And so it goes

As if my weekend wasn't bad enough. I last saw my Nokia 6161 cellphone on Saturday when I was driving the pickup to the dump with about one ton of construction debris. I switched it to ringer, as it's usually on vibrate only, and shoved it into the inside pocket of my trash-hauling, cold-weather painting, scarred-for-life Columbia parka. During the manual transfer of trash into a massive dumpster, my phone left

As if my weekend wasn't bad enough.

I last saw my Nokia 6161 cellphone on Saturday when I was driving the pickup to the dump with about one ton of construction debris. I switched it to ringer, as it's usually on vibrate only, and shoved it into the inside pocket of my trash-hauling, cold-weather painting, scarred-for-life Columbia parka. During the manual transfer of trash into a massive dumpster, my phone left my pocket and disappeared into the ether. I didn't realize this had happened for another two hours, of course, after the dump had closed. So I drove back up there, parked at the locked gates and ran all the way to the dumpster where I last knew I had the phone. Alas, when called, it did not ring. The -5F temperature had claimed another victim.

Having to buy another phone wasn't as hard as parting with my 150-number phonebook. As I've mentioned before , I didn't have a backup of the phonebook... but I did have a backup from early 2003 that was done with the Phoenix software at USCellular. This file looks like this:

Index = 19
Name = 0048006F006D0065;Unknown
Number1 = 6035551212;Standard
Primary = 1
Memory = 5

Note the name field appears to be UTF-8.

Adding to my woes, USCellular doesn't sell the Nokia 6100 series phones any more, so I'd have to not only purchase a new phone, I'd have to purchase a new hards-free car kit, since mine wouldn't work with any of their new phones. I got a deal on an LG VX4400 CDMA flip phone. This phone seems to work adequately, but I really wish that it was more configurable. I always found that the Nokia phones were very tweakable, and this phone has dozens of features, but seemingly can't support touchpad tones and vibrate-only alerts simultaneously. The 65k color screen is nice, though.

Anyway, I needed to get my elderly phone list into the new phone somehow. I purchased the FutureDial VX4400 USB cable from Radio Shack for $20, although it has proven somewhat spotty in operation. I probably should return this for the VX10/serial cable.

I grabbed the FutureDial drivers, and installed them on my VMWare Windows 2000 server running on my Linux desktop. I then grabbed BitPim, and with VMWare's USB passthru, I could connect to the VX4400 and download the phonebook, calendar, wallpapers, etc. Great.

So to convert my only extant phonebook into a format that BitPim could push to the VX4400, I wrote a script that munges the flat file output of USCellular's Phoenix software into BitPim's index.idx format:

  19:
    {
      '?offset00f': 0,
      '?offset028': 0,
      '?offset111': 0,
      '?offset20c': 0,
      'email1': '',
      'email2': '',
      'email3': '',
      'group': 0,
      'memo': '',
      'msgringtone': 0,
      'name': 'Home',
      'number1': '6035551212',
      'number2': '',
      'number3': '',
      'number4': '',
      'number5': '',
      'ringtone': 0,
      'secret': 0,
      'serial1': 20,
      'serial2': 20,
      'type1': 0,
      'type2': 0,
      'type3': 0,
      'type4': 0,
      'type5': 0,
      'url': '',
    }
,

I generated a file containing the munged data, then manually inserted it into the default index.idx that BitPim creates after the first sync with the phone. Restart BitPim, push the new data to the phone and viola, I have my numbers. The script isn't perfect, as it doesn't handle apostrophes in contact names, and doesn't move over any fields that I don't use, but it works.

I'm not sure how many other folks may find themselves in the same boat, but my nokia-bpconv.pl script is free for the taking.

Join the discussion
Be the first to comment on this article. Our Commenting Policies