Saturday, July 02, 2005

Chaos Ensues

Considering I just rendered useless my PDA and my cell phone and my USB key recently, I swapped them out with a Samsung i500. Works great, aside from the LOUD, EAR PIERCING SCREECHES THAT EMANATE FROM IT WHENEVER IT RINGS. That's slightly annoying. Hopefully Fry's will do a quick exchange and I'll have my carrier switch my account... again.

One big problem was figuring out what @#$&*! tty to use. There are several USB tty's in SuSE's /dev system... /dev/ttyUSB, /dev/usb/ttyUSB, etc. Finally figured out that /dev/usb/ttyUSB1 was the one I wanted for cradle sync's. I hacked with syncing via IrDA for a while - the kernel module kept returning I/O errors until I realized how stupid I was and the Ir port was disabled in my laptop's BIOS. D'oh. Enabled that and /dev/ircomm0 worked great, albeit sloooooow.

It sync's with Linux nicely, however. The lovely people and Ximian made the good move with storing their calendar information for both Exchange (cached) and locally to use ICS file formats, so I can easily concatenate Exchange and local to-do lists and calendar items into a single file. Very nice! There's a very nice command-line exporter for the address book - I have it converting both local and Exchange contacts into a combined VCF file, which worked nicely. Now KPilot just syncs a simple .ics and .vcf file with minimal fuss.

For example, to move all my files together for sync'ing all I need to do is:

# Export contacts from local store
$EVOLUTION_BIN/evolution-addressbook-export file://$EVOLUTION_DIR/addressbook/local/system > $KABC_FILE
$EVOLUTION_BIN/evolution-addressbook-export exchange://$EXCHANGE_USER/personal/Contacts >> $KABC_FILE

# Move over tasks from Exchange cache & local store
cat $EVOLUTION_DIR/exchange/$EXCHANGE_USER/personal/subfolders/Tasks/cache.ics > $KORGANIZER_FILE
cat $EVOLUTION_DIR/tasks/local/system/tasks.ics >> $KORGANIZER_FILE

# Move over calendar from Exchange cache & local store
cat $EVOLUTION_DIR/exchange/$EXCHANGE_USER/personal/subfolders/Calendar/cache.ics >> $KORGANIZER_FILE
cat $EVOLUTION_DIR/calendar/local/system/calendar.ics >> $KORGANIZER_FILE

So... I've got a defective i500. But at least I had it as a proof of concept.

The nice thing is now I have a cell phone that I can develop on. Mebbe I should use PalmOS for game development instead of the freakin' J2ME stuff I couldn't even deploy. I wonder how big PalmOS' market share is... including both PDA and smartphone sales. According to, it sits at 40.7% including cellular PDA's such the BlackBerry, but not smartphones or Handsprings. Windows is gaining at 40.2% while PalmOS is declining, but it's still a much more level playing field than I expected.

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