Archive for September, 2009
I’ve had a chance to work with the Outlook 2010 Technical Preview, and so far, I’ve been very impressed. The first difference you’ll see between 2010 and 2007 is that Microsoft added the Ribbon interface to 2010. The Ribbon interface has remained fairly controversial, with a lot of mixed opinions. I personally am a fan, it seems to be a lot more efficient.
Outlook 2010 has streamlined the new email screen, making it much easier to see which account you’re emailing from if you have multiple email accounts that you use. It also lets you quickly delete people from your autocomplete in the To and CC fields. That alone is worth the upgrade in my book.
Another huge change they’ve made with 2010, is a completely revamped print dialog. It shows you exactly what you’re going to get printed, and makes it much easier to change settings compared to what 2007 allowed you to do.
Those are some of the major mail related changes. For those of you who are wondering, some Outlook 2003/2007 plugins still work. OsaSync ran without any issues, however, I couldn’t get Xobni to display correctly. Hopefully there will be an update for Xobni soon.
I’ve found 2010 to be very stable, even with a multiple gigabyte PST file. The only times I’ve run into issues were with plugins that didn’t work with 2010.
Outlook 2010 is shaping up to be a must-upgrade product. Lets hope no major issues crop up between now and when they release it.
A lot of cell phones make it very difficult to back up information or transfer information from one phone to another. Few consumer grade phones let you sync your phone’s calendar with your computer’s. These are just some of the things that Bitpim allows you to do.
Bitpim is a freeware phone management software. You can backup and restore virtually anything on your phone, from your contacts and calendars, to your call history and SMS messages. Once you get the info into the program, you can then export it to a wide range of formats. You can also import your own contact list or calendar from Outlook, and then send it to your phone or vice versa.
Bitpim supports a wide range of phones. All you’ll need is the cable so you can hook it up to your computer. Or, you can use bluetooth if your phone and computer support it.
It can also create and transfer ringtones from standard MP3 files.
Bitpim is highly recommended if you want to get more out of your cell phone.
For all of you that IM people on many different chat networks, I’d highly recommend getting Trillian Astra. It supports all the major networks, and handles social networks as well. It even can work with your Logitech G15 keyboard with a plugin. It’s light on the memory usage, but still looks nice and functional. The free version is not too limited, but the pro version is cheap enough it doesn’t make sense not to have it.
It also has a full-blown online browser chat service that you can access with your Trillian account.
If you’re using Sony’s ebook readers, Calibre is a must-have piece of software.
It replaces the rather basic Sony Library software that comes with the readers. It handles converting ebooks from multiple formats to Sony’s format, and handles transferring them to the device. Additionally, it can handle batch converting comics to a single file that the ebook reader can read.
The conversion options it offers are quite extensive, ranging from setting the margins and font size to the actual layout on the page. It also lets you preview it in the software so you can get a feel for what it’ll look like in the reader.
Calibre also handles doing batch conversions, so if you have a large amount of ebooks that you need converted with teh same options, it can cut a lot of time out of the process.
Perhaps the most interesting feature it offers is automatically downloading RSS feeds and converting them to work on reader. It’s reminiscent of AvantGo’s old news service for the really old Windows CE PDAs. If you’re going to be syncing your reader daily, it makes sense to use it. It’s a little tricky to set up, but there are a lot of sample feeds setup that you could use on their website.
Calibre is free, and can be downloaded at the website at the top of the article.
This morning, Microsoft released the long-awaited Version 4.0 of their Zune software. Most of the updates are for the new Zune HD, but a lot of the software updates are applicable to the older Zunes. You can download the software at http://www.zune.net
This release also enables the Apps in the Marketplace, and to be frank, it’s quite the disappointment. First, the apps are only for the Zune HD, which is somewhat understandable, but it would be nice if they would do something with all the old apps that were floating around with the XNA framework. The big disappointment with the marketplace is the lack of apps. There are a few games, and 2, yes TWO, standard applications. There’s not even a basic app for Facebook or Twitter. I would have expected that there would be a decent amount of applications out at launch, but there weren’t.
Now, according to Microsoft, there a lot of applications in development, and they’ll be out “soon”, which is great, but it would have been nice to have them ready at launch.