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Text Message Storage Limits
We need open source cell phones

So I’ve been rather perturbed for a very long time at the 50/50 inbox/outbox limit of stored SMS text messages in all LG cell phones.  Other phones have similar limits, like a Samsung I have is limited to 100/50, and it just erases messages when an overflow occurs, as opposed to the nice prompts on my LG VX9800, with its QWERTY keyboard, which I love.

I have done some minor hacking on cell phones and tinkered with the firmware, but without a proper emulator, I would never be able to find out where the 50 cap is set and be able to make a hack for phones could store more.

So today, I was at a Verizon store [unimportant ordeal here] because I got a little bit of water on my LG phone and it was having issues.  Immediately after the spill, it had a bunch of problems including the battery thinking it was always charging, buttons on the front side sending two different buttons when pressed, and some other buttons not working.  I immediately set to shaking it out at all angles to get most of the water out (which there wasn’t much to begin with...), and then I thoroughly blow dried every opening into the inside circuitry.  This fixed everything but the worst problem, signal dropping.  Basically, the phone would lose any connection it made after about 5 seconds, so I couldn’t really answer or makes calls.  Fortunately I was still able to send and receive SMS messages, but received ones didn’t signal the server they were received, and I kept receiving them over and over and over until a connection finally stayed open long enough to tell the server I got it.
So I took it back to the store to see if they could fix it, and all they tried was updating the firmware... but they said I could trade it in for another phone for $50, which I figured from the beginning is what I would have to do, and was a good idea anyways because of this [temporarily down].
So they realized they had no replacements in stock... or at the warehouse... for the VX9800 OR the VX9900, which they said they’d upgrade me too if they couldn’t find and VX9800, and I wanted (yay).  So I was told to call back tomorrow and try again.  Bleh. Anyways, I was at the store
where I found out why this was.  Apparently, cell phones start slowing down considerably with too many stored SMSs.  I was told of a lady that had come in the previous week with 600+ stored messages and the phone took very long intervals to do anything, and clearing it fixed it.

I know that, on my phone at least, each SMS message is stored as a separate file, so my best guess as to the reason for this problem is that this creates too many entries in the file system for the phone to handle.  This seems like a rather silly and trivial problem to work around, but the cell phone manufactures can get away with it, as they have no good competitors that fix problems like this.

This is why we really need open source cell phones.  There have been word of open source phones in the works for years... but nothing too solid yet :-\.

So ANYWAYS, I had already started taking a different approach in early January to fix the problem of backing up SMS messages without having to sync them to your computer, which is a rather obnoxious work around.  I had been researching and planning to write a BREW application that extracts all SMS messages into a text file on your phone so that you don’t have to worry about the limits, and could download them to your computer whenever you wanted, with theoretically thousands of SMS messages archived on your phone.  Unfortunately, as usual, other things took over my time and the project was halted, but I will probably be getting back to it soon.

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