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Tuesday, August 08, 2006

A Razr V3-c and my MacBook (Part 1 - Pictures)

Another new toy….a Razr V3c. I have had it since the beginning of July and I finally had a chance to play around with it this week. I have taken several pictures with it over the last month (it is the first camera phone we have had in the family), and yesterday I decided to try and get the pictures off the phone.

I started with a phone call to my cell provider (
US Cellular). The customer service representative was extremely helpful and her command of customer service concepts was excellent. She was easy to understand and extremely patient. She walked me through the steps to send the pictures on my phone to my online album (kind of like flickr, but provided by US Cellular). I started sending the first picture, assumed it was working, and hung up the phone.

About an hour after my first attempt to send the picture, I realized that the attempt failed because the progress bar never got past 0% and my phone locked up. So I shut it down, turned it back on and tried again. Still no luck. I then made a second call to customer service. The second representative informed me that the only way for me to send pictures to my online album was to add the picture messaging feature to my phone and to pay 25 cents a picture to send them. While I was not happy, I agreed.

While the representative was adding the service to my account, she explained that in order to add picture messaging, it was also necessary to add
EasyEdge to my account. EasyEdge is their internet content service, and there was NO way I wanted to add that to my phone. My kids will sometimes borrow my phone, and I did not want the potential for them to accidentally run up huge service charges while they were using it. I told the representative to forget the picture messaging; that I would figure out a way to get the pictures off without an additional cost. After all, the phone has a USB AND a BlueTooth connection, so how hard could it be, right?

I have previously synced the phone with my MacBook to copy all my Address Book Contacts to it. The process was pretty easy, except, it created A LOT of duplicate entries on the phone, which I needed to go through and delete. I was unable to sync the calendar, because apparently that functionality was disabled at Verizon’s request (this is the
Verizon model of the Razr).

When I connect the phone to my MacBook using my USB cord, all it does is charge. It doesn’t recognize the phone as a device. I searched
Google with the phrase “MacBook and Razr sync” and came across a few forums that mentioned a program called BitPim. I downloaded and installed it, and while I could get the MacBook to “find” the phone, I could not access any of the files on it. I deleted the software and went back to Google.

Further down the search results list I came across a forum posting that mentioned using the
BlueTooth File Transfer utility that OS X has. To find it, look in the Utilities Folder in your Applications Folder. Before starting your file transfer, I suggest that you create a folder to easily find the files with another application. I added the phone as a BlueTooth device using the BlueTooth Assistant, and opened the File Transfer utility. I selected the phone from the device list, and it presented me with a list of folders, one of which was pictures. I clicked on the folder and found a list of all the pictures that were on the phone. I selected them all by clicking on the top picture, holding down the shift key, and clicking on the bottom picture. Select Send, and away they go! You can also use this utility to delete the pictures from your phone after they are safely on your computer.

I imported the pictures into my iPhoto library and emptied the temporary folder I had created. The quality of the photos is not at good as the ones I take with my usual digital camera, but iPhoto did a great job of adjusting the lighting and taking care of the red eye. The Razr is a decent alternative if I leave the house without my camera, especially since I can get the pictures off it without having to pay for them!!



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