Free Blackberry Sync update

November 30, 2008

While the documentation doesn’t seem to state it, despite my earlier post Google Sync does in fact update your Google calendar if you enter something in your Blackberry. So the wireless sync is complete…

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Google Forms

November 28, 2008

OK, this is cool. I’m thinking that I’ll use this to collect updated contact information from folks who want to be in my NCAA hoops pool. Create a spreadsheet on Google Docs, send out the form and voila, updated info.


Open Source Blackberry Sync

November 28, 2008

I got my Blackberry Pearl to get work email. I do like it, even now that I’m unemployed (yes, the iPhone is much cooler, but I’m stuck with Verizon for the near future).

But if you aren’t on a Blackberry Enterprise server, the only thing that syncs wirelessly is email. What about contacts and calendars?

I had a trial version of Outlook on my home laptop. But you could only sync calendar and contacts via USB so that was pretty worthless except as a backup mechanism. And being unemployed I really didn’t see the reason to pay for Outlook.

I’ve used Thunderbird before and as a GMail client it is fine. I debated just using Chrome as an application window straight to GMail, but I do like to be able to use email and calendars offline occasionally. Thunderbird has a decent calendar add-on called Lightning and it has an address book.

But how to sync contacts and calendars? Hmm. It turns out you can use Google Calendar and contacts as a bridge. Lightning can act as a Google Calendar client. So those are always in sync. And there’s another add-in called Zindus which syncs Thunderbird contacts and Google contacts. Cool. So Thunderbird and Google are now totally in sync.

What about the Blackberry? Well Google makes a product called Google Sync which syncs Google calendar and contacts with the Blackberry. Golden! Desktop, Google and Blackberry all in sync for free.

There’s one tiny hiccup. For some reason Google sync actually syncs contacts, but only downloads calendar items to your Blackberry. So if I enter a calendar item on my Blackberry, it doesn’t sync anywhere else. Note to self, don’t do that.

Otherwise this is pretty cool. I can enter a contact in any of the three locations and it will find it’s way to the other two. I can enter calendar items from the desktop or Google and it will get to the others. And I can send and receive email from all three.

Next up, Open Office and Google Documents…


Long Time No Blog

November 28, 2008

I’ve fallen out of the blogging groove. I need to get back with it. What has happened in the last two weeks? I’ve been strangely busy.

Tori turned two:

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Two year olds should not be given cymbals under any circumstances…

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Giving a two year old Elmo Live, however, is quite hilarious…

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Then there was Thanksgiving. Other than the turkey taking about two hours longer than it was supposed to, we had much to be thankful for, Danielle and Victoria at the top of the list of course.

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I’ll try to get back in the blogging groove…


Brain Death Controversy

November 13, 2008

Here is a very well reasoned discussion of the brain death controversies that occasionally arise. I have a bit of compassion for these cases because my father died in a car accident. He was on life support for two days while they tried to stabilize him. But it became clear that his injuries were too great and that his brain had stopped.

It was an easy decision for us to stop life support because we had discussed this and my father’s views were very clear. He always felt if his brain was gone, he was gone, and I feel the same way.

But not everyone discusses this up front, and different religions have different things to say on the topic. So I agree with the article, which basically says that it needs to be established up front that it is a medical decision.


Supreme Court Humor

November 12, 2008

The Supreme Court is hearing the case between the FCC and Fox Television about “fleeting utterances” of obscenity. This is the case of Nicole Ritchie saying at the Billboards awards

“it’s not so fucking simple" to remove "cow shit out of a Prada purse."

There is the typical legal mumbo jumbo back and forth, but at one point Justice Stevens asks whether the FCC ever

"takes into consideration that the particular remark was really hilarious?"

Now that’s what I call a brilliant legal argument…


New Instant Message Name

November 10, 2008

My old AIM screen name clearly had to go, so I’m simply using my email address as my screen name. I’ll keep the old IM up for a while but from now on, please use fish1964@gmail.com as my AIM screen name.