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[10.01.10][BETA|desktop] MultASync v0.80 - Easy ActiveSync/WMDC device switching

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By Chainfire, Moderator Emeritus / Senior Recognized Developer - Where is my shirt? on 8th September 2009, 05:40 PM
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This is BETA software and there will be bugs and weirdness! Please read the entire post before use.

About
Are you one of those people that has multiple Windows Mobile devices you need to hook up to single computer regularly? If you are and you're like me, there will be much pulling of hair and gnashing of teeth at this procedure.

Thus, I present to you, MultASync, which seeks to alleviate all this frustration. It will easily let you switch between all devices connected through USB, and offers some basic Bluetooth compatibility as well.

Excuse me if I say so myself, but this is a very handy tool for multiple-device users.

Main features
  • Easily switch between connected devices (USB)
  • Sync all connected devices ("CycleSync")
  • Automatically switch to the last connected 'new' device (optional)
  • Basic compatibility for Bluetooth (optional, disabled by default)
  • Adjust security policies on the currently selected device (EnableRAPI / AppUnlock style)

Compatibility
  • Windows 7 x64 - main development/test machine
  • Windows 7 x86
  • Windows Vista x86 & x64
  • Windows XP SP2+ x86 only - no x64 XP support!

Notes (general)
  • MultASync must be run as ADMINISTRATOR!
  • Use MultASync.exe. Never run MultASync64.exe, it will be called when needed on 64-bit systems.
  • All devices have to have "Advanced Network Functionality" / "Enable faster data synchronization" option (under Settings ... USB ... somewhere) enabled. This is enabled by default on most devices.
  • Give the app at least 30 seconds of idling before you use it after startup
  • The first time you start it, from the connected devices will be selected a device "at random" to use with ActiveSync / WMDC. Afterwards, it should remember the one you last selected.
  • Likewise, it will not show you device names the first time. You can have the program acquire this information by using the "Search devices ..." option. If you choose not to, device names will be acquired whenever you start to ActiveSync / WMDC with that specific device.
  • If you are testing instead of running it full-time, make sure to use the "Tools -> Restore and exit" function instead of just the "Exit" function. The "Restore" part makes sure that everything works/syncs again when you are NOT using MultiActiveSync.

Notes (bluetooth)
  • Make sure that you do NOT have a device connected through Bluetooth when starting MultASync.
  • You need to manually enable Bluetooth support by going to "Tools -> Enable Bluetooth management", and restarting MultASync.
  • Bluetooth devices do not take part in CycleSync.
  • You need to select Bluetooth before you can sync a Bluetooth device. It may take several seconds after that operation before your phone can connect.
  • You need to disconnect Bluetooth in ActiveSync (on the device) before you can switch back to a USB device (unfortunately there is no API call to do this from the computer)
  • Disconnecting the Bluetooth device will not automatically switch to one of your connected USB devices.

As you can see, this is more of a "Bluetooth compatibility" thing than a "Bluetooth support" thing. The latter is not really possible like it is for USB, however some improvements can still be made.

YouTube
Here's a really boring show-off video of a private beta version: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6OwzzjnjAYE

To-do
  • Add ability to rename devices (note that this can currently be done manually through the registry, see "HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Morose Media\MultiActiveSync")
  • Automatically modify IP addresses used by ActiveSync to prevent conflicts
  • Try figuring out some way of opening the device's folder in explorer
  • Make the app more responsive
  • Animate the icon when busy

Changelogs

0.80
  • Some tiny bugs fixed, don't even remember what they were, just that I spent time on it, haha
  • Due to it being unlikely there will be more heavy updates on this tool, the timebomb has been removed. It is fairly stable as it is, though far from perfect or feature-complete

0.75
  • Changed name from MultiActiveSync to MultASync
  • Adjusted CycleSync code
  • Added notification about changing security policies when starting the sync fails
  • Added "Tools -> Adjust security policies"
  • Added "Settings" item and moved some things from "Tools" there
  • Made "Settings -> Auto switch to last connected device" optional (enabled by default)
  • Added simple EULA, just in case.

0.70
  • CycleSync now tries to actively start the synchronization process. However, the client device must 'trust' the computer. I'm not completely sure yet when this does and doesn't work. It's likely to work on all custom ROMs and not on some stock ROMs. Note that some computers automatically start the sync upon device connect, and this code is thus redundant on those systems.
  • The menu options should now be disabled and a status shown (in the menu itself) while the app is actually busy, except for when the app is starting up.
  • Some Bluetooth compatibility added.

Older changelogs are not listed.

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8th September 2009, 05:40 PM |#2  
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[23.09.09][BETA|desktop] MultASync v0.75 - Easy ActiveSync/WMDC device switching
--Reserved--
8th September 2009, 05:40 PM |#3  
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[23.09.09][BETA|desktop] MultASync v0.75 - Easy ActiveSync/WMDC device switching
--Reserved--
8th September 2009, 08:03 PM |#4  
hey CF!

Great idea! as far as the name, how about MultASync? Or maybe ChainSync? Considering that you are making the app, I guess it would only be natural for it to have part of the name of its maker, don't you think? Besides considering that the links in a chain are connected at the same time, I guess it would suit the software to have this name.

Good work on coming up with this!!!
8th September 2009, 08:20 PM |#5  
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this sounds really promising !!!

And coming from you, I'm pretty sure that will be awesome
8th September 2009, 08:29 PM |#6  
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Hi Chainfire,

Count me in!!

I'll try catching you over in IRC.
9th September 2009, 12:13 AM |#7  
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Getting some good feedback so far (aside from motisu here ) and making some steady progress as well. Been a few changes to the menu layout and some additions, including "CycleSync", which will sync all connected devices with AS/WMDC - one at a time.

I'm not sure what to do right now about motisu's issues as it seems to be working fine for the handful of other testers. Possibly I'll just release it in a few days (after some more polish) and see if others run into the same issue.

egzthunder1
I like MultASync, considering it! ChainSync doesn't have such a nice ring to it. SyncChain is a little better, but it might incite the masses to sink my battleships. Also reminds me that I still need to finish WMChainFireWall

hanackin
Thanks, I hope it will live up to expectations
9th September 2009, 06:34 AM |#8  
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How will it work with with WM2003 devices? I'm not sure they have "Advanced Network Functionality".
9th September 2009, 09:51 AM |#9  
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I'm not completely sure. The program current can only handle connections through RAS. That pretty much comes down to that if you connect the device to your PC, that a new 'network card' appears under network adapters. If that is not the case, it will not work.
9th September 2009, 11:27 AM |#10  
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Very clever and neat idea! Should have been considered like a long time ago. Good thing this thread came up
9th September 2009, 05:08 PM |#11  
Feedback
Hey CF!

Thanks for the program. Here is my feedback so far...

My system:

Windows XP SP3 x86

My devices:

*HTC Blue Angel (Siemens SX66) running sun_dream's WM 6.5 Build 21501.5.0.70
*HTC Raphael (AT&T Fuze) running herg's D-FRESH-EST WM 6.5 Build 23041.5.3.0

(I also have a Wallaby but somehow I don't think it is worth connecting it )

CycleSync - All it does it to cycle through the devices but it does not sync them.
Tools > Search Devices - OK
Tools > Reset All Settings - OK
Tools > Restore and Exit - OK
Changing and syncing from one device to the other by selecting it from the menu - OK

Connecting and Disconnecting Devices - The software recognizes which one has been connected, updates the list of active devices, and syncs with the one connected last. It also remembers the identities of previously connected devices.

I cannot test BT connectivity since my computer does not have a BT adapter on it.

Very, very, very neat.

Is Cyclesync supposed to sync the devices while it is cycling through them? Because that is about the only thing I did find as a "bug". Other than that... perfect! I will see if I test some more later today.
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