me, I don't want to hear an explanation from the techs that says "Well, two of your four tires were built on the Tire 1.0 protocol, and the other two are built on the 1.2 spec. You need to go buy compatible tires." Why did they sell me incompatible tires to begin with? How can a company make tires on the 1.0 protocol and still call them tires?

See, that's what standards do folks. They make complicated things easier by making sure everyone agrees on how things are built and operate with each other (yes, I know that's a simplistic definition). The problem, and the frustration Ed and I both have with Bluetooth, is that many companies making Bluetooth products don't adhere to the standards, and thus produce crappy devices that don't work. I'll grant you the point that if everyone adhered to proper Bluetooth standards it would all work together nicely - but that has no bearing on this problem. People want things that work. The Bluetooth SIG has had years to work this out, and if device to device communication was important to them, they'd be strict about testing every Bluetooth device and withholding approval of the device if it didn't work. The fact that every device has profiles, and some lack profiles they "should" have only further complicates things. It's like Windows XP supporting HTTP but not FTP.

I know that Bluetooth works for some of you, but like Ed, nearly every experience I've had with Bluetooth has been frustrating. Socket Communications gave me a Bluetooth card, so I'll give it another try, but my experience with the Anycom card was anything but pleasant. I long for Bluetooth nirvana, but I'm still searching for it. How about you?
 
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  #2  
Old 06-12-2002, 07:05 PM
Arne Hess
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Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 312

Bluetooth Rulez!

I can not live without Bluetooth anymore and if I should decide between a Bluetooth or W-LAN equipped Pocket PC like the new Toshiba, I would take the Bluetooth one for sure. It can connects to my mobile phone every time and brings me to the new while I'm more limited with W-LAN Internet access. My mobile phone is always with me, a TCP/IP based Wi-Fi network not!
Also I've just posted a news about first public Bluetooth Internet access points at a coffee house chain in Germany (http://www.ppcw.net/stories.php?story=02/06/12/4449883). So even here (on the W-LAN network side) Bluetooth could becomes interesting as it consumes less power than Wi-Fi cards!
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  #3  
Old 06-12-2002, 07:17 PM
Master O'Mayhem
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Posts: 289

Jason,

I agree with you. I have had alot of experience with BT and its software and the most pressing problem is the interoperabilty of devices. Sockets card works great and has the easiest UI and setup. Getting anyone of my BT devices to work together is the big challenge:

IBM A30P
IBM A31P
Sony Vaio PCG-SRX41P
T68 T68i
Socket BT CF card
IBM BT PCMCIA Card
COMPAQ 3870
HP 995C BT printer
Ericsson HBH-10 HBH-20 Headset
SONY PCR120BT MiniDV CAm
AnyCOM PCMCIA
ANYCOM Printer module

You would think that all these should work together, but they dont. That is the problem. What version is everything going to work together? 1.1 10.1?? dont get me wrong.. BT is cool and it does work but not with everything
 
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  #4  
Old 06-12-2002, 07:26 PM
Don Sorcinelli
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Default My Personal View (and then a general view)...

Personally, I love Bluetooth. I have been using it with my PPC, PCs and printer, and it does what it is supposed to - simplify my life. Elimination of cabling and switching hardware for printers was the BIG plus for me. I am also a person who does not mind (and frequently has to) get "under the hood" to make things work. While I had some very minor problems when I first installed and configured hardware, software and drivers on different devices, they were problems nonetheless. And that is where the "big picture" problem exists.

There is no way that I believe that Bluetooth will gain widescale acceptance until ALL of the aspects regarding the technology are ironed out. I include:

- Hardware installation
- Software installation
- Configuration
- "Intelligence" (auto-discovery, bonding rules, etc.)

The current implementations of Bluetooth out there today are not, for the most part, geared toward end-users. I cringe when I think out the average PC user configuring a Bluetooth keyboard and mouse 8O . I can only hope that the software implementation is greatly improved over what I have seen to date.

BOTTOM LINE - Bluetooth can rock today for those who can work with it in its current form. Bluetooth can eventually rock for "the masses", but only if the overall experience is improved.
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Don SorcinelliMicrosoft MVP, Windows Mobile DevicesEditor-In-Chief, BostonPocketPC.com
 
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  #5  
Old 06-12-2002, 07:52 PM
Ed Hansberry
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Default Re: Bluetooth needs to get it's act together

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jason Dunn
I'll grant you the point that if everyone adhered to proper Bluetooth standards it would all work together nicely - but that has no bearing on this problem.
I won't grant any such thing. I am not a techie up to date on the reams of paper that make up the BT standard, but the last time I recall a major standard backed by a whole slew of people it was the dueling 56K-Flex and X2 consortiums that gave us 56K modem speeds. Half the time those modems within the same "standard" wouln't talk to each other and even if you found a 56K-Flex server, you were lucky to get over 33.6K, which was basically the V.90 28.8K standard. I suspect the BT standard looks a bit like the IRS code. Everyone and their grandmother had something to pitch in and getting it all to reconcile into one unified clean product is turning out to be very difficult.

Either that, or they are all just a bunch of morons that can't read instructions. :wink: Is there a "Implementing BlueTooth in your products for Dummies" yet?
 
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  #6  
Old 06-12-2002, 07:58 PM
Ravnia
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Join Date: Jun 2002
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Default Ideal BT App...

Hi, I recently found this Fujitsu laptop...you can remove the keyboard & touchpad for better typing and it is connected to the computer via BT.

Check it out: http://www.fujitsu-siemens.com/rl/pr...smobile_h.html

Mike
 
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  #7  
Old 06-12-2002, 08:02 PM
angelseye2000
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Default Re: Bluetooth needs to get it's act together

and numerically speaking it seems that most people seem to think that Bluetooth is a great technology. BLUETOOTH ITSELF IS A GREAT TECHNOLOGY. THE INTERPRETATION OF THE STANDARD IS SOMETHING ELSE. THAT'S THE MAIN PROBLEM I THINK (2 MANY PROFILES?). 802.11 IS A COMPLETE DIFFERENT COMPOSED WIRELESS TECHNOLOGY STANDARD. THERE WILL BE (OR ARE) COMPLETE DIFFERENT APPLICATIONS WITH BLUETOOTH THEN WITH 802.11. BUT THE PROS OF A STANDARD 'CAN' ALSO CONTAIN SOME MINORS AT THE SAME TIME.

The common thread I see with the people who think Bluetooth rocks..... THEY DON'T THINK THAT ONLY, THEY KNOW IT. BECAUSE THEY HAVE SOME PRODUCTS WHICH WORK. MY BLUETOOTH HEADSET WORKS GREAT WITH MY PHONE.

But those of you taking this stance ignore the most important factor here: consumers don't care about pointing fingers, they just want something that works. 100% TRUE. SOME PRODUCTS WORK SOME DON'T. (JUST WONDERING IF EVERY 802.11 PRODUCT WORKS?)

BUT IT'S ALSO ABOUT TALKING DOOM AND GLOOM ABOUT BLUETOOTH: THIS IS A MIX OF THINGS LIKE: OVERHYPE, BAD WRITTEN ARTICLES BY SO-CALLED TECH WRITERS, DIFFICULT WIRELESS TECHNOLOGY STANDARD, AVERAGE PEOPLE WHO DON'T NO ##### STILL TALK AND REPEAT THEMSELF ON DIFFERENT BOARDS AND PDA SITES WITH THINGS LIKE "BLUETOOTH IS TO SLOW" (TO DO WHAT?), "IT DOESN'T HAVE THE RANGE LIKE WIFI" (WITH A BLUETOOTH MOBILE PHONE YOU ANYWHERE, EVERYWHERE CONNECTIVITY AND YOU DON'T NEED HOTSPOTS/ACCESS POINTS AS WITH WIFI, SO?), "I DON'T NEED BLUETOOTH BECAUSE IF HAVE WIFI" (COULD BE...IT'S LIKE NOT USING A BICYCLE BECAUSE YOU USE YOUR CAR ONLY) ETC. ETC. IT'S BORING STUFF OR INCOMPLETE.

The problem, and the frustration Ed and I both have with Bluetooth, is that many companies making Bluetooth products don't adhere to the standards, and thus produce crappy devices that don't work. EVERY TECHNOLOGY HAS HIS GOOD AND BAD PRODUCTS. BUT THE BLUETOOTH TECHNOLOGY BRINGS ALSO SOME HEAVY BAGGAGE WITH IT. IT'S A LITTLE BIT INHERENT WITH THE TECHNOLOGY. (MAYBE STANDARIZED BLUETOOTH STANDARD WILL WORK THIS OUT?). I HOPE MORE PRODUCTS TESTS OVER DIFFERENT COMPANIES AND UNPLUGGED FESTS WILL MAKE BLUETOOTH MORE INTEROPERABLE.

The Bluetooth SIG has had years to work this out, and if device to device communication was important to them, they'd be strict about testing every Bluetooth device and withholding approval of the device if it didn't work. 802.11 HAS AN ADVANTAGE FOR BEING EARLIER ON THE MARKET ALSO BECAUSE THE STARTED IN 199O. SO THE WIFI STANDARD DOESN'T CAME OVERNIGHT. BLUETOOTH STARTED IN THE MID 90'S FOUND THIS:

"Even with the recent delays, the progression of the Bluetooth standard is far ahead of the adoption rates of almost any other comparable technology. Many point to the sudden emergence of 802.11b as proof that Bluetooth has already been superseded by more advanced technologies. However, the truth is that the road towards 802.11b's success began over a decade ago in 1990 when the IEEE 802 Executive Committee established the 802.11 Working Group to create a wireless local area network (WLAN) standard. The b variant simply represents the emergence of a version of the standard that is a viable mass-market commercial solution. In comparison, Ericsson first began toying with the idea of a short-range wireless technology in 1994, four years after work on 802.11 began. Furthermore, although the inspiration for Bluetooth occurred in 1994, real work on the technology as an industry standard did not start until the original Special Interest Group was formed in 1998. The 1.0 specification was released a mere two years ago in July 1999. The 1.1 version was finalized in february 2001."

I know that Bluetooth works for some of you, but like Ed, nearly every experience I've had with Bluetooth has been frustrating. HAVE YOU USED A BLUETOOTH HEADSET WITH A BLUETOOTH MOBILE PHONE? OR THE NEW 3COM PRINT ADAPTER? USB DONGLES? TRY THE NEW SOCKET CARDS JASON. AM VERY CURIOUS ABOUT YOUR OPINION.

Has Bluetooth arrived?
1. Yes - Bluetooth rules.
2. No - it needs more work before it's ready
3. No - Bluetooth is useless and doomed by 802.11x

Polls like this are fun for certain people but not very usefull. There are 2 little choices first of all. Second, the choices are incomplete or picked wrong i think.

1. Bluetooth rules what? Bluetooth is just an very interesting cable replacement wireless technology.
2. The standard itself is ok. The interpretation of it by the (over) 2000 Bluetooth Company Members is another question. Certain products don't work or not how they should be, others work great. Bluetooth Compatibility Charts can help. Maybe this will help also: IEEE APPROVES IEEE 802.15.1 STANDARD FOR WIRELESS PERSONAL AREA NETWORKS ADAPTED FROM THE BLUETOOTH´┐Ż SPECIFICATION
http://standards.ieee.org/announcements/802151app.html

Bluetooth Compatibility Charts
http://www.tdksys.com/Products/images/Bluetoothcomp.pdf
http://www.pico.net/compatibility.html
http://www.compaq.com/products/wirel...ompmatrix.html

3. It's like saying a bicycle is useless!!!!!!!! Bluetooth isn't useless and is market as a PAN technology vs 802.11 being a LAN technology. To compare both is comparing apples with peers (or comparing a car with a bicycle). Both are DIFFERENT TECHNOLOGIES FOR DIFFERENT NEEDS.

A few months ago, some technology observers were predicting the demise of the Bluetooth wireless technology before it ever got off the ground. It would be done in, they said, by 802.11b (Wi-Fi) wireless-LAN technology. There wasn't room in the marketplace for both, they said.
They were wrong, because their conclusions were based on a misguided comparison of Bluetooth and 802.11b for application as a LAN. The two serve very different purposes and simply don't compete in the marketplace (see the sidebar, "Different animals").
http://www.anywhereyougo.com/bluetoo....po?id=4278075

JMHO

angel
 
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  #8  
Old 06-12-2002, 08:11 PM
angelseye2000
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Default Poll.

Has Bluetooth arrived?
Yes - Bluetooth rules.
33% [ 3 ]
No - it needs more work before it's ready
33% [ 3 ]
No - Bluetooth is useless and doomed by 802.11x
33% [ 3 ]

Total Votes : 9

----------------

Checked the poll to see if the people who filled in "Bluetooth is useless and doomed by 802.11x" have any interesting info to share?

Silly me. lol
 
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  #9  
Old 06-12-2002, 08:14 PM
angelseye2000
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Arne Hess
Bluetooth Rulez!

I can not live without Bluetooth anymore and if I should decide between a Bluetooth or W-LAN equipped Pocket PC like the new Toshiba, I would take the Bluetooth one for sure. It can connects to my mobile phone every time and brings me to the new while I'm more limited with W-LAN Internet access. My mobile phone is always with me, a TCP/IP based Wi-Fi network not!
Also I've just posted a news about first public Bluetooth Internet access points at a coffee house chain in Germany (http://www.ppcw.net/stories.php?story=02/06/12/4449883). So even here (on the W-LAN network side) Bluetooth could becomes interesting as it consumes less power than Wi-Fi cards!
Thanx for dropping by Arne. ;o)
 
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  #10  
Old 06-12-2002, 08:41 PM
cptnshred
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Join Date: Jun 2002
Posts: 12
Default Bluetooth works, sometimes...

I developed a system for finding hardware that works. I decide what I ideally want, and start buying and returning and buying and returning until I get what works. For example, I wanted a BT PCI card - I didn't want a little antenna that was going to break off, and I wanted at least one LED to tell me it was working. I started with the Toshiba card. After several hours of trying, it wouldn't work. I don't care if it was me or the card - that's about usability. In this case, life was simple: I returned the Toshiba card and bought the 3Com card. I had to give up the solid antenna, I had to go without an LED, but it works. I voted that BT still needs work, but it works great for me now. (Between my Notebook and ipaq, anyway.) BT is still bleeding edge, as are most of us who are reading things like this. It will take some time for the good implementers to be rewarded. A "best of class" will develop as with all hardware, and the loosers will loose. I think what several of you have said is correct. It's the implementers doing a bad job - don't reward them - just take it back!
 
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