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Gold'en Rant : The darker side of Bluetooth

I had a few photos on a Sony-Ericsson cellphone that needed printing out on photographic paper, so I decided to trot to Boots to use their shiny new instant photo kiosk.

Just one problem - most Sony-Ericsson handsets have a Bluetooth compatibility problem with Kodak photo kiosks. Basically they can't communicate.

So I Bluetooth-ed them to my LG mobile and relayed them to the kiosk that way. God knows what the Boots guy thought we were doing.

The printed results were little short of ghastly, because, when transferring via Bluetooth from an LG handset, the mobile auto-formats the pictures - without asking, of course - down to a lower resolution.

So, off home and time to unwrap the Linksys Bluetooth adapter I purchased in a weak moment last year. Loading the driver software on to my laptop, I got the dreaded `Vista: known compatibility problems with this software' message.

Surfing anxiously on to the Linksys Web site allowed me to download the required updated software, complete with drivers.

Even though it installed okay, the Sony-Ericsson handset won't communicate with the Linksys Bluetooth adapter plugged into my laptop.

I can transmit perfectly using my LG handset, but that, as you'll recall, auto-formats the picture size down to a lower (and utterly useless) resolution.

And no, there's not an option to change the resolution.

After two hours of wasting my time, I hit on a brainwave - email the pictures to my desktop PC and save them on to a USB stick.

Just one problem, the Boots Kodak photo kiosk doesn't accept USB sticks. It takes CD-Roms, infra-red links and more memory card formats than even I knew existed.

Turns out my problems are related to the fact that there are three classes of Bluetooth currently in active usage.

Class 3 is the norm, with a range of 1 metre, but Class 2 - seen on some Sony-Ericsson handsets - is not fully backwards compatible with certain Class 1 implementations.

I tried telling myself that whilst losing the will to live in front of the Kodak photo kiosk...