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Monday, August 6, 2007

Using Bluetooth with a Mac

Bluetooth is a low-frequency wireless networking protocol designed mainly for communication between devices such as keyboards, mice, headsets, GPS antennas, and Pocket PCs. Bluetooth signals have a maximum range of 10 meters (33 feet) or less.

Many newer Macs come with built-in Bluetooth adapters. Check your computer's documentation if you're not sure. Mac OS 10.2 or better is required for Bluetooth compatibility. With OS 10.2 or better, Bluetooth software is built-in to the operating system so no special installation is required.

Adding Bluetooth to your Mac

Use these steps to add Bluetooth to your Mac:

1. If you are adding a USB Bluetooth adapter, start up your computer and then connect the adapter to an open USB port.

A Bluetooth icon appears on the menu bar in the lower-right corner next to the clock.

2. Click the Bluetooth icon in the menu bar and choose Open Bluetooth Preferences from the menu that appears.

3. On the Settings tab of the Bluetooth window, select the Discoverable check box to allow other devices to discover your Mac.

If you're using your iBook or PowerBook in a public location, it's a good idea to turn off Bluetooth to prevent strangers from accessing your computer. Click Turn Bluetooth Off to temporarily disable Bluetooth.

4. Choose whether you want to require authentication for connecting Bluetooth devices. Doing so enables you to use Bluetooth while keeping your computer more secure.

5. Choose whether you want the Bluetooth Setup Assistant to appear when no input device — such as a keyboard or mouse — is detected. This setting makes it easier to use Bluetooth input devices.

6. Close the Bluetooth window.

Connecting a Bluetooth device to your Mac

Follow these steps to connect a Bluetooth device to your Mac:

1. Click the Bluetooth icon in the menu bar and choose Open Bluetooth Preferences from the menu that appears.

2. Click the Devices tab.

3. Click Pair New Device.

4. In the Pair with a Bluetooth Device dialog box, click the device with which you want to pair.

If you don't see the desired device listed, make sure it's turned on and in Pairing mode, and then click Search Again in the Pair with a Bluetooth Device dialog box. The device's documentation should include instructions for enabling pairing mode on the device.

5. Click the Pair button.

6. In the resulting dialog box, enter a passkey and then click OK. The paired device is now listed on the Devices tab of your Bluetooth Preferences dialog box.

To unpair a device, open the Bluetooth Preferences dialog box, open the Devices tab, select the device, and click Delete Pairing.

In some cases, a device's manufacturer tells you to use a specific PIN code such as 0000. Otherwise, make up your own PIN code. You may also need to enter the same PIN code on the other device to create the partnership.

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