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: