Easy phonebook migration



  • I had to change my mobile lately and of course I wanted to copy all my contacts without actually typing in everything from the start (~200 entries). Who wouldn't like to take their contact list with them in this situation?

    How hard can it be? Unfortunately for Siemens CX65 -> Nokia 6300, it takes around 2 weeks...

      Part 1: trying to copy data

    That's a short part - everyone uses their own format / tools, no way to copy.

      Part 2: retrieving the data from CX65 (I'm a programmer after all...)

    It's not hard to get the full contact list from a siemens phone... if you use windows and you need it only for backup, that is, because there are no non-win tools and no standard are supported apart from file-access obex. To get a proper format, you need to: remove pin lock, take out the sim card, restart phone, use irda / serial cable, copy files from a hidden directory. "Copy" involves writing a wrapper to standard obexftp to do connection retries, because siemens communication dies after every single transfer for some random time between 5 secs and 5 minutes.

    Each record is stored in a separate file, using continuous {record id, record contents} list of attributes (along with additional data, which is neither used nor displayed anywhere as far as I can tell, but makes reverse engineering the format so much easier.... 😕 ). Encoding is something completely custom - neither utf-16, nor ucs2. Ok - now I've got some nice objects, but...

      Part 3.1: storing the data in 6300 using "standards"

    Only way to access the phone through standard usb cable is cut-down AT mode. Of course it supports obex, but it's some cut-down, proprietary version made by nokia - can't connect there with standard libraries from linux. Why would we need obex to be standard anyways? "Standard" ways allow me only to store name+number pair through gsm commands - that's not enough.

      Part 3.2: using java api

    Nokia publishes a nice standard plugin for java IDEs - typical mobile toolkit... as a windows install. It's a custom installation program, which wine can't handle. After finding someone who has windows, installing the files (unpacking really, nothing is "installed"), copying them to my box they work - kind of. I just need to change all the paths in the config to point to XXX.jar, instead of XXX.exe which wraps that jar 😕

    6300 supports access to contact lists via standard api. I can read them fine. It also reports no problems at all when adding new contacts. The only problem is that they are not stored anywhere... they are sent to /dev/null

      Part 3.3: using flash

    Are the flash capabilities / APIs documented anywhere at all? Failed to find anything.

      Part 3.4: giving up

    I finally found someone with a windows machine, installed (not uninstallable) nokia suite, converted my contacts to .csv and imported there.

     

    Summary: proprietary formats, own encodings, nonstandard standards, hidden data, windows only unpackers, useless .exe-cifying of .jar-s, limiting known and advertised APIs, complete lack of support...

    Siemens and Nokia product managers - DIAF!!! Adding all the research, testing and development time, it took me only 2 weeks to migrate my phonebook. I'm glad I only have to do that once every 3 years or so.



  •  I don't know what service you have, but VZW would've done this for you in about 5 minutes.



  • Usually you can copy your contacts to the SIM card and import them on the other phone. Isn't that a lot easier?



  • Vodafone - I don't even expect them to know that Siemens produces mobile phones. + I have no idea what vzw is

    About copying to SIM... yes - that's possible. You also lose every information apart from "displayed name" and primary number. It's not an option for me, when I have contacts with full address and 5 phone numbers.



  • @bstorer said:

     I don't know what service you have, but VZW would've done this for you in about 5 minutes.

     

    Verizon Wireless doesn't exist on that side of the pond.  They just use a custom java program to do it too. About the only advantage of their locked-down proprietary firmware.



  • The software for my phones always have had some synchronisation function with windows adresses/outlook. So if I need to do that I just synchronise the old phone with outlook and synchronise the new phone with outlook. Dunno how it is for all custom phones, but that kind of functionality is available for a lot of phones I know (windows mobile, iphone, palm, the nokia 66xx and 63xx and a siemens and sony-ericson I don't remeber the model of)



  • @viraptor said:

    Encoding is something completely custom - neither utf-16, nor ucs2.

    You do realise that UTF-16 and UCS-2 are almost the same thing, right?



  • About the SIM, yeah that sucks.  I use two phones (one work, one weekend) and I transfer the SIM card between them and all I get to transfer is the name + 1 number.  Also, it doesn't do you a lick of good if you lose your phone (with the SIM card inside) but I have that covered by ...

    I have a USB connector for my phone so I can save my contacts/photos/everything to my computer.  Unfortunately, if your phone is so fucked up that it doesn't turn on then you can't use the USB connector.  I recommend it though.  The cable is like $1 on ebay (plus $9 in shipping -- I know I know) so $10 and I have all that backed up real easy.  Both my phones are Samsungs and have the same connector.  I guess I'm stuck with Samsung if I wanna make the transfer to a new phone easy.



  •  If you need about two minutes for each contact, you would need only one day to copy them manually.

     Could use the opportunity to also weed out some unnecessary/outdated ones.



  • @Benanov said:

    About the only advantage of their locked-down proprietary firmware.

    It's also hideously ugly, which means no one will bother stealing your phone.

     

    Seriously, I hate that VZW has the best network but the worst phones and no way to bring your own... 



  • @fourchan said:

    If you need about two minutes for each contact, you would need only one day to copy them manually.

    Could use the opportunity to also weed out some unnecessary/outdated ones.

    This is just one of the many situations where it is advantageous to have an ethnic child shackled in your basement.  Their tiny hands are adept at manipulating today's cellular telephone and transferring contacts from one phone to another is an exciting endeavor for their atrophied minds.



  • Have you tried gammu? It only claims phonebook support for Siemens CX65 (display name + number only), so it may not help downloading the contacts from the old phone, but it claims enhancedphonebook for Nokia 6300 (you can update their phone list if it does not work for you).



  • @TGV said:

    Usually you can copy your contacts to the SIM card and import them on the other phone. Isn't that a lot easier?
    The address book on the SIM is a flat file database.

    Address books on the phones themselves are usually relational (in behaviour anyway.)

    For example, you can normally have one person with more than one phone number, attach a 'type' to that phone number (home,work,fax etc.) and have that person optionally attached to many 'groups,' (work, family) - this information cannot be stored in a non-lossy format in the SIM.

    And the SIM only has (IIRC) space for only ~255 entries, the phone much more.



  • @Spectre said:

    You do realise that UTF-16 and UCS-2 are almost the same thing, right?
     

    Yes. UTF-16 ⊂ UCS-2, but I saw some characters, that should suggested 2-word length in UTF-16, but should be from UCS-2 charset.

    And of course - maybe outlook has some synchronization features. Maybe even windows has it. But I don't have any of them and neither does anyone near me... I'm living in a nice linux-only environment 🙂

    Gammu would work of course - if nokia didn't introduce it's own quirks into obex protocol. Well... if they're supposedly using the same, standard protocol - why is there a per-model compatibility list? 😃



  • @morbiuswilters said:

    @Benanov said:

    About the only advantage of their locked-down proprietary firmware.

    It's also hideously ugly, which means no one will bother stealing your phone.

    Don't forget that they cripple or remove features to further protect you from theft.@morbiuswilters said:

     

    Seriously, I hate that VZW has the best network but the worst phones and no way to bring your own... 

    Do you, like me, want to punch the "Can you hear me now?" guy in the face?



  • @bstorer said:

    Do you, like me, want to punch the "Can you hear me now?" guy in the face?

    I think a more appropriate punishment would be cutting out his tongue. 



  • @morbiuswilters said:

    @bstorer said:

    Do you, like me, want to punch the "Can you hear me now?" guy in the face?

    I think a more appropriate punishment would be cutting out his tongue. 

     

    The proper punishment would be to get him lost in a very arid locale with no water and a phone whose speaker (not microphone) tends to cut out.

    I'd record the call, treasuring the frantic moments as he realizes that while everyone, in fact, can hear him, he can't hear them, so no one can guide him to safety.

     

     "Can you hear me now? Hello? Can you hear me now? I need some water..."



  • @morbiuswilters said:

    Their tiny hands are adept at manipulating today's cellular telephone ...

    This is just a passing reference, but it's the most I've seen anywhere about the biggest problem I have with cell phones.  I hate how teensy the buttons are, they're very hard to use and I'm female with girl-sized hands.  How in the world do men use these things with man-sized hands?  And I'm deeply offended that the only phones available with bigger buttons are the Jitterbug devices blatantly marketed to the elderly.  Well hello phone providers, I'm not elderly but I could sure use a decent phone with larger buttons, voicemail and E911 service and none of that stupid internet or IM crap.  Do you see me now?  ARGH.

    Thanks for letting me rant.  Back to your regularly scheduled WTF....



  • @jetcitywoman said:

    @morbiuswilters said:

    Their tiny hands are adept at manipulating today's cellular telephone ...

    This is just a passing reference, but it's the most I've seen anywhere about the biggest problem I have with cell phones.  I hate how teensy the buttons are, they're very hard to use and I'm female with girl-sized hands.  How in the world do men use these things with man-sized hands?  And I'm deeply offended that the only phones available with bigger buttons are the Jitterbug devices blatantly marketed to the elderly.  Well hello phone providers, I'm not elderly but I could sure use a decent phone with larger buttons, voicemail and E911 service and none of that stupid internet or IM crap.  Do you see me now?  ARGH.

    Thanks for letting me rant.  Back to your regularly scheduled WTF....

    Sorry, but if you're older than me you are elderly and should be forced to use a Jitterbug-type device.  Besides, you will be harvested for precious bodily fluids once you have ripened, so who cares if you have to use a lame little phone for a couple of years.



  • @jetcitywoman said:

    I hate how teensy the buttons are, they're very hard to use and I'm female with girl-sized hands.
    But they have to make them smaller!  smaller = cuter.  You want to buy cute things, right?


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