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  1.    #1  
    I just switched to Verizon and purchased a Centro. My previous Nokia and Sony Ericsson phones on AT&T had software that came with them. This software was singular (unlike the separation between HotSync and Palm Desktop) and allowed me to backup the whole phone (similar to NVBackup), to add/edit/delete contacts, text messages, notes, etc, and most importantly to export my contacts, text messages, etc to popular file formats (e.g., vCard, CSV). There was also an option to synchronize with Outlook, but I never used it. For the Sony Ericsson, I actually dumped the official software and used a freeware application (float's MobileAgent). It was very simple, a single EXE which communicated with my phone via Bluetooth.

    I don't expect to find something that simple for my Centro but I thought I'd ask before I move on. I also want to try and avoid installing Outlook or Palm Desktop. I have searched and have not found any alternative to HotSync. From what I gather, "conduits" are used by HotSync to synchronize with the phone. So my questions are:

    1) Is there any simple alternative to HotSync? I don't want "synchronization". I just want to take my saved contacts and import them to my Centro. I have these saved as CSV, XML, and VCF (vCard). I also want to occasionally export contacts from my Centro to such a non-proprietary format. The only other important functionality besides this is to transfer pictures off the phone to my PC.

    2) If I have to go with HotSync, is there any way to install HotSync w/o Palm Desktop?

    3) If I have to go with HotSync, is there any third-party conduit which will allow me to perform such simple export/imports?

    I hope this makes sense. This is my first experience with anything Palm-related.
  2. #2  
    1) You can set what you sync between your Centro and the Palm desktop via the conduits. You can sync only contacts if that's what you want.

    2) Palm Desktop is the shell for hotsync. You can't have one without the other.

    3) The Palm desktop will allow you to import and export whatever of your pim data you choose to/from the format you choose (csv, vcv).

    I think once you install and try it, you will dislike the Palm desktop far less than you are prepared to dislike it.

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