Saturday, November 19, 2005

Bluetooth: Not Ready for Prime Time

In addition to the new Mot V3 that I received from my new company, I also got a new IBM T43 laptop. I was pretty excited about this since they both have Bluetooth, so I could - theoretically - get the two synched, making my V3 more than just a cool fashion statement by giving it some PDA functions.

I did get the two talking to one another and have now synched my contacts and calendar, but it took - and I am not making this up - over four hours of screwing around with both the phone and the PC before I got the link-up to work. I put most of the blame on the PC side, especially the software people that Mot uses, BVRP, who, as a French company, should simply surrender the market to someone who knows what they are doing.

I won't go into the details, but I had to abandon the set-up software provided by the French and go into manually setting up the Bluetooth connection and then loading the proper phone drivers directly myself. The "ah-hah" point came when I turned off the firewall that Windows XP so thoughtfully provided to all the modems in my system - including the Bluetooth one - and I switched the BVRP software from the LAN setting to modem setting. Each of these were deep in the operating system and BVRP software, so would not be something a casual user would have figured out. And it took me many hours and some pointers from some internet chat boards to figure it out.

But I think this is not really so much an issue with Mot, IBM, or BVRP (although they are partly to blame), but I think more an issue with Bluetooth itself. The technology really isn't ready for the mass market, and just a casual look at the message boards and help sites I was reading while I went through my ordeal shows that there are many, many compatibility and software issues that still have to be worked out on this technology.

My nifty Bluetooth headset is due in on Monday, and I am hoping I have nothing near the problems I had with this.

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