Sprint offers optional wireless internet service called PCS Vision. For an additional $15 a month, you get unlimited Sprint TV, picture mail, video mail, email, instant messaging, and web access. None of which I really want—except the ability to move the photos I take to my computer. Without the Vision service, it costs 2¢ for every kilobyte transfered off the phone.
Let’s do the math. Average file size of a 640×480 pixel jpeg: 55KB. Cost per photo uploaded: $1.10! A buck to take a crappy cellphone picture!? I mean, I’d pay $5 a month if I could configure Sprint to upload the pictures directly to my WordPress blog, but that’s unlikely any time soon.
I just want to get the photos off my phone, and I don’t want to pay Sprint in order to do so.
First thing I need is a cable. Don’t expect to find that in any Sprint store. After a little Googling around, I discovered that my Samsung SPH-A840 phone (aka the PM-A840) accepts a Samsung USB Data Cable (PCB113BBEB). I got mine from WirelessGround.com for $15 (including shipping). Just arrived today.
Of course it came with no software or drivers. I found some some drivers online,
but these were only intended to turn my cell phone into a wireless modem. Handy, but I really just want to copy my photos to my laptop. Ain’t no way I’m paying $70 for DataPilot. This should just work!
In the end, it was an almost year old article from Microsoft (of all places) called Camera phone options that pointed me to BitPim, a free, open source cell phone syncing application. It had trouble downloading my phone book entries, but no problem downloading my photos!
Yay, I win!
How to download cameraphone photos using BitPim
- Start BitPim with your cellphone attached to your laptop
- Goto Data > Get Phone Data …
- Check the “Wallpaper” checkbox and click OK
- BitPim will start downloading your photos (on some occasions BitPim has crashed here, so usually I just unplug my phone, restart BitPim, and start over)
- In Windows, the photos should be downloaded to a folder called “camera” under “My Documents\bitpim\bitpim.db_blobs”.