Kensington USB Bluetooth Adapter Problems

It’s Christmas, and I’m out in the middle of nowhere (actually, I’m staying at my boss’s cabin near Mabel Lake). There’s no broadband. There’s no cellular coverage. For someone like me, it’s a technological wasteland. My only link to the outside world is a dial-up phone line that can get 31.2kbps if I hold my mouth just right.

One of my Christmas presents was a Kensington Bluetooth USB adapter (model number K33085). I wanted a bluetooth adapter for my laptop so that I can talk to my Audiovox PPC6600 cell phone. Against my better nature (and because this whole bluetooth thing is new to me) I decided to actually read the instructions, and follow the installation procedure that came with the device. I installed the drivers from the CD that came with it. After a reboot, I fired it up, and was able to connect to my cell phone. A very short time later, however, I discovered that there were some serious problems. I was rarely able to successfully complete a hotsync process, and I was unable to successfully copy any file to my phone that was over about 2Mb in size.

I decided to fire up the high speed connection to the outside world to see if there was an updated driver available. I searched all over Kensington’s web site, but barely found any mention of the device in their support section. I couldn’d download drivers. More googling discovered this page. Ouch! I wished I’d have read that page sooner. Anyway, I still had the device, and I still had a problem. After diving in to the device manager on my machine, I discovered that it appears that the actual manufacturer of this device is MSI. Some searching around their site came across a driver-only download (no bluetooth stack). I didn’t need the stack, because I found references to the fact that SP2 for XP had a built in stack. I used Add/Remove Programs to remove the original bluetooth software, then (after a reboot), plugged the dongle in again, and pointed it to the MSI driver. Bingo! The device was detected, and a whole bunch of Microsoft drivers for bluetooth functions were installed.

After this process, I am now able to hotsync, and I’ve moved plenty of large files back and forth.

Botnets installing BitTorrent??

surprising discovery talks about finding rootkitted machines having BitTorrent installed, and used to download movie files (Mr. Bean for some strange reason). One angle of the story that the author doesn’t discuss is the possibility that the hackers are attempting to ‘muddy’ the waters regarding the RIAA’s power to slap lawsuits on anyone who’s IP address is found connecting to a tracker. If these types of infected botnets become popular, then one could suppose that the defense of ‘My machine was infected and did it itself’ would be a plausable defense.