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Thread: HOWTO: Pocket PC Syncing with Evolution

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
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    30
    Distro
    Ubuntu 9.10 Karmic Koala

    HOWTO: Pocket PC Syncing with Evolution

    At first glance, SynCE and Multisync can seem a bit daunting. But, it really is not nearly as bad as it seems. I got a little help from this thread as well.

    This HOWTO is based on syncing my Dell Axim X3i with Evolution, but it should carry over to IPAQs and other Pocket PCs.

    Does Linux like your PDA?

    1) Connect your Pocket PC and type "dmesg" in a shell to see if the ipaq kernel module is loaded. The output might look like the following. Take note of the tty used for the connection.
    Code:
    usb 4-2: new full speed USB device using uhci_hcd and address 3
    ipaq 4-2:1.0: PocketPC PDA converter detected
    usb 4-2: PocketPC PDA converter now attached to ttyUSB0
    2) Optionally, you can use "cat /proc/bus/usb/devices" to check for a USB device that's using the ipaq kernel module.
    Code:
    T:  Bus=04 Lev=01 Prnt=01 Port=01 Cnt=01 Dev#=  4 Spd=12  MxCh= 0
    D:  Ver= 1.01 Cls=ff(vend.) Sub=ff Prot=ff MxPS=16 #Cfgs=  1
    P:  Vendor=413c ProdID=4002 Rev= 0.00
    C:* #Ifs= 1 Cfg#= 1 Atr=c0 MxPwr=  2mA
    I:  If#= 0 Alt= 0 #EPs= 2 Cls=ff(vend.) Sub=ff Prot=ff Driver=ipaq
    E:  Ad=81(I) Atr=02(Bulk) MxPS=  64 Ivl=0ms
    E:  Ad=02(O) Atr=02(Bulk) MxPS=  64 Ivl=0ms
    SynCE Setup and Configuration

    1) Install the required packages for SynCE:
    Code:
    sudo apt-get install librra0 librra0-tools librapi2-tools libsynce0 synce-dccm synce-multisync-plugin synce-serial
    2) synce-serial setup will be invoked by apt, follow this through using the default settings, unless you have reason to do otherwise.
    Code:
    /dev/ttyUSB0
    local address: 192.168.131.102
    remote address: 192.168.131.201
    no dns entry needed
    3) Perform the following the following command to tell SynCE where to look. This seems redundant, but doesn't hurt.
    Code:
    sudo synce-serial-config ttyUSB0
    4) Start the SynCE connection daemon by typing "dccm" in a shell. Use "dccm -p password" if your Pocket PC is password protected.
    5) Initiate a serial connection by typing "sudo synce-serial-start" in a shell. You should be greeted with "synce-serial-start is now waiting for your device to connect".
    6) "synce-pstatus" shows a LOT of information about your Pocket PC, such as current mode of operation, battery charge level, memory usage as well as backup battery status. If you want to see some other synce commands, type "dpkg -L librapi2-tools". You can use these commands to do things such as installing Pocket PC programs, etc.
    7) Create the partnership between the Pocket PC and your computer. There are 2 slots on the device, so the INDEX can be 1 or 2.
    Code:
    synce-matchmaker create INDEX
    You should be greeted with:
    Code:
    Partnership creation succeeded. Using partnership index INDEX.
    Multisync Setup and Configuration

    1) Install the required packages for Multisync:
    Code:
    sudo apt-get install libmultisync-plugin-all multisync
    Or, alternatively if you want to skimp on the packages:
    Code:
    sudo apt-get install libmultisync-plugin-evolution libmultisync-plugin-backup multisync
    2) Start Multisync by typing "multisync" in a shell. You can also do via Applications > Accessories > Multisync, but the shell gives you a lot of feedback which can be helpful the first time you use it.
    3) Create a new synchronization pair where one of the plugins is "SynCE Plugin" and the other is "Ximian Evolution 2", the order doesn't matter. You may need to create a new Contact List, Task List and Calendar, so that the default ones aren't used. I'm not sure if this is needed, but it was mentioned in the other thread.
    4) Press the "Sync" button.
    Initially, I had no entries in Evolution so for some reason, I had to modify all of the entries on my Pocket PC so that the timestamp would register each entry as a 'change', otherwise no entries were sync'd. There must be a simple workaround for this, but I'm not sure at this time.

    Disconnecting Your Pocket PC

    1) Shutdown Multisync
    2) "killall -HUP dccm" to kill the serial connection.
    3) AS A LAST RESORT, run "synce-serial-abort", if the above command doesn't work.

    Please let me know if you have any problems or suggestions.

    Have fun!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Beans
    99

    Re: HOWTO: Pocket PC Syncing with Evolution

    Initially, I had no entries in Evolution so for some reason, I had to modify all of the entries on my Pocket PC so that the timestamp would register each entry as a 'change', otherwise no entries were sync'd. There must be a simple workaround for this, but I'm not sure at this time.
    In Multisync, click "Options" and "Show resync button". Then click "Resync".

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Beans
    319
    Distro
    Kubuntu 10.10 Maverick Meerkat

    Re: HOWTO: Pocket PC Syncing with Evolution

    Ok, I've been able to make the connection through synce, and can check status, even list my installed programs.

    Now, when I try to use Multisync, i get confused. Do i actually need to have synce running everytime I want to use Multisync?

    Also, I can't seem to be able to sync my information. I want to synce my personal information from my pocket pc (ex: contacts) to Evolution, but everytime I hit sync, it doesn't work.

    HELP! And yes, I have my firewall disable for this.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
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    Re: HOWTO: Pocket PC Syncing with Evolution

    This is an efficient howto, thanks.

    I have found that the Multisync connection only seems to work one-way, however. Changes made on my PPC show up in Evolution, but changes & new entries in Evolution do not get transferred to my Pocket PC.

    This makes it practically useless to use Evo at all, since I have to add/modify my entries from the PPC.

    Also, the appointment times & dates do not transfer properly to Evo. The year on some of my appointsments was 1646! Nearly all of the appointment times were changed to 8am. I have way too many entries to change them one by one in Evo. Why are only some of the times/dates correct & some wrong? Shouldn't Multisync read the info the same way each time it syncs?

    Until these issues can be fixed, there is really no point to going through the slightly tedious process of starting synce.

    Also, I never had success with the hotplug script provided on the synce website, and always have to start it manually.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Beans
    30
    Distro
    Ubuntu 9.10 Karmic Koala

    Re: HOWTO: Pocket PC Syncing with Evolution

    Quote Originally Posted by derrick1985
    Ok, I've been able to make the connection through synce, and can check status, even list my installed programs.

    Now, when I try to use Multisync, i get confused. Do i actually need to have synce running everytime I want to use Multisync?

    Also, I can't seem to be able to sync my information. I want to synce my personal information from my pocket pc (ex: contacts) to Evolution, but everytime I hit sync, it doesn't work.

    HELP! And yes, I have my firewall disable for this.
    Yup, you ALWAYS have to do the following to sync:

    Code:
    dccm
    sudo synce-serial-start
    multisync (or start multisync using the menu)
    Try doing a resync, that should sync all your contacts from your Pocket PC -> Evolution.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Beans
    30
    Distro
    Ubuntu 9.10 Karmic Koala

    Re: HOWTO: Pocket PC Syncing with Evolution

    Quote Originally Posted by lynng
    This is an efficient howto, thanks.

    I have found that the Multisync connection only seems to work one-way, however. Changes made on my PPC show up in Evolution, but changes & new entries in Evolution do not get transferred to my Pocket PC.

    This makes it practically useless to use Evo at all, since I have to add/modify my entries from the PPC.

    Also, the appointment times & dates do not transfer properly to Evo. The year on some of my appointsments was 1646! Nearly all of the appointment times were changed to 8am. I have way too many entries to change them one by one in Evo. Why are only some of the times/dates correct & some wrong? Shouldn't Multisync read the info the same way each time it syncs?

    Until these issues can be fixed, there is really no point to going through the slightly tedious process of starting synce.

    Also, I never had success with the hotplug script provided on the synce website, and always have to start it manually.
    Multisync for Evolution is quite buggy.
    It seems to work decently well for contacts and tasks, but still has a long way to go for calendar synchronization. It has issues with non-recurring appointments, let alone recurring appointments. One thing that bugs me is that the notes field for tasks in my Pocket PC doesn't map to the description field in my Evolution tasks.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
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    319
    Distro
    Kubuntu 10.10 Maverick Meerkat

    Re: HOWTO: Pocket PC Syncing with Evolution

    Quote Originally Posted by tUrtleAE86
    Yup, you ALWAYS have to do the following to sync:

    Code:
    dccm
    sudo synce-serial-start
    multisync (or start multisync using the menu)
    Try doing a resync, that should sync all your contacts from your Pocket PC -> Evolution.
    Nope, still a no go.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Philadelphia
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    Unhappy Re: HOWTO: Pocket PC Syncing with Evolution

    So basically, what I'm hearing is that multi-sync / synce is BROKEN for evolution and broken for Ubuntu.

    For Pete's sake, I'm willing to PAY someone to make this bloody thing work. I seems like the synce people are spending all of their time trying to make the software work with KDE. Do I need to just give up and change desktops to get one silly application working?

    Pardon the rant, I've just been waiting for the last two years for them to get it together on this package. PPC is now outpacing Palm sales almost 2:1; how long is it going to be before the Microsoft press notices that "Linux can't Sync" and points out the fitful progress of hardware integration. I know MSFT isn't making this easier, but the community has attacked bigger problems than this and licked it. What is so tough about syncing a silly PDA?

    RMW

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
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    Re: HOWTO: Pocket PC Syncing with Evolution

    Well, you don't necessarily have to switch to KDE completely. You could apt-get only kontact. The KDE libraries would have to be installed. I have thought about trying this myself to see if the kitchensync app is any better at getting the correct times/dates of appointments. I've already got synce working, so it should be trivial to test it w/ kontact/korganizer. I will try it over the weekend and post results.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Beans
    319
    Distro
    Kubuntu 10.10 Maverick Meerkat

    Re: HOWTO: Pocket PC Syncing with Evolution

    Quote Originally Posted by lynng
    Well, you don't necessarily have to switch to KDE completely. You could apt-get only kontact. The KDE libraries would have to be installed. I have thought about trying this myself to see if the kitchensync app is any better at getting the correct times/dates of appointments. I've already got synce working, so it should be trivial to test it w/ kontact/korganizer. I will try it over the weekend and post results.
    Please do, I would love to finally get my PPC syncing, preferring gui though.

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