Laptop: Acer 5022WLMi + Windows Vista Ultimate
Phone: Samsung i780 + Windows Mobile6 Pro
Start with checking that your Bluetooth connection is the latest version.
This is critical if you are running Windows Vista on your laptop, but not as important if you are running Windows XP. If you are running Windows XP then click here for advice on how to deal with XP as opposed to Vista.
The Acer laptop I use does not have built in Bluetooth, and I am running Windows Vista, so the first step was to buy a Bluetooth dongle. The one I selected was the Anycom USB200, which I bought on Amazon.
This dongle has:
o USB 2.0
o Data transmission up to 3Mb/s
o Class 2 (20 m / 66 feet range)
o Vista approved drivers
Follow the instructions and install the drivers and then the dongle.
o DO NOT believe any prompts from VISTA to “connect your hardware”
o FINISH the drivers install first – then REBOOT the laptop – then ATTACH the dongle.
This is critical if your are using Vista – if you are using XP the install will work normally…
– remember software first – then reboot – then attach the dongle
In the Bluetooth settings on the Samsung i780, you will see a dialogue box with 4 tabs (Devices-Mode-COM ports-FTP) – all phones/PDA’s with Bluetooth will have similar options – somewhere! – even if they are running Symbian rather than Windows Mobile6.
– Set Bluetooth ON
– make the device VISIBLE to others
FTP – Tick all the following boxes
o Bluetooth authentication
o File transfer authentication
o Able to write
o Shared folder = \My Documents
Now select Internet Sharing and you will see two drop down boxes:
o PC Connection – Set this to “Bluetooth PAN”
o Internet connection – Set this to the internet connection from your mobile supplier. So for example, this setting is set to “Orange Internet” on my phone.
Now select “Connect” and you should be given a confirmation that the process has succeeded..
“Device setup finished. On the PC connect Bluetooth PAN”
So this is showing that you “connect” the phone to a PAN (personal area network) first before connecting the laptop to the phone….
Assuming your Bluetooth dongle is installed and setup correctly on your laptop, you should see the Bluetooth icon in your task bar.
Right click on the icon and select “Join a Personal Area Network”
You should see a box that displays your phone as an icon and also confirmation that it is acting as…
o Network Access Point
o Bluetooth NAP Service
….Click on Connect
You should now see the network icon in you task bar jump into life …
– hover over the icon and it should display the name of the network (PAN) it is connected to and show that access is “local and internet”
Launch your browser or email client – you should be able to access the internet at about 1Mb/s
… in the London area this may even exceed 2Mb/sec – that’s higher than some people get on their wired broadband after contention with everyone else sharing the line!…but for our purposes I am assuming you are in a less well served marina or along the coast somewhere.
While you are browsing the phone can still receive calls and SMS text messages and will operate as normal. I have found that certain operations disrupt internet sharing such as having an alarm set in my diary which goes off – this seems to stop the phone doing anything until the alarm is cleared.
If you are going to browse the internet for a while – say 15 mins or more I would advise plugging the phone power charger in to keep the batteries topped up – Bluetooth is very draining on the phone’s battery.
You might think I am going off the point by talking about computers but they are really going to be a force to be reckoned with in the future. The marine electronics industry is going to have to withstand quite an assault on the high priced chart plotters and peripheral equipment that they are used to supplying, and the laptop I am referring to here is an early example of what is to come. As is the HTC 7501 I referred to before.
Toshiba have also launched a new Portege R500 Model utilising the latest 64GB SSD (Solid State Drive). The new Portege R500-10U is the lightest 12″ notebook in the world at 779g. (less than 2lbs !)
The benefits of the SSD and its appropriateness for marine use are very evident and include:
1. No moving parts – Extremely high reliability
2. Extremely robust – Less likely to be damaged or for data to fail
3. Less heat – No moving parts means the drive will operate without generating more heat
4. Power Efficiency – Again no moving parts means that the system uses a lot less power to operate – increasing the battery life of the notebook
5. Faster Access Times – The solid state nature of the drive also offers much quicker access time to the data enhancing the performance of the notebook
The use of solid state storage instead of moving hard discs si interesting. We are all used to this already with our cameras, pda and phones all using some type of solid stage storage and some as much as 4Gb in very small storage cards indeed.
The market for flash-based solid state disk drives which act as drop-in replacements for traditional hard drives used in mobile and portable devices is also heating up. Samsung has announced that it plans to ship a 64 GB solid state drive in the second quarter of this 2007.
SanDisk has also announced a 32 GB flash drive, and Fujitsu is announcing solid state drives as an option in selected LifeBook portable computers.
Not only is the capacity of solid state drives increasing, performance is as well. Samsung claims the respective read and write performance on its drive has been increased by 20 and 60 percent: the 64 GB unit can read 64 MB/S, write 45 MB/s, and consumes just half a Watt when operating (one tenth of a Watt when idle).
In comparison, an 80 GB 1.8-inch hard drive reads at 15 MB/s, writes at 7 MB/s, and eats 1.5 Watts either operating or when idle.
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