Tuesday, 18 May 2010

Yet Another Linux vs Windows comparison: USB Bluetooth Adapter

OK, so you probably know the drill by now. We're going to plug a random device into our PC (dual booting between Windows XP and Ubuntu 10.04) and let's see what happens...

Excited? Thought not!

Still, onwards and upwards. This time is the turn of a cheap and cheerful USB Bluetooth adapter - sourced from our local PoundWorld store for the princely sum of £1. Yes, one single solitary pound! Bargain or what?

A LiveWire Bluetooth USB Dongle, Yesterday

Starting with Ubuntu, let's plug in and see how we go. Installation was straight forward - a few seconds after plugging the adapter in, a Bluetooth icon appeared on the status bar. Clicking on the icon gives us the option to "Set up device". One short scan later I'd added my phone, had clicked "Browse files on device" (also from the Bluetooth menu) and was copying my photos onto my PC. Nice.

Now for XP. After plugging the device in drivers were automatically installed, including a modem driver to allow me to access the internet using the mobile (in the event that my broadband had died). Of course, being Windows XP a reboot was required before the adapter was ready for action.

Once it was installed a Bluetooth icon appeared on the menu, and much like on Linux it only took a couple of clicks to link to my phone. Now, this is where the Windows XP Bluetooth misses out a bit - there was an option to Send a file, another to Receive a file (and options to connect to a Bluetooth network) but nothing to browse the files on the mobile. Hopefully this is something that will have been improved on for Vista / Windows 7. Luckily, having a Nokia phone meant that I could download the rather nifty Nokia PC Suite - which is an rather nice tool for connecting and synchronising with your mobile phone.

When all is said and done there really isn't much to choose between the two, although Ubuntu does win out by doing a little more "out of the box".

Not bad for a little £1 adapter.

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