Sync Windows Mobile Contacts to Thunderbird Address Book
I am still recovering from fever today, but my passion with Windows Mobile seemed to defeat my fever.
I just completed another important trick for Windows Mobile. To sync Windows Mobile (WinMo) contacts to Thunderbird Address Book.
My Windows Mobile is synced to my corporate Exchange Server. So all my emails, contacts, calendar, tasks are synced perfectly with my Microsoft Outlook in my office PC. There is no issue at all since Windows Mobile is Microsoft and Exchange Server is also Microsoft.
It is a different story when I want to sync my contacts in the Windows Mobile to my personal notebook which is using Thunderbird as the mail client. I just can not afford to buy a Microsoft Outlook. To have an original copy of Microsoft Office Student & Home edition is good enough for me. In fact I managed to buy the copy at a promotional price of RM199 only during last Ramadhan (September 2008).
There is a freeware for you to accomplish this task. It is called finchsync.
The good feature about this application is you can sync wirelessly or using USB cable from your WinMo to the notebook (the notebook must be switch on though). For wireless, you need to use Wifi from your wireless router where the WinMO and your notebook can reach each other using the Private Address Range (IP address that start usually 192.168.XXx.XXx).
If you want to sync using the USB, the IP address could be something different (169.254.2.2) on for your PC while the WinMo will have the IP of 169.254.2.1)
It works by setting-up a server in your host pc/notebook and your Windows Mobile will act as the client to access the finchsync server.
The finchserver will connect to your Thunderbird Address Book (the address book with *.mab extension resides in C:\Documents and Settings\XXX\Application Data\Thunderbird\Profiles\uwlfu7s8.default\abook.mab) while thee finchsync client on the Windows Mobile will get your information from the device PIM database. Then the application will sync to one another.
First you need to download the PC server application HERE. Notice that the file is *.jar mean it is a java application. So make sure you have Java Runtime Environment installed in your PC.
Next you need to download and install the client application. You can directly download the CAB version directly to your Pocket PC from HERE.
ON THE PC SERVER
It takes just three steps to install the server on your PC:
- Create a directory ‘FinchSync’ (or what name you like) on your hard drive.
- Download the jar-archive ‘FinchSync.jar’ from the download area.
- Store the file in the created directory.
That’s all. No registry entries, no DLLs spread over your system.
Now browse to the directory where you keep the finchsync and open it.
If you sync using the wireless method, make sure you configure your firewall (Kaspersky, Windows standard firewall, or any other firewalls) to accept incoming/outgoing signal from your Windows Mobile device.
Now, let configure the PC server.
Click File and go to Server Configuration
A good choice for alternative port numbers is the range from 8080 to 8087. Try any of these numbers until FinchSync starts without an error message. Remember, you must restart FinchSync to use the new settings.
If you are using a Firewall on your system, you must open the specified port. If you get a message from the firewall, that ‘java’ or ‘FinchSync’ is trying to open a port, you MUST allow this action, or a client will not be able to connect to the server.
Setup the administrator account
The server FinchSync has a (very small) web-interface. If you have trouble connecting your PocketPC with the server, you might first try to access the web-interface with PocketOutlook.
Further you can shutdown the server from the web-interface, if you enter your admin login. If the server is running, you can access the web-interface using the url:
Sync sources provide contacts, tasks or appointments, which can be synchronized with external clients. A sync source can provide single types of items or a combination of multiple types of items. Typically an address book source provides contacts, and a calendar source provides tasks and appointments.
Before you can synchronize information with your Pocket PC, you must specify what information you’d like to synchronize. The Mozilla address book, for example, is able to manage multiple different address books. Each of those address books may be a single sync source for FinchSync.
To manage sync sources, select the ‘Sync Sources’ tab from the main-window:
Click Add Next you will need to link the server to the right Thunderbird Address Book database which has the *.mab extension. The directory is somewhere here: C:\Documents and Settings\XXX\Application Data \Thunderbird\Profiles\uwlfu7s8.default\abook.mab It is faster to access manually. In my case, the scan give nothing of the mab file.
Add a Client
Client is your Windows Mobile.
- Enter a new, unique name, using only characters and numbers. (The name can’t be changed, once the account is created.)
- Enter a password with at least 6 characters.
- Enter a description (optional).
- Press ‘Add’ to add sync sources to the client account. Only these sources can be accessed by the client.
ON THE CLIENT (Window Mobile)
Once you have install the application in your device, launch it and start to configure the server setting
Click Config to configure the server
Here you need to enter the IP address and the port number that your server has.
Also enter the login and password that you have specify in the finchsync application on your PC.
To validate the setting, press “Test”
If everything is OK, you will get connected to the server.
The synchronization is initiated from the main window.
- Select a server from the drop-down list.
- Press ‘Sync it!’
First all running Pocket Outlook applications are closed (PocketOutlook is just one application running on your PocketPC, but it is shown to the user as four different applications: Calendar, Contacts, Tasks and Email windows).
This is necessary, because Pocket Outlook will not reflect changes made in the database while it is running. You should finish work with these applications, before you start the synchronization. This may fail in some cases. See FAQ topic nr. 5 for more details.
Then all items are read from Pocket Outlook database (PIM) and checked for changes. This may take some time, especially if there are many items in the database.
Then the selected server is contacted and the synchronization is performed. At the end a success-message is displayed or errors are reported.
For details, choose ‘Config/View log’ to open the synchronization log:
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