Most recent PalmOne/Clie devices and some PocketPC ones come with Bluetooth instead of WiFi. Imagine yourself in a WiFi-enabled hotel room with your dual wireless *book on your lap and a BT-enabled PDA/phone device. How do you route networking to these devices *from* your Mac?The first question that pops into the mind of people is “if you already have a connected laptop, why do you also need to use a PDA to connect to the net”? Well, there are lots of reasons why this can happen:
1. Your partner needs to do some work via it, while you are browsing osnews vigorously. 😉
2. If you are a web developer, test your web site with its mobile browser(s), and we are not talking just AvantGo here which happens to work as both offline and online browser.
3. Allow the person with the PDA/Phone to check his personal pop3 email without having to setup a user account on your Mac.
4. Stream Bluetooth LAN access up to 7 people (e.g. in case all your friends have BT PDAs).
5. Stream music via iTunes to your mp3-enabled PDA for up to 7 BT clients, all at once! Think: washing plates in your kitchen and you want to listen to some music off your desktop, something that your 128 MB mp3 player doesn’t handle.
6. Allow PDAs and phones access your network.
7. Your partner might have a laptop without wireless (e.g. PC laptops or older iBooks), but it’s easy and cheap to get a $20 USB BT dongle. Your Mac could share its connection to your partner’s laptop when on vacations.
8. If your Mac Access Point is a desktop Mac (and hence you can’t move it around) and you want to use your PDA or old iBook or other laptop (that has no Wifi, but just a BT dongle) outside in your veranda while you are drinking that refreshing smoothie, that would be the way to do it.
9. Because it’s cool to know that your computer is able to do this.
The second question that might pop to your mind is: “why don’t you buy a Bluetooth LAN Access Point?”. Unfortunately, that’s not a great advice, because if you are away from the office/home, you don’t want to carry it with you, plus the cheapest one costs about 70 bucks, which is far more expensive than the $25 WiFi routers available today.
The third questions you have is “why don’t you use a BT phone to connect your PDA on the net”? The answer is three fold:
a. I don’t want to pay for phone calls for slow internet access via dial-up
b. I don’t have a Bluetooth phone
c. I don’t have a mobile phone or a BT modem ($80) in general.
For the last month I scoured the net to find ways to route net access to a BT device via a Mac. Apparently a lot of people are asking for that feature, and while it IS possible via some command line magic, it’s an extremely delicate procedure and it seems to break (or commands need to be modified) from OSX version to OSX version (even minor versions).
For example, there are FOUR third party ways to do the job, one via IPShareNetX which does not work anymore (in fact, it doesn’t even autodetect my Mac’s integrated BT anymore), the Share2Blue2th Applescripts that also don’t work anymore (plus it’s point to point and it doesn’t do routing for up to 7 clients), the P800 hack that also doesn’t work properly anymore (at least not with non-P800 phone devices), and finally the Bluetooth2Internet utitlity ALSO does not work anymore (the v3.0 is expected to be released since forever).
Then, there is the manual way that somehow don’t work for everyone and it requires lots of extra tinkering even after you followed the instructions here or here or here or here. Also, some of the stuff suggested there are outdated. Addtionally, this is just not the Mac way and I refuse on principle to spend hours just to get something like that working. I’m not interesed in doing this as an exercise in hacking, but rather out of a true desire to enjoy this functionality.
Now, on the other side, there is the Windows and Linux way, where it IS possible to route over BT, and it’s even easier to setup than on the Mac (even Linux does it easier it seems). Thing is, I prefer to take with me the 12″ 4.6lbs Powerbook when away, rather than the 7 lbs 15.2″ LinuxCertified laptop (which doesn’t have built-in BT anyway, though my brother bought me an external USB BT dongle, for my name day :).
The other kicker is that Apple has put some substantial work on making Internet Sharing work over Ethernet, WiFi, modem and even over a Firewire cable. But there is no support for Bluetooth sharing. The pref panel allows you to share a Bluetooth connection, but only to computers using WiFi or Ethernet. What I need is the ability to share a modem/WiFi/ethernet connection TO computers that use Bluetooth. This option is not available and that’s why all the fuss is happening.
I don’t know if Tiger will support this functionality (crossing fingers), but somehow I doubt it will (in fact, my sources say that the feature is still not there). Hopefully, a dedicated third party software maker will build such a utility, which should not be hard to write (it’s been done before), it’s just that it would need constant updating & testing when new versions of OSX are released every 2 months. That’s the commitment users would need from such a software utility.
My Ngage can access internet through a bluetooth dongle. It took a little while to figure out how to use bluetooth in linux, and how to convince the phone to go on the net via bluetooth. A 5line script was all I needed.
In general I find routing through Linux is easier than through windows/osx because it was built with that sort of stuff in mind.
Sorry, no (yes, I had Linux on the PPC before). I have Linux on two of my PC laptops, and it’s already a pain to not have proper ACPI or proper support on them. Mac OS X will stay as the one and only OS on any of my Macs, I don’t like the half-baked support of Linux on Mac systems.
Besides what’s the point of running Linux on the powerbook? I bought the mac in order to specifically run Mac OS X. I need a solution that really works, on OSX.
Bluetooth/sync with Treo 650…no problems here.
you obviously did not read the article.
If you’re using Mark/Space’s the Missing Sync with your PDA you’re in for a surprise. It will set this up for you automatically. Just tell it your want to share the connection and it’s shared.
I _know_ of the Missing Sync trick, but it’s not what I want. The missing Sync requires a profile of the PDA on your computer. What if you want to share the connection with someone else’s PDA or laptop or phone, and what if you want to share it wirelessly (without using any USB cables). The missingSync only supports _your_ PDAs, you can’t provide wireless connection to another laptop or PDA. In other words, the MissingSync trick is of limited usage.
Problem, there is no problem. Just make a network connection for your bluetooth in your networks preferences, which is just a couple of clicks. Then share your wifi to your bluetooth connection. Bam, the PDA should be able to surf the web.
What are you talking about Brando?
We are talking about sharing a modem/ethernet/wifi connection to a bluetooth device, not the other way around.
It really pisses me off when people do not read the article, but yet, they feel like commenting here.
But I can network two laptops together over firewire, I would think that other devices can be networked just the same way over bluetooth if they have that ability (guessing it does since this is what he wants to do). So if his PDA can network using bluetooth, then on the Mac laptop, you make a new network connection for the bluetooth in Network in the System Preferences. Then you share your internet connection from your wifi to your bluetooth, then hopefully the PDA can then use the bluetooth to get internet connection though the laptop. The same way I share out my wifi connection to a computer connected on the laptops firewire connection. I am going the right way.
That’s the part you don’t understand: The Internet Sharing panel will not let you do that. It will let you share connections from Bluetooth-to-whatever-else, but NOT from whatever-to-bluetooth.
It IS possible to do it manually after you spend hours fighting with the command line, but it’s not possible via the Internet Sharing. THAT’S why I wrote this article in the first place!
I mean, you already know that:
a) There is no way to do this using OS X GUI tools
b) that doing it manually is to much time and trouble for you
c) that all apps that automate the ‘manual’ process are outdated or don’t work.
What exactly is it you are looking for, and why do you think that posting your problem here on OSNews (Where unifromed trolling runs wild) is going to get it solved?
1. Someone might want to write a utility for the problem and well-support it, as I write on the last paragraph. There IS a market for it. I would pay $10 for a shareware like that.
2. Many Apple engineers read osnews. Someone might listen.
3. Because I want to let my readers know of the limitation. Even Brando, who is Mac OS X user did not know that this was not possible via the Internet Sharing panel. He totally thought that the sharing would work the same way as it does for WiFi or FW.
4. Because I can. I did a lot of research on the problem for weeks now, and these are my findings. I am sure it will save a lot of people the time I spent to find a solution.
That was a totally worthwhile article.
> you obviously did not read the article.
You’re right I didn’t. However, what I said was true:P
Which was useless, because what you wrote is off topic. I suggest you go back and read the article in order to understand what we are talking about here exactly.
I didn’t think it actually checked, just shared with any paired device. Even then though I realize it’s not a good solution. As that’s a lot of software for one feature.
So, if I understand the problem (and I did read the article), you can go from the laptop to the PDA (via Bluetooth), but not the other way around?
I should have clarified to add: and only to that PDA?
…take it for what it’s worth:
Somewhat offtopic, but XP SP2 has a similar problem, i.e., the built-in Bluetooth stack has a Personal Area Network (PAN) profile but ICS just ignores the Bluetooth network interface. For some reason neither Apple nor Microsoft thinks you should share your internet connection over BT, perhaps they got kickbacks from the Wifi consortium? It’s surely not a software problem as it works fine under Linux and under Windows with the Widcomm BT stack (which creates a BT network interface that behaves like any other NIC, i.e., it can be bridged and ICS works).
Installing SP2 annoyingly replaces the existing Widcomm stack with the barely functional Microsoft one, and you have to jump through some hoops to reenable it. I just don’t understand why MS took the trouble to write and integrate a BT stack that lets you do almost nothing. They’d be better off just buying Widcomm.
I use a thirdparty tool to connect wireless through my P900 and UMTS modem. It’s produced by http://www.novamedia.de. Good company, lots of support.
> 5. Stream music via iTunes to your mp3-enabled PDA for up to 7 BT
> clients, all at once! Think: washing plates in your kitchen and you want to
> listen to some music off your desktop, something that your 128 MB mp3
> player doesn’t handle.
So how does that work then Eugenia? Sounds like a rather cool feature!
“4. Because I can. I did a lot of research on the problem for weeks now, and these are my findings. I am sure it will save a lot of people the time I spent to find a solution.”
I admire persistence, but in all the time you spent, considering the value of your time and the relatively small utility of the accomplishment, why not buy a $10 ethernet hub and either an ethernet-portable device adaptor cable or a $25 bluetooth-ethernet adaptor and use that instead?
Because it DEFEATS the point and these adaptors will only work with SOME OSes, not all, and definately NOT with PDAs. The point is to have an Access Point in software and Mac OS X does not give it to me. If it had, I would not have to buy anything, and the software-based solution would work with ALL the clients, not only for the ones that have drivers for that BT-2-ethernet adaptor.
As you can see, your suggestion, along with the other ones on this forum, are only of limited usage. If a software-based Access Point was properly supported, all clients would work out of the box and I would not need to buy any extra software or hardware. Read my Arch Linux’s article I posted today, how to make Arch a Bluetooth Access Point. That’s what I want from OSX too, it’s just that I expect from OSX to make it easier, because simply, that’s why I bought this Mac: ease of use.
There is a way to do what you want, you just refuse to do it because it’s not easy, that tells me you don’t really need to do it, it would just be nice.
I can understand you asking for someone to write a utility, or posting this as a way to subtly ask Apple to add it, but don’t act like there isn’t any way to do it, because there is, and you’ve linked to a few pages that have the information.
The whole point to a modern OS is to be able to do things easily. That’s why I don’t like Linux. Every time I give it another try, even though it has progressed, it seems to be just as far behind as ever.
Except for this little problem.
But it’s like the first autos.
You had to crank the engine from the front. Then you got in and checked, the oil levels. As many as three! Then pumped the oil to the lube points. No electric pumps on the old ones. Then tuned the fuel mix. Manually. Put your goggles on. No windshield here! Released the brake arm. Engaged the main gear.
If the battery was working, you were off! Mind the road? What’s that? No road? Ok, follow the carriage ruts. Steering was direct, so hold on tight and put some muscle into it.
After a hundred miles or so, if it’s still working, get out and oil the chain.
Well, that was a lot of fun.
I think I’ll try Linux one more time. After I get a Bluetooth phone.
“As you can see, your suggestion, along with the other ones on this forum, are only of limited usage. If a software-based Access Point was properly supported, all clients would work out of the box and I would not need to buy any extra software or hardware. Read my Arch Linux’s article I posted today, how to make Arch a Bluetooth Access Point. That’s what I want from OSX too, it’s just that I expect from OSX to make it easier, because simply, that’s why I bought this Mac: ease of use.”
I don’t think anyone on here, me included, questions your underlying premise. I think we just question why you would waste so much time attempting a software fix for something that could easily be solved with a few dollars worth of hardware, if it were worth solving at all. I still question why anyone would want to surf the net via bluetooth linked to a Mac when such a configuration assumes the presence of a perfectly good Mac. I remain unpersuaded by the reasons listed in your article.
I recently encountered the same frustration. I wanted to control my Mac with PalmVNC and OSXvnc, but found no workable solutions for sharing an Internet connection with my Tungsten T, or even just assigning it a local IP address, since an Internet connection wouldn’t be necessary persay.
Is reported to have been seeded. Included in the update are “The full developer seed, build 7W72, is 30MB in size at present and focuses largely on peripheral (Firewire, USB, Bluetooth, Networking, Printing) drivers.”
That’s just bug fixes. The feature is not there.
Oh well– I don’t have a bluetooth equipped Mac, PDA or cell phone to see if the hacks work.
Maybe if enough people let Apple know that they want this functionality rather than ranting that it isn’t there, it’ll show up in a future release. (hint: <http://www.apple.com/macosx/feedback/> or <http://www.apple.com/feedback/>)
Didn’t realize the “>” would be included in the URLs posted. They are:
JUST beat me to it.