>Why can’t I sync multiple Google Calendars with my Windows Mobile device?


I’m guessing now, since I don’t work at Google I really don’t know anything :)
Since this is a fairly common question in the Google Support Forums for WM, here are my 5 cents.
Windows Mobile doesn’t support multiple Calendars, it is really as simple as that.
If you would sync 2 or more Google Calendars to your device they would end up in the same calendar database.
“What about Categories” I hear you asking.
Even if they did find a way to translate the multiple calendars to multiple categories, and I’m not sure how they would do that without combining the calendars already on the server, there is always the problem with translating them back again. Otherwise you would end up with just one Google Calendar, and this you can do today but it kinda kills the whole idea with multiple calendars doesn’t it? Only way I can think of is to have a one-way sync, two Google Calendars -> One WM Device. In my opinion that’s not a good solution.
To prove my point:
Consider what happens if you have an ActiveSync relationship with a server (Exchange or Google doesn’t matter) and you sync the device with outlook, that’s right: You will get exactly the same calendar in both places no matter the origin of the event. The same would happen with multiple Google Calendars, they would be duplicates of each other.
The difference in Android for example, is that you actually have the possibility to have multiple calendars on your phone, displayed combined yes but still separated (or just the ones you are interested in for the time being). Don’t know about the Iphone but I guess it’s something similar.
So in my opinion you should all hope for Windows Mobile XX (since they left it out in 6.5 as well). Since this version was rumoured (I haven’t seen any details yet but according to early adopters they left it out) to have support for multiple ActiveSync relationships this indicates that you would have support for multiple calendars. Why Microsoft didn’t make this happen is…a mystery. Windows Mobile is left behind, and not even the latest version stand up to Android or iPhone. In the meantime you have too look for 3rd-party solutions that uses one of the following methods:
Separate application on your phone. OggSync uses this and it works out nice. The translation between Categories and different calendars are then made by this application. This is not a free service. http://oggsync.com/
Server side translation. Used by Nuevasync and is a quite neat solution, you use ActiveSync and really doesn’t notice any difference to a normal sync. Free service! www.nuevasync.com
Since GooSync fail to let me know anything without signing up, well I wouldn’t recomend signing up for a service that they won’t explain.
Confusing, understandable? Ah I did my best :)

>Not news, definitely not new, but potentially awesome!

>Found an old newsflash in my RSS reader that is worth mentioning.
Duke Nukem 3D will be released on App Store!

This classic game from 1996 stole several hours from my school work and took part in shaping a genre. Personally I favoured Quake 1 and QuakeWorld over Duke Nukem and, to be honest, with the Team Fortress mod I favoured it over many many later game releases. I think I played my last run of QW Team Fortress sometime around 2003-2004 (Quake was released 1994 I think, that’s 10 years! Darn Good Game ID3 :)

Back to Duke Nukem 3D. The always way to macho Duke Nukem and his tacky one-liners still managed to be funny, or silly, or both. Maybe my humour level wasn’t skyhigh when I was 12-15 years old :)

Duke Nukem 3D will be available on App Store this summer.
Or…sorry, I have to mention it. Since Duke Nukem Forever has been in development since 1997 and is not released yet we might see it in the summer….say 2018? :)
Then “it’s time to kick some as and chew bubblegum, and I’m all out of gum”

>Windows 7 – what to like

After a short vacation I’m back.
Those of you that are returning visitors (and you actually are a couple, thanks for that) know that I’m looking damn hard right now to write about something that don’t come from the company in Seattle which I won’t mention by name this time (one post without it should be doable don’t you think?).

So I figured it’s time for the post about Windows 7, it’s really a must for every techie blogg.
I’ve been using Windows 7 on one of my computers since the Beta and have been running the Release Candidate since, well it’s release. So why haven’t I posted anything before?
Simple, it ain’t that much to write home about.

It’s fast, it’s sleek, it’s shiny and I absolutely love it.
With that said, little has changed on the outside. That’s not entirely true either, they changed the taskbar (love it) and they gave the start-menu a tweak (nice) but it’s all minor changes to a lot of things. Combined they give a new and very nice feel to it that in my opinion is quite hard to put your finger on.

One neat thing that I’m guessing that everyone using it haven’t noticed is the new way to work with windows. You can maximize a windows by dragging it to the top of the screen and vice versa but that’s not something I use everyday. What I do love is the ability to “pin” windows to the sides. By just dragging a window to the edge of your screen you can make it take up ½ the screen, do it on both sides and you just got yourself a split-desktop. This is something that I find very useful on large screens, try it! I read an article in The New York Times a while back stating that big screens increase efficiency. I was a bit sceptic then, the research was initiated by NEC for gods sake :) But with this small function it just got easier to actually use that big screen of yours so maybe on some tasks.

Touch-ups in the following areas that annoys me with Vista:
· UAC (you know, all those pop-ups asking you if: you really meant to do what you just did, and then: are you sure? yes dammit I wouldn’t have clicked yes the first 5 times if I wasn’t sure!)
· Sleep, Sleepmode, Shutdown, Have a nap, Go fore a pizza. Who remembered the translation of all that Vista options? This is much clearer in W7. (This might have been a bigger issue on non-english Vista, I don’t have any English version installed anymore to check with)

All in all, go for it! I most definitely will, there are no down-sides with W7 compared to Vista. It even requires less from your hardware. If you’re an XP-fanboy well…if you can run it you should still try it, you won’t be disappointed! Microsoft just announced that they relaesed Windows 7 to manufacture, also known as: Windows 7 rtm. October is the month if I’m not out in the blue!

The picture at the top is an Icon in Windows 7, if the dear Microsoft don’t want it here in this very positive article…well you just let me know.
Can’t find the NYTimes article, just a reference: http://nwitimes.com/app/inbusiness/?p=489

>Outlook Calendar on your mobile device via Google Calendar

>We have all been there at some point.
The Calendar at work is great, I got all my meetings neat and tidy to make sure I don’t miss out. But what good is a calendar with reminders and meeting locations if I only can access it from my computer?

Many workplaces does not allow for any remote access and even syncing with your mobile device might be impossible. The reasons are often one out of these 2 (or both): Security and support.

Security is not my strongest skill but I don’t find it that hard to understand that every connection with the world outside your LAN is a potential security threat (working for the Armed Forces installs Paranoia 1.0 on your mental hard drive after just a short time :)

When we talk support however I’m more in my native environment and strongly agree with every IT department that has realized that “We can’t support everything”. Just don’t offer support on those services you say? This will always confuse the end-user, when you have an IT problem you should always know where to look for support: Single Point Of Contact. Basic ITIL for those of you who are familiar with it. Your IT Department will also get the calls for support and when not being able to help, well let’s just say it doesn’t look good. Customer satisfaction has nothing (hmm, well something) to do with how good your support are, but rather how good you live up to the expectations from the customers. In an office the expectation will most likely be, “IT Support helps me with everything IT related”. That’s why it’s so important to make sure that the services and software on every computer matches the one you can support.

To get my non-mobile calendar into my mobile device this is what I do, simple yet effective. This assumes you are using Windows and Outlook and have some possibilities to install software on your PC (which to be honest you shouldn’t have but very often do).

I use Outlook 2007, Google Calendar and Google Calendar Sync.
As seen in the picture, my workplace uses Outlook.
I then synchronize this Calendar (only calendar so security risks are really at a minimum) using Google Calendar Sync.
This gives me my entire work calendar in Google Calendar.
Google Calendar is not nearly as troublesome to synchronize with as many Exchange/Outlook environments and getting that calendar to your mobile device will most likely work (see mobile devices and supported services at http://m.google.com). Another sweet thing about this is that the synchronization can take place OTA (Over The Air) and no connection to your computer is necessary.

Please note, I’m not encouraging any breach of IT use policies or rules. If you are uncertain if this is ok, check with your IT Department. This is merely a workaround that I started to use when the services offered didn’t suit my needs. Since the amount of software and connectivity required on the desktop is at a minimum my techies just tried the install file, noticed that it worked and couldn’t do any damage (the application is very limited and doesn’t even speak to the Exchange server, just your local Calendar file). After that I was good to go in like 20 minutes.

I seriously need to find some new fun stuff to use that is not made by Google, you will think they pay me or something. At least the picture is not made in Picassa. MindJet MindManager and Gimp made it happen :)

Resources to pull it off:
Outlook to Google Calendar Sync: http://www.google.com/support/calendar/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=89955
Google Calendar to mobile device sync: http://m.google.com

>Google is Skynet and all is evil in the epic future?


Just read a quite interesting article about Google in the Swedish paper “Dagens Nyheter” or “Daily News”.
Since it’s in Swedish I will do exactly what the author is afraid off, provide it to Google for translation! Link at the bottom.

In short it’s all about conspiracy theories concerning computers and Google in particular.
It’s an interesting text and has a couple of good points, we have all Googled our name right?

The article rendered quite a few comments one of my favourites being:
“The difference between govermental supervision and Google is that Google only can watch if you let it”
This is not entirely true with google satelite maps and street views, what other writes about you will be indexed etcetera etcetera but you can hide from most of it’s services (and clear your “preferred add history” if I don’t remember it wrong).

One thing struck me while reading, the big problem (if you choose to see it as one) is that we like what they do. At least I preferr relevant ads and hits when searching. I like that people, you maybe, can find this blogg. On the other hand I try to stay somewhat restrective on what goes online, specially if we are talking about photos and so on. There is a reason why this blogg is not some kind of diary, well it is but not that personal.

A sequal to the ill-hidden we-don’t-like-Microsoft film conspiracy.com (worth a see if you got some time to spare) maybe?

The full article in: English and in: Swedish
The picture above is from Wikimedia Commons, photo by brionv


>Just to brag a bit, normally I’m very humble as some of you know…

I’ve been active in the Google Mobile Help forum (users help users forum run by Google for it’s Mobile services, with the additional touch of google employee presence). To encourage people to keep on helping they use something called Levels. I have no clue about the exact algorithm behind it but it seems to build on your amount of answers, correct answers. And so on.

To the point, a while ago I became the first user to reach level 3, cute. Last Friday I got to Level 4 which turned out to be the highest level, now we’re talking! :)
If I’m not misstaken I was first again which is always nice, especially since this is a global forum for all their Mobile services, I’m quite flattered actually. I’ll send you my application later on Google :D

>VideoLAN Codec version 1.0 released!

Big news!
The outstanding (in my humble opinion) media player VideoLAN Codec (or just “VLC) is released in it’s first “live” version as of yesterday.
The release called Goldeneye holds some new features and is according to people who tried it “stable as a rock”. Myself is on the slow side and just started downloading, but for once I feel certain I won’t be disappointed.

Things in VLC that makes it my first choice any day for Video:
+ No codecs!
+ Plays everything (close enough at least).
+ Shipped with on of the most sober skins still out there (No everything bubbly and shiny is not how I want my media player. Next person that makes a skin that looks like a remote with a display should be tied-up!)
+ Plays .img and .iso files without mounting
+ Network streaming.
+ etc.

The only thing I miss is being able to play my .img and .iso files even if they are compressed in multiple .rar files (it does support “normal” file formats compressed though).

Development has been ongoing for over 8 years, worth the wait
Get VLC 1.0 right away over at: http://www.videolan.org/

>It’s some kind of Magic

I humbly apologize that this post is close to commercial, this not being paid for in any way. I honestly just say what I think.

First of all, I got my new phone last week. One HTC Magic (a.k.a. myTouch) running on Android. Let me tell you, I can assure you, I haven’t stopped smiling since.

I had some issues getting used to the differences between my Touch Diamond and the Magic, and still do. An example, my Diamond came with a stylus pen that I hardly ever used but it was there. Instead of using the stylus I used my nails when I needed to tap something small and tricky. The screen on the Magic is of another kind. It’s delivered without the stylus, because it would simple not work. This screen requires that it is a finger you’re using. The sensitivity of the screen is awesome and now a week later I have hardly “miss-tapped” a single time, but I’m still struggling a bit to keep my nails of it.

Other than that I’m almost as happy as can be, my Cons so far:
– I can’t choose how to display my contacts, being used to “Last Name, First Name” I get annoyed on the Google default “First name Last Name”.
– When texting and adding words to the dictionary (XT9) I find it strange that after manually typing the new word and saving, it doesn’t write the word. I have to type again so it can collect it from the dictionary, small but annoying.
– Facebook and Google is obviously not great friends. Rumour has it that this is a quote from FB management “Android sucks!”, no wonder we don’t have an official, native app yet.
– Hardware. The camera could have been better; it’s ok but not good.
– Start-up time. Ok, I don’t shut down my phone that much but when I do I don’t want to wait for an eternity when starting up again.

And of course…the Pros
+ Sleek design, this is of course a matter of taste. In my opinion it looks and feels great, I will marry it.
+ Quick quick quick! Windows Mobile is faaaaar behind. Quick and Smooth my Android is.
+ Sync possibilities. Suddenly I have no problem synchronizing with both Google and Exchange. Extra nice that it keeps separated in the phone, no duplicates!
+ Android Market. I know I know, the Apple Store is superior and everyone else should stop trying, yada yada yada. I have been downloading a lot and only miss the Facebook app so far.
+ The screen. Resolution could have been higher but for input it’s great.
+ Love my Homescreens
+ Browser, better than IE (of course) and Opera mini. I haven’t used an iPhone or tough enough to compare with.

Ah I could go on forever, but let’s stop there. After I added, the Droid is a happy camper.
All in all, this is some good shit!

Picture borrowed from GSMArena.