seems like the new Mac OS X 10.3.6 update really screwed things over for bluetooth. here's what i get from the console when i attempt a file transfer from my phone to the powerbook (from the console log):
2004-11-16 07:06:08.623 OBEXAgent [NOTE: this exception originated in the server.] methodSignature for bad wire type: 3
so i was wrong to blame the phone, or at least it is not 100% of the problem. thing is i don't have applecare so i can't send them an email to complain, talking about it on the discussion forums don't seem to help much except vent frustration.
luckily everything else bluetooth related works on apple. isync works fine, file transfers TO the phone works alright, sailing clicker also appears to be unaffected. it is only transfers FROM the phone that are screwing up. seems like the newest update made some changes to /System/Library/CoreServices/OBEXAgent to make everything behave strangely. that has definitely been updated thru my Mac OS X 10.3.6 update.
i guess i'll just have to go back to using my Gentoo Linux box with gnome-obex-server!
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