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Today, I got an iPhone.

This sounds deceptively simple, but really wasn’t, so here’s how it went. I had an 18 month contract with 02, ready to run out in September. But last month they phoned me up, and when I said I was waiting for the new iPhone, they recommended I switched to the Monthly Sim Only “Simplicity” contract, shaving three months off my contract (since Simplicity is a rolling monthly agreement) meaning I’d be able to get a new contract come July 11th.

This morning at 08:45 I was waiting outside Walthamstow’s O2 shop, on the reasonable basis that it would be quieter than Oxford Street, and there was a couple of dozen people queuing at the time. At 08:55, I moved to Carphone Warehouse on the basis that swapping being 24th in line for being 5th in line seemed sane. So I was the fifth person to get into Carphone Warehouse, the other people selling the iPhone today.

CPW had 24 iPhone 8 gigs, and two iPhone 16 gigs. The first four people wanted 16 gig ones, and it became a race against the (heavily overloaded) computer system as they went though the upgrade process. Two didn’t make it, and left the store. The other two were on hold for credit checks.

Switching to the simplicity tarrif was the wrong thing, because it meant I’d shifted from being a normal O2 contract user, to a non-trusted base-level user, meaning to get an upgrade I’d also have to pass a credit check. Which was fine, but O2 had apparently been recommending the Simplicity route for lots of people, and so the national queue for credit checks was loooooong.

At 10:20 – almost an hour and a half after I arrived – I left the shop to get to work, late but salvageable. Today was a deadline day.

At 11:30 CPW phoned me (I’d left a card) to say my check had gone though, and they had a phone for me, but I would have to collect it by 12:30. Since I’d got in at 10:50, I felt that leaving at 11:30 for my lunch hour was taking the piss slightly, but left dead on 12. Kings Cross to Walthamstow takes exactly 26 minutes, I have found, if there’s a train when you get to the platform and it’s the middle of the day (so stops at stations to exchange passengers are brief). I ran. I don’t run often, but I ran today to get an iPhone.

I got it. It’s shiny. I bought insurance for it after what happened to the one I borrowed.

This doesn’t end here, though.

First, my shoes were not built for running, because they dissolved by my running though the rain. By eight this evening (when I left the office) the soles were falling off.

Second was trying to migrate contacts.

One of the really cool features about OS X is the phone support. For 10.4 it supported the latest Ericcsons, and would bluetooth sync to them, and when they got a text message it would appear on your desktop. For the brief period I had a compatible phone (a few months, the on-call phone for Those Who Evolve was one) it was great. However, it’s not been updated to support any phone since then, so it falls to feisar who provide plugins for many phones.

My first attempt was to sync the old phone to the mac, then the iPhone to the mac. But for some reason whilst my old z310i would sync quite happily with the Feisar plugin, the newer one won’t (I suspect it’s because of the newer one’s Orange replacement firmware), and in attempting to fix this plugin (they’re all scriptable) I ran the unit test suite, which overwrote my entire phonebook.

I swore.

Nevermind, I thought, I’ve got backups. If nothing else, I’ve got all the contacts on my machine from the last fight with phone syncing at Christmas.

Er, no. Gone. No idea where. Fail.

After a certian amount of faffery (including grepping my entire hard-drive for a known-saved number to see if Outlook, ActiveSync or something had left a backup somewhere. Incidentally, the XDA (from the previous article) still has all the numbers, but no longer charges) I remember the existence of…


O2 run a service called bluebook. Bluebook is part of their data network, and (once you’ve signed up) stores SMSs for you from the wire as they go to your phone. Which is Really Fucking Handy. But not as useful as its ability to look like a valid syncing service for contacts, which my phone has been merrily syncing away to since I signed up a few months ago, silently and automatically. A perfect backup.

It’s even smart enough to allow export of your entire contact list in a sane and rational format!

And from there I can import into Windows Address Book (I’m now at home), and from there into iTunes, and from there onto the iPhone, which now has all my contacts.

All for only… 70% of the time of typing them all in manually.

But I have an iPhone, and it’s shiny. Sorry, that’s as interesting as my life gets right now. You should talk to my brother, he’s being eaten alive by doomed crabs.

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