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  1.    #1  
    I guess I am not that computer saavy. I figure Bluetooth and 802.11b are the same (or similar) things...wireless networking. If that is the case, where does it benefit Palm devices so much?

    Can you network the Palm OS with Windows? I didn't think so.

    If you just want to be able to exchange info between your PDA and cell phone, why not buy a phone/PDA like the Treo or any other handful of combo devices?

    If you want to be able to network with other Palm OS, can't you just beam info to each other as needed?

    I guess I am just trying to understand the big deal about wireless networking among Palms. I see its advantage when it comes to networking computers but I don't see the advantages for Palms yet. Who is going to straighten me out and explain it?
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  2. #2  

    Bluetooth is just a specification. Anything can be 'bluetoothed'...your toaster, your phone, your laptop, your headphones, your stereo, etc. It's simply a near-area wireless networking specification.

    It's appeal is more for device-to-device networking rather than wide-area networking. For instance, you could have an MP3 player, with wireless, blue-tooth headphones. Bascially, Bluetooth gets rid of the wires.
    We're all naked if you turn us inside out.
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  3. #3  
    Yeah, bluetooth is more 'small scale' than 802.11B and whatnot. It gives us a personal world without those annoying wires tangled around everything (headphones, computer cables, phone to PDA connections, etc).

    Imagine if you will:

    I get a superslim PDA (which brand/OS is your choice) with either bluetooth built-in or an unobtrusive module (SD Bluetooth card, Sony Infostick, CF Bluetooth, etc etc). And I also get a really small bluetooth phone (the Ericsson T39m seem to be reasonably popular) AND an unobtrusive bluetooth headset (the newer Nokia headsets are looking nice, just don't think they're out yet--see pic):

    To surf, I simply turn on my PDA, connect to my phone with bluetooth (my phone can be in my pocket, in my bookbag up to 10 meters away--in other words, not necessarily in my hands) and start browsing the web.

    To make a call, I simply tap a little button on my bluetooth headset (in theory, in my ear most of the time) and use voice dialing to call. Again, with my phone still in my pocket, in my bookbag, etc etc.

    To received a call, I simply tap that same headset button to pick up.

    This isn't exactly useful to everyone, just some. I have a Prism with Visorphone combo, and the bulk didn't bother me until just recently. I carry the unit on my belt with a Vaja Prism/Cell case. I drive with my wired headset in my ear as well. Problem is, the wire tends to get tangled around the seatbelt and my winter coat at times, pulling the headset from my ear if I need to look over my shoulder. Also, if the Prism turns on accidentally (bumps up against something while on my hip in the carseat), the flip cover of the Vaja case has a tendency to 'speed dial' out to someone on my list. I hate having to explain to people that my case decided to call them at 11pm at night, that it wasn't my fault.

    I also came to the realization that I don't dial using my PDA Address book all THAT often, and the annoyance of having to swap out my marginally useful VisorPhone module (I DO use it to surf) for my very much more useful MemPlug was just more trouble than it was worth at times.

    Yes, you have to start carrying around more than one gadget again, but at the current sizes, it's not so bad. And, honestly, if your really tiny bluetooh phone stays in your shirt pocket the entire time, is it really a nuisance to carry?

    Now, as for PDA to PDA 'toothing, not only does it eliminate cables (which IR transfers do nicely) but it also eliminates line of sight problems (which IR transfers CANNOT do). Imagine a bluetooth chat program that would allow you to send text messages to people within your 'tooth range, without the necessity of line of sight. Could come in handy in places where speaking doesn't work well (really loud places) or where it's just not a viable option (places that need to be really quiet). Whoa, I think we just found a 21st century replacement for passing notes in class!

    Can you see now where it gets useful?
    -Richard Powell

    "Nice guys may finish last, but you know, the company's much better back here."
  4. #4  
    Then the question may be: how does 802.11 stack up to Bluetooth?

    I seem to remember that 802.11 has the advantage of range, but is more power-hungry; and that BlueTooth has some more advanced "handshaking" protocols than 802.11.

    But I wouldn't stake anything on that -- I've only occasionally looked into the whole wireless thang.

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    Jeff Meyer

    "And he died like he lived: with his mouth wide open."
  5. #5  
    If I understand correctly

    802.11b (soon to be a)
    Designed to network computers and PDAs. Can have long ranges, especially with powerful transmitters. You have to enter username and password to logon to secured networks and stuff. Although unsecured networks and some settings could provide seamless networking...

    Short range (I believe 25-30 feet), designed to run seamless. Basically as described before to remove the wires(so for example you get a Bluetooth printer, keyboard, mouse, etc. and less wires to run around your desk). Bluetooth devices are designed to recognize each other the instant they come in contact.
  6. #6  
    Originally posted by bookrats
    Then the question may be: how does 802.11 stack up to Bluetooth?
    Raptor's explanation was excellent!

    As far as Bluetooth vs. 802.11 - it mainly comes down to what they were designed to do. 802.11 is ethernet without wires and it's designed around the idea of a moble device talking to an access point in order to get high speed connectivity to an existing LAN. It wasn't really designed for device to device communication (though you could do it). A device talking over an 802.11 link most likely needs a full TCP/IP stack and that may not be practical for a tiny device like a wireless headset.

    Bluetooth is all about short range device to device communication. It's meant to replace IR and serial cables. Yes, you could use Bluetooth to link to a (very nearby) network access point, but for that to really work well, you need to be carrying the access point with you. It may in turn be using 802.11 to bridge to your LAN or it may be a mobile phone using an existing or 3G protocol.
    <ul><li>Dave Kessler<br>President - Kopsis, Inc.</li></ul>

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