Sunday, February 24, 2013

Azure Tusk

...or, you know, Bluetooth.

With my new phone's ability to use Bluetooth, I naturally wanted to be able to use that.  Especially considering how the network completely mangles the images and audio I send to it via MMS.  I began my quest by poking around various TracFone-related resources for the phone, since TracFone likes to be a little bitch and disable or overly restrict all the useful features on their phones.  There I found conflicting information, both suggesting that TracFone had disabled the ability to transfer files via Bluetooth, and that a good number of people had been using it on a regular basis.

I found way more of the "file transfer via Bluetooth works" sentiment than the "no, it doesn't work" sentiment.  So, I hopped over to Newegg and ordered myself a USB Bluetooth adapter.  Specifically, the IOGEAR GBU521 Bluetooth 4.0 USB adapter.  $8 shipped, with promo code that despite being openly advertised on their website I had to subscribe to and then later unsubscribe from their email newsletter to actually use it.  It arrived yesterday, and so my adventure in getting it installed and set up began.

The instructions that came with it gave conflicting directions for Windows XP.  First, they said "oh, the driver disc has a driver for Windows XP on it".  Next, they said "If you're using Windows XP, go to our website to get the latest driver".  Lastly, they said "or you can just plug it in if you're using Windows XP SP2 or later and use Microsoft's Bluetooth stack, limited though it may be".  Care to take a guess as to which one was the correct thing to do?

Well, I tried the driver they told me to download.  Even though it's for the GBU421 and their site makes no mention of the GBU521.  After installing that and plugging in the device, I got greeted with a Windows Found New Hardware wizard that never produced any results.  So, that wouldn't work.  I tried rebooting, just on the off-chance that it was actually required, and nope, still the same thing.  So, I popped in the disc and installed from that.  Wham, it worked.

So anyway.  Pairing my phone with my computer was rather simple, and I got the non-ass-quality PNG version of my wallpaper transferred.  I then tried to transfer the text message noise I'd made in FamiTracker, basically recreating my old text message noise (the Power Rangers communicator beep) in NES.  It transferred, but didn't go into the ringtones folder because the phone doesn't recognize WAV files for some stupid reason.  So I encoded it to MP3 and it took that.

Then it started acting up and not letting me transfer anything from the phone at all, saying I'd need to reboot, so I did.  Then it worked properly.

Anyway.  The things you should get from this are:
  • Install the IOGEAR GBU521 Bluetooth adapter's driver from the disc on Windows XP, not from the internet, and don't just plug it in and try to use it with Microsoft's shit, because it's, well, shit.
  • TracFone-branded  LG 420G phones can indeed transfer files via Bluetooth, and therefore not have to suffer through faggoty automatic-by-cell-network transcoding/lossy compression, and for free.  If any later software version happens to change this, my phone's software version is LG420GHL_V10f.
  • People always think that the Power Rangers communicator beep is something from Kim Possible.

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