Disclaimer

The content of this blog is my personal opinion only. Although I am an employee - currently of Imagination Technologies's MIPS group, in the past of other companies such as Intellectual Ventures, Intel, AMD, Motorola, and Gould - I reveal this only so that the reader may account for any possible bias I may have towards my employer's products. The statements I make here in no way represent my employer's position, nor am I authorized to speak on behalf of my employer. In fact, this posting may not even represent my personal opinion, since occasionally I play devil's advocate.

See http://docs.google.com/View?id=dcxddbtr_23cg5thdfj for photo credits.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

One of those days: PhoneTools, Mozy

This has been one of those days. Well, afternoon and evening.

My goal was to write and run my first Java applications on my phone - the Motorola Ming A1200 a friend had loaned/given me.

Lots of time spent downloading various SDKs and REs and .PDF manuals from Motorola and Sun. Apparently Java is not like Perl's CPAN: you can't just download one module, and have it pull all the rest of the modukes it requires. No, you have to download them one at a time.

Along the way had to install Motorola's USB Driver. I hoped that this would allow me to look at the cell phones files without using Motorola's phone tools, which I hate. Yes and no: the phone appears to be a mass storage device, but try as I might I can't find the files. Thew directory structure appears to be empty.

So, it looks like I will have to install Motorola Phone Tools. Did I mention that I hate Motorola Phone Tools? They are a cobbled together user interface for synchronization. They have their own file copy GUI. In the past, I much prefer to just access the files directly. But since I can't figure out how to do so...

But where is my copy of PhoneTools? Google Desktop can't find it on the laptop I am using. Was it on the laptop whose disk I reformatted a while back? ... Gosh darn, not only do I hate PhoneTools, but I have already purchased it twice, once with a physical CD, once just as a download. But I can't find either, so I purchase the download again...

Perhaps I left it on my Teraserver? But I haven't used my Teraserver since my upstairs Comcast cable modem failed - since it needs to be close enough to the WLAN router. It's not worth moving the machine around.

Although, as Murphy would have it, when I have paid and am downloading, *that* is when I find the existing copy. Apparently Google desktop was not indexing plain old directory names.

Determined not to let this happen again, I try to burn a CD. Nope, can't... for some reason this PC can't burn a CD. I suspect because it is my work PC, and IT may have disabled.

Hmmm.... if I can't use my Teraserver as my "permanent" storage, at least not until I rearrange networking, or at least get the upstairs Comcast tap fixed, perhaps I should store such paid-for files on some web based storage.

Google Docs? No, restricted file types and sizes. the Google mail filesystem? No, restricted size.

How about one of those services like Xdisk or Mozy?

AOL is closing down Xdisk - nice of them to allow folks to offload their data as a .ZIP file.

I start installing Mozy, but then realize that it is trying to backup large parts of my PC, not just the single file I want. So I hit cancel... What is it about "backup" tools like Connected and Mozy, that they can;t behave well to a cancel button? Eventually I had to reboot.

I considered uploading PhonTools.ZIP to Geocities, but I wonder of I would be accused of illegal file sharing. Geocitis allows uploads, and has the space, but doesn't provide a way to make things private.

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Morals:

TANSTAAFL: there appears to be no such thing as free web storage.

But it sure would be nice. I am becoming more and more web centered.

Make sure that you have an exit strategy, a way to recover your data, before becoming dependent on something like Xdisk or Mozy. Or, for that matter, Yahoo Mail, Geocities, or Google Docs or Mail. Yesterday I realized that I could not manage stale yahoo mail en masse. I don't have the faintest idea as to how hard this will be if ever Google Docs or Google Mail evaporates. t least Google Mail allows POP and IMAP>

Perhaps the real moral should be that I should own all of my storage, and that my storage should be on the web. But I grew so tired of managing my own web exposed servers. I want to pay somebody lse for the privilege of applying all of the urgent patches.

2 comments:

AndyGlew said...

Adding insult to injury: Motorola Phone Tools 5.0 does not work with my Ming.

Googling finds many similar problems with different versions of Phoe tools.

AndyGlew said...

At least this impelled me to figure out how to transfer stuff to/from the phone in USB Mass Storage mode.

It turns out that the "root" of the phone filesystem is not made visible. Only stuff under TransFlash is made visible.

So, moving stuff to/from TransFlash allows the USC disk mode to be used.

This would be preferable to Motorola PhoneTools, except that the GUI doesn't allow mass copying or moving of files between directories. I trust that can be worked around, e.g. by ssh-ing or telnet-ing to the phone.