.vcf files -

Bob Goodwin bobgoodwin at wildblue.net
Mon Nov 28 15:32:22 UTC 2011

On 27/11/11 18:13, Tim wrote:
> 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).

            They would periodically sync devices to the primary desk top
            computer which is always connected.

> 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...

            I haven't heard mention of data transfer via the mobile
            phone system but it is killing me on my limited ISP
            bandwidth. About ten gigs in the last few days, perhaps a
            week, and I only have 17 per month! We are in a rural area
            and satellite is the best we can do here. Normally there has
            been sufficient bandwidth over the last five years or so.

> 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
> workers.
>> 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.

        Yes it may well be images that aren't essential but as she
        points out thumbnails are helpful in locating entries as she
        scans a list. I have no idea how much space those thumbnails
        might require but right now Apple is sorting out her problems.
        It's proprietary software and I suspect that only they can deal
        with it.

        We appreciate your thoughts about this.



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