One of the various flaws of the Danger Sidekick service--besides its lack of database backups--was its lack of interaction with the outside world. To my memory, like so many things, this was T-Mobile's fault, but however it happened, exporting your data required buying a third-party sync application, which didn't work as well as one might hope, and was eventually not an option for Mac OS X. It's also pretty lame to have to pay $25 to get your data off the service because you plan to stop using it.
In the run-up to Chile, I explored ways of getting my address book off the backend service, and discovered that through a combination of functionality (likely not on purpose), you can actually export your contacts.
- Go to the Mail section of the Desktop Interface.
- Start a new message to yourself.
- Click "Attach vCard." This brings you to the Contacts screen, where it will show your "A" contacts.
- Under the "Attach Checked vCards" button, there's a "View" selection. Select "All."
- Click the checkbox column header to select all your contacts.
- Click "Attach Checked vCards." This brings you back to your email in progress.
- Send the email to yourself (give it some time to send).
Some bullet points about the result:
- The email will have one vCard for every contact.
- Assuming you don't want to import them by hand into anything, GMail will let you download them as a .zip file.
- I then merged them (using
catin the command-line shell) into one giant .vcf file.
- The only thing on Linux or OS X I found that will sensibly parse a multi-contact vCard is Google Contacts.
- Google can then export the list in Outlook or other formats.
- I only exported 130 contacts. I don't know what happens if you have the limit of 2,000. Should be fine. Will definitely be slow.
- Plan to do some hand-editing. There's all kinds of crazy "CLASS: PUBLIC" notes and weird wrong birthdays and stuff in the vCards.