Outlook woes and my final submission to Google – all made possible through GMobileSync

I’ve had a really bad few weeks. It’s been reasonably awful since the new PC with Vista became the principle desktop, and introduced me to the hell-on-legs which is the Windows Mobile Device Center (sic) to link to my iPaq, a bad replacement for the unspeakably bad Activesync which we had to put up with in XP.

For the past couple of weeks, it simply wouldn’t sync, and kept knocking over Outlook; and then on my return from a weekend away, I found the Outlook .pst file corrupted and all my emails consigned to the black hole of never: lost. Irretrievably, lost.

Today the attempted fix involved reinstalling Office 2007 three times, reinstalling Mobile Device Center twice (each requiring a ferret through the registry to properly uninstall the damn thing – these programs are more tenacious than … something unspeakably tenacious), and so in the end I looked elsewhere.

The solution was a Windows Mobile application called GMobileSync which synchs your Calendar with Google Calendar – something I had previously populated with a comma separated variable file, but this does it automatically and once I had got the timezone settings right (I think BST was confusing it and when I set the calendar to “ignore daylight savings” it was sorted), the calendar is there and more importantly, is anywhere I can get an internet connection. Now that I have a mobile broadband dongle, this can be truely anywhere.

EMail configured in Google Mail to look like my @rundell.org.uk address and picked up from my ISP in Google as well, and wherever I am, so is my desktop. Notes in Google Notepad and bob’s your auntie – complete mobile desktopping both inside the house and away from it.

Goodbye Microsoft Outlook and good riddance. Will have to see how to do big imports of data into the calendar for my annual lectionary calendar . I will let you know how it pans out, but on the first impressions, I sense this is a significant step forward.