Just heard superb radio show on copyright and related matters

Public Radio’s Show On the Media has always been pretty interesting, but today was extremely insightful on current the state of Copyright law, and emerging intellectual property issues associated with the rise technologies such as 3d printing. Did you know that the words to “Happy Birthday” are still under copyright?  Find out why…


Syncing Contacts on the iPhone, Gmail, Outlook

Accumulated information has a way of overwhelming our personal and business silos.  Nonetheless, there comes a time in the course of human events to try and put things right. I wanted my contacts in the cloud AND (pause), I wanted to keep my category data from Outlook.

I didn’t want to add the $5/month that Google Apps charges since my contact usage is a little down these days – even though it’s probably reasonable.  Google Apps is probably the solution here – and many companies have gone there as part of a migration from Outlook centered everything.   I found some free solutions – but they were leaving pieces out or short of a longer term solution.  After some research, I ponied up $20 for gSyncit.  http://www.fieldstonsoftware.com/software/gsyncit3/

Contact management history:

  1. Used Act! contact manager w/ my Palm / Handspring devices ’99-’06.
  2. Moved to Outlook Business Contact Manager (BCM) during a computer upgrade.
  3. Adopted Google, Gmail, iPhone, iCloud and a bunch of other services along the way.
  4. Crashed BCM and don’t want to bother reinstalling – moving to the cloud!
  5. Want to use Google as my source, but not pay a monthly.

Here’s how:

Prior, I had exported my BCM contacts so they could be available in regular Outlook contacts – which was the clearly the beginning of the end.  Redundant data kills!

1. Established Gmail contacts – had a few in there already.

2.  Backed up data.  took their advice on backing up all contact data on both ends (gMail and Outlook), before proceeding and while I worked the kinks out of the sync process.  Syncing is ugly – and no matter what they say, it rarely yields perfect results – and even rarer – on the first try.  I exported Gmail contacts to a .csv.  Google also has a great feature that let’s your restore your contacts by the minute,:

Outlook back up has many backup variants – but I just went to the .pst file that holds everything and copied it.

3. The gSyncit has lots of config options, and frankly I’m not certain I chose the optimal – so, a little research here might do the trick for you.  I wanted to use Gmail as my “master” which probably breaks ties when syncing gets hairy.

This all worked remarkably well.  I had some other data I wanted to merge, and Google’s merge contacts did a great job on that as well.  On the other hand, importing data into Google from a raw  .csv file is pretty unwieldy – don’t assume that will go smoothly.

Other notes:

  • I have an iCloud data file in .pst form as well, that created outrageous duplicate issues – and I didn’t take the time to weed them all and configure it properly, but if i did – I could get iCloud synced here as well.

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