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Summary:

Last year I ranted about the way Socket handled the drivers for their CF Bluetooth card and the problems I had trying to get it to work on the Sony U.  I have a CF card that I have used for a long time with my […]

Last year I ranted about the way Socket handled the drivers for their CF Bluetooth card and the problems I had trying to get it to work on the Sony U.  I have a CF card that I have used for a long time with my Pocket PC but could never get it to work well with the Windows XP based Sony.  The drivers that Socket made available for download were terrible and the BlueSoleil drivers I purchased from Socket weren’t any better and I finally gave up and got a Billionton CF card which works flawlessly.  I was anxious to get the Socket working because the card doesn’t stick out from the slot making it much better to just leave it in all the time without worrying about possibly damaging it.  It never worked with all the peripherals I wanted to use so I moved to the Billionton and never looked back.

Lending credence to my observation recently that companies are paying attention to bloggers who write about problems with their products I was recently contacted via email by a Socket representative who wanted to help me with my problem using their card.  One of my original complaints was the difficulty in getting up to date BlueSoleil drivers for the Socket CF card because they are produced by a third party company and not Socket.  The Socket representative genuinely wanted to help me out and he sent me the very latest drivers which are version 1.4.9.2 for me to try out and see if it solved my problem.

I haven’t had time to install these drivers yet for two reasons- the Billionton works perfectly with the Sony, the ThinkOutside BT keyboard, my Motorola cell phone and the Bluetake mouse; and according to the Socket rep the Socket CF card still does not work with the ThinkOutside keyboard, even with the new drivers.  So, when I get enough time to remove the Billionton s/w and install the Socket I will give it a go.  It’s just hard to get motivated to do that when I know the keyboard will still not work.

Kudos to Socket for contacting me on their own, I appreciate that they were willing to help fix the problem.  The Socket rep did tell me some good news- Socket is working to make their BT cards work with the WinXP SP2 Bluetooth stack which will eliminate most of these types of problems.  He did not indicate when that might actually happen or whether it would be a solution for users with existing cards.  My bet it will be restricted to new models that Socket will release when that happens.

  1. A rant is only a rant if it isn’t true.

    Unfortunately, Socket has a history of releasing hardware with NO DRIVER support.

    I ranted on Brighthand 2 years ago about their new SDIO Wifi card.

    It took them 1 year to come out with drivers that worked on secured Access Points–AKA APs running WEP, TKIP, WPA, and 802.1x.

    I paid the premium, got a piece of nice looking but unuseable hardware, and I sat my SDIO Wifi NIC in my desk drawer.

    One year later, out of nowhere a Socket e-mail informed me that they had available drivers that were interoperable with standard 802.11b technologies with any type of security enabled.

    I’m glad Socket is listening to one customer. Let’s see if they can deliver…the keyboard is just another HID device.

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  2. I had went though a similar circus with Socket BT CF card but had to return it as it didn’t work in the end. Socket did answer troubleshoot request through their online ticket system. They were courteous but ultimately unhelpful, saying ThinkOutside didn’t comply with BT standards. I don’t care about the money I wasted on Blue Soleil but the time invested fiddling around really upsets me. Running a blog site as this really gives you a big voice JK. It must be worth the hassle.

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  3. http://jkontherun.blogs.com/jkontherun/2004/10/why_socket_blue.html

    I guess my previous post should have been made in this thread. To make everything short and not-so-sweet, the new drivers still do not work properly on my LitePad and ThinkPad.

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  4. Well I am glad Socket were nice enought to contact you “on their own”… I just wish they would actually answer the folks that ask for help via their own help system.

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  5. JK-

    Just to let you know: I am typing this from my U750P using a socket BT card, the thinkoutside keyboard – a targus bluetooth mouse, using my KJAM as a bluetooth modem. I sent socket an email 2 days ago and they sent me a link to download new bluesoleil drivers (1.6X). Also the new bluesoleil drivers will now launch bluetooth DUN from the network connection promt – You don’t have to go to the bluesoleil screen anymore. I paired my bluespoon AX2 headset with the Sony U, but hasven’t been able to listen to MP3s, yet. Looks like Socket finally fixed thier BT cards(still working on the audio).

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