Technology

Mission: Impossible
Connecting a cell phone to a Mac

Any Mac-user knows the pain and agony of trying to find software and hardware that's Mac-compatible. Many products online don't even list such things as "system requirements." Instead, they simply assume you have whatever version of Windows their crap works with and leave it to you to figure it out.

The LG VX3200 phone

I want to buy a new cell phone, and the feature I really need is something to synchronize my contacts with the ones I keep on my desktop Mac. This is a rather simple problem that should have a simple solution, but finding an answer has proven nearly impossible, mostly because nobody seems to offer a Mac-compatible solution to this problem. What's even more irritating is the wide variety of completely useless options that seem to come standard with mobile phones these days: built-in digital cameras, Pac-Man games, cute ring tones, but absolutely nothing to make it easier to copy a couple hundred names, addresses, and telephone numbers from my Mac to my cell phone. I started wondering why, exactly, cell phone companies would try to sell me ridiculously overpriced ringtones and not offer something useful.

Eventually, I heard of one solution called BitPIM, an open-source program that would let me copy data to and from certain cellular phones. It sounded like it was exactly what I needed, and to my surprise, Alltel happened to carry a phone that BitPIM allegedly supported: an LG VX3200. I had to buy a data cable online to connect the phone to my Mac via USB, but there are several different cables that claim to work with the LG VX3200 and so far none of them seem to work with the drivers I can able to download. The real rub of the matter is that nobody seems to have bothered writing any kind of instructions on how to make this whole process work. One would hope that a Mac-user out there, somewhere, has been able to do this, but so far I've purchased two separate USB cables and neither of them seems to work.

Oh yes, do NOT purchase anything from CellPhoneMall.net. I bought a cable from them, and when it didn't work, I sent it back for a return. Two months later, I get the package back marked "return to sender."

So here I am, another lowly Mac-user with a simple, yet unsolvable problem. The next time around, I may just wind up buying a Blackberry, but if there is some Mac-user out there in the big wide world who has been able, impossible as it may seem, to syncronize an address book wirth a cell phone, I'd like to hear about it.