OK. Now I’ve got a "MySpace" site, a Blogger blog (migdalorguy.blogspot.com) a Windows Live personalized page, a Hotmail account linked to a Windows Live mail beta account, a personalized Google home page, a Gmail account, and a Google Calendar. Not to mention already existing customizations on a Yahoo personlaized homepage, email accounts with domaindirect (part of my personal domain, and my personal website www.durlester.com), email accounts through another domain through domaindirect,ehavanashira.org, a personal Yahoo login linked with a Yahoo personal email address and a Small Business WebHosting and Yahoo BizMail account for the synagogue I work for, Bethesda Jewish Congregation, an email account through my ISP (Comcast). I just closed my 15-year-old AOl account, but still have the email and AIM access (firstname.lastname@example.org). And who knows, I probably have some other email addresses floating around that came free with various services like AmericanGreetings.Com or BlueMountain.com. I have two e-vite accounts, personal and business. I maintain a SmugMug photo gallery related to the ehavanashira.org website, also have a Nikonnet account, a Yahoo Pictures account, A Snapfish acoount, etc. So far, the only "social" netwrok I have ever joined was Metails, which is now Yub.
I’ve been online a long time, getting my first PC and information service accounts back in 1980 (I’ve had accounts with CompuServe, GEnie, Prodigy and a few other services.) You;d think with all this experience, I would have consolidated things by now, but instead, I just keep getting more accounts, more emails, more personalized webportal pages, etc. Perhaps it’s because I’ve never quite found that "perfect" thing that works just the way I want it to work. There’s always something that one place has that another doesn’t.
Now, however, the battle seems to be shaping up. Google vs. Microsoft. Google Calendar is looking more and more attractive as a centralized place for all my calendars, and Gmail sure looks like a good place to consolidate all my email accounts – the threaded message interface is really nice. Yet windows Live also is shaping up with some nice features, and I’m reluctant to put all my eggs in one basket. So here I am.
Now, there’s the additional complication that I’ve become rather MS Outlook-centric (though I use a number of add-ons like NEO Pro, a few Sperry Software add-ins, etc.) Right now, true sync between Google Calendar and MS Outlook is a bit of a kludge. I haven’t yet tried using he Intellisyc for MSN to try and sync with the MSN calendar as I’ve had some pretty bad experiences with Intellisyc (both as standalone software, and for Yahoo. Plus so far, the MSN calendar doesn’t appear to have the ability to have multiple calendars, and I’m sort of waiting to see how the MSN Calendar evolves whern it all shifts to Windows Live.
To add insult to injury, I just bought a new Motorola Q. Nice little SmartPhoine, but the Windows Mobile 5 Smartphone editions ahs a few crippled features, and not every bit of software has caught up with it yet, so I still need to keep my trusty HP iPAQ 4355 PDA around so I can use my Pocket Quicken and PocketShop. (I am trying out HanDBase on the Smartphone, to see if any of it’s user-created shopping dbs will work as well as PocketShop. And I had to get PhatNotes for Smartphone so I could access the multiple Notes folders. (Also, in WM 5.0 Smartphone, categories are not available in Tasks or Calendar, only Contacts. Now I am desparately serachiong for software that will allow me to sync two different Outlook calendar folders to the MSartphone with merging them. (PocketMirrorPro Smartphone merges two Outlook calendars into the one Calendar on the Q, thoughm oddly, it doesn’t then combine them when syncing back to the desktop. Oh, and did I mention that I use the HP4355 to keep my Outlook personal calendar, plus tasks and notes and contacts in sync between the home and work computer. (Don’t even mention Plaxo. What a disaster when I tried using it to keep my contacts synched. I dutifully gave it a fair trails for a few mnonths, and then again when thei did a major software update, but ti still screwed things up.) Eventually, I’ll use the Q to do that. To keep the separate "work" calendar in sync, I use OSA-Sync Pro from Vaita Software. It allows our little three person synagogue staff to keep our copies of Outlook in sync without and Exchange server, and, through FTP, also keeps the copy of the work calendar at home in syc as well. I use assorted flash drives to keep things like my Favorites, my AIRoboform entries,a nd improtant dopcuments in sync. I also have had a GoToMyPC account since they first started, so I can easily access my work or home computer from each other or any other location.
How did I get in this mess? Where’s the true convergenece everyone said would come? It ain’t here.
So tune in to follow what happens as a to try thread my way through allof this, and perhaps stay a bit aheadof the curve. Even though I’ve been using comptuers since High School (I went to Bronx Science and we actually had a computer there back in my days (’69-’73) and have been online since 1980, I’m still at a disadvantage top those who grew up with there always having been PCs and the internet around.
(and watch for my other thread of thoughts on being a musician who was trained on acoustic instruments trying to master the world of MIDI and digital recording.)
And yes, I’m always this verbose when I write…