Mobile phones

I have always hated mobile phones. I always had problems with them (coverage, battery), I always found them ridiculously counterintuitive, expensive, impractical…

But then I moved to Norway (from Spain), and, partly because I wanted to be able to use OperaMini, I decided to buy a new phone. I didn’t buy anything fancy at all, especially for Norwegian standards (a Sony Ericsson K310i), but I must admit I’m simply impressed by the phone. I know it’s old now and probably half of the phones in the latest five years have been good in those regards, but I find it really intuitive to use, very well thought out, with lots of tiny details that make it easier to understand and use, and frankly, for my modest needs, it’s just great. Sure, the camera is very crappy, almost useless, but I never trusted a camera phone anyway.

Also, living in Norway, any phone services I could want to use (normal calls/messages, international calls, Internet access) feels affordable, almost cheap, and now I can just check Mick Jagger ‘s age if I’m arguing about it with somebody in the middle of the street ;-)

So, after buying the phone, I wanted to make backup copies of the contacts and messages, and I also wanted to be able to copy pictures and videos, and (why not?) games, ringtones and other stuff. I tried fiddling a bit with the IrDA and Linux, but I didn’t get it to work and I got frustrated, so I decided to just go and buy a (insanely expensive) USB cable. The good news was that the phone had a mass-storage mode that is compatible with pretty much any operating system. The bad news is that that mode doesn’t let you access the contacts or messages, just ringtones, pictures, movies, themes and similar.

I was quite desperate, especially after having bought the cable (I did find some really great games in the net, though, so I used the cable for something), so I decided to download the official Sony Ericsson PC Suite, and try on some Windows machine (real hassle, because I don’t have that at home). And, oh the horror, that wasn’t a solution either, because I couldn’t just make a backup of the contacts, I had to “synchronise” with Outlook. And that wouldn’t work for me, that’s for sure.

So I didn’t know what to do, I tried with other progams under Linux, but nothing really let me back my contacts… until I found gammu and especially the oh-wonderful wammu GUI. I just had to specify the USB device in some wizard (in my case, /dev/ttyACM0) and everything just worked like I wanted to. They even have a Gammu-supported phone database, with a Sony Ericsson K310i entry.

I’m so happy now, everything works like a charm with wammu, I can backup my contacts, messages, and even the calendar, todo list and list of calls, if I wanted to. I can also access the ringtones, themes, pictures, videos, so I have everything I need now, under Linux without problems. Yay!