I Used a Linux Tool and it Worked

I am as shocked as you to report this outrageous heresy. My Linux laptop can receive files. Via Bluetooth. From my mobile phone. And I didn't get to configure anything! Nothing! What is Fedora 3 thinking to pull a MacOS on me?! ;-o

Come on! I was looking forward to hours of RTFMing hcitool, hciconfig and bluez... days of downloading iffy drivers and updates... weeks of configuring and tweaking /etc/bluetooth/\*.conf... And now that! I didn't even had to ... recompile the kernel! What world are we living in?

What's outrageous about all that? Well obviously, if I had known that earlier, I could have worked in Linux during JavaOne instead of rebooting to Windows all the time to copy over a file from my mobile to the harddrive!! Which I did quite frequently, since I was using the phone as a typewriter during sessions. (Nope, no T9 craziness. I got myself a cheap used Nokia 6822 for that purpose. Yeah baby: Full keyboard! Pretty tiny keyboard, I admit, but, worked for me.)

And all that was made possible by some anonymous developer (let's call him Edd Dumbill) who equipped my Fedora with a fully working Bluetooth setup without telling me! Well, apart from putting two big menu items that say Bluetooth File Sharing and Bluetooth Manager into the root menu. But who's using GUI menus anyway? You are? Oh. =-) Well, anyway.

I cautiously flicked some obscure WLAN switch on my vaio, and also activated my mobile's Bluetooth and made it "visible". I selected the Bluetooth File Sharing from the root menu (which adds a little daemon-thingy to the tray), and I also opened the Bluetooth Manager. (For obvious reasons it complains if you do it the other way round.) I let the Manager GUI scan for devices (equivalent to hcitool scan) and it finds my mobile (and some other stuff with blue teeth). I make my mobile send the file via Bluetooth, and select my laptop from the list as target. A message pops up on my laptop screen telling me it'll just like, dump this like totally blurry Image000.jpg into my homedir if I'm groovy with that, 'kay? — That's it. It's too effin' easy, damnit! How am I supposed to write about Linux hacks if there's nothing to hack?? Yes Edd, I'm looking at you.

Fedora 3 + bluez + hcitool = Bluetooth file transfer! Hurray!

Well, now that I transfered the files from the phone I at least have the official confirmation that the Nokia 6822's camera is as weak as expected. (It said VGA in the specs, no surprise there.) The pic's washed-out and blurry, but it's enough if you need a mugshot to visually accompany a call, I figure. (Or, a wallpaper of a monster that you take from a gremlin calendar. Muhahahaha.) The first sample pic that I spontaneously took this morning was of a military brass band I bumped into on my way to work, complete with big-shot VIPs (old war heros?) next to a tiny war memorial. \*Squinting at picture\* Or at least I think it is.

And yes, my window manager has a MacOS 9 theme; and yes, my mobile phone's name is set to Help let me out — You've got a problem with that? :-P I must have typed that line into the name field during JavaOne when I realized I had never actually tried Bluetooth file transfer and had no clue what to do at first. Hey... It just occured to me that this method (changing your phone's Bluetooth name) could be a great means of close-range communication. Muahahahah... Admittedly, it's likely to wear out the battery, rescanning takes a sec or two, and you only have 20 or so characters per 'message'... still, you don't pay any SMS fees, and can chat simultaneously with several bluetooth users within range... Try it now while you still think it's funny! ;-)


Heh :-) You can also do that with computer-to-computer WLAN networks. Just use the network name for the message. Some guys in one of my lectures did that, though they obviously didn't think anyone else had a WLAN-equipped notebook, or they would have restricted their conversation a little...

Posted by Uli on June 10, 2006 at 05:11 AM CEST #

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NetBeans IDE, Java SE and ME, 3D Games, Linux, Mac, Cocoa, Prague, Linguistics.


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