Jason Lindquist (jlindquist) wrote,
Jason Lindquist

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Ancient work finally justified

A long time ago, either Greg or Thej spent six months of his life hacking support into the PST, Qualcomm's "Product Support Tool", for copying configuration data from one Qualcomm phone to another. The idea was a customer would walk into a store with their phone, which is broken in one way or another, and swap it for a loaner or a refurbished replacement. To save the customer the trouble of re-entering all of their stored phone numbers, the store operator could use the PST (which is primarily a tool for service-programming phones) to copy all that data over.

The carriers utterly failed to deploy it anywhere. At the same time, the carriers were moving towards doing service programming over the air. When you buy a phone nowadays, the sales droid dials a particular star number (*2 for Sprint, *OTASP for others, I think it's *228 for what's now Verizon) and stuff like your phone number, system assignment, roaming list, and network authentication keys, is loaded by the network. The sales droid no longer has to plug into the phone's serial port (or even use the phone's keypad) to punch it in manually. So not many PSTs were in neighborhood cellular stores, and even where they were, the employees were either not trained or forbidden to use the config-transfer part of it. Customers were just told to go fuck themselves. This pissed the shit out of me enough on general principle, but I was even more upset that months of my friend and coworker's life was wasted.

Well, lately I've been having trouble with my trusty QCP-3035. The 4-way navigation key didn't work right. I backed up its contact list with the Windows desktop utility Kyocera provides with its data cable, and headed over to the FuckYouVerizon Wireless store in Carmel Mountain Ranch. Imagine my surprise to see a PC set up behind the customer service counter, with a couple of Black Box serial port switches attached, feeding an array of manufacturer-specific data cables. The couple in front of me was exchanging their broken Nokia, the service droid ran a Nokia utility that slurped the phone book from the old phone and spat it into the new one. When my turn came, she started the Kyocera PST, with the familiar old graphics from its birth as Qualcomm's ATLAS, and did the same with mine.

Well, it's about goddamned time.

And to top it off, the phone I got back was loaded with much newer firmware, which includes functional support for BREW.

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