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  1. #1
    Lurker ste_bran's Avatar
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    Exclamation activesync 4.5 and large contact lists

    Day 12 with my i760, and still have not played with it much becuz still trying to sync with outlook! There are 180 threads for i730/760 with "activesync" in the title, but none that i see that deal directly with the issue of syncing large contact lists.

    Yes, MR has said a workaround is to make two groups of contacts in Outlook, but that may not work if sync with corporate data, or if using Outlook as a conduit (eg, iProb). Also, i would like to try to get all my contacts.

    So, my problem: using a fresh i760, i check the boxes indicating i want to sync (which really is download) calendar, emails, tasks, notes, and files. this is only several hundred records, and works fine in a few minutes. However, when i check the box for "contacts" and connect the i760, activesync looks like it is working, the status box says "synchronizing" and "contacts processing," but after 12 hours, still not complete. The i760 tries to mollify me by making the progress bar on the status screen continue to increase, but never gets over 60% or so.

    i am curious how long others (iProb?) had to spend to load large contact files.

    Of course, a secondary problem is that the phone doesnt come with a cradle, and the standard cable doesnt charge while syncing, so the battery dies before completion, even with all radios and the screen off.

    it does do some syncing, but does not complete the job -- the longest it has tried is 18 hours. At that point, the PC status shows two green bars, the PPC shows about 60% complete. Many records are there, but not all -- i dont know how to have the i760 count them.

    i have tried to stop the sync (from both PC and i760), so i would have some done, change batteries and restart, but that hasnt worked either. actually, stopping doesnt seem to work, regardless of which side i first press "stop" -- maybe another issue, or maybe related if the two computers have just stopped talking. anyway, the only way to really stop them is to disconnect the i760. often, i get some sort of error msg on the next try to sync.

    i have opened the network connection screen on the PC, and i see packets being exchanged, but not very quickly.

    yes, MR, i have turned off firewall and run it that way -- behavior does not change.

    i also should mention that i had this problem with WM5 and i730 as well. if i recall, my workaround was to use wireless sync for first download, then AS thereafter. may have to resort to that here, too!

    my setup:
    fresh i760 w/ext batt and all radios off
    win xp pro w/all sp, ZA firewall v7, AS 4.5, Office 2003 w/updates
    approx 9000 contacts

    time for more hard resets and trying it on another computer. will report more when i know more...

  2. #2
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    Sounds to me like a corrupt contact in your list that's making Outlook "barf." I'd try creating a new contacts folder in outlook, cutting and pasting all of them in (leaving the old one blank), getting connected in AS, and then moving them back 20-50 at a time and seeing what happens. If AS freezes after a move, you know where the "bad" contact is, and can export those contacts, delete, and re-import.

    Scanning your PST or OST file wouldn't hurt either to clean it up wouldn't hurt, either.

  3. #3
    Lurker ste_bran's Avatar
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    Thumbs up Finally got all those contacts in!

    First of all, thanks to PerfAlbion, for his perceptive suggestion about scanning my contact data. Sure enuf, there were errors -- took me a little while to find the scan tool, since i never had heard about (or used) it before.

    I am back to report my experiences loading my contact to my i760. Since my Nov/Dec use of the i760 was just a preview use, i had to give it back before i was able to load all my contacts. Now i got my own i760 in mid-Feb, and after only ~ three weeks, i got all my contacts in!

    In the hope that my experiences might be instructive to some of our community, i decided to post a few things i learned. Experiments are ongoing; i may decide to hard reset and retry using BT syncing (or is it synching?).

    Also props to PerfAlbion for his other suggestion to do this piecemeal, altho he had a different reason for suggesting it. This is essential for a large contact list with the i760, becuz it does not charge while syncing. This is why i will have to investigate BT. Of course, wireless syncing also doesnt have a problem with running out of power, or you could buy one of the stands that charges and syncs at the same time.

    The reason i say this is the time AS takes to sync. You might think that two computers could transfer a several thousand records quickly, but that is not the case. Based on my observations, AS slows down as more records get into the list. I transfered my contacts in pieces, starting with larger pieces (1000 to 2000), but by the end i was transfering only a couple hundred at a time. I dont kno what AS is doing, but my informal timings indicate that the transfer speed is 100 recs/min or so at the start, but it slows to only 10-20 recs/min around the 3000-5000 record mark. Above 5000 records stored in the ppc, the transfer speed dropped to ~3 recs/min, and by the time i got to 7000 records already transfered, the speed had dropped to 1 rec/min. Admittedly, i was transferring only 100-300 records at a time at that point, and there is some setup time, but the amount of time that AS takes to figure out how many records do not match and then says "Processing" which i assume is the start of the transfer, stayed fairly constant throughout the process.

    Anyway, the reason this is a problem is that if your battery craps out in the middle of a sync, even tho a certain number of records were transfered successfully, the next sync attempt will tell you: "All items on device must be resynched, do you want to continue?" When you say yes, all you are starting from the beginning -- it even erases calendar, notes, whatever else had been synchronized successfully! Of course, once those other items are gone, you cant get them back before going thru all contacts! So, in answer to your question -- No, you cant just leave the sync running all day and night if you have so many records the battery will conk out first! Back to square one.

    Another problem with the total transfer time besides the battery running out is that Win XP (and probably other Windows) goes to standby mode after a certain period of time of inactivity. This is set in the power save settings. You might think that your computer syncing with your ppc would not be "inactive," but you would be mistaken. I dont kno a lot about how AS works, so i am speculating here, but... Apparently, as the transfer speed slows, there are long periods where no communication is taking place between the two devices (the ppc is thinking?). So the computer goes to sleep, severing the connection, and the sync stops.

    Once i set my computer so i wouldnt go to sleep, and split my contacts into two folders -- "Contacts" and "Not on phone" (thanks mrailing!) -- then fed them into "Contacts" folder and let phone sync, i eventually got them all in!

    Yeah me! :mikey: (thx, Alc)

  4. #4
    Lurker ste_bran's Avatar
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    Exclamation So how does i760/WM6 perform with large contact list?

    You might be wondering whether the 760 chokes on a big contact list. As a reminder, i do not have any non-std apps loaded. But I am using the clock on the Today screen, so i may be suffering from some memory leakage. My previous ppc was i730 (with essentially the same contact list), so i will make some comments about that one as well.

    Mrailing and others have speculated that performance would be adversely affected by a large contact list, perhaps crippling the 760. In short, altho this was the case with the 730, it is not the case with the 760 (other than the major issues with AS, as i have discussed ad nauseam above ).

    First, the 760 has Voice Command. Altho some ppl prefer Voice Signal, since the version on the 730 was limited to 1500 (?) contacts, it was unusable for me. On the contrary, VC is able to find almost anyone i want instantly. Of course there are many similar-sounding names, so in some cases, i add a middle name to be clear who i want (thx mrailing). Somebody posted that he cant dial by company name when there is a person's name in the contact. Maybe VS can do that.

    Next, the name lookup using the dial pad. Altho i was smitten when i got to use VC, i fell in love when i saw this feature! I suppose this is a WM6 feature, so yeah MS! I dont kno if u call this a T9-type lookup, but it works great! One-handed and fast. I can see there is some delay in the lookup, but we are talking only seconds or a fraction of a second. Yes, to get the whole list for a 4-5 char string can take up to ten seconds depending on string, but it is one-handed. Usually the name i want comes up first, since it sorts names i have used before first, or if there are many hits i put in a couple more chars. Yes, i kno this is slower than most of you, but it is so much faster than 730, and did i mention one-handed? Woot!

    OK, now we go to the regular contact lookup. This can be slow, not quite as painful as the 730, which was practically unusable. This function seems even slower (as on the 730) becuz u cannot see your type ahead if using the keypad(730)/dialpad(760) -- even tho it does show "type ahead" if when you use the stylus -- while it searches (I assume this is the fault/"feature" of WM6), so you really get a sense of waiting............... Actually, the 730 was much worse, becuz not only was it slower, but you always get errors if you type ahead on the keyboard -- i havent seen that yet with the 760. So even tho the processor on the 760 is clocked slower than 730, the search function still is faster. If you are going to use a large contact list, setting categories and using the "filter" feature is highly recommended.

    I dont think the contact list size affects performance of anything else, other than the memory may be used up. I wonder if the amount of data stored affects battery life -- battery life seems fine; terrific compared to 730. Woot!

    I suspect memory may be a problem. Right now i am not using a storage card, so only 64MB data storage, and i have only 7 MB free. I'm not sure what takes so much space, i would have thot that 10K contacts would take only 10MB or so. I assume (?) that if i put my contact list onto storage card, my response times will be even slower. Samsung should have put more mem on this thing! Oh, well.

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