[maemo-users] Google Calendar and Other Things

From: Dr.Nicholas Shaw doc at docharley.com
Date: Thu Mar 1 18:59:31 EET 2007
I tested out Google Calendar and have concluded that it isn't acceptable for what I do.  Synching with 
Google Calendar is fine; however, to update Google Calendar with Outlook is a pain in the butt.  My 
schedules change often and I have several meetings in a day.  Thus, constantly exporting my Outlook 
calendar then importing it into Google is inefficient and tiring (are you listening Nokia?).

I applaud the work everyone is doing to make Google Calendar work and am sure, for many, this is a good 
solution.  For many others, it isn't.  What is needed is (many others have said this already but I'm 
frustrated so am saying it again) a "reasonably" effective PIM that allows for automated synching between 
popular packages such as Outlook.  I also applaud the excellent work the rest of the open source 
community is doing to get maemo-centric applications out.  What we need though are commercial 
applications such as:

 - A good password protection program.  An excellent program for the Palm (not available on Windows) is 
Passwords Plus by DataViz.  
 - A small database that allows the user to create databases on the fly.  I actually have 10.  I have one 
for my books (so I don't duplicate a book I already have), movies, vehicle maintenance, windchill 
factors, etc.  Again, an excellent program that is available for both Palm and Windows (may be available 
for other OS') is MobileDB by Handmark (handmark.com).
 - An expense program.  I found that Expense-n-Go (budgetprogram.com) is excellent for the Palm and 
allows for easily changing the mileage rate.  Even a simplistic program that comes with the Palm would be 
preferable to nothing.
 - A checklist program similar to Checklist by Handmark (actually, they just market the product).  Since 
I often travel around the world, I have travel checklists for the US and overseas. This program is much 
better and efficient than creating databases.  Some of my checklists have over 100 items.
 - Gas mileage program that allows for multiple vehicles to be tracked.
 - A good world clock with at least three timezones.
 - A real backup program (I applaud Nokia providing something).
 - A conversion program such as 1-2 Convert that allows, for example, conversions between distances, 
weights, monetary values, etc.

I don't expect Nokia to provide any of the "such as" programs.  I've written to the companies asking them 
to port their applications over and I'd be willing to test them out.  I think if more commercial 
applications become available for the N770 and N800, their popularity will dramatically increase.  I also 
know that an open source program is being developed that will handle password protection.  The sooner 
such programs become available, the quicker more business people will use them.  While I'm actually a 
scientist, I depend upon these tools and until something comparable is available for the N800, I still 
have to carry a Palm as well.

I know that many of you also have programs you use day-to-day.  Perhaps Nokia can help work with 
convincing commercial vendors to port their applications.  Nokia, if you're working these, perhaps you 
could post applications being considered or negotiated (if you're not bound by NDA).

The potential of the N800 goes (as has been said by many long before me) far beyond a mere Internet 
Tablet.  As has been noted in reveiws of both the N770 and N800, the tablets are excellent at Internet 
but few users will be willing to carry around Palm devices, cell phones, AND an Internet Tablet.  The 
N800 has a large screen that could allow it to easily replace a Palm with far greater capability.  This 
is Nokia's chance to provide a true multifunction tool that could trump existing PDA devices.

My apologies for the long post.

Nick Shaw.

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