01 February 2009

No Built-in Bluetooth? Tiny Bluetooth May Be the Answer

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If you were like me and opted for the U100X Linux version of the Wind which came with a larger 160gb capacity hard drive as opposed to the Win XP Home version's 80gb, you're missing one feature: bluetooth.

The Win XP Home with bluetooth and 80gb model originally sold for Php 24,999 while the Linux sans bluetooth but with 160gb drive model cost only Php 19,999. After doing some light math, you figured out that additional 80gb of storage space is the way to go to slash off almost Php 5,000 from the purchase price, thinking that you could install your own OS and that a BT dongle can be had at as little as Php 300 for the bulkier type, to Php 1,000 for the slicker, less obtrusive breed like this:


I've personally tried my year-old BT dongle, one I got from the local CDR-King shop, and which is of the bulkier type:

bt_blueOf course, this ancient BT dongle is way bigger than the first one in shown in black above.

Compatibility with OS X is not a question. The system recognized it the moment I plugged it in and the bluetooth assistant popped up to guide me in configuring stuff. There was no need for a separate, third-party utility much unlike in the case of the Realtek WiFi module that came with my unit.


However, because I couldn't use the fn+F11 key combo for the BT dongle, there was no convenient way of turning BT off (especially for when you wanna save precious battery run time) but to unplug the dongle. Which means, turning it back on would mean having to plug the dongle back in. And then here comes the greatest gripe of all; though system apparently still remembers that you've got bluetooth, it doesn't remember its configuration. Bluetooth remains switched "off" even if the dongle is plugged in again and there's no amount of effort you can muster to have the system switch it on, since everything related to BT is grayed out in the menu bar as well as in System Preferences.

You're left, as it is, to either fiddle with the settings by deleting the "existing" BT config which had been obviously rendered useless now, to create a new config via the BT assistant, or to just reboot with the BT plugged in to your unit for a fresh start.

Oh well, it's a comfort I don't use bluetooth that often or that I got used to just not using it if I can help it.

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