Friday, April 17, 2009

Manage Mobile with Linux

Even people who don't live and die by their mobile phones sometimes need to send SMS. Did you know you can do that from your computer? Likewise, it's easier to clean your mobile phone of all the numbers you've not been dialing in the last few years using a mouse, rather than navigating repeatedly through the phone's menu system. Here are some Linux tools that can help you manage your cell phone.

Using a Windows Mobile-based smart phone or PDA in Linux is easy as pie. In most cases you just have to connect the device through USB and start up SynCE. For phones that don't use a Microsoft operating system, such as my Motorola SLVR L7, applications like Moto4Lin and KMobileTools come in handy.

If you just need to view, delete, or send SMS messages and manage your address book, then KMobileTools, a part of KDE 3.5.x, is a good solution. If you don't use KDE, you can download and install the program anyway. Configuration is straightforward: you pick a device brand from the list (Nokia, Motorola, Siemens, Sony Ericsson, and LG phones are supported) and choose a connection type. If you wish to use Bluetooth, pick /dev/rfcomm0. For USB connections choose /dev/ttyACM0 or /dev/ttyUSB0, and for serial ports use /dev/ttyS0. Leave the port speed at the default (115200).

There are other tools you can try. The Wammu GUI for Gammu, written in wxPython, offers the same functionality as KMobileTools

Sometimes you want to do more with your phone. What about those moments when you need to download an image from the phone or want to upload a music file as a ringtone? For Motorola phones, try Moto4Lin. While KMobileTools can be used to manage contacts and text messages, Moto4Lin is strictly for file management.

In addition to the tools above, there are other applications you can try for establishing a connection with your mobile phone, including Phone Manager, KitchenSync, GMobileMedia, and ObexTool.

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