Asus Eee PC users may be less lucky with Bluetooth. The very full instructions on the Eee PC User Group web page point out that "the Eee install of Linux comes with Bluetooth support enabled, but there is no way to configure or use it from the graphical interface. The command-line must be used".
Readers of previous episodes here shouldn't have much of a problem with that. But the User Group guidelines go on to add, fatefully: "However, this is trivial."
'Trivial' in the special sense of 'not possible', that is - at least if my experience is anything to go by. Although Linux seems recognise the Bluetooth dongle as powered up, I simply couldn't get its LED to flash at all.
A quick chat with Phil Simes on Cambridge Silicon Radio's support desk confirmed that the problem might be that the Asus machine was delivering marginally less power than the dongle was expecting. As the latest generation of Eee PCs are already Bluetooth enabled there didn't seem much point in pursuing this.
Has anyone else got this working? If you have, please let me know how, by posting a comment or emailing me using the byline link above.
In the very early days of Unix, features like Bluetooth capability - not that such a thing existed then - would be compiled into the kernel, but for over a decade now the practice has been to create them as separate modules, optionally loadable either by user intervention or - more commonly - automatically on demand. Plug in your Bluetooth USB dongle: the operating system recognises it and loads the relevant modules. All modern operating systems work like this.
But unlike Windows, or Mac OS X, the kernel at the heart of the Linux operating system - or, strictly speaking, the Linux at the core of the GNU/Linux system - has been evolving very fast. So although a Mac OS X "kernel extension" (a
.kext) created five years ago might be expected to work with the current Mac OS X, a kernel module compiled to run with some random version of Linux probably won't work with the 22.214.171.124lw kernel at the heart of the AA1's Linpus.
This has always been true of Linux/Unix, and although it sounds like a headache, it's actually part of the great strength of an operating system that runs across a huge range of different hardware. It works because kernel modules are traditionally distributed as source code, something made possible by the fact that every full version of Linux is also a development system, with its own set of compilers, linkers and all the other paraphernalia necessary to crunch source code into binary executables.
Every version of Linux - except, that is, for the pre-cooked, locked-down Linuxes turning up on today's netbooks. In the case of the AA1, I see that it may not be as grim as that. The Package Manager - which you can get to if you followed the instructions for attaining the AA1's "advanced mode" in Episode 3 - promises a set of Development Tools and Libraries, which should bring Linpus up to full spec. I haven't installed any of this because the spirit of this series is not to get too hairy.
Patch what patch?
I had no idea there was an "official" Acer bluetooth patch; at least my attempts at Windows update er I mean AA1 update (whatever it's called) have never offered it to me.
I have got about three-quarters way through the incredibly faffy procedure in this article and had some success using one or both of two different "dollar fifty" bluetooth dongles from dealextreme.com
Bluetooth on my AA1 does actually "work" in the sense that it can scan around the area and get responses from local devices. Sadly any attempt at a working ppp connection via my phone seems doomed; "no route to host" from the l2ping seems to be the scuppering factor.
Also the very presence of the netbook in the same room now seems to send a previously working Nokia PC Suite on an unrelated machine into a dither.
I have to say that if you get a 3G Huawei E160G dongle for the AA1 it just plugs straight in and works (via the inbuilt Mobile Partner software) so actually I wish I'd done that now instead of rashly buying a 3G phone.
Just installed EEEBUNTU on my Aspire one ( w HDD) and am well happy with it. The only mod I've made is to use Synaptic to add Evolution using a full intrepid DVD for a repository. Added a 3, G3 dongle for when I'm out and about and it worked as soon as I plugged it in. Have previously made assorted mods to Linpus (some from these articles) but this is *much* better.
I don't use Bluetooth but there's a configuration option for it so I guess it's set up.
there are lots of versions of linux - and you are aware there are more than one version of windows? Would this bluetooth work if plugged into windows 95 - no. Windows 98 - no. Windows 2000 - no. XP - probably. Vista - probably.
Like I said , there are lots of linuxes. Its just a pity that Acer have a crap one.
But its ok as its linux to totally generalise and assume as it doesn't work on MY COMPUTER then it will never ever work on anyone elses.
Bluetooth on eeepc
Bluetooth on EEE pc 901 worked right out of the box...
no setup, no nothing: turn it on using the button to turn on networks; connect to the bluetooth app you want and download whatever you want to be downloading.
I dropped Linpus as soon as I could because almost everything I tried to install failed with a dependency error. It seems that Acer didn't put as much effort into the quality control of the software as they did the hardware Just install Easy Peasy Ubuntu Netbook Remix (http://www.geteasypeasy.com/) and then it just works. Both Cambridge Silicon Radio and Broadcom work with no configuration.