Using your phone as a remote control for your Ubuntu computer, via Bluetooth

19 07 2008

I literally mean that.

The idea popped in my head a few days ago and i thought it would be quite interesting to see how doable it was.

The hardware used is a Dikom (Broadcom) Usb bluetooth dongle, a Nokia E61i ( Symbian S60 3rd ) and tested on a Dell Inspiron C521 and a PackardBell Easynote R ( both on Hardy Heron 8.04).
It is also assumed that the dongle is connected and the computer can use bluetooth normally.

So looking around for projects that had already done this, i came across three main ones.

Bluepad ( which i successfully installed on both systems, but on the Dell it always failed to find devices to connect and on the Easynote it always failed to connect to the devices found. Troubleshooting the app goes beyond the scope of this material).

Amora (installed correctly on the phone, altogether with the required python shell, and properly compiled on the system but the app on the phone never replied to the BT connections from the server).

Last but not least anyRemote – worked like a charm.
And that’s the one i picked.

The applications to install can be downloaded from the Sourceforge page of the project.
There is a .jar and .jad version to be installed on the phone (either sent by BT or cable ).
A server application, of which you can download the source and compile it or the premade deb.
If you need the 64bit version ( like me in both cases ), here’s that here’s that.

You can get extra add-ons such as a Gnome or KDE front-end and so on.

The Gnome interface ( ganyremote, creative , i know), is quite intuitive once you fire it up.
The source comes with a set of configurations that you can feed to the app.
If you just want to use the binary from command line the syntax is the following:

anyremote -f /path_to_config.cfg

The computer is not waiting for connections to which it will serve an interface based on the config file given to anyremote.

Launch the application on the phone. You can search for new BT devices until you find the computer, connect if/when found.
You can manually insert the required bluetooth address that you want the phone to connect to:

btspp://XXXXXXXXXXXX:19

where the XXXXXXXXXXXX is the Bt address of the dongle, which can be found with

hcitool dev

or

socket://ip_address:port

if your phone supports wifi. I did not test that. Maybe in the next few days.
That’s all foks.

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