In my last post, I mentioned that I was looking for a way to sync my Google Calendar to my Windows Mobile 5 phone – the Cingular 8125. Well, I found one. I actually found two things actually. Continue reading
I was on the Office 12/2007 beta testing team, and got to use their product. And I admit that I became a fan of the new office layout and features. I’d recommend them over the previous Office versions, as long as there is the availability for some time due to the learning curve.
It took a couple weeks of using the apps on my laptop, desktop and even at work in some cases to get a feel for where certain features were located on the ribbon and even in the different window/menu structure. Also some new features were added that were helpful for being productive, but required some fooling with to figure out how to use them effectively.
But, as with all other things, it came to an end. The TR Beta 2 ran out at the end of March 2007. That meant I had to either pony up for the new version of Office, or sit there and hit the “you must uninstall this software” message every time I wanted to load the program. OR, I could do one more thing, that I tried to do a couple months ago – and move to OpenSource.
That is what I decided to do. I can’t afford the $250-ish price tag for legit Office 2007, and I’m not real interested in getting a cracked version of the software for a couple reasons – I don’t want to deal with the WGA hassle, and I’ve already used the software. So I moved to Open Office, Mozilla Thunderbird, and Mozilla Sunbird/Lightening.
My main tiff I had with Office was that it didn’t synchronize with anything. Sure, you could export your Outlook calendar to a web calendar with Office Online – but Office Online is gay – it requires you to use IE for things. It’s not necessarily that I don’t like IE, but that I have much more settings configuration invested in FireFox. But the calendars didn’t sync up or down automatically…and you can’t write to them and make changes in one place, and get it to sync to the other automatically.
Enter: Mozilla Thunderbird, Mozilla Sunbird, Mozilla Lightening, and the Provider plugin for Google Calendars.
I installed Thunderbird, Sunbird, and Lightening, and then realized I had the same predicament with them as I did with Outlook. So I went searching and found GCAL Daemon which worked great, but was a separate application. Today I found the Provider for Google Calendar plugin. This makes it much easier to manage your calendar and configure the settings. And it lets you read AND write to the Google Calendars.
So far, this has proved to be useful. I use google.com/ig as my start page at work, and I have the calendar add-on on that page – as well as my gmail account, and some other things. All this stuff is also sync’d to my laptop through Thunder/Sunbird/Lightening and the plugin, and the same with my desktop. It’s the connectivity I’ve been looking for.
I’m still trying to find a working way to sync my Google Calendar to my Windows Mobil 5 phone…I found FinchSync, but it gave java error until I configured it…now the two don’t connect. And it’s looking for a .ics calendar file to sync, but I don’t have one of those, since I’m syncing over the internet. So I’ll keep looking.
Anyway, that’s what I’m using right now to keep my communication channels in place in a world without MS Outlook.
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I have come to the point where I have acquired enough email addresses, that I can start issuing emails.
What I have:
- @the-spot.net : 900
- @tsnlocal.net : 49
- @the-blot.net : 38
- @the-blot.com: 40
I got the beta invite from Google to try hosted gmail accounts, on the-spot.net. So I tried it, and set everything up, named it tMail, and then realized that I lost all functionality that I had with forwarders, and such, and that I would have to re-create the 5-6 email accounts that I use for the-spot.net, as well as the other people who have email accounts hosted here. But I also only get 25 accounts that I can create for free.
So while I enjoy Gmail and Google, and the ability to customize the appearance of tMail, I have switched back to the tsn server, and reapplied for the beta for the tsnlocal.net domain name.
I do have hosted email for the-blot.net through hotmail, with 2gb of space, and 40 (38 now, since wizard and I have one) email invites. I will start offering those out to the first 35 non-tsn-people that sign up for the-blot.net who want one. I’ll also start offering tsn email accounts to people who want one of those as well. There is no set date for that offer though. It will probably be after tsnX is released, and I can get some kind of web-based email solution going.
There will be more to come on this later.
I got the Photobook up today during lunch, and everything seems to be in working order. There are some things left for it that I would like to fix, like the Personal Photo Gallery in the profile. The code inserts that link into the old-style profile, but I can’t seem to find where the new profile template is for that part of the page. It’s probably hidden in the php code, and not in the page template like it normally is. I’ll look into it some more this weekend, or when I re-design the template.
The next updates that I’ll be doing are the Calendar update. I’m also going to include a mini-calendar on the My Spot page this time, so that upcoming events will be more noticeable.
After that will be a Moderator Control panel, in which they will have some more control over things like Usernames, Smilies, managing user accounts, etc…and have a link like the Admin do for the Admin Panel. This will help disperse some of the work that the admins have to do around the site…since for the most part people know what is allowed on the forums, and don’t need much moderating.
Then a FAQ Manager – where the admins can easily update the FAQs for the n00bies that like to ask questions about what’s going on…we can get the “unwritten” rules down in one place, and keep it easily updated for new guidelines.
And then I’ll work on the Template Switcher, a dropdown menu that will let you change templates easily between tsnX and the original theme – and any other templates that we might design. For a while now, I’ve wanted to bring back the tsnI template, but there is so much of that which is just the basic forum, it’d be really hard to update. I’ll look into it though eventually.
After these, there are just a ton of little mods that will enhance the user experience…spell check, other IM support, skype, gmail/gtalk, profile tidbits, posting enhancements, and a ton of other stuff.
Once those are all in place, I begin work on creating the tsnX design – which will be the most exciting part of it all. After that, I create the My Spot page, and we’re done.