A little while ago, in the wake of a rather cyclic day, my Kyocera 7135 phone decided to toss it’s cookies and lose all information stored on it. Not long ago, I wouldn’t consider this more than an annoyance, losing my games and some other tidbits. But since I’ve gotten addicted to having all my contacts and schedule at hand, this was a major hassle.
I had been syncing my phone to Evolution for the last couple months, keeping the contacts and calendar current on both my desktop and my phone. This has worked remarkably well (alas, it’s over a serial connection, so a tad slow, but really we’re only talking 2-3 minutes to do a complete sync), and this week it proved my lifesaver.
What I -was- worried about, though, was syncing back to a ‘blank’ palm device. I hadn’t actually restored a full backup from Evolution (which, to be fair, actually uses the Gnome Pilot for the syncing), so I was somewhat leery of just dropping the Kyocera into the cradle and hitting Sync.
The double-whammy was that between my last sync and now, I had also upgraded from Evolution 1.4.mumble to Evolution 2.0.3. All in all, this was a fantastically easy upgrade, with no data loss, and only minor bumps (such as losing my .signature associations with my Accounts) along the way. However, I hadn’t tried re-syncing the phone since I had upgraded.
I first backed up my addressbook (using the handy ‘evolution-addressbook-export’ utility, which dumps the addressbook into CSV or vCard format), as well as copying out my iCalendar formatted calendar file (now stored in ~/.evolution/local/system/calendar.ics) to somewhere safe.
Then, muttering a prayer to various deities, I cradled the phone and hit ‘sync’. (I had already checked my gpilot configuration to make sure it was still in place. It was). Lo and behold, a window popped up asking if I’d like to re-install my ‘User ID 1000, Dave Belfer-Shevett’ configuration into this seemingly empty Palm device? Why yes, please!
3 minutes later, the familiar “beedabooooooooo” sound, and voila! All my contacts, calendar entries, and software had been restored back onto the phone. Some of my phone settings were reset (probably not backed up initially), but all in all, everything went back to normal.
For such a dramatic upgrade in software (1.4.x to 2.0.3), as well as a cold-resync, I’m super-impressed with the results. Kudos to the Debian team for providing a seamless upgrade method, the Ximian team at Novell for continuing to build a fantastic project, and the Gnome Evolution folks for continuing to support the community and particularly providing support.