Tag: iPhone

Exporting to vCard from FileMaker

FileMaker Pro

FileMaker doesn’t offer the same level of system integration with OS X as it’s little brother Bento, although it offers more power. It is possible, however, with a little work to extract the data you want to use, in the format you need.

The advantage of being able to export a contact to a vCard is obvious. Once you have the vCard you can then import that vCard into Apple Address Book and from there into your iPhone or your Blackberry, pick your poison.

Oh and you can of course export either one contact record or all of the records.

So how do we do it?

A little googling led me to this post by Simon Page which provides an excellent guide on how to achieve this solution via a custom function, without any plugins.

Like Simon I stored the results in an un-stored calculation field and used the linked XSL stylesheet to facilitate the export. You can find a link to the standard stylesheet here.

My adjustments

I have adjusted his custom function, which I’ve named (following my conventions) export.vcard to add the following available fields in the vCard:


This is simple enough to achieve:

Add the parameter:


Add this to the variables:

_Nickname = AKA;

Add this to the formatting for the vCard:

vnickname = _Nickname;

Add this to the final formatting:

“NICKNAME:” & vnickname & “¶” &


I’ve tried this with a series of combinations of the above, with images held in the file as well as stored with a reference to no effect. So I decided to take a look at a vCard from Apple Address Book with TextMate only to discover it’s encoded in base64. So for the moment I’m stuck, but I’ve a few leads, and I’ll update once I’ve found a solution.


This is a little more complicated to achieve. You must export the date field in the right format. Here in the UK we format our dates as DD/MM/YYYY but for it to work with the vCard format it needs to be formatted as YYYY/MM/DD, so I created the following custom un-stored calculation field: c_Formatted_Date_of_Birth.

Rather than perform the calculation in the field I heading over to Brian Dunning’s site again and picked out a suitable custom function to allow me to reformat the date I had in my Date_of_Birth field. I chose this one penned by Tim Anderson. And I was able to provide the date in the format I needed. Then I just needed to:

Add the parameter:


Add this to the variables:


Add this to the formatting for the vCard:

vbday = _BDAY;

Add this to the final formatting:

“BDAY:” & vbday & “¶” &


I’ve not yet completed my final vCard export routine so I’ll update this blog post with more information as I build out the new database. So check back for more.

Filed under: FilemakerTagged with: , , , , , , ,

How to resolve iOS4 problems on an iPhone 3G

Since updating to iOS4 on my iPhone 3G I have experienced no end of problems with my iPhone 3G it has in short become sluggish at best and frankly unusable at worst, which has made my waiting for @o2’s stock of iPhone 4s to become plentiful enough for me to be able to drive to a store a purchase one seem like quite a challenge.

I have however stumbled across a solution that has certainly eased my problems, if not fixed them outright. Thanks to the wonderful Dan Dilger over at Roughly Drafted for this solution:

In order to force the iOS to rebuild (a step that seems to optimize a variety of things), you have to press and hold the Sleep/Wake button along with the Home button for about ten seconds, which will kill the phone and initiate a reboot.

After doing this twice I have found my iPhone 3G has largely returned to it’s wonderful self and though it is still not without problems it is largely much better.

Check out the full post at Roughly Drafted and comments over at the Apple Support Thread if this doesn’t work for you.

Filed under: HelpTagged with: , , , ,

Facebook Sync Revisited

Facebook Logo

Back in September last year I posted about a great program I use to sync my Facebook friends with Address Book in Mac OS X. And I thought I’d revisit the topic this year for all you iPhone users out there, because of a great feature in the Facebook app for the iPhone, you might (as some of my friends were) be unaware of…

If you open the Facebook app on your iPhone and select the friends section it will open up a list of your friends, but hidden away in the top left hand corner or here:

Facebook App Sync Option

You will see the option to “Sync”, which means exactly what you might imagine… YES! Finally you don’t have to take photos of each of your friends for your iPhone contacts, you can just have Facebook pull down the most recent version of their profile picture:

Facebook App Sync OptionsFirst you need to turn it on and then select if you want it to replace existing photos, which means it will replace any photos you already have and do this each time you sync, which as you can see I’ve selected (as I like the variety that results each time I sync) or don’t if you prefer.

And then just sit back and let it do it’s thing.

Cool. And hassle free. (After all, would you have ever got round to adding all those photos anyway?)

Filed under: GeneralTagged with: , , ,

Activate Visual Voicemail on O2

Visual Voicemail

So. A close friend of mine recently succumbed and got themselves an iPhone (about time!). A few months in, I visited her at her fabulous florists in Stamford Hill and I was surprised to see that she was working her way through her voicemails by listening to them! No visual voicemail loveliness for my friend.

Visual Voicemail

So I took her phone and despite my experience I couldn’t for the life of me figure out how to activate it, and O2’s site wasn’t particularly helpful. So I told her to give O2 a call and get them to set it up. A few months later, she was still struggling her way through voicemails by listening to them in sequence.

So I bit the bullet and a few google searches later I came across the solution. Simply call 1750 and it switches on visual voicemail. It works a treat. And now she can avoid having to wade through voicemails by listening to them old school. Phew.

Filed under: HelpTagged with: , ,