Monthly Archives: August 2008

I’ve finally abandoned Outlook (in favor of Thunderbird)

Yes, yes, I know.  I’m “Outlook Guy”.  “Mr. Outlook .”  “The Outlook Meister”.  No more.  It served me well these past 12 years…but it’s time to move on.  Passed time.  It’s simply too cumbersome and high powered for what I need to do.

In the old days, Outlook was the best game in town for handling multiple email accounts and having a calendar, built-in notepad, and journal.  Since the 90’s I’ve always worked for companies that use Microsoft Exchange email servers, and it made sense for me to be able to configure Outlook (full-blown, not Outlook Express) to connect to them.

Now, with other remote mail options at my disposal, and my own utilization of GMail, as my primary email address (versus my Road Runner email), I am no longer tied to a single PC to access my information.  Thus, I really don’t need a local email client at all.  That is, composing email on my PC is still easier, allowing me to copy and paste images, etc., but I don’t have to do it locally.  My Google calendar not only gives me access to my events, online, but it also lets me share my events with friends and family (as they let me see their events).

So, my Thunderbird client pops up, gets the job done, and utilizes far fewer system resources while doing it.  Bells and whistles?  A couple.  Ease of use?  Just fine.

So long, Outlook .  It’s been a good ride.

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Update to ‘GPS Systems – Quick Tips..’ – The Bluetooth Phone via GPS Concept

Back in April '08 I wrote that I thought the ability for a GPS to pair with a Bluetooth phone was not one of the most useful GPS features available.  In the interests of full disclosure, I deemed the feature “dumb”.  In August, '08, I bought my wife a Garmin c550, which has this ability. For someone who doesn't like the Bluetooth headset concept, a Bluetooth speakerphone is the better option than holding one's phone up to one's ear. The c550 displays the caller-ID, on the GPS' screen, making it simple to easily see who is calling, without having to scramble for the phone.  It also makes the phone's (an LG Dare, in this case) contact list, recent calls, and other information available via the GPS unit's screen.

 As of this writing I have paired it with her phone, and tested it indoors, but we have not yet road-tested the feature.

I still stand by the idea that playing music, through a portable GPS' speakers, is useless to me, but I stand corrected about Bluetooth phone use.  Time will tell whether the caller/callee, on the other end of the connection, will actually be able to hear us, but I may be willing to sacrifice that, for quick calls, in the interest of driving safety.

For a full listing of the Garmin c550's feature set, see the TigerDirect link where I bought her unit, at http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?Sku=G145-0068 .

New Phone – LG Dare

After a year or more of “riding” my Verizon account, after our two-year contract expired, I started poking around, looking at phone upgrade options, to utilize the “free phone (or discount) with two-year renewal” offer. After a month of him-hawing (tech term), I chose the LG Dare, equipping it with the 500 min-month outgoing (free incoming) text package and the unlimited Internet usage. I really dig this phone. I could yap about it, as is my way, but instead I’ll just point you to the two links that ultimately swayed me.

Dare Demo from Verizon: http://estore.vzwshop.com/dare/

Dare Review at CNET: http://reviews.cnet.com/cell-phones/lgdareverizon-wireless/4505-6454_7-33070218.html?tag=prod.txt.1