.vcf files -

Tim ignored_mailbox at yahoo.com.au
Sun Nov 27 23:13:07 UTC 2011

On Sun, 2011-11-27 at 11:26 -0500, Bob Goodwin wrote:
> Yes, I now understand what they are. I suspect that Apple has
> sold her on a software system that doesn't fit her needs. If I
> understand what she is telling me her data is stored in a
> "cloud" server somewhere while she wants local copies stored on
> several devices, desktop, portable, iPad, and what look like
> some iPods to me, maybe they are telephones, I'm not sure? But
> it seems that what she needs should be possible to do.
> They need to be able to access their account data without
> finding an internet connection.

Well, if they use several devices, then they will need some form of
central database, otherwise how would you deal with updates to a record
on one device being propagated through to the rest (such as a client
giving you their new phone number, and you typing it into your pad).

But, it sounds like what they also need are offline clients, that cache
the results (all the too-many-megabytes of them), then feed back updates
when they get the chance.  And, if you're right, they probably need
something running on a local server, rather than the internet.  Though
"the cloud" is becoming the latest Emperor's New Clothes.

Yes, you'll pay for the new toy.  Pay to lease the software, and pay for
each and every access to it, through your mobile phone...

It's rather staggering the amount of money that well get splurged on
techno-updating the secretary's rolodex.  I'm sure that, soon enough,
even very small businesses will be spending more on admin than actual

> I have since spent some time examining the files and they appear
> to be vcards interspersed among huge fields of meaningless data
> which at first looked like image files but I have since come to
> think it may be some sort of encryption?

Very likely that they're just pictures, and are something like base64
encoding (the same technique as used to send 8-bit binary files through
7-bit email services).

Chances are that it's not data that you even need (on all devices), and
you'd be filling them up with a lot of wasted data.  If it's client
contact details on an ipad, so you can email the right person with a
quote, you probably only need the textual stuff.

[tim at localhost ~]$ uname -r

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