Neil Turner's Blog

Blogging about technology and randomness since 2002

Bluetoothing it

I picked up a USB Bluetooth dongle today for my laptop, since they now only cost £20. My Mac has Bluetooth already, but the Nokia PC Suite software is Windows only and iSync doesn’t support my Nokia 6230i phone (you need to buy PhoneDirector for that). I’ve already got a USB Infrared adaptor but I thought I’d give Bluetooth a try since it’s supposed to be better.
I’ve now come to the conclusion that Bluetooth on OS X is somewhat superior than the Broadcam Bluetooth stack that my dongle came with. It’s okay, but still seems very long-winded in comparison to what Apple bundles by default on OS X. Still, I’ve been able to get my PDA to work over ActiveSync and my phone to work with Nokia PC Suite, so it does at least work in the end. But it could be made so much more simple.
The thing is, Windows XP SP2 actually has Bluetooth support built-in, but the installation of most drivers for Bluetooth dongles supresses this. If it’s because MS’s implementation sucks, then fine. But I’m sure MS will have come up with something more graceful that complements the general Windows user experience better than this.


  1. My old Dell Inspiron 9100 had an internal Broadcom Bluetooth radio. Try as I might, I could never get it to work with the Windows built-in Bluetooth support and was consistently forced to install the Broadcom drivers provided by Dell. This was despite the fact that the device was included on a Microsoft webpage listing the Bluetooth device drivers that were supported in SP2.

  2. I’m sure you don’t want to hear this, but you can get dongles for about £8 on Amazon through their ‘New and Used’ section

  3. I’m sure you can. But buying them new from a shop is easier 🙂 .