andEs Corner: 2009 the year that technology starts 2 work 4 me…?

So could 2009 finally be the year that my gadgets start to work for me instead of me working for my gadgets? (This sounds like the final episode of the terminator series).

This may sound strange to those who know the recent technical torture I have been through: just before xmas my work notebook went totally AWOL after some dodgy office patch (and it took the IT β€œHelp”desk 1 month to resolve the problem) and just after an opensuse 11 update was finally tweeked to perfection my trusty shuttle linux server just died – but it had served me faithfully for over 6 years AND it was a hardware fault (and so nothing to do with my perfectly executed upgrade!) so I can say with a tear in my eye: RIP.

But FINALLY I have hope that simplicity could now enter my life. And through the gadgets that are meant to help me do this but I believe in the past actually made things harder…

The thing I mean is that in the past I have had to implement incredible workarounds to get things like my outlook address book in the office synchronised with my PCs @ home and phone and maybe PDA. Same is true with calendar and todo lists. Well, my todo lists solution is still not perfect but maybe that is also better for my sanity! πŸ˜‰

For those tech freaks amongst you the answer is in 2 web services: the excellent and ever improving plaxo.com with the worlds best ever outlook plugin and almost-as-good thunderbird plugin. Eventually I hope once the thunderbird plugin covers also lightning (I.e. calendar sync too) then I will only need this one. Until that day I have also google calendar plugins on both outlook and thunderbird/lightning @ home. This together with the excellent nokia sync SW means that all of my devices are always synchronised and it looks like so far that all of the important data is synced. And so far I have no double entries as used to often be the case after syncing with my psion or palms.

In addition to this I have also finally managed to integrate delicious.com into my life – it also requires a little bit of letting go and stopping the anal wonderfully clean feeling folder view of bookmarks and simply dumping them with tags in a delicious data swamp. But with the search plugin for firefox I can find my way through the swamp without being eaten by the gators.

So now I just have to hope that neither plaxo, delicious, google, microsoft or nokia go bankrupt.

I guess no matter how bad windows7 is microsoft will not vanish. The same is probably true for google unless we find out that the internet doesn’t actually exist and infact it’s all housed in the google datacentres. Nokia should I think survive despite android and the iPhone – but then maybe in the end NSN will be carrying the mobile devices unit! πŸ˜‰ So I probably just have to worry for delicious and plaxo.

I think I will set myself a reminder for 6 months and 12 months from now to provide a half-time score and full-time result on this topic to let you know if my hope became reality. Assuming my calendars continue to sync properly then I will not forget….

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6 thoughts on “andEs Corner: 2009 the year that technology starts 2 work 4 me…?

  1. They suppose to work for you and make mooore money for you, Ande.. πŸ™‚ And, if it is become reality on the 2nd semester, don’t forget to add up ipod or tivo.. Or simply, a secretary or assistant πŸ˜€

  2. I have already passed the “separate mp3 player” phase in my life – I prefer to use my mobile (SE and not iPhone) with a stack of memory sticks.
    Tivo would assume I actually watch TV. This is something I almost totally gave up in 2008 preferring the rapidshare solution – basically an online version of Jakarta’s Ambassador Mall. ;-)) So I watch what I want when I want without adverts. i.e. the same functionality as the tivo EXCEPT I can watch series as they come out in their specific country and not when they get dubbed into german..
    And I use either livetv.ru or iraqgoals.com for my footie. Or if its a big event: the pub. πŸ˜‰

  3. Update: ok life is not so shiny after all. First problem is encountered: when tbird syncs with plaxo, plaxo then passes its sync back to outlook. But tbird doesn’t have all of the fields that outlook has and so things like 2nd business phone (which surprisingly many people have) gets deleted. Well, I have a workaround in place for this BUT it means once again the gadgets have taken over and I am working for them ;-(((

  4. Note to myself: my workaround for the above problem is:
    1. created another address book (“local”) on eeeze (name of my eee pc) tbird -> if I need to add addresses on eeeze then add them here.
    2. b4 sync with plaxo delete the contents of tbird “Personal Address Book” so that plaxo in this case acts as master each time.
    So the flow is outlookplaxo->tbird(personal address book).
    In addition there is gmail contactstbird(google-anderigs) but this seems to be the clean way of doing it. At least so far I have not seen any problems here… ;-))

  5. hey andE – cool name πŸ™‚

    Plaxo does have a good plug-in. another cool one is Outlook Track-It, especially if you want just a tiny toolbar on your outlook. With it, you can set followup reminders for yourself, or even the recipient. Very cool so far.

  6. Update: Feb09: now I have had a lot of contact with the plaxo hotline and they have corrected some of their bugs and now I have all address books synced.
    i.e. I have plugins on WindowsXP-outlook, opensuse11.1-thunderbird and gOS3.0-thunderbird. Also my syncing via googlecalendar also seems to be working (although I would prefer to be JUST using plaxo for all of this the plaxo thunderbird plugin does not yet support calendars…
    Life is getting simpler again. I am winning. πŸ˜‰

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