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Syncing Entourage & Nokia 6680 on OS X

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At work, I switched from Windows to Mac about 4 months ago. So far, I’m very happy with that. The MacBook Pro I got from work is an Intel Core 2 Duo machine, the OS X interface is beautiful and virtually all software I need runs on Mac.

This weekend I was wondering if it would be possible to sync my Nokia 6680 with Microsoft Entourage. Back in my Windows days, I used to sync my phone with Microsoft Exchange using the Nokia PC Suite. Unfortunately, that suite is Windows only. Now, it is possible to run Nokia PC Suite on a Mac using Parallels, but I found that method too much of a workaround, there must be more elegant ways to do this.

Luckily, Apple equips OS X with a syncing tool called iSync. This software supports a lot of mobile phones and other handheld devices, including my Nokia 6680. That’s good news. Now, how to get appointments from Entourage on my phone? This requires a number of steps:

  1. Get appointments from Entourage into iCal
  2. Connect phone and computer using Bluetooth
  3. Do the actual syncing

Let’s start off with step number 1. This step is needed because in the end we will be using iSync to communicate to the phone. Events in iCal are in a format iSync understands, it has no native support for Entourage.

  • In Entourage, enable ‘synchronise events and tasks’ with iCal (under prefs > sync services)
  • A new calendar will be created in iCal called Entourage, which will contain all Entourage appointments. Note that I needed to restart both Entourage and iCal before iCal was actually updated.

We now have our appointments in iCal, which is a format iSync understands. Next, we need to make our computer aware of our phone. We will be using Bluetooth for this.

  • First of all, make sure Bluetooth is on on your phone and it is set to de ‘discoverable’, otherwise your computer won’t be able to find it.
  • We will also need to enable Bluetooth on our computer (click the Bluetooth icon under ‘System Preferences > ‘Hardware’ or directly in the system menubar).
  • Next, you can either ‘pair’ your computer and phone using the Bluetooth preference panel, or by using iSync. I used the first option, by clicking ‘Set up Bluetooth Device…’.

  • Add your phone to the known Bluetooth devices by following the on-screen instructions. somewhere in the process, you will be presented with a number you have to enter on your phone, which is required to enable future communication between the two devices.
  • You can also add your computer to the ‘authorised’ devices on your phone, so you won’t have to click ‘yes’ on your phone each time a synchronisation is started. Consult your phone’s manual on how to do this.
  • After communication has been set up, you probably have to install the iSync agent on your phone. This is simple ‘click-yes-and-next-a-few-times’ process.

After these steps, a new ‘phone’ icon will be added to the list of devices iSync knows. Click this icon to see what and how will be synced between your phone and computer.

You should now have a working setup, where iSync connects to your phone and syncs the events from iCal to your phone and vice versa. You may need to click ‘allow’ when presented with a security dialog asking you if Entourage is allowed to update iCal.

Now that your phone and computer know each other, you can set Bluetooth on your phone to be ‘non-discoverable’ (but not ‘off’).

If you want to sync Entourage and your phone, launch iSync and click ‘Sync Devices’, making sure Bluetooth on your computer is on.

You can use AppleScript to further simplify this task. There’s a nice script that does just that on macosxhints – don’t just use the one mentioned at the top of the page, but scroll down a little to find a script that utilises a simple utility to enable Bluetooth first if needed, then launches iSync, automatically starts the syncing process and quits iSync afterwards.

Save this Applescript as an application and put a link to it in your dock. Now, syncing your computer and phone is just a single click of the mouse.

Syncing Entourage & Nokia 6680 on OS X
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  • Guest

     thank you so much for explaining how to isync the phone to my mac, but i seem to keep getting and error, i get to the section were a number shows up in the bluetooth mobile phone set up, then my phone goes blank, i then get a message pairing attempt was unsuccessful, make sure your mobile phone is in range of this computer, turned on and discoverable. i have done all this but still cant seem to pass this section. any suggestion on what i can do next.

    would be greatly appreciated if you are able to help?

    sandra