The content of this blog is my personal opinion only. Although I am an employee - currently of Imagination Technologies's MIPS group, in the past of other companies such as Intellectual Ventures, Intel, AMD, Motorola, and Gould - I reveal this only so that the reader may account for any possible bias I may have towards my employer's products. The statements I make here in no way represent my employer's position, nor am I authorized to speak on behalf of my employer. In fact, this posting may not even represent my personal opinion, since occasionally I play devil's advocate.

See http://docs.google.com/View?id=dcxddbtr_23cg5thdfj for photo credits.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

I hate Microsoft Outlook (Calendar)!!!

Damn! For the umpteenth time I missed a meeting. Microsoft's Outlook Calendar did not notify me... Ironically, I was posting about Google Calendar at around the time.

Outlook Calendar might not be so bad if I could access it from my cell phone, or if it could text message me. But IT has decided that would be insecure.

Outlook Calendar might not be so bad if it delivered alarms on time. But I regularly receive alarms 10 minutes, an hour, sometimes days late. I begin to suspect that the alarm genrator can be locked out by other Outlook tools, such as spam filters.

Now that I am using Google Mail and Google Calendar, I can very easily imagine becoming Google centric. It is a hassle to have to deal with two email systems and two calendar systems, one for work and one for my personal life.

Apart from security, the only real advantage of Microsoft Outlook that I see is disconnectability: I have to be connected to the Internet to use Google Mail and Calendar, whereas I can use Microsoft Outlook on a plane. I hope that Google will remedy this.

I have begun to think about a generic tool for merging data from disconnected sessions. XML greatly facilitates this, since all data representations can be converted into XML. At the very least, one could replicate and version the diverged XML ... clauses. This is better than versioning at a file or document level. Specific merge tools can also be created.

Version control software is the fundamental tool for replicated and disconnectable, distributed, databases.

This is actually relevant to my job: if Google software supplants Microsoft, then there is much less need for heavyweight PCs or laptops. Thin clients may be encouraged. Although it is not clear whether a fancy Ajax application may not require a powerful PC.

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