Blackberry contacts backup without BIS or app

Backing up the Contacts/Address book on black berry phone without Blackberry Internet Services or Desktop Software:

Desktop Software from Blackberry provides an option to sync contacts with the Windows contacts but I do not use Windows. It does not provide for backing up of the contacts as a stand alone file. Now with Gmail Sync gone dead. It may be a problem on some rainy day if the phone crashes. Searching for an app to sync or backup the contacts, I came across several apps in App Store, but none was working properly. For example:

JUMP Backup: works only on phones sold by Jump phones in USA. Wirefly had very poor review. Not a single user recommended it.  Phonebook For Ever is a browser-based contacts web site in which each contact has to be manually typed/added. (Some pre-cloud/CSI technology) Contact Backup by Droid Mobile does back up the contacts for free but it retains the xls file which can not be opened or sent in unpaid version. In fact it can not be known if this file would be readable in paid version as well. Hence I did not go beyond trying the unpaid version.

There are many paid apps but there is no way to know if any will work. Especially when few apps actually deliver what they promise. A Paid apps called Backup Contacts by Amaira Soft, creates numerous vcard or vcf files in a folder on media card. It charges a meager amount of Rs. 37/- for this service but it is not worth it. Why? Because there is a simple solution like this, without any app.


Backing up contacts

This solution backs up the entire phone book via bluetooth and no app or BIS or anything is required except another device with bluetooth. If properly setup, just one click is required. Continue reading

Backing up settings in Linux/Ubuntu

Deja Dup Backup tool

Deja Dup Ubuntu's official backup Program

Deja Dup Ubuntu’s official backup Program

Ubuntu provides an efficient backup tool called “Deja Dup Backup tool” which can backup entire home directory. Deja Dup can be scheduled to run automatically as well. It is a front end of Duplicity. Other distros also provide or one can always install some program for scheduled BackUps. But there are various reasons when we may not want whole directory to be backed up or do not have time or resources to run ‘Backup’. There may also be a situation that we may not want to restore everything but be selective. In other words what if we want to restore settings of only a few programs. For example autotext and other settings of Open Office.
Solution to all these problems is Manual Back up or copying the settings in a compressed (or uncompressed) folder.
I personally find that these automatic backups as these are useful only if whole hard disk crashes with absolute no chance of even partial recovery. But real situation is always more complicated even if less worse.

Backing up settings of individual program

The settings of individual programs are saved in hidden folders in home directory. For example my user name is ‘sand’ and I want to find settings of Mozilla. Open ‘/home’ click ‘sand’ now either press “Control+H” in nautilus or select ‘Show hidden files’ from View manu. It will show numerous folders with names starting from .(Dot). Find .mozilla and copy it to the folder of our choice for future.

Selective Back up is particularly useful in case of change of Distro. For example if we are using Ubuntu and decide to change to Mint, even if the latter is a derivative, it may not work properly with old /home directory structure. It is better to back up entire directory or some of the third-party program folders separately and replace them one by one, as may be required, from time to time and leaving out the system/Distro folders altogether.

Backup all settings of all programs

We may select all folders in /home directory, beginning with dot and copy for safe backup. Alternatively select all dot folders and right click the mouse and choose ‘compress files’ follow directions and save in compressed file/archive. We can extract one or more folders as per requirement. One caution. The archive manager may give error warning if there is a hard link within any folder and that folder may not decompress later.
Some programs which save some or all of its settings elsewhere, would be excluded.

Other tools for backing up

Rsync is a powerful command line utility to back up or sync the large folders or even entire drive. There are two excellent GUI options available in Ubuntu Software Center. These are:

1. File Backup Manager (based on rdiff-backup)

File Backup Manager

File Backup Manager

2. Lucky Backup (based on rsync)

With the help of above a selective backup of /home can be obtained at any time.

© Sandeep Bhalla