The iPazzPort is a nice small keyboard/mousepad (85mm x 135mm x 10mm) which can be used in a variety of situations with any devices that use Bluetooth technology for connection. I tried this out on my Ubuntu as well as my Windows7 systems. If you happen to have a computer with Bluetooth already as part of the Hardware you are good to go. Just Pair. If you are like me and you need to get a Bluetooth receiver I will go through the process of installing the software in both Ubuntu 10.04 and Windows 7. There’s a variety of Bluetooth receivers out there and I decided on IOGear for mine. Partly because it’s So tiny and cute, but also because it has some very nice specs
So first I installed the IOGear on my Ubuntu 10.04 lucid using the default Bluetooth programs. I didn’t add any programs to start with. Ubuntu kernel sets up so that the Bluetooth Manager is one of the StartUp Applications. Before I plugged in the IOGear I accessed the Menu/System/Preferences/Bluetooth program. It looked like this, which is normal. The software is ready and just waiting for new hardware:
I then click on that Bluetooth icon to bring up the Preferences to click “Make computer visible”. The software suggests naming your computer as part of the pairing process. By default, it suggests a name based on what you have already named your system. Yes, I tend to call my systems “Asimov”.
At this point you need to get another Bluetooth enabled device and make THAT discoverable to the computer. So I grabbed the iPazzPort and turned it on. The On switch is on the side. But there’s another step after this.
The iPazz is made Discoverable by pressing the reset button that is at the bottom of the device. It’s right next to the USB port. It’s a bit tricky. You don’t want to break anything and my fingernail didn’t seem to be doing anything at first. So I took my letter opener – which has a blunt end – and gently pushed it against the incredibly small button inside the reset hole.
Now it gave me a number to enter using the iPazzPort’s keyboard, which I did. Pairing Complete!
The software now lists all the devices you have paired with the computer – from here or the menu you can Connect the devices on and disconnect them.
I wished to accelerate the iPazz mouse just a bit as it seemed slower than what I generally like. So, if you want to you can Accelerate your mouse movements or slow them down. And make whatever alterations to the keyboard you need to.
I did notice that the next day when I wished to reconnect that I was having some difficulty keeping a connection. So I thought maybe I can add another Bluetooth Manager. Which I did easily from the Ubuntu Software Center. I picked Blueman Manager which immediately recognized the iPazzPort. I was able to “Refresh Services” and that worked getting and keeping a robust connection between the iPazzPort and the computer. I’m not sure why it worked but it was an easy fix.
IOGear comes with an installation CD and suggests you install the software before you even plug in the Bluetooth receiver. So I inserted the CD and let it run
I then inserted the IOGear BlueTooth receiver.
At this point various windows popped up and out (before I could make screen grabs of them) and I think what happened is that Windows 7 detected the IOGear, installed a driver and did it in moments. I suspect that if you have Windows XP you may need the software from the CD but I no longer have that to test on. In any case after all this installation the BlueTooth icon appears on the taskbar. I open the settings and click the Discovery setting: “Allow Bluetooth Devices to find this computer”. Apply, OK
It asks you to insert the number on the iPazz, which I did
Now it tells me the iPazzPort has been successfully paired with my computer. I move my finger over the mouseport and notice that the cursor is moving over the screen slower than I want it so I’m going to look for a way to tweak those mouse settings on the iPazz. So I click on the link to Devices and Printers. I click on the iPazzPort picture to get the settings.
And from there change whatever mouse settings I want
Now, to the iPazz: the touchpad works basically like the one on my laptop. As I mentioned the speed seems slower than what I prefer but that is easy enough to change. So, despite the diagrams I still can’t figure out how to “scroll” using the touchpad. I may just need more time to practice but I have to admit I have yet to figure out all those wonky finger secrets on new laptops with Windows7 so it could easily be ME.
The QWERTY keyboard is fairly complete but there are differences. If you need to capitalize you have to click the “Cap” button which will turn on one of the indicator LED’s (slow flash). Click the letter you need capitalized. Now click the “Cap” button to turn it off. This is slightly clumsy or at least not the usual way keyboards work but once you get the idea it’s not hard to remember to do it. There’s also the “SF” key which lets you print out the alternative characters for most of the keys. Press the “SF” key and the LED stays on steady. SO what is an “O” on the keyboard now let’s you type “ * “, for example. Using this method you are supposed to be able to emulate the “F1 to F12” keys. You can also reboot Windows by clicking the “FN” key and the key labeled “Ctrl+Alt+Del” which is normally the Enter key.
The iPazz also has a red Laser Pointer with the button being between the left/right mouse buttons. Very useful for those who plan on doing presentations. This way you have one device which can control your computer, and Point Like Mad and you can be as much as 10 meters away from the Bluetooth receiver. I tried it and I could still control my screen from my bathroom. Although, I couldn’t see what the heck I was doing. My friend reassured me the screen was still responding. I was about 15 feet from my computer. I’m sure this device will work great in a hall during a presentation. I may try this out at my next computer meeting.
The iPazzPort also comes with a USB cable for recharging the batteries. One of the LED’s stays lit during the charge and goes out when the batteries are full. It takes about two hours for a full charge.
The keyboard can also be backlit by clicking the “RF” button. this turns on the orangy backlight color.
Get your own iPazzPort, it works on MAC’s, PS3, Xbox 360, Wii, iPhones, iPads and other devices. All you need is Bluetooth and as we have seen that’s a Piece O Pie!