The Bluetooth Story


Microsoft scripting guys published an interesting story about the origin of Bluetooth at Microsoft TechNet. Here it goes:

The Bluetooth “personal area networking” protocol was named in honor of Harald Bluetooth Gormson, son of King Gorm the Old, the one time King of Jutland. (We’re not sure if Gorm the Old is the name that the King was given at birth; that would be pretty cool, though, wouldn’t it?) We found it interesting that Harald’s middle name was Bluetooth. After all, Scripting Guy Jean Bluetooth Ross has spent her entire life (79 years and counting) thinking she was the only person to have that middle name. Good news, Jean: you’re not the only Bluetooth after all.

At any rate, Harald became King sometime around 958, upon the death of his father. Over time, Harald conquered all of modern-day Denmark and Norway, and, along the way, kind of, sort of converted to Christianity. He had a son named Sweyn Forkbeard who, no doubt in retaliation for being given the name Sweyn Forkbeard, eventually led a revolt that cost his father both his throne and his life.

But Harald got the last laugh; after all, how many Forkbeard-enabled devices do you see these days?

Note. There seems to be some disagreement as to where the name Bluetooth came from. Some scholars insist it comes from the old Norse words for “dark-skinned” and “great man,” meaning that Harald had dark skin and, well, was a great man. Others say it’s because Harald actually had a blue tooth. Fortunately, Peter Costantini, the oldest living Scripting Guy, went to junior high school with Harald, so we’ll ask Peter about that.

Just as soon as he wakes up from his nap.

After we disposed of the question “Where did the name Bluetooth come from?” a second question popped into our heads: how can you tell if a computer is Bluetooth-enabled? That turned out to be a much tougher question to answer; in fact, we never did find anything that could tell us definitively whether or not a computer was Bluetooth-enabled. (Or at least not a definitive way to do this programmatically; it’s easy enough to verify that a computer is Bluetooth-enabled by using the Windows Control Panel.) However, based on the fact that Bluetooth is a network protocol, we managed to come up with the following a script, a script that correctly determined whether a handful of test computers were Bluetooth-enabled:

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