#4 Migrate Contacts and Calendar to Fairphone


It’s been a while since the last post in the series “Freiheit nehmen”. I was busy with working (Mobile Banking stuff) and reading (Andreas Huyssen : Present Pasts – Urban Palimpsets and the politics of memory). Moreover, I started to look into the Open Source Video platform Kaltura and blogged about it here. One word: Frustration. Mixed concentrations of it. Since I messed up the configuration, I wanted to restart the VM where Kaltura is installed. Unfortunately, I forgot the password that encrypts the VM. Now I have to start from scratch with a new VM.

That’s why I move on to another construction site. Migrating from Samsung S2 to Fairphone. There are problems at multiple levels:

  • At a high level: I am carrying around two devices every day. It’s not a big tragedy during work, since I am working everyday with multiple smartphones. But for personal use this must really change.
  • My contacts are not imported to Fairphone yet.
  • My calendar syncronization got reverted, for whatever reason. (Maybe it requires the sync server to be up and running all the time.)

Let’s tackle it, in the end it was quite easy. I will share my knowledge. Plus bonus material: a journey through the data jungle of a device that I have used since 3 years

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Lustiger nachmittag/abend mit gesellschafts(kritischen)spielen – 27.4.2013

Liebe Alle,

gesellschaftsspiele sind doof! Findet ihr auch? Gesellschaftskritischespiele wären viel besser? Ein bisschen mehr utopie wär schön? Oder konkrete reflexion in spiele einbauen? Und emanzipatorische potentiale und umschreibungen ausloten?
All das wollen wir bei einem gemütlichen zusammensitzen beplaudern um danach diese doofen (aber manchmal halt doch auch lustigen) gesellschaftsspiele zu spielen (und vielleicht gleich emanzipatorische aneignungen vorzunehmen und sie zu gesellschaftskritischenspielen umzuschreiben).

Daher möchten wir, die /bin – basisgruppen informatik, euch alle gerne einladen vorbeizukommen und mitzuplaudern/spielen, und zwar

am so., 27. april 2014 um/ab 16.00 uhr
in der u5 (universitätsstraße 5, hochparterre)

Auf zahlreiches vorbeischauen freuen wir uns. Wenn ihr selber spiele habt die ihr gerne (um)spielen wollt, bringt sie am besten mit. Wir werden ein paar spiele schon vor ort haben, aber die auswahl ist freilich immer subjektiv.

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fragen.diebin.at offline

aufgrund vermehrter Spam-Attacken, ist fragen.diebin.at, unser Q&A-Service basierend auf Question2Answer, jetzt offline genommen worden, da wir für die Wartung (aktuell halten der Software/Einstellungen) bzw. Moderation (manuelles Löschen von Spam) gerade keine Kapazitäten haben.

seit der Service online gegangen ist, haben wir (abgesehen von den 500+ Spam-Einträgen der letzten Woche…) 126 Fragen gestellt bekommen, von denen 125 beantwortet wurden.

#3: Fairphone <- Mediatek chipset -> Ubuntu 12.04 LTS

You know ADB? Android Debugger Bridge? It lets you interact with your device from your Desktop. If your Desktop has Windows as operating system, it’s likely that the Fairphone will be detected automatically. On my Ubuntu 12.04 LTS this was not the case. The command line adb devices showed:

List of devices attached
???????????? no permissions

This posting is about (1) granting ourselves permissions and (2) finding out that the Fairphone has a chipset from Mediatek, one of the biggest fabric-less semiconductor companies.

                                       The Ubuntu logo

Mediatek conquered the market already in the age of feature phones (you know, these mostly touchscreen-less mobile phones with a physical numpad and monochrome displays). Mediatek was one of the factors why mobile phones became so cheap and wide-spread, because Mediatek had the idea of packaging software and hardware together. Before Android and iOS made the App hype emerge, Mediatek let the Shanzhai phenomenon happen by selling a platform, not only a single chip. The hardware was shipped with a reference design and software that allowed customization. This way Shanzhai vendors emerged for example in China, providing farmers and migration workers with cheap but somehow fancy cell phones. The Shanzhai vendors were kind of unofficial vendors, mostly family-driven. They imitated the look of major brands and customized the features to their needs and the needs of their relatives.

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#2: Migrate to Fairphone. Calendar Mess

The first post of this blog series (written in German) was A New Year’s resolution to gain more control in the digital sphere. It just happened that the devices that we are supposed to own transformed themselves from being a tool to a place that is highly controlled by organizations rather than individuals. In particular my smartphone. While the phone may be called smart, it is not smart to just let the phone do whatever it does, but rather shape it based on some criteria. But which criteria? Let’s start exploring, first of all.

I’ve got a Fairphone (model: FP1) about a week ago. It shipped with the Android version 4.2.2 and root access (with root, I can change the way how the device functions, for example block internet access for some applications). Today, I want to make it a phone for everyday usage. To do that, I will download and transfer my current data: Mails, Calendar, Contacts, Notes, Messages, … to the Fairphone. This gives me a chance to re-evaluate the services that I consumed and the habits with my old phone, a Samsung Galaxy S2, with Android 4.0.2 on it, non-rooted.

As you will see in this article, migrating Calendar events to another device that is a few centimeter away, is quite a technical and time-consuming endeavour, even for somebody who studied and works in computer science and decides not to use Google calendar for synchronization. This is how platforms usually work: “Many ways in, but no way out”. At least no comfortable way out.

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