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Siemens Gigaset QuickSync on Vista x64

Posted in Hardware | Tools and Software | x64 at Saturday, January 19, 2008 4:12 PM W. Europe Standard Time

Siemens Gigaset SL 370I recently purchased the Siemens Gigaset SL 370 phone for home telecommunications. The SL 370 is Siemens' premier DECT phone with a form factor comparable to mobile phones. It has plenty of advanced features, the most appealing one being Bluetooth support for headsets and, more importantly, syncing abilities with Outlook contacts. That is, you can sync your Windows Vista Contacts folder or Outlook contacts wirelessly over a Bluetooth connection.

On the SL 370 product support site there's a download option for the Gigaset QuickSync software needed for synchronizing the contact stores on your computer and the handset device. The software version I'm using is the current version 2.0 which needs the .NET Framework 2.0 to run (which is a good thing, see below).

The SL 370 is a great piece of hardware, good sound quality, very light, well thought out and with outstanding battery life.

However, there are some issues with the QuickSync software with Outlook 2007:

Gigaset QuickSync refuses to run on x64 versions of Windows Vista

After launching QuickSync on Vista x64, Windows instantly shows the generic "Program stopped working" dialog.

Gigaset QuickSync stopped working

After clicking the "Debug" button Visual Studio starts up revealing that an assembly of the Gigaset QuickSync package refused to load. When the application's main executable (GigasetQuickSync.exe) tries loading PCABManager.dll a BadImageFormatException is thrown.

BadImageFormatException

As one can glimpse from the screenshot above the PCABManager.dll assembly is not strong named (PublicKeyToken=null), so I could leverage some of the .NET Framework SDK tools to make QuickSync behave on Vista x64.

Open up a Visual Studio Command Prompt and run corflags.exe on the GigasetQuickSync.exe and PCABManager.dll assemblies.

corflags /32bit+ GigasetQuickSync.exe
corflags /32bit+ PCABManager.dll

The 32-bitness flags should be set afterwards

>corflags GigasetQuickSync.exe
Microsoft (R) .NET Framework CorFlags Conversion Tool.  Version  3.5.21022.8
Copyright (c) Microsoft Corporation.  All rights reserved.

Version   : v2.0.50727
CLR Header: 2.5
PE        : PE32
CorFlags  : 1
ILONLY    : 1
32BIT     : 1
Signed    : 0

This resolves the load errors on Vista x64 as we now force the 32-bit .NET Framework runtime to load. More technical details can be found on Scott Hanselman's blog (about 50% into the post).

Deleted Outlook contacts sync back

Because the phone has only a limited number of contacts (250) there's a filter dialog that can be used to tell the Gigaset QuickSync software which contacts should not be transmitted to the handset. Note that QuickSync will only load contacts that have a telephone number, so the contact count might differ from what Outlook reports.

QuickSync Contact Filter Reports 198 Contacts

Outlook Reports 219 Contacts

Nice, but today flash memory is cheaper than ever before. Why did the SL 370 product designers choose to have only 250 contacts on a 120 € phone?

One (unresolved) problem I experience with the "syncing" ability is that if you delete an Outlook contact and re-sync the previously deleted contact will be recreated in Outlook. I suppose this is a known bug. One work-around is to delete all contacts on the phone before syncing.

Conclusion

The SL 370 is a great phone: I adore its flyweight, the clean UI, the great battery power and the rich set of options like turning down the ringtone volume at nighttime. The weaknesses on the Windows software side should be fixed in the next release of the QuickSync.

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