posted by Eugenia Loli on Tue 21st Jun 2005 08:57 UTC
IconA few months ago I published a how-to article showing how to make a Linux machine a Bluetooth 'LAN Access Point' so Bluetooth clients can get internet access via it. This worked fine with Panther, but it seems that the new Bluetooth preference panels on Tiger are not only much better to a certain level, but buggy and puzzling at the very same time.

The good:
The "serial port" panel now has been integrated to the main Bluetooth panel and so all related matters are now "together" under the same window. This makes management of devices and services easier. Also the pairing password dialog is great too!

The bugs:
I had a complete OS crash on a clean Tiger installation when trying to edit a serial port for my paired Bluetooth device. Two more bugs included duplication of information e.g. Paired: Yes, Paired: Yes, Paired: Yes (for just one device) while a modal alert window wouldn't go away in a another instance. I have filed bug reports for these. Here is what's really bugging me though, what really made me write this article:


The fault:
How can one get access to a Bluetooth LAN Access Point? On Panther it was not "easy", but it was certainly doable. But now, it's just not. My Linux device has being paired successfully and it offers two services: Serial Port and LAN Access Point. Now, if I connect to the device, go to "edit serial ports" the "device service" combo box does NOT offer me the option of LAN Access Point, it only gives me the "serial port" option. If I select that and RS-232 and "show in network preferences" and create a new portname called "MyDevice-SerialPort-1" and turn the service On, and then go to its Networking preferences, choose PPP and the Null modem device, the Internet Connect FAILS to connect with it. It says that there are no rfcomm serial channels -- or something to this effect.

The Bluetooth Help files offer no clues at all about how to use Bluetooth except file exchange pretty much. I find this pretty poor as bluetooth can be used in various ways. The Help files don't even explain properly what the Sharing tab does in the Bluetooth pref panel and how it can be used and to what purpose when you create new serial ports with it. Bluetooth on the Mac remains one big mystery on anything beyond file exchange and PDA/phone sync. And MacOSXHints.com doesn't offer any solutions to this either.

So, the question here is: Does ANYONE have a step-by-step how-to connect Tiger on a Bluetooth Access Point?

And of course, the other way around: Does anyone have a NEW way to share your airport/ethernet Internet connection to third party clients that use Bluetooth? (the pre-Tiger ways don't work, don't link to old content please).

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