Wires please

by Volker Weber

There are things that need to grow on me. Digital cameras were a no-brainer. While other people were still buying conventional cameras, I was immediately sold on digicams.

Then there are things that need some time. Sonos was one of them. I was happy with iTunes and Airport Express. Until I wanted to liberate the music from the computer.

And then there are things I just don't get. And most of those things use Bluetooth. Wireless headset with tiny batteries which make you look like a Borg. Terrible sound quality since BT does not travel through your body easily. Or wireless keyboards and mice. I love it when my friend calls me to tell me his computer hangs since it does not react to mouse clicks. Yeah, right. Get a tethered mouse and the problem goes away. My wired Apple keyboard has two USB ports. One connects the mouse. The other one is always handy to plug in the odd memory key or the camera which needs offloading.


i got a pulsar 590 bluetooth for calls and thats resonable quality nothing i want to hear music on for longer period of times.

Flemming Riis, 2008-03-24

This is one of the rare occasions where I have to completely disagree (except for the Borg part).

Stefan Rubner, 2008-03-24

The jawbone headset is awesome I must say (although whilst typing this, the website seems to be down - a sign?) - prior to having seen the jawbone, I would have agreed on the uselessness of bluetooth headphones ... Apart from that I'm also happy to sync data from cellphones via bluetooth.

Florian Vogler, 2008-03-24

Bluetooth - quite right.

Wireless keyboards and mice - using both now :-P

Chris Linfoot, 2008-03-24

I don´t really see the need for wireless keyboards, but the freedom to move the mouse where ever I want is really something I can miss.

Adalbert Duda, 2008-03-24

Chris, not talking about the fashion statement. The mullet of the 21st century is the bluetooth headset, that's for sure.

What I mean is that these things are overly complicated, need to be charged, and are often an unnecessary source for problems. I own a BT headset, but I rarely ever use it. I own a BT mouse which gives me lots of headaches. And I will try a wireless keyboard.. Incidentally I will need more wires on the table though since I will lose the USB hub the wired keyboard has.

Volker Weber, 2008-03-24

Bluetooth is a fine thing as long as you don't run around with one of this headsets but use it in your car to connect it to you navigation system / board computer. Just comfortable...

Timo Zimmermann, 2008-03-24

My desk usually is a mess. More than one time I used the wire (the tail?) to pull out the mouse from its hole under a pile of stuff. Without wire I actually would need to cleanup. Brrr.
:-) stw

Stephan H. Wissel, 2008-03-25

I see little benefit in a wireless keyboard, it rarely moves and the wire comes tidily out of the back. An integrated USB hub is another benefit of a wired keyboard.

Having a mouse with a wire is like having a mouse with a ball. I feel sorry for the owners of both if they haven't discovered the benefits.

Incidentally laser > optical. Going from a ball mouse to an optical mouse is like going from black and white to colour. Going to a laser mouse is like going HD.

I use my bluetooth headset mainly for gaming, it's lightweight and comfortable for several hours usage.

Ben Rose, 2008-03-25

I see little benefit in a wireless keyboard, it rarely moves and the wire comes tidily out of the back.

See, that's one of the major reasons I prefer wireless keyboads: my keyboard moves a lot. Especially out of the way when I'm doing a scribble (yes, on paper) or other things that require more room on the table. Back in the time of wired keybards, I more often than not ended up in mess of things thrown off the table (yup, it's a messy desk here) when moving the keyboard out of the way.
Next thing is that I often take my MacBook with me even when only leaving for the kitchen to get a fresh cup of coffee. So it's just unplugging the USB hub and the power cord and off we go. And lastly there's my preferred working position: leaning back in the chair, feet on the table. Haven't found a wired keyboard with a cord long enough to do that comfortably.
Or in short: it's just a matter of taste and work patterns ;)

Stefan Rubner, 2008-03-25

I've got to disagree with you on this one Volker, I've got 2 bluetooth gadgets that are pretty indispensible to me.

1 is the Bluetooth -fitted- car kit. I get in the car, it connects to the phone and is instantly available. No cradles, no remembering to use a headset, nothing.

2 are my Sony DR-20NX bluetooth headphones. When traveling (which I do alot), these live hung around my neck. Streaming music from my phone, the quality is good enough for me (no, it's not perfect) and if I want to listen to the Mac instead, I just initiate the connection from that instead. Battery life of around 8 hours constant music listening, though I've never had them run flat - ever.

Warren Elsmore, 2008-03-25

Warren, by no means I am saying that BT is useless. Good that it works for you in the car. Very often it does not, because car makers ship ancient BT stacks. Ask any device manufacturer about the hoops they have to go through to make their stuff work with car kits. This comic is pretty popular, and although it is German, you will get it. ;-)

Volker Weber, 2008-03-25

On a 2nd thought, I even use my Jabra headsets a lot in my office. They are connected to my analog landline phone which allows me to move between my workstations freely without having to carry the phone with me or shouting in the direction of the phone while on handsfree mode. Maybe I'll give the Jawbone a try to also cancel the background noise from the servers.
And yes, I love my bluetooth car kit ;)

Stefan Rubner, 2008-03-25

Wireless keyboard, mouse, phone headset ... been there -- and switched all three back.

At the keyboard I really prefer having the USB ports over that little bit of freedom to completey put away the keyboard (I can still just put it under my iMac with the wire attached to it).

I'm not moving the mouse around enough to have the wire disturbing me.

And BT phone headsets? Battery empty when you need them, take a long time to connect to the phone (too long if the phone already rings) and the sound quality is mediocre. I even tried two different one's each for a couple of month.

So for me it's also back to wire for all of these devices.

Michael Sedlaczek, 2008-03-25

Nobody concerned about radiation levels and health? Same about Wifi and GSM.
But I must confess, I also use them a lot. BT connection in the car with the E90, although not perfect (adress book not always usable) I don't want to miss it.

Ludwig Deruyck, 2008-03-25

One occasion where a BT headset does not fit the job: My mobile phone (Nokia) insists on a wire headset to use the built-in radio (and I tend to listen to the radio more often than to the music stored on the phone). Thus I usually walk around with a long wire attached to my mobile phone - and my ear. Due to this (unsual heavy?) use I have to replace the wire headset each 6-9 months.

Christian Rosner, 2008-03-25

The wire is your antenna.

Volker Weber, 2008-03-25

But if you want to look like a more stylish Borg, check out these:
Oakley Bluetooth Enabled Sunglasses

Sebastian Grötsch, 2008-03-25

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