Wednesday, January 28, 2009

New v. Old

Much of what I have posted here so far is my struggle to use new things.  I like new.  However, my imagination continually stays ahead of the reality of what is available.  I need to go back to embracing the easy.

Old: Windows, Palm, Yahoo, wired Internet.

New: Linux, iPhone, Google, wireless Internet.

I tried all the new and returned to the old primarily because the new did not live up to expectations.  I still want the new to come true but I do not want to spend so much energy chasing it.  New should be easy, too, certainly easier than old.  Otherwise, what's the point?

Yahoo Contacts: Import/Export

I had hoped to sync contacts and calendar data directly between my Palm and either Yahoo or google.  However, I have been reduced to trying this:

1. Sync between Palm and Outlook
2. Export Outlook data
3. Delete all contacts on the server
4. Import Outlook data onto the server.

Yesterday I successfully did that to the google server.

Today I tried to do it with Yahoo.  Apparently you must use the OLD Yahoo, which has the perpetually confusing page that puts so much room between import and export instructions that you are convinced that the only thing that you can do is import.

If you try this in NEW Yahoo, the only thing in the option drop down list is "import contacts...".  I kid you not.  You then are asked to re-enter your password and agree to some legal stuff.  Next you are asked for info for TrueSwitch to "Transfer Your Info to Yahoo! Mail".  I don't want to do that you idiots!  I just want to import because your sync capabilities range between primitive and incompetent.

Back to OLD Yahoo.  But first Yahoo asked why I was switching back.  I submitted what is written above and gave Yahoo permission to ask me for more info.

Great.  Stupid Yahoo is updating my account, probably to force me to ask to switch back to NEW Yahoo the next time I login.

I just exported Yahoo contacts to an Outlook format.  I opened that file along with the export file that I had created in Outlook yesterday.  They look pretty similar.

I deleted all my Yahoo contacts, 100 at a time.  That was painful.  I have been using Yahoo for years and have most of that data well organized.  I hope that the import retains the categories, something that is an alien concept for google.

The import from Outlook into Yahoo seems to have worked.  The only glitch is that the Real Estate category did not work.  Yahoo does not allow spaces.  In Yahoo it was Real_Estate.  Funny but I never noticed that before.  I changed it to RealEstate as I will in Palm and google.  That's a small price to pay for keeping my data organized.

One thing that I notice is that Yahoo sorts the contacts on last name, then first name.  Google both insists on the reverse.  It is possible to change that in Outlook but it's not apparent and it should be.

Yahoo! Autosync: where is it?

Search Results
We did not find results for: auto sync.


On the same page:

Answers from Yahoo! Users What is this?

How do you prevent auto sync from creating multiple calandar entries?
How do I stop the Auto Sync with my Outlook?
Auto sync says it can only sync contacts in OEX?
my auto sync is not responding?
How do I change my manual sync to auto sync with Yahoo Sync?


Yes, Calendar was misspelled.

How can web sites be so incompetent?

Yahoo cannot find autosync if I search for "auto sync"?  Microsoft wanted to buy Yahoo for its search capabilities?  How hard up was Microsoft?

OK, I searched Yahoo Help on autosync and found this:

Of note: How is Yahoo! Autosync different from Intellisync for Yahoo!?

Yahoo! Autosync is an upgrade from Intellisync, and the most obvious difference is right there in the name: Intellisync is an intelligent solution to the problem of synchronizing desktop PIM info with your Yahoo! PIM data, and Yahoo! Autosync takes it a step or two further by doing this automatically—in the “background.”

When you make a change in Outlook, Palm, or Yahoo!, Yahoo! Autosync will mirror the data across automatically. Your data always stays consistent and synchronized without you having to remember to synchronize it manually.

Also built into Yahoo! Autosync are advances in protecting your data from loss or duplication.


Wow, sounds great!

Also on that Yahoo page under Tutorials:

"Downloading and Installing Yahoo! Autosync"

OK, just what I was looking for!

Yesterday when I tried this after a hard day of having my contact data mangled by google and Goosync, I got here but could not find how to download Yahoo! Autosync.  Ii thought maybe my brain was fried and/or maybe it Yahoo did work properly in my browser: google Chrome.  Today I am trying this in Microsoft Internet Explorer (IE) Version: 7.0.5730.11IC.

Yahoo calls this:

"Syncing Your Yahoo! Address Book With Other Applications"

Address Book.  My data is called Contacts in the current version of Yahoo on the web.

The next meaningful instructions:

Open your Yahoo! Address Book. 

Click the Sync link on the top-right side of the page.

The word sync does not appear.  I even used IE Edit Find to search my Contacts page for sync but it was not found.

The Yahoo instruction above had Address Book highlighted.  I clicked it and it took me to ... the OLD version of Yahoo on the web:

The logo uses the words Address Book.  There are also the words "printable Address Book".  However, the tab is called Contacts and the words above the data are "Contact Information".

Yahoo seems dysfunctional.

This OLD version of Yahoo on the web does contain the magic word sync.  I click it.

The original page on this had stated :

"The Yahoo! Autosync page opens."

No it doesn't.  What opens is an OLD Yahoo page with no way to download or otherwise get started as described in Yahoo.

There are a bunch of details on how to get this app working but no way to get the app.

You read stories about Yahoo and then you encounter this and you wonder how this company continues to function.  Did anyone at Yahoo ever try this?

Maybe it's just as well.  I just read a bunch of negative comments about Autosync.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Free e-mail: Yahoo v. Gmail

I recently switched from Yahoo to for domain hosting.  I later learned that 1and1 had an F rating but so far it has done the job and for much less : Yahoo $35 v. $9.

I changed my settings in 1and1 so that now 1and1 is forwarding e-mail messages to both of my e-mail services.  I tried to find the latest iteration of sync software that Yahoo provides.  This is too bizarre an experience to recount in detail but it is worth noting that I could not find the Yahoo web page that allows you to download Yahoo sync software.

Google does not have its act together either.

What I may wind up doing is sync the data on my Palm Treo 700P to Microsoft Outlook as a first step.  To get the data to Yahoo and google I now think I may need to export the data from Outlook then delete all records in Yahoo and google and then import the data from the Outlook export file.  I know, it sounds like a joke but it's not.  This is the state of sync.

Contacts recovered. Now what?

I spent much monkey time cleaning up a lot more anomalies that I had realized were in my contact data.  I did it in Outlook.  I then did a Palm Hotsync specifying PC over rides handheld.  It wiped out the data on my Palm and replaced it with clean data from Outlook.  Data on the Palm looks good.  What a relief!
I then dumped the data in Outlook into a CSV file, deleted all records in google and imported the Outlook data into google.  For unknown reasons 8 records had minor problems but the google contacts never looked so good.
Syncing directly between the Palm and a web server is dead for the foreseeable future.
Meanwhile, Yahoo is up to its old tricks.  It hangs when I try to compose a message.

Goosync reacts.

E-mail exchange:


Sales should have contacted you earlier today once the refund was processed.
You should see the refund appear on your bank statement within the next few working days (it's not instant unfortunately).
Our development team are working on the issues with Google Contacts but it may not be an easy and simple fix.
Kindest regards,
Toffa International


My response:

Thank you.  You should pull the product until you have it working properly.

E-mail: what now?

With all the problems that I have documented with gmail, especially its contacts, I should probably forward my domain e-mail back to Yahoo.

I just did a Palm Hotsync to Microsoft Outlook.  I am trying to establish equilibrium between them.  That includes going through the many business records in which google generated "unnamed" in the First name field.  I'm doing it in Outlook, of course, where such monkey work is much easier than in the Palm.

I am also cleaning up the address mess caused by google and Goosync, including in my own record.  Oops.  Deleted all.  Doing another hotsync to move everything from Palm to Outlook.  Palm looks pretty good ... I think.

Too many mistakes in both Palm and Outlook.  I need to find a way to recover Palm data.

It looks like will forward domain mail to multiple e-mail IDs.  I just added Yahoo to Gmail.  Both should receive messages sent to my domain e-mail.

Goosync cancelled my subscription! Cowards!

I made several changes in Palm, including:

1. eliminating dupes
2. changing unnamed records: they have the word "unnamed" in the name field in edit mode.  I deleted that word to try to force google to use the company name in displaying records and for use in searching.  I think this searching thing will not happen.

Let's try another Goosync.

"DB not found".  That what the Goosync client Palm program says.  I tried twice.

I now notice that there are 251 unnamed records in google.  Goosync really sucks and google gmail is not far behind.

I did a login at and it appears that my account is no longer active.  Maybe Goosync took the subject of yesterday's e-mail to literally.  I don't mind if they gave me a credited.  No credit yet.

Cowards!  Instead of fixing the many incredible problems with their Goosync  product they ignored my messages for days and then cancelled my subscription.  Goosync could not even add a Palm  record to google.  That says it all.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Goosync flops again. Google, too.

I tried to Goosync again with the same result: "No SyncML response".  I wonder if my setting the Goosync Client Palm program to "update server" is construed by Goosync as the Goosync server, not the google server.  That might explain why nothing happened.  It does not, however, explain why these terms are not defined, nor why the messages displayed and in the log are not more informative.

54 of possibly 632 records (according to Palm, maybe included deleted records)  contacts made it into google.  That suggests that the server mentioned above was properly construed as the google server.  The Goosync log gives no hint.

1. Delete all 54 contacts from google.
2. Import google contacts saved yesterday.

Google import reports: "We have imported all 358 contacts found in the uploaded file."

Let's look at both Palm and google contacts to see if they seem OK.  Palm seems OK.

Google imported contacts do not have google groups assigned.  How can that be?  That is google's own designation.  I used google to export/import and still stupid google did not retain its own groups.  This is beyond incompetent.

Google import managed to provide me with 16 unnamed contacts even after I deleted all unnamed contacts prior to the export.  What the heck?  They are entities that have company name but no name of an individual.  Google cannot handle this?  Is this a joke?  Do the google programmers live on this planet?  They could imagine such a circumstance?  To compound the stupidity, if I try to search in google for the company name it is not found.  Google only searches on person name.  Yahoo searches ALL fields.  Are you telling me that google did not bother to look at what the leading provider of free e-mail did?  Shame on google.

Let's try another Goosync, this time with Palm and google as equals, i.e., normal.

In google I added this simple contact:

Barack Obama
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20500

I put the entire address into the one lonely pathetic field that google supplies.  Let's see how that winds up in Palm.  I think the entire mess will be placed into the address field.

Now let's add a record in Palm:

Kirsten Gillebrand
U.S. Senate
313 Hart Senate Building
Washington, DC  20510

I changed the Goosync Client Palm program to "normal".  Let's see what happens.  Goosync!

Done after quite a while.  Again, I forgot to time it.  I did not think it would take a long time again.


1. Three unnamed contacts added.  One was in the infamous Suggested Contacts group in google.  I have no idea why the other two were added.  They were parts of records with a first name but no last name.

2. Barack Obama made it from google to Palm.  Yippie!  His address got plopped into one field as expected and specified by Goosync, which blames this on google.

3. I found two occurrences of Amazon.  Google contains one.  I deleted one in Palm.

4. My record got duplicated.  Not a good idea to draw attention to a problem by doing it to the customer.  I am duped on both sides.  I deleted the record in google that did not contain my photo.  That's another problem with google export/import: it drops photos.


1. The 16 unnamed contacts remained, which is a good thing because they are legit.

2. Uh oh.  Kirsten Gillebrand, my new blond woman senator from New York, did not get added in google.  Come on.  I added one record on each side and only one got added.  What the heck is that?

3. I found a contact with only company name that was listed with company name, not as unnamed.

The Goosync did little harm but it did not do enough good to justify its continued use or price, $54.

I am trying yet another Goosync.  This time only four records seem to be involved.  Will Kirsten Gillebrand get added in google on a second try?  Oops.  Now many more records are being received.  Received by which side?  Who knows?  Goosync should be running the CIA.  Goosync can keep information secret.

Received 249.  Goosync log in Palm:

"successfully completed"
Device: add 0, upd 242, del 6 items
Server: add 0, upd 1, del 3 items

Goosync indicates that the Palm had "upd 242".    What?

Looks like Kirsten Gillebrand NOT get added in google.  Bad.  Is that because she did not have an e-mail ID?  I will add one.  I will also add another contact in Palm with only name (Joe Blow) and e-mail (  That's two changes, both on Palm: one add, one change to a record that was never added to google.

My extra record, deleted in google, was also deleted in Palm.  Good.


Sent: 2/2
"successfully completed"
Device: add 0, upd 3, del 0 items
Server: add 0, upd 2, del 0 items

Google now shows 596 contacts.  Oh, boy.  What?

Missing from google: both Kirsten Gillebrand and Joe Blow.  Apparently additions only go from google to Palm, not from Palm to google.  Is this a joke?

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Google gmail contacts: big problems.

See my previous post on the horrors of Goosync powered by Toffa.

1. Google should have its own sync programs.

2. What the heck is the deal with Suggested Contacts?  At least let the user turn that off.

3. Contacts does not even handle discrete address fields: state, zip, etc.  That is primitive.

4. Categories or as google calls them groups: sync them!  Plus, putting an individual contact into a google group works intermittently.

5. Google contacts cannot be searched on a value that may appear anywhere as can be done in Yahoo.

6. Importing contacts from Yahoo was a disaster.  Google should make that a priority if it wants to bring people over from Yahoo.

There's a lot more wrong with Contacts.  I am amazed that google gets away with this.

Goosync: the horror, the horror.

I am about to delete all contacts in google.  First I am making a backup file in a google specified CSV format.

OK, I deleted all google contacts.

Next, I will go to the Goosync program on my Palm Treo 700P.  In the menu options settings there is a hidden thing buried among other confusing stuff: Sync Mode Options.  I tap that and it shows drop down lists for Calendar, Tasks and Contacts.  All are set to normal.  When I click the list for Contacts additional options include:

update device
reload device
update server
reload server.

No explanation.  I will select update server.  I'd better remember to change this back to normal after the operation.  Too bad Goosync did not have an option to make this a one time setting.  I click done, then OK.  I guess that changed it

Let the games begin!  Click the start button on the Goosync Client Palm program!

These are tense moments.

The Contact count is up to 1,137.  God knows what Goosync is doing.  There should be about 500 contacts.  I wonder if Goosync programmers think that the words displayed during the sync operation are informative.  The whole thing seems diabolical.  Who is sending to whom?  Who is waiting for what?  How about a cartoon to show some activity even if it is not real.  Waiting still.  This seems bad.  There is the increasingly tempting abort button but what the heck would that do?  Oh, boy!  No SyncML response.  I think that is an error message from the connectivity program (Softick PPP) that I had to buy to make Goosync work without incurring the $30 plus each month for the Verizon Wireless data feature.

The Goosync log in the Palm only shows info for syncing Tasks.  Who cares?  What about the Contacts?

My Palm contacts seem to be intact.  Google still has no contacts.  OK.  No damage.  That's a plus for Goosync.

I checked Softick PPP but do not know how to determine if there is a valid connection.

Let's try the Goosync again.  But first I will login to my account at Goosync.  It reveals that the status of today's sync failed with this info:

Contacts: One way from device sync.
Calendar: Two way sync.
Tasks: Two way sync.
Sync failed.
Error 511: Unknown error, Please contact Support.

Not very helpful.

When I click on Settings at there is nothing analogous to Settings inn the Palm.

Ah, there's a page for the Goosync Client Palm program!

It states:

Please note that the client you download will be mostly pre-configured. 
You will only need to enter your GooSync login details. 
The information below is mainly for reference.

Yeah, right.

It says:

Start the SyncML application by tapping the icon on the home screen of your PDA.

Isn't SyncML the app mentioned in the error message?  I had thought that it belonged to Softick PPP.

I cannot find SyncML in the Palm Info list of programs.

It shows the mysterious screen for Palm setting but does NOT explain them!

Palm Client Settings

This link has the details on syncing to google as opposed to Goosync.  Who the heck would use this to sync with Goosync?

The main thing on this page is this:

Google Contacts Sync Limitations

Google Limitations

GooSync Limitations

Device Limitations

Oh, yeah.  Lots of limitations.  Pretty hideous.

One major limitation of Google Contacts is that it will not allow multiple contacts to share the same email address.

I can live with that.  Here is another.

Google Contacts only provides a single "Address" field (there are no individual fields for street, city etc). This means that the address information, when sent to the device, will only appear in the "Street" section of the devices contact. 

This could be a major problem.  Does it mean that if I change a field in google other than address that address will be messed up in my Palm?  That would really suck.  By the way, google let's you add additional address fields so I do not understand why Goosync states otherwise.  And what the heck is wrong with google that it cannot use discrete fields like state, zip, etc.?

Only the first number of each type provided by Google or the device will be synchronised to the opposite platform. All other numbers of that type will be ignored by the sync process.

My experience is that Goosync seemed to handle this randomly.

Due to a restriction in the vCard specification GooSync is unable to synchronise the "type" associated with email addresses (Home, Work etc).

What?  Who uses vCard and what does that have to do with this?  Isn't here a mapping file somewhere that matches field names:

Last - Lastname

Home email - Personal e-mail

Blah, blah, blah.  Syncing cannot be so complicated, especially after all these years, that these basic things are still screwed up.

New Goosync attempt, this time skipping Calendar and Tasks.  Processing ... yeah, process.  Do something.  Now the number of contacts is 632 on the right of the / and increasing on the left side.  Sending ...  Processing ... Sending ...  Processing ...  Sending ... Processing ... Waiting ...  Processing ... Left side count up to 1,128.  Waiting ... Sent: 1128/632  Say what?  Waiting ... Is there a secret decoder ring?  Waiting ... Damn.  Should have timed it.  Waiting ... I grow weak.  Waiting ...  Abort grows larger.  Waiting ...  Ah, No SyncML response!

Goosync Palm log shows Normal Sync for Contacts.  Hmn.  Didn't I select update server?  I did!  Blah, blah, blah.  Received 0 / Sent 244332 bytes.  Nice to know the number of bytes but how does that relate to Sent: 1128/632?

This is a joke.

And on the Gosync web site my latest failed sync shows:

Contacts: One way from device sync.

Sync failed.

Error 511: Unknown error, Please contact Support.

I am out!

Recovering data from bad Goosync operation.

A few years ago Yahoo had a modified version of Intellisync, which has been cobbled up by Nokia.  It had an option to let you sync directly between a Palm device and Yahoo.  It worked sporadically and I used it for years even after Yahoo dropped support.  Wonder why Yahoo is in trouble?

It had an option that did not work well but it was better than nothing.  It gave the user control over individual conflicts without having to make some potentially devastating decision such as the one that I had when I tried to recover the contacts lost in my Palm Treo 700P during the first sync to google using Goosync.  ALL sync programs should have this option!

I did a quick google search but did not find anything worth trying to recover my lost contacts.  I am amazed that Palm backups seem all but useless.

The last time I did a sync between my Palm Treo 700P and Microsoft Outlook was Jan. 7, 17 days before I tried recovery.  I left the default option of duplicate for conflicts.  Big mistake.  It made dupes on both sides, Palm and Outlook.  Fortunately, it's a lot easier to delete contacts in Outlook than in Palm.  Thirty minutes of monkey level mindless activity cleaned up Outlook and I did another sync to Palm; the extra contacts were removed in Palm.  Whew!

OK, I have Palm back to where it should be or at least close enough after the original disaster.  Next, I may do what I should have done in the first place: delete ALL contacts in google and sync again using Goosync.  If Goosync fails this, it is hopeless.

I may also sync to Outlook from time to time to have some way of recovering from contact problems on the Palm.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

gmail & goosync problems

Apparently google puts e-mail IDs entered on an ad hoc basis into the contacts in a google defined group that cannot be deleted; it is called Suggested Contacts.  So far the only solution I have found to prevent those "contacts" from being added to my Palm Treo 700P is to delete them in google prior to running Goosync.  I sent a message to a fake e-mail ID ( and sure enough it turned up in Suggested Contacts.  Argh!  I am hoping that the second sync will delete the Suggested Contacts from my Palm Treo.

There are more serious problems.

It seems that google's gmail does not like contacts with only first name or only last name, at least not when imported.  That may have caused some of the mess up.  Google does not have a field for web site.  What?  Did google just forget?  No birthday either.  You cannot search (and FIND) on any contact values as can be done in Yahoo.  For instance when trying to find where one of the floating phone numbers belonged I tried to search google contacts on the phone number.  Nothing found.  That works in Yahoo.  After getting the contact in Yahoo I then had enough info to find it in google.   Adult supervision seems to be lacking at google.  I am remembering why I stuck with Yahoo e-mail for so long.  It worked.

I understand that neither google nor goosync handles things like multiple fields called the same thing, such as two home phone numbers for one contact.  The duplications that I have seen do not contain such redundancies.

Goosync duplicated some businesses that had nothing in either first or last name.  Why?  Here is a really simple one that was duped:

+1 (866) 470-1989  other
Categories: Business

Goosync couldn't handle that?  Three fields?  Come on!

I am manually going through my contacts in my Palm Treo 700P.  When done I will do another goosync and see if some equilibrium has been established.  I really want this to work but goosync has to make more of an effort.  Besides I need to clean up my Treo.  Backing up google does nothing to restore the Treo contacts.

OK, about 90 minutes later ... I finished plowing through my Treo contacts removing duplicates.  Time for the second goosync!

It completed much more quickly.

The fake e-mail ID ( that I forced into google as one of the Suggested Contacts wound up in my Palm Treo as expected.

Half of a couple of other contacts got into my Palm Treo.  I am not going to try to figure that out.

I had noticed that a couple of names had been switched, maybe when I imported data into google.  I switched first and last name in the Palm Treo but that switch did not get done in google after the goosync.  What the heck?  I could understand if they got duplicated but NO change was made!

It appears that the ALL of the records that I deleted in the Palm Treo because duplicates had been generated during the first goosync had BOTH records deleted from the Palm Treo as a result of the goosync.  Fortunately, the single record remains in google.  Included in this carnage is the lone example that I had displayed above: CallWave.  It is gone from the Treo but it is in google contacts.  I have no idea how I can get those records back into my the Palm Treo.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Goosync messed up the contacts on my Palm Treo.

I subscribed to Softick PPP to get the connectivity to the Internet through my PC connection that would allow me to sync my calendar and contacts directly between my Palm Treo 700P and google gmail without having to first sync with Outlook.  Cost: $25.

Next I subscribed to Goosync, which would actually do the syncing.  I got the lifetime option.  Cost: almost $55 (they bill in Euros).

I did the sync.  It took about twenty minutes.  Had I known that it would take that long I would have timed it.  My almost 500 contacts in google seemed to have emerged unscathed.  However, my Treo contacts, which are much more difficult to edit (example: you cannot delete multiples, but must delete one at a time) got messed up in many ways without a clear pattern.  I have not had the time or spirit to document the carnage.

In some cases it messed up the simplest of cases such as data in only three non-redundant fields: company name, one phone number, comment.  How do you mess up that?  It duplicated the contact with phone number retaining the parentheses that originally surrounded the area code in one contact and in what is apparently the new version removing the parentheses.  What?  I sent this example to Goosync but they have so far not responded, no doubt staggered by the complexity of the problem.

Goosync  seemed to have created contacts for recent e-mail IDs which were not in contacts at all but had only been used to send a single e-mail message.

Goosync could have prevented this by using one of those techie things.  I think it's called testing.  Why am I testing their product?  Partly because google, which again skates on the sync issue, had not provided the software itself.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Goosync: the saga continues.

I tried a some new tests.  I added two repeating events in my Palm:

1. repeats every week.
2. repeats every other week. 

They worked!  They both repeated in my google calendar.  The repeats went on well past the 30 day limit that Goosync said was imposed during the free trial period.

I then added two similar repeating events in my google calendar.  The every two week events default in google calendar to starting one week from the date entered.  Curious.  I synced and again it worked, including far into the future.

Next, I deleted all the new events on the Palm.  Then I added an event on the Palm that starts today and repeats on the 21st of the month.  Again it worked.

Finally, I added an event in google that starts today and repeats on the 21st of the month every three months.  It worked.

Did Goosync fix its problem with repeating events?  Maybe.  How come my original events more than 30 days into the future did not go from Palm to google, including those that repeat annually?

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Goosync making a comeback.

Today I received this GooSync:

Please be aware of the sync window for the free GooSync accounts.
It allows you to synchronise events that are up to 7 days in the past and 30 days in the future of the current sync date.
Any events outside of this time frame will not be synchronised until they do fall within the sync window.
The log files show that the recent events sent by the device were outside of this time frame so were not synchronised.
With regards to the repeating event: we are still investigating what may be causing this issue.


My response:

Thanks.  I did not realize there was that limit on free calendar.  You
should make it better known.


I did a login at but did not see anything about date limits for my free subscriptions.

I tried making a couple of simple changes within the time limits of the calendar freebie and they worked!  Yippie!  There's hope for syncing.

It's amazing to me that this simple function is causing so much difficulty.  Google only has syncing for calendar for the Blackberry and that is new and it has trouble.  How tough can it be?  Palm had it working years ago.  The only difference is that this new sync is between a handheld device and a web site.  Is that so different from syncing to a PC?  Apparently, but I do not understand why.

Google has yet to approach syncing contacts directly between a handheld device and its web site and goosync has only recently introduced it.  If goosync can resolve its problem with syncing repeating events soon I may pay for the version that includes syncing contacts and try that.

Syncing directly between my  handheld device and a web site is my current criteria for choosing an e-mail provider between Yahoo and google.  Let the games continue!

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Domain hosting: try 1and1

My aforementioned friend Steve, who should himself be blogging, had suggested that I try for hosting my domain.  That was a couple of years ago.  I finally switched from Yahoo to 1and1.  So far, so good.

I had been using Yahoo for my e-mail and calendar for years and was satisfied.  Because of that it was really easy to just let Yahoo provide my domain service.  Everything was connected.  However, I have been flirting with the idea of switching to gmail as my primary e-mail and calendar service provider.  The potential deciding factor was the possibility, so far unfulfilled, of syncing directly between my Palm Treo 700P (and future devices) and e-mail and calendar on the web without having to use a PC for communication much less the need to have an extraneous sync to Outlook on a PC.

Direct sync to google seemed closer to reality than to Yahoo.  The T-Mobile G1 smart phone from google supposedly does it but I would believe if I actually did it myself, which will not happen until Verizon Wireless gets a google phone, maybe a G2.  So far goosync from Toffa International Limited, a UK company, has not done the job.

In anticipation of a sync to google I switched to 1and1 to host my personal domain.  So far, so good.  It makes both my domain and primary e-mail ID completely independent of the service provider for either function.  Yahoo charges $35 a year, 1and1 charges $9.  Yahoo redirected my domain to a URL.  1and1 keeps URL in the browser as the domain.

Yahoo had provided Microsoft Frontpage extensions for free, then started to charge.   I used Frontpage to build my web site in geocities.  However, when Yahoo began charging to update I then had to improvise to make changes.  This was tedious.  1and1 provides a free web based tool (Starter WebsiteBuilder) to create a rudimentary home page and I think up to four sub pages.  Beyond that you must pay $10 per month for WebsiteBuilder Plus.  I am going with the freebie, which is OK at best.  I mostly have links to the virtually unlimited number of pages that I can create using google docs.

Note: 1and1 WebsiteBuilder does not currently work with google's browser, Chrome.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Netbook 2 from Acer

I returned my first netbook to Dell with regret.  I liked the idea.  Then I saw that Acer was coming out with a newer model than that reviewed in the fall: $300 with WindowXP, 1 gig RAM, 16 gig solid state memory instead of a hard drive.  About half a pound lighter than the Dell, which cost $350 with Ubuntu, 4 gig solid state memory.  Good deal.  I had to order it through Circuit City online but that worked OK.

So far I like it.  Maybe I will even try Ubuntu as a second OS some day.  At least the Acer came with a steady working version of Windows.  It is running Skype, which my Ubuntu Dell could not even install.  I am also running google's browser, Chrome.  So far, so good.

Ubuntu CD arrived from The Netherlands.

It comes with four stickers containing the logo, name and this: "linux for human beings".

What the heck does that mean?  A few days ago The New York Times had an article about the South African millionaire who is behind Ubuntu.  He seems to enjoy subsidizing this toy.

I still like the idea but do not have confidence that it will become mainstream enough to apps, drivers, etc.  Plus, it needs improvement.

Dare I try using the CD?  On my mother ship laptop or on my pretty new Acer netbook?

Goosync still sucks.

I just sent this message to Goosync:

I am done testing Calendar.  Goosync makes a lot of mistakes.

1. Omits events.  I tried changing something on the Palm like number of days before alarm triggers hoping that would make goosync notice the event.  It did not.  Goosync failed to put simple non-repeating events into google, both public and private.

2. For a monthly event entered on Palm Treo 700P that repeats on the 19th, it created two events in January: 19 & 20.  Then nothing for a couple of months, then an event on the 19th.  What the heck?

3. I had to do #2 because the original series entered on the Palm had been wiped out in a goosync when I deleted the event on Jan. 20 in google goosync wiped out all events in the series.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Verizon is dumb ... still.

Palm, Inc. announced a new smartphone, the Pre.  No reviews yet but it could be a big boost for the once successful Palm.  As Apple did with the iPhone (ATT) and google did with the G1 (T-Mobile), Palm gave one service provider an exclusive for the Pre: Sprint.

Notice who is missing?  Verizon.  Verizon has an exclusive for the much criticized BalckBerry Storm.  That's it.

By the way, the Palm Pre has WiFi, which Verizon refuses to put on its devices.  Think Verizon has its head ... in the sand?

Goosync sucks less.

I received this from goosync support:

The sync logs on your account show the sync is failing because you have not yet selected a device on your account. Please log into GooSync and select a device when prompted.

Actually I did get to that but goosync muddles the issue by stating that all Palm devices are OK, with no way to select a specific one.  I slopped around a bit more and satisfied goosync.  This allowed a sync to complete.  I did this after deleting the entries in the google calendar so that Palm would provide all events to google.

Yippie!  It worked ... for some events.  Those that repeated caused a problem.  So, I tried again.  Results were worse.  Events that had been added in google from Palm were now missing.

Calendar should be a lot easier than contacts, which require me to pay goosync.  I do not want to do that until calendar syncing works properly.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Sync sucks, especially GooSync.

GooSync is supposed to sync between a smartphone and gmail, both for calendar and contacts.  After wasting a full day on this it failed completely.

GooSync required that I get another program, Softick, which provides PPP connectivity from my smartphone (Palm Treo 700P) to the Internet through its cradle through my PC.  After a lot of junk that appears to work.

Not so GooSync.  Based on the messages on its help site, I was not alone.  GooSync makes sending a message to it almost impossible.  We can only write to each other.  GooSync NEVER synced for me.

Finally I decided to just export my contacts and import them into gmail.  You would think that by now the e-mail services would be able to inhale data from a competitor.  No.  They make you create a CSV (comma delimited) file on your PC and then import.  Bad enough but they still do a lousy job of it.  Here is what I tried and how well they did it:

1. Yahoo - sucks
2. MS Outlook - sucks
3. Palm Desktop - REALLY sucks!

At this point I cannot recall which company insisted on it but either GooSync or Softick had me upgrade my version of Palm Desktop software.  That sounded like a good thing no matter what else happened.  Unfortunately, the new version wiped out the Outlook conduits, which I have been unable to find.  The Palm Hotsync went between the Palm device and Palm Desktop.  OK, I figured I could live with that.  After all, when I tried to export from Outlook 2000 it made me hunt for the original MS Office CD and install a utility to dump the contacts into a CSV file.

Yahoo also dumps its contacts into a CSV file.  I imported then into gmail but did not like the results.  None of these export/import functions maintains the categories as both Yahoo and Palm refer to them.  Gmail has fancier terms, of course.  I deleted the Yahoo feed that had been imported into gmail.  I should have left well enough alone.  Maybe not.  For entries with only a first name: the first name disappears and results in the phone number being displayed as the identifying data.

All the while I kept expecting GooSync to ride to the the rescue.  Yeah, right!

Next I tried Outlook.  This took 3-4 attempts because I could not get all the illogical parameters right: all/selected records, file format, etc.  The result in gmail was comparably unacceptable to the data from Yahoo.  They created mutiple records for no apparent reason.    When you export to a Windows comma delimited file it is not apparent that it will be a CSV file, not to be confused with a CSV Excel file.  Plus, no matter what data you export to a Windows comma delimited file, Outlook names it calendar.csv.  And like Yahoo,  for entries with only a first name: the first name disappears and results in the phone number being displayed as the identifying data.Argh!

The data from Palm Desktop was truly astonishing.  It could not get first or last name into the same fields in gmail.  Not one of my 480 contacts had a name.  Oh, the data was there once you selected a record but how did you know which record to select?  Wow!  Palm, Inc. is sinking to new depths.  Palm was a great company not that many years ago.

Does MobileMe from Apple deserve the $99 per year that Apple has the nerve to charge?  I do not need all its flexibility.  I merely want to sync ONE smartphone to ONE web server.  At this point I do not care which web server: Yahoo, gmail, whatever.

Sunday, January 4, 2009


To sync or not to sync.  That's always been the question.

In the beginning, back when I had my first Palm personal digital assistant (PDA), a gift from a thoughtful and generous friend, there was Palm software, which worked OK.  Then soon Microsoft Outlook became the standard.  I don't know why.   Outlook worked OK, better than Palm's software.

Then I discovered a free utility from Yahoo that let me bypass Outlook and sync between my Palm and my Yahoo contacts and calendar.  I attached my Palm to my PC and started the Palm sync.  The Yahoo sync utility was cranky and Yahoo did not support it but I kept it working for years until it finally died.  I then had to return to syncing between Palm and Outlook.  I had to update Yahoo manually.  Not good.

As bad as Yahoo was, at least it tried to sync.  Google's gmail made no effort.  This always amazed me, especially considering that I could never figure out why the in crowd loved gmail.  Threads?  They confuse me.  Yahoo's integration of mail, contacts and calendar is much better.

However, I am tired of being buried in SPAM by Yahoo's indifference.  Plus, in recent months Yahoo has become SLOW.  Gmail hums along, especially in google's browser, Chrome.  I hope google is not stacking the deck.  That would make them evil.

I just want to sync between Palm and my data on a server because I do e-mail using a browser, not by running a user agent program on a PC: Outlook, Eudora, etc.  I keep my messages, folders, contacts, calendar events all on a server so that I can get at them from any computer.  I also want a copy of my contacts and calendar events on my Palm, currently the Treo 700P smartphone running on Verizon Wireless but without the $30 (plus tax) per month data charge.

I am also transferring my domain from Yahoo ($35 per year) to 1and1 ($9 per year).  This is in progress.  Then I can choose an e-mail service, probably between Yahoo and gmail.

I did some searching and found goosync.  Maybe that will do the job between gmail and Palm.  To be determined.