Usefulnesses Amassed
 
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Strip #8447. Possibly amusing.
First2425262728293031323334Latest
 
2008-11-02:

I was recently offered to exchange my Nokia E61 for a Nokia E71. As the E71 has several advantages over the E61, and almost no disadvantages, I decided to give it a try.

This is a stream-of-action journal of my transition from E61 to E71, with a few thoughts and remarks along the way.

This is also the first in a series of texts called Usefulnesses Amassed.

Usefulnesses Amassed will take the role as some kind of blog-ish thing, and honestly, what would you like to amass the most on a blog, but usefulnesses?

In the simplest case, it would just be a matter of moving the SIM card from one to the other, and be done with it. But no, I'm not that easy to please; I want my contactses! My precious contactses! And my SMSeseses! The precious! And my noteses!

Fair enough, and actually easy enough; Nokia has, in their infinite wisdom, actually included a migration application. In Swedish, it's called "Meny > Verktyg > Överföring". I only got Swedish manuals with it, and the accompanying CD seem to be unreadable by Linux. How Nokia has managed to make a CD that's unreadable in Linux (tried with Fedora 7 and Fedora 9 in two different computers) is a fascinating question, but not what I've planned writing about today.

(It seems to be some kind of hybrid CD; the strings "Apple_partition_map" and "CDEveryWhere Hybrid Volume" occur in the beginning of the disc. Anyway, never mind that now.)

http://nds1.nokia.com/phones/files/guides/Nokia_E71-1_UG_en.pdf provided me with a User Guide in English, and "Menu > Tools > Switch" is what the application is called in the rest of the world. It's easy enough to use, and will transfer your most precious data to your new phone via Bluetooth. Or IR, I presume, if you'd want that.

http://www.symbian-guru.com/welcome/2008/07/symbian-gurus-ultimate-guide-to-switching-devices.html has a good walk-through for this part, and also goes into a few things I personally didn't have to do.

That takes care of that. We're ready to go! Or, almost. There's MilliLock, which handles all my passwords, lives in some kind of Java environment and seem to be completely invisible to anything able to access the internal file systems.

X-plore can do that. I believe it's the most polished file browser I've ever seen, and competent at that. Fully usable shareware.

Y-Browser can do it, too. Not as polished, not as many built-in functions, but Dr. Jukka hands it out for free. Just watch out; it doesn't install to the normal install folder.

The Java stuff probably lives hidden inside some heavily protected folder, somewhere. I could install a MilliLock on the new phone and manually transfer the entries, but honestly, what's the fun in that?

MilliLock is a nice application. It doesn't suit all my needs, and it has a few peculiar features, at least my older version does, but it is able to run at both the phone and my Linux computer. That's nice. It even has a way of transfering entries between the desktop and the phone. That's nice, too.

What's Not There

Sync Back to P.C.

MilliLock transfers data one way right now. This is primarily because J2ME doesn't make socket programming, except for HTTP, very easy. Data could be sent via HTTP Post, but then the Desktop would need to implement a server. I considered this approach, which would work fine for my personal use, but discarded it in favor of making it really easy for any user to control their own accounts using a cheap commodity hosting service such as through Go Daddy.

http://www.millilock.com/MilliLockNotes.html

Right. I don't really use the desktop counterpart of MilliLock, I've tried it once to see what it's like, but my primary, and indeed only, input method is through the phone.

Fortunately, the above seems to be no longer true, as indicated in another page at the MilliLock site:

Sync Server Mode:

The modes are:

  • HTTP
  • MilliServer

MilliLock can only upload to a MilliServer. But uploading is only needed if you wish to send records from the phone to your P.C.

Downloads can be of either type: Either a file from a website (uploaded via FTP from the application) or a MilliServer.

http://www.millilock.com/Manual/MilliLock_Manual.htm#_Toc168658279

Good! And there's a downloadable MilliServer published at http://millilock.com/wordpress/?p=11, just point wget at it and download. Perfect!

Unzip, and... ".exe"? Ok, there's a "This program cannot be run in DOS mode." string in it, which mean it's a Windows binary. Sigh.

I could get the source code for it by contacting Tony, probably through a comment on his blog, and tell him about two open source projects I've been involved in. That's the easy part, but for now, I'm utterly fed up with dancing around to coax my data out of MilliLock. It's not Tony's fault, neither MilliLock's, but rather a combination of obscure limitations that prevent him from just implementing a nice bidirectional transfer function and the general stubbornness of cell phone manufacturers.

MilliLock will have to wait.

I'm using another application; Wellness Diary. I'm using it to log my weight on an irregular basis. The other modes, Exercise, Steps, Calendar, Eating, Sleep, and Working time, are either of low importance to me, or simply doesn't fit my preferences, and neither of us are willing to adjust. Weight it is, then.

Surprisingly enough, WD does not seem to contain one iota of contact or manufacturer information. Google it, and you'll find that it's part of a set of Nokia applications: http://www.nokia.com/A4384042

I'm a Fonero, and have my 3G card in the E61. Time to download ConectaFON, or Symbian Connection Manager, as it is called. I found it at https://www.fon.com/en/support/fonMaterials, along with some other stuff I'll have to investigate at a later time. The download went well, and the installation seem to have worked, too, although the installer told me this version of the connection manager isn't compatible with the E71. I'm guessing it simply isn't officially tested compatible, as I got network and all that.

With net access available, I downloaded the newest version of WD, which seem to have a few more options I'd like to have. I know how I'd built the application if I were the author, but OK, I'm not, and I'm too lazy to make my own.

WD has a handy feature; you can send a dump of a category via mail, bluetooth or a variety of other options. If I send the Weight category to the new phone, it shows up in the Inbox. WD doesn't seem to be able to import what I received, though, and messages can only be copied and organized within the message application, not saved to the file system. Oh well.

I found a simple description of what needs to be done in order to migrate data; use a third party file manager (X-plore or Y-Browser, above), copy \System\data\wfrdb.sq to a location accessible by your computer, transfer it to the computer and then to the other phone. On that phone, use the third party file manager to overwrite \System\data\wfrdb.sq. I thought these phones were supposed to be kind of intelligent...

The E61 has a special USB cable that ends in a PopPort™ connector. I knew I had it somewhere, but did I find it before I'd rummaged through my entire desk? Twice?

The E71 also has a funky USB port, but at least it's microUSB, which means I can buy a new cable at the nearest burger place (almost, anyway) if I lose or break the original one.

Well, moving the sq file to the computer and to the new phone gave me a brand new Wellness Diary with my full WD history. Well done! (I could have used a memory card as transfer medium instead of the computer, but why make things easier than necessary?)

Next item: PuTTY. Can't have a networked device without PuTTY. http://s2putty.sourceforge.net/, folks, it's a must.

Here, the smaller keyboard of the E71 shows a flaw: The combined Ctrl and Chr key is totally broken. What good is a Ctrl key that default to being a Chr key, and no longer can be used to send Ctrl-char without both being pressed simultaneously? DO NOT WANT, as the good Lord Vader exclaimed. And inside PuTTY, holding down Ctrl while repeatedly pressing, for example, o, will cycle through a list of o-like characters, but not Ctrl-o proper. Oh well, I might become used to PuTTY's Send-down-down-Control+-select-Ctrl+Keys-select-o-OK dance, too.

Naaahhh... There must be some way to fix that. Must, must, must!

[Update 1]: There is, of course. Just press function-Ctrl-o for ctrl-o. Almost as quick and easy as the real thing.

GMail was a quick install. No problem there.

Opera Mini is a nice browser that can do some things the built-in browser can't.

That's about everything moved. Not MilliLock, not yet, but I will beat that one, too. And I hope there is some way to make the Ctrl key sane in PuTTY.

I'm interested in Python, and there is a Symbian Python, PyS60, at http://sourceforge.net/projects/pys60. Downloading it with the phone is not the most pleasant experience I've had, not least because the built-in browser seem to crash if I scroll while it's retrieving a page.

Anyway, a bit of googling tells me the E71 is an FP1 phone, and one PythonForS60 and a PythonScriptShell later, I have Python on my phone. Now, if that isn't cool, I don't know what is! The documentation PDF just renders white in the phone's PDF viewer, though.

Update after a good night's sleep: I officially consider myself beaten by MilliLock. I took the half hour or so it took to manually copy and verify my passwords.

Why? Because I'm not sure even a MilliServer could help me. My initial tests showed that although the application does send a POST request to an HTTP server, there is no POST data sent along with it. At least not using the E61, nor the E71.

[Update 2]: POST data is being sent, just not in standard key/value format. Should have thought of that earlier.

The thing has a GPS receiver in it. Cool. I couldn't get it to lock, though. A quick search on the net told me that the "Positioning server" field often is set to a less than perfect value when the operator configure your phone. The general tip is to change it to "supl.nokia.com", which I did, and now I get GPS data, too. An interesting project could be to compare its performance to the Bluetooth GPS I got for the E61.

 

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