Monday, December 31, 2007
Friday, December 28, 2007
Good reading for anyone raising venture capital, developing a pitch, thinking about thinking big.
More on Google Calendar Sync for Blackberry, what syncs and what doesn't, copied in its entirety from a post to the Google Mobile Help Group Forum (LINK) from "Deckrider" (LINK). (My previous post on this sync product here: LINK)
I've tried to summarize what does and does not sync based on what
I've read here. (The things I claim _are_ syncing are from first hand
experience.) If you find that more things work than are listed here,
please add them for everyone's benefit.
- new items added to your BlackBerry (after Google Sync
installation) get added to your Google Calendar
- new items added to your BES* Calendar (after Google Sync
installation) get added to your Blackberry and thus, your Google
- all items in your Google Calendar get added to your BlackBerry if
they are within the sync window
- all items in your Google Calendar get added to your BES* Calendar
if they are within the sync window
- some (all?) items in your BlackBerry Calendar prior to (the
first?) Google Sync installation on your BlackBerry
- items restored to your BlackBerry Calendar via the Desktop Manager
- items synced from another calendar to your BlackBerry via the
*BlackBerry Enterprise Server
Interview with Steve Fambro, founder and CEO of the three-wheeled electric vehicle startup Aptera. (LINK from Popular Mechanics, via Earth2Tech.)
Thursday, December 20, 2007
I've been testing out the new Google Calendar Sync ap for BlackBerry. Here's what I've found. But first my set-up:
- Windows XP machine with Outlook 2007
- Windows 2003 Server with BlackBerry Enterprise Server
- Blackberry 8800
- Google Aps for Domains, including Google Calendar
It works great, with some key caveats. Essentially, the BlackBerry device is serving as the intermediary between Google Calendar and the Windows Server, completely avoiding Outlook. What this means is that I don't have to ever open up Outlook again!* I use GMail for mail. Now I can use Google Calendar . . . well, at some point in the future I'll be able to do so. Challenge is that events that were already in my system do not sync, except in rare unexplained cases. Events newly added since I installed the Google Sync ap sync fine. But what can you expect with a 0.42 version ap? LINK to the Google Sync page.
*Actually I still do have to use Outlook, for other reasons, such as syncs between Outlook Contacts and Salesforce so I can get my contacts into my BlackBerry. Please, will Salesforce and Google get it together a little bit more?
Wednesday, December 19, 2007
Tuesday, December 18, 2007
Monday, December 17, 2007
For those who don't know, BlackBerry Enterprise Server is middleware that sits on top of an Microsoft Exchange Server software (or Lotus Notes Domino or other products). It provides management tools for IT admins for BlackBerrys in their organization and it serves as a translator between the BlackBerry devices and Exchange. With BlackBerry Enterprise Server installed you can get full wireless sync of calendars, notes, contacts and e-mails. If your organization limits itself to simply the consumer version of the Blackberry service, you'll merely get your e-mail pushed to you and will have to manually sync, by cable or Bluetooth, your calendar, notes and contacts.
Recently, BlackBerry has lowered the price of its server product in an effort to reach down to much smaller workgroups and organizations. Consequently, a greater number of internal and outsourced IT professionals will need to know how to manage this software and this book is good place to start.
I emphasize "start". It is pretty easy to set up a BlackBerry server. But it's also pretty easy to set it up wrong, as I learned after months of wondering why our server wasn't populating calendar entries correctly. I finally realized that you have to create a special login for the BlackBerry server and that our outsourced IT professional, unfamiliar with BlackBerrys, had neglected this important step. If he'd started with this book he'd have got off on the right track.
So, good book, clearly written, easy to follow, well indexed. My criticism however is that if you approach IT like many small businesses do, which means following instructions only in retrospect and having to trace your mistakes backwards, you may find this book slightly frustrating. What I would have wished is that it provided a more comprehensive list of common problems and mistakes. I'm sure that the writers have a long list of things that typically go wrong. This would have been helpful. Unfortunately, without such a compilation, you'll have to sift through all the user forums and plus RIM's own site to figure out what mistakes you're making and why it's taken you four hours to get the your boss's damn new BlackBerry Curve up and running--only to discover that if you'd just left it tethered to the server a little longer, the thing would have started to do it's activation sequence correctly. This is a book to start the BB Enterprise Server process with, not a reference manual to diagnose problems.
A lot is changing in the world of smartphones. In the US, Apple's iPhone outsold ALL windows mobile devices combined in Q3-2007 and almost outsold all BlackBerrys (LINK). But when I did finally get that Curve up and running I recognized the value of the BB Enterprise Server. Virtually everything transfered to the new phone and it was up and running, a seamless copy of the previous device. That sort of enterprise management is what gives RIM some measure of an edge. So, go RIM! and if you make the investment, throw this book on the requisition as well. But don't ask me what that cover picture on the book is supposed to signify!
Sunday, December 16, 2007
Saturday, December 15, 2007
Monday, December 10, 2007
As noted in PCMag, "while surveys show more than 90 percent of iPhone users are happy with the device, several executives have gone on the record, including at the Reuters Media Summit in New York last week, as saying it is too vexing to tap out long e-mails on the touch screen." LINK
But the article also talks about companies writing business software for the iPhone. A leading example is SAP, which is releasing an iPhone version of their software ahead of the version for Blackberry: "The first generation of the iPhone software will load business contacts, information on sales prospects and account data onto the device . . . SAP decided to introduce the iPhone software ahead of programs for other devices at the request of its sales people, saying they prefer using iPhones to the other devices." LINK
Saturday, December 08, 2007
Thursday, December 06, 2007
"Facebook's business model is the opposite. It pits Facebook against its customers. The amount of money that Facebook can make is defined (and constrained) by the degree to which its users will allow themselves to be exploited." LINK