Get things done faster on your mobile phone and PC with FMA

If there’s one application responsible for an exponential boost in my productivity at the news copy desk it’s Float’s Mobile Agent (FMA). I wrote a short post about FMA earlier. FMA is an open source application that allows you to manage and operate your mobile phone through your PC via a data cable, infrared or Bluetooth connection.

Float's Mobile Agent

With FMA installed in your computer, you can just leave your phone in your desk and do all your mobile communications in your PC-from sending, receiving and archiving SMS messages, managing phone contacts, to-do lists and calendar entries to (for some phone models) taking and making calls using your regular PC headset. The program also allows you to easily back up important phone data like messages and contact numbers.
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My other PC is a Mac, sort of

After reading the usual excellent piece by tech journalist Chin Wong “My other PC is a Mac,” I found this instruction on how to install Mac OS X natively on a PC. I showed the instructions to newsroom technical assistant Dongdong Ygay and a day or two later voila – he turned a Celeron 2.5 GHz on an Asus P4GE-MX motherboard with 256MB RAM into a Mac OS X machine:


After start-up, the Mac PC was able to detect our office’s local area network. When Dongdong entered the web proxy settings, the Mac PC was able to connect to the Internet without any hitches. Check the menage-a-trois of operating systems: the Mac OS X image was downloaded using a Windows PC, transferred into a new hard disk using an Ubuntu live CD and then the PC started its new life as a Mac OS X unit.

Using your PC to manage your phone

I have always been a fan of Ericsson phones but never of its bundled PC connectivity software. Previous versions of the software allow you to manage, to a certain extent, your phone data but not your messages.

When I bought a T630, I never bothered installing the software that came with it. Instead, I used the open source Float’s Mobile Agent and it worked like a charm. The software connects my phone to my PC through Bluetooth. I can then manage everything in my phone — edit phonebook, calendar and to-do entries. I can send and receive text messages as well as archive these messages for reference. I can even control my computer using the T630’s joystick.

The only thing FMA can’t do is manage the calls in my T630. FMA allows you to start and receive calls using a PC headset if you’re using T610. This functionality, though, doesn’t work with the T630 yet.

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EASY PHONE MANAGEMENT. Float’s Mobile Agent allows you to manage your cellphone using your computer.