Monthly Archives: June 2007

Nokia E61 and Sun Calendar Server … but no Windows

If you’re using Sun Calendar Server (a.k.a. JESCS for “Java Enterprise System Calendar Server) and have tried to synchronize it using anything else but a Windows machine or a SyncML Server, you already know what pain is, for sure. Been doing that a while ago when the connector for evolution was in its infancy. What I tried then was synching my Palm with evolution and trying to select the Sun Calendar as the backend. Well, it didn’t work.

Now that I have received this nice Nokia E61 gadget (how can Apple make the iPhone not have UMTS support?) originally just for use as an UMTS modem I find all those other things you can do with it and decided to revisit calendar synch. I expected to have to move along the lines of my previous attempt and was quite surprised to learn that multisync no longer exists, but has turned into opensync. And opensync has a jescs plugin, yay!

Here’s what I did to make it work:

  1. Install opensync
    On my ubuntu (feisty) system I installed the opensync 0.21 packages from here:

    The packages I installed are:

    • libopensync-plugin-evolution2
    • libopensync-plugin-file
    • libopensync-plugin-jescs
    • libopensync-plugin-syncml
    • libopensync0
    • opensyncutils
    • msynctool
    • multisync-gui
  2. Configure a synchronization group
    To do that I used multisync-gui and added a synchronization group with a syncml-obex-client and a jescs-sync member. You may want to disable the synchronization of everything but events and todos.The configuration for the jescs-sync member is trivial and looks like this:

    <?xml version=”1.0″?>
    <!– Server address with optional port (<server_url>[:<port>]) –>
    <!– Authentication data –>
    <!– Notify attendees about event/task deletion ( 0 = no, 1 = yes ) –>

    Note that the server is specified without protocol (i.e. “http://&#8221;) prefix.

    The config for the E61 syncml client is a little bit more complex:

    <?xml version=”1.0″?>
    <!– (Only for bluetooth) The bluetooth address if the bluetooth mode is selected –>
    <bluetooth_address>00:17:E3:0C:20:F2</bluetooth_address><!– (Only for bluetooth) The bluetooth channel to use. `sdptool browse $MAC` to search for the correct channel –>

    <!– (Only for USB) The usb interface number of the SYNCML-SYNC target. use syncml-obex-client -u (you will need access to the USB raw device) to find it. –>

    <!– The string that the plugin will use to identify itself. Some devices need a special string here. –>
    <identifier>PC Suite</identifier>

    <!– The syncml version to use: 0 for 1.0, 1 for 1.1 and 2 for 1.2 –>

    <!– if the plugin should use wbxml –>

    <!– The username to use. Leave empty to not require a username –>

    <!– the password for the username –>

    <!– sets the connection type to use. 5 means obex over usb, 2 means obex over bluetooth –>

    <!– If wbxml is enabled, defines wether the wbxml should use string tables –>

    <!– Never send ADD command, but send REPLACE (not needed normally) –>

    <!– Workaround around for mobile phones which only use local timestamps and _no_ UTC timestamps! –>

    <!– Sets the maximum allowed size in bytes of incoming messages (some device need this option set). Example: 10000 –>


    <!– The name of the contacts db. Must be the same as the phones sends –>

    <!– The name of the calendar db. Must be the same as the phones sends –>

    <!– The name of the note db. Must be the same as the phones sends –>

  3. Make sure the bluetooth connection works
    A typical thing you may need to do is install bluez-gnome.
  4. Install missing wcaptool script
    This script is missing from the opensync jescs plugin package for feisty. It needs to go to /usr/lib/libopensync-plugin-jescs/wcaptool. Don’t forget to make it executable.
  5. Configure synchronization profile on the E61
    If you don’t have a recipient for your telephone’s Notes in your opensync synchronization group, you should keep the phone from trying to send them. Otherwise the synch was always stalled there and finally timed out. To tell your phone not to send them, you do this:

    • Open Main Menu->Connections->Synchronization
    • Options->New Synchronization Profile (name=test, when asked chose to copy PC Suite profile)
    • Deactivate original PC Suite Profile by selecting it and Options->Edit Synchronization Profile->Connection Settings->Allow Synchronization Requests->No
    • With the newly created one change the name from “test” to “PC Suite” and disable all programs but Calendar
  6. Run synchronization
    Try with msynctool –sync <groupname> first. I’ve had cases where the GUI would not work, but the command line would.

Good luck,


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Culture, Conservatism, and the Elite

As an IT professional you sometimes need to take a break to get down to earth and in touch with real life again. What could be a better opportunity than getting a fresh hair-cut?

Last Saturday, I arrived at the hair-dresser somewhat early and while waiting skimmed through the array of magazines available. One that immediately caught my attention sported a headline “The 500 most important intellectuals”. Normally, the most positive of my reactions rankings of that sort provoke is a bored yawn. The one hundred best dressed men, 1000 places to see before you die. Man, Heidelberg is kinda nice but there are a hundred places more interesting to me in Germany alone. I’ve even hated our literary canon in university. This ranking had an altogether different subject, though. So I looked at the magazine’s tag-line: “magazine for political culture” and I fell for it. It happened to be the April edition of a magazine called “Cicero“. “Hey,” I thought, “sounds like a magazine for people who like to reflect on what’s going on around them.”

So I started to leaf through the magazine and it didn’t take long to get me mildly annoyed. I hadn’t even started to read anything yet, just sampled the overall visual impression. As usual, that was heavily influenced by advertisements. It didn’t very much differ from that decadent Audi magazine I get every quarter or so, where the Audi club offers among other things weekend trips for a thousand Euros. Why a magazine for political culture needs adverts for designer suits, Breitling watches, and the like was not immediately clear to me. Of course, a magazine is an economical enterprise and will probably welcome Breitling’s marketing dollars. That’s to be expected. What always makes me suspicious in such a case is the question what kind of audience a company that sells a thousand Euro watches expects when it decides to spend part of its marketing budget somewhere. Also, what will the management of a company in the media business do to ensure the companies paying the adverts can continue to expect the right audience. I was more and more expecting this to turn out a magazine for the many smart people I know who turned thirty, found a well-paid job, and all of a sudden started to listen to classical music or Jazz, play golf and chime in to the same kind of phrases their parents would cant, like how dismissals protection should be relaxed or how binding minimum wages would harm the economy. Why must people once they earn more than the average employee start to approve of the merits of the classical liberalist trickle-down theory rubbish? Just to enable them to buy Breitling watches?

But OK, “Let’s give them a chance,” I thought and started to read the letters to the editor to find out whether I had guessed right about the readership. First thing I came across was half a page of letters where readers applauded suggestions of the very widely travelled but also very conservative Peter Scholl-Latour that Germany should build up its own arsenal of nuclear weapons. After all it supposedly was the nuclear weapons that made the Cold War stay cold. Or maybe we just didn’t wait long enough, but I don’t feel inclined to conduct any experiments to find out.

Next thing I found was a commentary by the regular editor Judith Hart “Ganz schön Hart” (roughly: “quite hard” hart=hard). She was commenting on a recent poll according to which more Germans regarded the United States a danger to world peace than Iran. First she smugly detected a discrepancy between that and the United States remaining the Germans’ favourite place to travel to. Then she concluded that this is just the result of people having found out that it’s much less dangerous to attack democratic America than Iran. Oh boy, I know that’s what conservatives would like to think (and I’m not even going to enter the discussion of how democratic America still is), but get real: Who, in Germany, has ever been endangered by criticising Iran? Who has been in any danger after the Mohamed cartoons? A number of soldiers in Afghanistan perhaps and some kidnapped travellers in Iraq, though it is not known that they actively criticised Iran from which potential critics could derive it is safer not to. What is more, the general populace you need to get this kind of poll result (which is remarkable in its own right) who voices its opinion in their private homes or pubs will certainly not feel personally threatened by Ahmadnijad. Explaining the poll result with fear of criticism of Iran is saying that half the German populace is following a few cabaret artist who have supposedly decided that it is less harmful to their health or their applause to criticize the U. S. than to criticise Iran. Or was it that defeatist social democrat Schröder who dared to voice an opinion differing from Bush’s or Blair’s in Iraq II. Isn’t that a little too far fetched?

The current issue has an article about how climate change is a completely natural phenomenon. So, there’s nothing to worry about and nobody needs to invest their hard earned money in environmental protection. Hey, the extinction of entire species’ is also a completely natural phenomenon. Maybe the world would be so much better off if it finally happened to the human race.

How I hate it when people say “culture” and mean elitism!

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