We preach open standards so loudly and so often in the IT industry that it's arresting when your life is impacted by the failure of a vendor to join the party.
I am very suspicious of premature standardisation - it is in nobody's interest to agree a dangerous or broken standard (imagine if we'd standardised home power outlets at 20V or something...). However, open standards do perform the enormously valuable role of limiting opportunities for vendor lock-in and maximising opportunities for users to be free to choose implementations.
I made the mistake of purchasing a phone from Siemens a year or so ago. They have subsequently admitted (by selling the business) that they were not very good at this enterprise and the SX1 I so naively purchased was a perfect demonstration of this.
The phone began spontaneously rebooting even more frequently than normal yesterday morning so I figured I had better back it up. The only data I was desperate to save was my contact database. I managed to rescue this before the phone completely expired.
So far, so bad..... I am now in Madrid without a cellphone. Not the end of the world but it feels like I have lost a limb.
However, this is where things become unpleasant. The Siemens "Data Suite" can only synchronise with Microsoft Outlook. I work for IBM. We don't have very many Outlook licenses deployed here, you may not be surprised to learn.
So.... how do I get hold of my contacts? Well.... surely the file format is documented? Sadly, it genuinely does appear to be the case that the Siemens/Nokia/Symbian "cdb" file format is not officially documented. Worse, try as I might, I cannot find anybody on the internet who writes or sells PC software to parse these files and turn them into something useful (e.g. csv).
The closest I have managed to get so far is somebody explaining how to get a Symbian development environment running on my laptop. Wow.... That is one option I suppose.
So, with my optimistic hat on, I am happy that I have a backup of my contacts database. But I can't help being slightly perturbed that I can't read it :-(
I will investigate a little more when I get home at the weekend. Hopefully by then, my new phone will have arrived.