Aug. 15th, 2007
Calendaring woes  
Why is it that everything involving calendar sync has to suck giant, hairy monkey balls?

I had a very (and I mean very) delicate relationship going on with GroupWise, Outlook, ActiveSync, and my phone. See, the rest of the free world has standardized on Outlook/Exchange. We use GroupWise.

Now, not that GroupWise is bad, mind you. It's actually pretty slick some of the stuff you can do, and I've finally given in and am trying to use it to its full potential. Where it lacks is that it has NO native RSS support (seriously, 2007, Novell... wtf). On top of that, it has half-assed support for recurring appointments, but then, so does everyone apparently except Microsoft.

Problem is, because GroupWise and Outlook only tolerate one another, they just don't play well together. Every like third time I sync my phone up, it decides to duplicate every recurring appointment (and randomly). Other times, it just decides it doesn't want to sync at all. So I need to dump Outlook. My poor computer is caught in the middle of this battle, and it's having a nervous breakdown—as am I.

I thought, "Hey, I know what I'll do. I'll use Yahoo-to-Go to sync up my GroupWise calendar with Yahoo's calendar. Then Y2G on my phone will auto-sync my calendar from there." That would actually give me the over-the-air syncing that I can't have because we don't use Outlook/Exchange. Well, Yahoo doesn't support GroupWise. And, let's be honest, Yahoo doesn't keep up with their products either.

So I thought: Google Calendar. Tons of software, none of which does what I need. They get close, but never go far enough. I thought I'd use CompanionLink to sync GW to Google, then GooSync on my phone to sync from Google Calendar. But, CompanionLink just flat out isn't working. While I was waiting for their tech teams to figure out why, I noticed that GooSync doesn't auto sync (it's all manual). If I have to do it manually, fail! Then there's OggSync, but it's apparently an 800KB app (and it just ignores recurring appointments at this time, which won't work for me).

ahhh... Fail.

So... I think I'm back to just going all GroupWise with their lousy PDA Connect and hoping for the best. I hope it works on WM6 SmartPhones.

I guess one of these days I'll need to give and just go Blackberry—our office supports that. I've generally avoided BlackBerry, because I don't see the point. But, they do say once you go Blackberry, you never go back.

Anywho. The conclusion of my rant is this: Microsoft, Blackberry, Apple can all take your proprietary crap and shove it up your asses. I want open source. OPEN MOTHER FUCKING SOURCE. Take your Exchange, Blackberry, iTunes syncing CRAP and light yourselves on fire.

THIS ENDS HERE, MOTHER FUCKERS! *draws line.h in the sandbox*

*headdesk*

 
 
 
location: Los Angeles, CA
Mood: aggravated
Listening to: Story of the Year - In the Shadows
 
 
( Post a new comment )
jay dee 8chjdhorner on August 15th, 2007 - 11:33 pm
i went blackberry.
i'll wait here patiently for ya.
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(no subject) - ex_xtex on August 16th, 2007 - 12:48 am
The People's Exhibit Adavidology on August 16th, 2007 - 01:45 am
I only care about personal email and work calendar. Personal email totally handled by Pocket Outlook. Calendar is my problem. I can't get excited over iPhone/.mac though. I feel as if I'd just be trading one evil locked-in network for another even more locked-in network. I hate, hate, hate that the iPhone is application locked. And I can't even tell you how good it felt to trade my iPod for a Sansa. Since I don't have to sync through iTunes, the Sun actually shines a little brighter!

I'm holding out for GooglePhone! omg. how awesome would it be if the os were open source. oops. I just came.

na na na na na na na na na na na na na na na na Batma... i mean.... GooglePhone. GooglePhone.

ok, I should probably really cut down on the caffeine intake.

*singing* na na na na na na na na na googlephone... googlephone....

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(no subject) - ex_xtex on August 16th, 2007 - 04:51 am
The People's Exhibit Adavidology on August 16th, 2007 - 04:52 am
this makes me wet.

needs a qwerty though. not sure i can go back to multi-tap.
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(no subject) - ex_xtex on August 16th, 2007 - 05:07 am
The People's Exhibit Adavidology on August 16th, 2007 - 05:12 am
my rule for my next phone is it must do GPS.

too many cool apps for that one...
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(no subject) - ex_xtex on August 16th, 2007 - 05:05 am
The People's Exhibit Adavidology on August 16th, 2007 - 05:07 am
i just want it all opened up. seems everyone wants to lock us into his own walled in garden, and i want out!

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(no subject) - ex_xtex on August 16th, 2007 - 05:09 am
The People's Exhibit Adavidology on August 16th, 2007 - 05:14 am
I do whatever it takes to get everything in mp3. I rip the DRM out of everything—especially my pr0n!
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Bobby: teh geyshouldvesmiled on August 16th, 2007 - 03:59 am
I'm sure I'd appreciate how this grinds your gears a lot more if I understood what you were talking about ;)
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(no subject) - ex_xtex on August 16th, 2007 - 05:06 am
Bobby: teh geyshouldvesmiled on August 16th, 2007 - 05:17 am
Whatever happened to having a physical day planner? One of those little calendar books that you write in?
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The People's Exhibit Adavidology on August 16th, 2007 - 05:19 am
a what?
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The People's Exhibit Adavidology on August 16th, 2007 - 05:21 am
oh... you're talking about those old Palm Pilots with the wand and graffiti language you write in the box! yeah, those are ancient and never worked either.
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Bobbyshouldvesmiled on August 16th, 2007 - 05:28 am
Think even further back to the time when people had physical compilements of paper that were bound and with pages that had calendars printed on them, usually one month on two pages and you'd write on it with a white plastic phallus that excreted blue or black ink.
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The People's Exhibit Adavidology on August 16th, 2007 - 05:29 am
back in the before time?
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Bobby: We can do itshouldvesmiled on August 16th, 2007 - 05:32 am
Yes, the before time.
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Davidsebastian86 on August 16th, 2007 - 07:13 am
go for the blackberry 8820 when it comes out in the states. it's worth waiting for the wifi :-)
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(Anonymous) on August 16th, 2007 - 08:51 am
Hi David,

GooSync here, you will be glad to know that after contact sync autosync is next on the release list :-)

BTW: GooSync' parent is Toffa, they have SyncWisePro for syncing GroupWise and PDA's take a look at www.toffa.com

Cheers
Chris.
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The People's Exhibit Adavidology on August 16th, 2007 - 10:09 pm
Thanks and good to know. I was looking at Toffa, but ideally I'd like to sync GroupWise to Google Calendar, and then use GooSync to sync my WM6 phone. I wasn't able to find a Toffa app that does that (although I may have missed it). CompanionLink is supposed to work, but it's not working. I have a trouble ticket in for that, but I've not heard back.

(oh, yeah, sorry about the "fail" comment. lol. i've been banging my head up against a wall for like 2 weeks now.)

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strbksslkstrbksslk on August 16th, 2007 - 10:48 pm
Hi! I came across you through some mutual friends. I enjoy the things you have to say. Do you mind that I added you?

P.S. I think I'm the only person in my office without a Blackberry and they all live on those things. I'm ok with waiting until I'm done with a client to check my email. That's just me though.
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The People's Exhibit Adavidology on August 17th, 2007 - 12:39 am
thanks!

*adds u back*
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(Anonymous) on August 21st, 2007 - 11:24 pm
I feel your pain!
I am in a very similar situation. My company is JUST finally upgrading to Groupwise 7, as GW 8 is on the verge of being released. If GW 8 makes things any easier, it doesn't matter, because it will be about 2 years before I see it.

In the mean time, I'm using OGGsync to sync my pda to google. I'm not sure where you get the 800MB bit from, it's a 38MB install for the desktop, or a 931kb install for windows mobile. I'm actually considering paying for the pro version of Oggsync so as to get support for multiple google calendars etc.

I've not been able to get companionlink working properly either. It fails to connect to the google calendar. I use google for your domain, so I don't know if that's the problem, or if it's an issue with our firewall. I've contacted their support, but also didn't have a lot of luck.

Are you using any kind of a 3rd party sync app currently, like intellisync? We have intellisync at work, but the version we own doesn't support wm5 smartphones. I had tried once before installing outlook on the PC letting it pull the groupwise data, but couldn't get it to work reliably. I'll give that another go once the GW7 client is installed on my PC this week.

Grr... I wish you luck in finding a solution. If you do, please be sure and post about it to share your good fortune with the rest of us suffering with Groupwise Sync issues.
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The People's Exhibit Adavidology on August 22nd, 2007 - 03:18 am
Re: I feel your pain!
eek on the 800MB. I think I meant to type 800 KB, and I read that elsewhere, so I can't say it was a personal observation (gonna correct the typo though). Unfortunately 800 kb would be a bit heavy considering how tight memory is for me, but I'd be willing to deal with it if it helped me get passed this problem.

I've never been a fan of Intellisync. I bought it to help my boss a while back. The software only worked okay, but their support staff seemed amazingly unhappy. Anytime we contacted them for either support questions or product suggestions, they were rude and dismissive. I think they were bought out by Nokia, so the product doesn't seem to be available anymore for purchase as a stand alone product.

CompanionLink still hasn't gotten back with me after requesting I submit my logs to them, which I did. I contacted them again earlier today to see if I could get an answer. So far, nothing. It's really par for the course though. Unless you use Outlook/Exchange or Blackberry, no one gives a *@#*(.

PDAConnect may be an option for you though. It's in the addons directory within the installer. It's hardly perfect, but it's a stopgap. The biggest annoyance is that it doesn't auto sync when there's a change like ActiveSync does, but then I think that's something I'm just going to have to give up not using Outlook. What makes it more annoying though is that when you schedule it to sync at a certain time, it takes focus during sync and then reports an error via a dialog that must be cleared if the handheld isn't connected when it goes to sync. I don't think it will sync after that on a schedule until you manually click "Synchronize". But... unlike the other solutions, it does work.

The only other thing you could try, but I don't recommend it, is using Outlook. Outlook does kinda work with the GroupWise server, and when you use it ActiveSync will do your syncing. It's hella unstable for me though. It starts out all right but progressively deteriorates for me. When I uninstall/reinstall I get more life out of it, but you have to put up with Outlook just randomly crashing. It wasn't a productive solution for me.

Rest assured, though, when I find a solution, I will shout it from the highest mountain!
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ext_60382 on August 24th, 2007 - 02:31 am
Re: I feel your pain!
I'll give the PDASync a try. I've tried just using outlook and activesync, but after installing both, I get an error when I try to sync my blackjack. It gives an error code starting with 850, which I've googled and found to be just a generic error.

Grr...
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ext_60382 on August 24th, 2007 - 02:48 am
Re: I feel your pain!
The exact error in activesync is 'Activesync encountered a problem on the desktop Support code:85010014'

Just installed PDA Connect, and it seemed to recognize the smartphone and installed it's app on the phone, but then says it's unable to connect to the device. :(
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The People's Exhibit Adavidology on August 24th, 2007 - 03:30 am
Re: I feel your pain!
oh, i know that error well.

A couple of things to try:

1) check on novell.com. There is an update/patch to GW in the past few months. Install that version of the client. It corrects something that causes that error.

2) After you run the installer and it decompresses, look inside the directory structure. In there is a directory called "wms" (or something like that). I think it may be inside a win2k directory, so it's not obvious. Install that. It's the old Windows Messaging System. When you install Outlook, it installs a newer messaging system that sometimes causes compatibility issues.

3) Make sure you're using the latest version of ActiveSync.

After all that, you might have to uninstall PDA Sync from your device and let it reinstall it.

If all that fails, although this seems silly, try a different USB port. It sometimes doesn't like them when they're connected behind a hub. Try one of the ones on the back of the computer. even a different cable. Short cables with the coils (usually inside a small tube) often work the best.

I'm not sure of the significance of all the latter things or that it would be that susceptible to voltage changes, but it's such a delicate dance to get these things working sometimes!
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cliffsocakid825 on August 23rd, 2007 - 08:56 am
"Why is it that everything involving calendar sync has to suck giant, hairy monkey balls?"

i second that emotion
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