Recently my mobile phone broke, well in fact the charger did and mobile phones are rather pointless without electricty so it was time to get a new one. I have to confess that I had been a bad person and not backed all of the various numbers that I have on my mobile. On top of that I'm sure I don't know anybody's number off by heart. Sound familiar?
I'm sure I'm not the only person with such a bad habit of not backing up a mobile phone but it is scary to think that if the thing breaks you might lose lots of phone numbers which would be quite annoying. So it was time for action, time to backup the contacts list from my phone and convert it ideally into an address book that would work with my favourite email client: Mozilla Thunderbird.
There was one slight snag too, at the time I didn't have a USB cable for the phone, so I would have to do this all with Bluetooth (which is nearly ten years old and was apparently named after Harald "Bluetooth" Gormson, who sadly died 1000 years before he could see his namesake technology). So it was time to dig around in the Ubuntu repositories and fortunately I found a great program called Wammu. This very handy utility can copy your contacts list from your phone and lots of other things such as backup your SMS messages and your calendar.
To get Wammu on an Ubuntu machine use the command:
apt-get install wammu python-bluez
After you install it, you will need to make sure that you have paired your phone with your computer (if you don't know how to do that consult the user documentation for your mobile). Then you can connect Wammu to your mobile phone by selecting:
Wammu -> Phone Wizard
After using these steps to tell Wammu about your phone, use the "Phone" -> "Connect" command to establish a connection. You can now use the "Retrieve" menu option to read information from the phone.
To create an address book suitable for use with Mozilla Thunderbird do the following:
Use the "Retrieve" -> "Contacts (All)" option to read the contacts fro your mobile, now click on "Backups" -> "Save". Select a name for your export file and be sure to select LDIF [contacts] (*.ldf) as the file format in the bottom right of the window.
In Mozilla Thunderbird, click on the "Address Book" icon, then on "Tools" -> "Import"
Leave "Address Books" as selected and then go through the wizard to import the LDIF file, and within a few short moments you should have a copy of your contacts list that is readable from Thunderbird.
This worked perfectly with my old phone, but my new phone is not too happy with it, hopefully this can be rectified soon.
My new years resolution is to back up everything!