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2006-06-22 Das neue iSync versteht unser Nokia 6230i

At last! We now have software to sync our mobile phones with a computer. Claudia and I each own a Nokia 6230i. Well, she does starting today. Her phone is new, and we had to get data off the old phone onto the new one.

The Nokia 6230i phone does Bluetooth, but the iSync software on OS X 10.3 (“Panther”) was not able to sync contacts with it. Only a simple file transfer was possible. Or I was just too stupid to set it up. But it works with OS X 10.4 (“Tiger”) as we discovered yesterday.

Claudia’s addressbook is based upon a very old BBDB file we used to share many years back when both of us used Gnus to read mail. It contained about 800-900 contacts. Her old phone had contained 200-300 contacts.

The old phone is a Nokia 6610i without Bluetooth. What to do?

I copied all her contacts on the old phone to the SIM card. This copied several dozen numbers but still left many on the phone itself. Transferd SIM card and moved the contacts from the SIM onto the new phone. Ran iSync just to check. Seems to work! (Although it did take quite some time!)

Moved SIM card back to the old phone. Damn! In the first step, I had copied instead of moving! This time, I moved several dozen numbers from the phone to the SIM, transfered SIM and moved them onto the new phone. Transfer stopped after a while. I figured those were the duplicates that it would not transfer and decided to delete the contacts remaining on the SIM.

Big mistake! I discovered that the new phone’s memory was full. I had called iSync and synchronized all contacts – over a thousand by now. It seems that the phone cannot handle more than 1000 contacts. Talk about arbitrary limits. Bastards!

I had obviously deleted a few dozen contacts from the SIM that had no room on the phone. Argh! Perhaps I was lucky and those had been copied in the first run? We still don’t know whether we lost anybody important.

It turns out that iSync has an option to limit synchronization to contacts having a phone number. Very handy, because most of the old and useless contacts from our BBDB times only have Email addresses.

But now I had it figured out. Take the SIM, move contacts from the old phone to the SIM, transfer SIM, move contacts from the SIM to the new phone. Repeat. Then sync. Worked!

Claudia’s addressbook has around 1130 contacts, now.

Amazing.

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