Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Bluetooth: It sucks

Allow me, for a moment, to complain about Bluetooth.

Who the HELL designed this flaming bag of waste? Has anyone ever gotten ANY Bluetooth device to work correctly and consistently? Don't think too hard, I'll answer it for you. No.

My first experience with Bluetooth was when I wanted to sync my Pocket PC with my laptop, using Bluetooth, a couple of years ago. It was easy! I just bought the crappy little Bluetooth dongle thing, attached it to my laptop, got the ActiveSync connection going, and...nothing. After spending what seemed like forever configuring this miracle of technology, I discovered that you could only sync certain things over Bluetooth. Why? For no goddamn reason, since everything works just fine over a serial connection.

A few months ago, the keyboard crapped out on my Tablet. I got this cool little fold-up Bluetooth keyboard. It didn't work right. For some reason, the driver needed a security code each time I tried to use the keyboard. I had to choose it each time, because Bluetooth would forget everything I had taught it.

I got a new Tablet. I also got a Treo. They both support Bluetooth, so connecting them should be the easiest thing on earth. This time, ActiveSync wasn't half-crippled like previous versions were. It's easy now. You just make sure both devices are broadcasting and allowing discovery, select "Sync via Bluetooth," and wonder why the hell it worked yesterday but doesn't work now. Why the partnership just disappears from time to time. Why I have to go in and discover ActiveSync services through the Bluetooth dialogs over and over again.

Then I got a Bluetooth earpiece to go along with the phone. Everything would be different. In order to securely partner the earpiece to the phone, I had to type in the top-secret security code. Which was 0000. It would always be 0000. It was hard-wired. For security, every Motorola H500 headset on earth has the same security code.

Not that the security code matters anyway, because I've had to re-enter the partnership three times now. It works great for a couple of days, and then disappears as if it's never been there in the first place.

At least the headset works sometimes. When I want to use the earpiece, the phone call goes through the phone. When I want to turn the earpiece off, the call goes through the earpiece. When I try to switch them, the call disconnects.

I have never had a Bluetooth device that works reliably. Ever. And it's not just one piece that's giving me trouble. It's every damn device that relies upon Bluetooth. Bluetooth is a broken, shitty technology that should be taken out back and shot.


Dara said...

Not that the security code matters anyway, because...
...there are architectural flaws in Bluetooth security that render its "security" about tough as ROT-13.

The only good setting for Bluetooth is "off." I always disable the Bluetooth hardware on my laptops as soon as I get them.

Anonymous said...

After trying for the first time to make my new smartphone and pc talk to each other I agree. I've spent hours messing around with "COM Ports" trying to get the pc, the phone, and Microsoft's Activesync application to agree on which COM port to use. And it has to be COM9 or lower. This is 2008, correct? I can't remember the last time I had to worry about freeing up a COM port.

So googling "bluetooth sucks" I came across your blog and I agree wholeheartedly with what you're saying. What a horrible, archiac technology. We need something to replace it, like wireless usb.