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Backup your data and Get around Get-It-Now on the LG-VX4400 - Ldy, the lemony, ligerish ducttaparian's Magic Treehouse of Lost Thoughts
A classy broad's life... with footnotes.
Backup your data and Get around Get-It-Now on the LG-VX4400
I love my LG VX-4400 phone. Really love it. Its interface is intuitive (I don't think I've ever looked at the manual), its casing is very durable (it's been covered in water and frozen, and still works perfectly) and its customization options are fairly extensive.

However, the acquisition of new ringtones (a weakness of mine) and wallpapers costs money. About $2 a pop, to be exact (less, if you're a junky like me and purchase several at a time).

There's nothing, however, that says you shouldn't find an alternate route around the system.

Getting Around Get-It-Now

Please note-- this is information for the LG VX4400 only, and I cannot be held responsible for any wacky things you might do to your phone. I'm assuming everything I mention here is legal, but it probably goes without saying that IANAL.1

First off, pick up this Future Dial cord from Radioshack:2

Assuming you already have a USB-capable computer, you're all set on the hardware front. Put the cord aside and move on to the next step.

As for software, there are a couple freebies out there-- the two big ones seem to be GAGIN (Get Around Get It Now) and BITPIM. I'm using BITPIM. It definitely seems the more functional and user-friendly of the two. In GAGIN, everything has to be done through the filesystem. In BITPIM, you have a tabbed interface (but you still have the option of doing things through the filesystem if you're feeling masochistic). Both proggies are free; BITPIM under GNU public license, GAGIN under, well, I'm not exactly certain.

Download your software of choice, and install it. Stop touching the cord. Did I tell you to plug in the cord? No, I didn't. Put it down.

Snag the drivers for the cord here: This is key!

Run the setup.exe in the driver install you just snagged. And open BITPIM. Ready? OK.

NOW you can plug the cord into your computer.3 Got it? Great :)

Make sure you're phone's turned on.4 Connect it to the cord5

Voila-- you are now connected!6

The BITPIM interface is pretty self-explanatory.

Now you have the ability to backup ALL your information, and add ringtones, wallpapers, applications and phonebook entries at will.

Note: wallpapers have to be uploaded as 120x98 pixel bitmaps, and ringtones should be small midis. I say should because some folks (including the manufacturer, iirc) claim that the phone can play properly-encoded mp3s, but I've yet to hear one work.

I'll write a bit more about the wonders of polyphonic ringtones-- where to find them, how to manipulate them, how to use them on your phone, and what to do if your index becomes corrupted (which it will)-- another time. I also hope to get into how to use your phone as a modem, and how to use your phone as a browser by using a WAP proxy instead of paying for Verizon's MSN service.

If you can't wait, consider visiting these fine websites:

They should have the answers you seek.

Happy customizing!

1 I am not a lawyer.
2 Note: THIS IS THE CORD YOU WANT. Honestly, would I bother linking to the wrong product? The one for the VX10 (which connects to your phone's internal serial port) is your friend, not the one for the 4400 (which gets it on with your phone's internal USB port). The 4400 uses a different cord, one without a chip (sometimes called a straight cord). IT DOESN'T WORK WITH THE SOFTWARE. Get the one for the VX10.
3 Afaik, nothing earth-shattering would have happened if you'd kept on touching the plug and connected it to your computer before I explicitly told you to do so. I was just flexing the incredible power I wield as livejournalist. Terribly sorry if I gave you a complex or anything.
4 Talk dirty nerdy to it if you have to.
5 While the cord will go in if the phone's not turned on, it's not enjoyable for the phone, and you'll get less than stellar results. KY jelly is NOT recommended here.
6 ~We're aaaaaaaaallllllllllllll connected; New York telephone~
ڰ I currently have sixteen seventeen windows open on my desktop, not including another six for GIMP. I just thought that maybe you'd like to know that. And I'm currently listening to PDB's Nasty Rhythm. It's good editing music.

I'm feeling all kinds of: Can you hear me NOW?!
What I hear: A plethora of polyphonic sonances, some at 2600 Hz?

14 tall tales or Tell me a story
From: zztzed Date: March 13th, 2004 10:27 pm (UTC) (permalink)

I probably sound really self-righteous here, but oh well. :D

Just think, if you didn't use Verizon you wouldn't have to go through all this crap just to get ringtones on your phone. :D

*smugly pats his Sony Ericsson T616, which allows him to transfer ringtones, graphics and themes easily and legitimately via Bluetooth, IrDA, or serial cable, and also smugly notes that Verizon doesn't even have any phones with Bluetooth and may never have any*
ldy From: ldy Date: March 14th, 2004 09:56 am (UTC) (permalink)

Re: I probably sound really self-righteous here, but oh well. :D

Heh. Actually, I'm oddly OK with Verizon-- I travel quite a bit these days, and their coverage is exceptionally good.

I'm also rather leary of bluetooth, as I believe it's inherently insecure, right down through its architecture.

Besides, there's something oddly enriching about circumventing The System :) Down with The Man!! ;)
ldy From: ldy Date: March 14th, 2004 10:41 am (UTC) (permalink)

Re: I probably sound really self-righteous here, but oh well. :D

As for bluetooth enabled phones through Verizon, I suspect they'll be picking this up over the summer:

Whether they'll cripple the bluetooth remains to be seen. I'd actually consider getting that one next year, bluetooth or not. LG's VX4400 totally kicks Motorola's T720's arse in my opinion, but the V710? That's hhhoooooooooot. I can't wait for it to come out so I can try it vs. LG's VX6000. OMG, I so cheezy1337.

The T616 is pretty hot, too, though-- and I may consider moving over to a GSM phone, just so I can use it overseas. Tri-mode is nice in certain regions... but if I'm going to the UK more than once next year, I'll want a GSM and a sim card.

Are you going through AT&T or Cingular? (I forgot.) Do you like them?
From: zztzed Date: March 14th, 2004 12:21 pm (UTC) (permalink)

Re: I probably sound really self-righteous here, but oh well. :D

From what I hear, VZW is really, really stringent when it comes to phone testing. I'd be surprised if it came out that quickly.

I'm using Cingular -- there's no native AT&T coverage here (just SunCom, "a member of the AT&T Wireless network", although they've only just started converting their network to GSM within the past year, and haven't done so in my area yet, so I dispute their slogan's claim that they "get it"). I'm fairly happy with them, I guess, and I'm not the one paying the bill anyway so I can't complain. Had it been my choice I would've gone with
T-Mobile, mostly for the unlimited data plans.

Cingular does have what I think is a big point in its favor: their world phones come without the subsidy locks, so when you're traveling you can use them with a local prepaid SIM, which usually works out cheaper than paying international roaming rates. If you're going to get a GSM phone for overseas travel, though, I'd recommend a quad-band phone like the Motorola V400, rather than the SE T616. Cingular's triband phones eschew the 900MHz band in favor of 850 since Cingular's been rolling out GSM on that band in areas where they hold cellular rather than PCS licenses.
(Deleted comment)
ldy From: ldy Date: March 14th, 2004 10:43 am (UTC) (permalink)
Me, too. The only radio shack locally that DOESN'T carry the cord is the one near my house! I considered asking the local store to order one from another store, but couldn't even find the time to do that.

I had to ask P to pick one up when he was taking his sales rep to dinner :P
newbabel From: newbabel Date: March 13th, 2004 11:03 pm (UTC) (permalink)
Huh. Who knew? I have a foot(note) fetish.
ldy From: ldy Date: March 14th, 2004 10:45 am (UTC) (permalink)
Teeheeheeheehee* :)

* Hee!
newbabel From: newbabel Date: March 14th, 2004 10:47 am (UTC) (permalink)

You rock like Amadeus.
damnitnicole From: damnitnicole Date: March 14th, 2004 12:02 am (UTC) (permalink)
Mmmm... the Gimp... I heart the Gimp.
ldy From: ldy Date: March 14th, 2004 12:19 pm (UTC) (permalink)
Me, too :)
kvance From: kvance Date: March 14th, 2004 08:45 am (UTC) (permalink)

All hail vx4400!

I'm assuming that you've already been to the verizon forum on cellphonehacks.com, but if you haven't... you should. bitpim is also great for editing the firmware to remove the "Verizon Wireless" banner from the main screen:

ldy From: ldy Date: March 14th, 2004 12:18 pm (UTC) (permalink)
The spelling errors on cellphonehacks are scarybad. Worse yet, their forum isn't searchable. I've added them to the list in this post, but I think howardforums.com is more useful (and this item from tomtracey is the best I've seen on the subject!):


Come to think of it, I'm not sure I ever installed a hex editor on this machine. Weird. Time to rectify that!
kvance From: kvance Date: March 14th, 2004 03:18 pm (UTC) (permalink)
Yeah, the warez d00d speak is a turn-off, but back when I was searching for stuff, that's where google would usually put me. (And my roommate also has had good luck with the site). The forums are definitely searchable, though.

Ever since I stopped using DOS, I've been pretty much lost in terms of hex editors. My favorite was the one built in to XTree Gold. Now in linux, I just use vim in binary mode, and in windows I just picked a random one off sourceforge. Neither is particularly good...
(Deleted comment)
ldy From: ldy Date: April 27th, 2004 05:57 am (UTC) (permalink)
Woohoo! :D
14 tall tales or Tell me a story