24 comments Wednesday, September 16, 2009

For a long time, I've been looking for a clean way to keep all my contacts in sync between the multiple platforms I use. Currently, I have a Macbook at home, a Windows PC with Outlook at work, the iPhone and my main email, a Gmail account.

 
I have tried almost all available solutions to keep them in sync. Plaxo, multiple applications to sync Outlook to Gmail, Mac to Gmail but no success on having a clean way to do it and without hassle.
 
About two months ago, I found a promising one. Soocial. Their objective is to have a central platform and from it sync to multiple points via web APIs or local applications.
 
For the last months, I installed it and substituted all sync options I had by Soocial. In the beginning, many bugs were found. Sync between Soocial and Outlook had problems with multiple emails, Soocial-Gmail had problems with work phones (phone did not appear on Gmail) and some minor ones.
 
About a month ago, Soocial rewrote their Gmail communication using the newest API and that sync problems went away.
 
This week, Soocial released a new Outlook client that finished the problems I found out. Having this, made Soocial the best platform to keep contacts in sync on multiple platforms.
 
Currently the support Mac Address Book, Outlook, Gmail, Windows Live, Yahoo and other phones(Nokia/Sony Ericsson) via SyncML protocol.
 
The topology I choose to have all my devices in sync was:
 
- Soocial - Gmail connection (it's bi-directional)
- Soocial - Outlook connection via it's application
- Soocial - Mac connection via it's application
- iPhone sync directly to Gmail using Exchange Protocol described here
 
It's been working perfectly and practically online where any update in any point triggers the sync making all devices updated.

Have you experienced any contact sync solution? Leave your feedback on comments.

Disclaimer: This post is not endorsed by Soocial or any other cited companies in any way. All content posted represents my own opinion.

1 comments Friday, September 11, 2009

From time to time we hear complains about web browsers. Recently, major sites like Youtube added a notice to it main page warning Internet Explorer 6 users that the browser will be discontinued shortly.



Apple provides via software update its new browsers automatically. Microsoft does the same with Windows Update. Today, it is very easy to update. Probably a big slice of these users have pirated copies and can not update by official ways. For companies, it is a bit more complicated since it involves hundreds of machines.

The main point is that there are many options for all tastes when browsers came into play. It's just a matter of trying each one since there are no costs involved and just time is needed.

The most natural option you see around is people migrating from Internet Explorer to Firefox since it is more exposed to media, you see more users going this way.

Lately I found Firefox very slow and bloated with extensions I almost don't use (I know, I should uninstall) and consuming lots of memory. Instead of cleaning it up and start using a fresh install, I went another way. Switched to Safari at home (Mac) and Chrome at work (WindowsXP).

I only did the switch because a mandatory feature for me, bookmark synchronization, using the fantastic Xmarks extension is now available on Chrome via beta channel. It became available for Safari earlier this year.

Of course, I miss some features given by other extensions. The ones I miss more are AdBlock, rocker gestures, Gmail notifier and Twitterfox.

Latest Chrome dev builds can use extensions when loaded with the --enable-extensions parameter. On Chrome dev page, there is a sample Gmail checker extension that does the basic job. That parameter is also needed to use Xmarks extension.

Replacing Twitterfox was a harder job because I wanted a small and featured client. I ended up on DestroyTwitter, an Adobe Air client that is better than other options I tested. I will leave this Twitter client choice for another post.

I've been "switched" for some weeks now and don't miss Firefox nor its extensions. Tell me if you did something similar and if it worked.

0 comments Friday, September 4, 2009

When I started planning to upgrade to Snow Leopard, I had two options on my head. Update from what it is now or do a full reinstall. Since I think my Macbook 3,1 became slower from the time I bought it (around 1 1/2 years ago), maybe a full cleanup and reinstall could get it snappier.

With this in mind, I started updating all installed software with AppFresh and ran a maintenance job using Onyx. Then, backup everything using Time Machine and pop the Snow Leopard DVD choosing a full install.

When the installation finished, I will restored my data and applications (previously cleaned up) with Migration Assistant from TM backup. The restore brought back all data from my previous profile including terminal exports, Macports data and system settings.

In case anything went wrong, I would restore Leopard and then do the "update" from Snow Leopard DVD.

After all, I feel my applications much faster to load and the system is more responsive. Really worth the upgrade.

1 comments Thursday, September 3, 2009

Steve Guttenberg wrote a nice post about the recent revival of Vinyl records and the differences from CD. A short post that lights up the curiosity music lovers.
Vinyl is back, big time, but the fact is most folks, probably close to 99 percent of the under 40-set, haven't heard records.

0 comments

The amazing Guitar Rig 4 from Native Instruments has been released. It's a great combination of software and a foot controller. Starting at $99 up to $499 (with the foot controller).

Guitar Rig 4 Pro will include two new amp models, the “Hot Plex” and the “Jump.” The new version will also come with two new delay units and two new flavors of reverb, bringing the overall number of included effects to 48.

From The Loop.

0 comments Tuesday, September 1, 2009

The article posted yesterday by John Siracusa to Ars Technica can almost be considered part of the documentation for the OS not only a review. Worth every second.


http://arstechnica.com/apple/reviews/2009/08/mac-os-x-10-6.ars

2 comments Monday, August 31, 2009

Resuming the blog, I will start a series of "How I use ..." articles. I usually find these kind of posts valuable because it gives some insights about software usage thus having a new perspective and also improve the workflow on it.


In this post, I will briefly describe how I use Evernote and how it can help you out.


I signed up Evernote more than a year ago but only started using it on a daily basis around two months ago. All started when I needed a way to organize small pieces of information at work. For about two years, I switched from application to application going thru TXT files organized in folders, a small app called Keynote and even a personal local wiki using www.tiddlywiki.com.


One day, the idea came, why not use Evernote since I already had a free account and no more than 3-5 unused notes on it. The plus side of using it is that it is fast, simple and syncs your information to make it available everywhere. On the negative side is it's limitations on the editor like creating tables and formatting options.


With this in mind, I started looking for posts like this to see how people use Evernote and found a great way to manage documentation and also a workflow for GTD (getting things done) either personally and at work.
The structure for my notebooks became:


#Carlosedp  - Personal notes
1. Inbox      - All created projects go to this notebook until I start working on them
2. To Do     - The tasks inside this notebook have actions to be done by me
3. Followup  - These tasks are in a "wait" state or a "followup" state where I have no personal action on
4. Docs       - Here I store all information and references for daily usage like system documentation
5. Archive    - The finished tasks go to this notebook



I also recently created a notebook to store the drafts and posted articles here.
What is great in Evernote is that all notes are synchronized to the server so if I need to check something about a project or want to finish a blog post at home or at work, it just works either using a client for your platform of choice or the great web interface.




For each incoming task/project, I create a template like this:



##Project/task name - Code
Description of the task/project


Premises:
  • AAAAAA
  • BBBBBBB
Scope:
  • AAAAAA
  • BBBBBBB
Negative Scope:
  • AAAAAA
  • BBBBBBB
To-Do:
  • Item 1
    • Item 2
  • Item 3

Having it this way, it is easy to add new information and check each step when it is finished. Also the search functionality is great, wow I just wonder if the monthly 40MB of transfer of the free account will be enough or if I will need to sign up for an upgraded account.


Using Evernote this way made me way more productive and keeps the information handy all the time. If you have tips to improve this workflow or have another suggestion I will be glad to consider.


Disclaimer: This post is not sponsored in any way by Evernote and expresses my own opinions on all matters.

2 comments Friday, August 28, 2009

After many months being idle here in the blog, I thought about changing things a little.

With Twitter, all I write on the internet gets resumed into 140 chars. Most times, this is enough but for more detailed information it is not sufficient.


Having this in mind, I'm going to start posting here stuff not only related to programming like I used to but also GTD (getting things done) articles, usage tips, etc.


I hope this gets useful to people and complements my Twitter updates.


My next blog will cover my usage of Evernote, stay tuned.

0 comments Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Found this amazing:

Dear World:

We, the United States of America, your top quality supplier of ideals of democracy, would like to apologize for our 2001-2008 interruption in service. The technical fault that led to this eight-year service outage has been located, and the software responsible was replaced November 4. Early tests of the newly installed program indicate that we are now operating correctly, and we expect it to be fully functional on January 20. We apologize for any inconvenience caused by the outage. We look forward to resuming full service and hope to improve in years to come. We thank you for your patience and understanding,

Sincerely,
THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA