May 30th, 2011
It’s always nice to write about something positive, so I thought I’d just say a quick thanks to whichever mystery person improved Bluetooth support for my Sony Vaio Z (VPCZ1) in the upstream and Fedora kernel revisions between 14 and 15. I have a Bluetooth mouse and also use Bluetooth tethering with my phone. In Fedora 14 kernels, it never quite worked well enough; the mouse would work at first but would not wake up again as soon as it went idle, and tethered data connections were similarly unreliable, the flow of data would just seem to stop after a while.
With Fedora 15, both seem as smooth as glass: the mouse works perfectly as soon as I turn it on, and neither power cycling the mouse, letting it go idle, or suspending and resuming / rebooting the laptop faze it; it always works properly in every case I’ve thrown at it. Bluetooth data tethering seems to be similarly bulletproof now: as long as I leave Bluetooth enabled on my phone, I can just click on the right entry in the NetworkManager applet and it brings up the link to the phone, brings up the phone’s data connection if necessary, and the connection just works. Works every time, no need to take the phone out of my pocket to plug in a cable or run the wifi hotspot app. Such a nice little improvement.
So, thank you, mystery bluetooth hacker! The Fedora / GNOME 3 experience on this laptop is getting so refined that I’m reducing to filing bugs for things like a 30 second delay in NetworkManager before it reconnects to the wireless access point on resume from suspend. Boy, I’m spoiled.
(When I first got this laptop, the display only worked with vesa or with the proprietary NVIDIA driver after some BIOS hacking, the touchpad didn’t work, and the keyboard didn’t work on one out of every ten boots. Forget about Bluetooth! It’s always fun to see – and help, in a small way – hardware support improve over time…)