[NBLUG/talk] Bluetooth?

Lincoln Peters sampln at sbcglobal.net
Sat May 28 14:17:24 PDT 2005

On Sat, 2005-05-28 at 13:25 -0700, Bill Kendrick wrote:
> On Sat, May 28, 2005 at 12:30:17PM -0700, Lincoln Peters wrote:
> > * Two keyboards (one for each desktop)
> > * Three mice (one for each computer)
> Any reason you're going Bluetooth with these, rather than just using
> wireless mice and keyboards?  (or am I totally confused here?)
> In other words, do you even _need_ a driver (other than std USB kybd/mouse)
> to control the old-fashioned (pre-Bluetooth-being-all-the-rage) cordless
> devices?

I suppose I could use the old-fashioned wireless technologies, but as I
recall they tend to use bulky transmitters that require external power
supplies.  This would mean very little reduction in cords, if any at all
(I might even end up with *more* cables in the end!).

> > * Three printers (an inkjet on one desktop, two laser printers on the
> > other desktop, all three use parallel ports and don't support USB)
> The parallel<->bluetooth device mentioned by someone else sounds like it'd
> work.  Of course, you could also get parallel<->ethernet and then use
> 802.11(b/g) wireless to print, maybe, too?

I tried to set up a WiFi network about a year ago, and it was such an
installation nightmare that I gave up, returned most of the equipment,
and ran Ethernet cables through the crawl space under my house.
Although I still have a WiFi router (I got lucky during a raffle at a
computer show last fall) and a WiFi card in my laptop.

If I can eliminate everything except power cables, Ethernet cables, and
a few odds and ends such as VGA cables, I'll be much better off, and I
have a few tricks I can use to make them less appealing to a kitten
(such as placing them in hard plastic pipes).  So the Bluetooth printer
solution sounds like a good step in the right direction.

> > * Two pairs of analog speakers (one for each desktop)
> That'd definitely need bluetooth, I think. :)

Probably new speakers, too!

Although as I think about it, I might be able to use the kinds of
speakers that mount into a 5.25" drive bay.  I'd just need to find such
speakers that provide as good sound as the ones I have now...

> > * A scanner
> Hrm...

The wireless USB bridge that I mentioned earlier would probably work,
but I can't find any evidence that anyone's ever tried it with a
scanner.  Might be kind of slow too, since I've already found that the
scanner runs slower on USB 1.1 than on USB 2.0 (the desktop machine it's
connected to has USB 1.1 ports built into the motherboard but has USB
2.0 ports via an expansion card), and if I remember correctly, Bluetooth
is even slower than USB 1.1.

> > * A memory card reader
> Hrmmm...  Any reason you can't get a PC/MCIA one for the laptop and/or IDE
> ones for the desktop (that insert right in the case and poke out, kinda like
> a floppy or CD drive)?

My laptop doesn't have a PCMCIA slot (it's an iBook), so that won't
work.  As for the desktops, I've seen internal USB readers that I could
use; I even have one set up on one of the desktop machines.  I'd be
reluctant to use an IDE reader on the other desktop because it already
has 2 add-on IDE controller cards and a total of 6 IDE drives (3 hard
drives and 3 optical drives of various kinds).  Not to imply that I'm
running out of space in my tower or anything...

My concern is basically for attaching the memory card reader to the
laptop.  Although as I think about it, I've got the kind where I could
detach the cable and plug the reader directly into the USB port on the
side of the laptop; it's just so bulky that I can't use the adjacent
ports when it's plugged in.

> > Admittedly I probably won't be able to make ALL of these wireless, and
> > I'm probably forgetting a few right now (I can't check right now because
> > I can't take my eyes off this kitten for more than 15 seconds, at least
> > not until he falls asleep), but the fewer cables I have that he can chew
> > on, the better!
> I'm not trying to say "noo! don't use bluetooth!", but just pointing out
> there might be some more tried-and-true ways that'd work 'out of the box'
> with Linux. :^)

I understand (and appreciate) that, and I'd be willing to use something
other than Bluetooth if it would work better and/or cost less than
Bluetooth.  I just haven't found anything else that looks like it would
fit either of the criteria.

Lincoln Peters
<sampln at sbcglobal.net>

You single-handedly fought your way into this hopeless mess.

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