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Old 08-16-2008, 08:08 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Almost sync free!

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After using a Blackberry for a year I have almost become sync free! The one thing that I have found with all PDA's is that syncing can be a nightmare. I have had, in the past, a PocketPC device (Compaq), various Palm devices (Tungsten C, Treo 650) and a couple of Blackberry devices (8820 and 9000), and have always had major problems syncing with all the devices.

With a PocketPC device, my ActiveSync failed all the time.
With a Palm, the Palm Desktop failed at various times.
And now with a Blackberry 9000, I find Desktop Manager no longer works (I am using a VMWare machine within a Macbook Pro environment - a very esoteric setup).

I have therefore determined that I no longer wish to 'sync' anymore. I prefer to 'sync' through the 'cloud' with 3rd party software so I no longer have to rely on plugging my device into a PC anymore. I am almost there. I am using the following applications:

Tasks: BBRTM - Blackberry Remember The Milk.
Memo: IdeaMatrix to handle memos. I no longer use BB Memos
Calendar: Google Calendar Sync. It sync to the BB calendar.

The only thing left is contacts. There doesn't seem to be a 'cloud' application to handle contacts.

I am, of course, on BIS - I think BES might be able to handle syncing better. I have some friends that are on BES and they seem to never have to plug their BB's into a PC. Is that the case? If so, is BES the way to go? When I think of all the syncing problems I have had over the last 10 years, I have just come to the conclusion that I no longer wish to sync with a PC anymore. It seems to problematic.

Thanks for reading....
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Old 08-16-2008, 08:20 PM   #2 (permalink)
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That's a good idea.

Now that I got a blackberry again, I remembered how much of a challenge syncing it to a macintosh can be. I have PocketMac but it seems to be glitching alot already.

I will keep an eye on this thread to see if you get any kind of answer regarding the contacts. I don't know of a solution off the top of my head.
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Old 08-16-2008, 08:22 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Wirelessly posted (BB 8330)

Yes BES can sync all the apps on the BB you would need a hosted BES. I think it around 20.00 a month.
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Old 08-16-2008, 08:23 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Contact Sync

"AutoSync For Yahoo" seems to work reasonably well for contacts, calendar, tasks, and memos.
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Old 08-16-2008, 08:30 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Some great ideas. I also run a Macbook Pro but am just waiting to setup my desktop PC system again and give Unite! a try. The IT policies still scare me though and the fact that you have to use Unite's calendar instead of Entourage.

You might want to try this as well.

Last edited by flowrider : 08-16-2008 at 08:40 PM.
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Old 08-17-2008, 05:28 AM   #6 (permalink)
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I guess getting rid of syncing also depends on being able to sync your desktop software with the 'cloud'. I use Google mail and contacts and there doesn't seem to be anyway at present to sync Google contacts with a BB.
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Old 08-17-2008, 06:25 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Syncing to Outlook on server

I've always synced with Outlook without any problems. However, we just got a server at work which gives me two problems: 1) I can't remote sync as it's too damn slow and "hangs" all the time (although that's probably an IT rather than a BB problem): 2) my BB will only sync to the local calendar/contacts/tasks etc., it won't sync to the corporate/server calendar/contacts/tasks. BB Desktop says this is because the corporate/server location is a "leaf". What does this mean? I am using Outlook 2003 and DM 4.3 with an 8800 (personal) and an 8320 (business). Thanks.
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Old 08-17-2008, 06:30 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Default EA the device??

Quote:
Originally Posted by gribblewok View Post
I've always synced with Outlook without any problems. However, we just got a server at work which gives me two problems: 1) I can't remote sync as it's too damn slow and "hangs" all the time (although that's probably an IT rather than a BB problem): 2) my BB will only sync to the local calendar/contacts/tasks etc., it won't sync to the corporate/server calendar/contacts/tasks. BB Desktop says this is because the corporate/server location is a "leaf". What does this mean? I am using Outlook 2003 and DM 4.3 with an 8800 (personal) and an 8320 (business). Thanks.
Just a simple question, did you EA the device to the corporate BES? (enterprise activate?) If you did, have your BES admin check your pim sync on your user account for address book, memo, task etc.
Regarding the speed issue, they may have some type of threading issue and should consult with RIM if the server is that slow.

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Old 08-17-2008, 06:36 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Default IdeaMatrix

Quote:
Originally Posted by dmacd View Post
Tasks: BBRTM - Blackberry Remember The Milk.
Memo: IdeaMatrix to handle memos. I no longer use BB Memos
Calendar: Google Calendar Sync. It sync to the BB calendar.

....
DMACD...

does ideamatrix sync with a desktop application?
I am looking for a different memo pad....
I never saw this app before...

Thx...
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Old 08-17-2008, 07:34 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by holden View Post
DMACD...

does ideamatrix sync with a desktop application?
I am looking for a different memo pad....
I never saw this app before...

Thx...
Unfortunately it doesn't have e desktop app - but it has a web page where you can view and update memos on the desktop. Provided you have a network connection of course. And their sync between the BB and the web site is quite good. I upgraded my 8820 to the 9000 and all I had to do was install IdeaMatrix and all my memos came through quickly on the new BB.

I wish they had a desktop app, but I can't find any other memo app that can sync seamlessly the way IdeaMatrix does without syncing to a PC. At least in the BIS world.
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Old 08-17-2008, 08:39 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Not to be biased...but you can always use ThinkPost (ThinkPost Communications - Home). We sync all that you are looking for...
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Old 08-17-2008, 09:44 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dmacd View Post
After using a Blackberry for a year I have almost become sync free! The one thing that I have found with all PDA's is that syncing can be a nightmare.
I can really relate, but I've come to a similar conclusion via a different route. I'm a Linux user who has been able to sync two different Palm devices over the years with J-Pilot on the Linux desktop. Way back in the day, I happily synced a Newton with Windows until the Newton OS ROM was upgraded but the Newton software for Windows wasn't. Just got a Curve this weekend and have spent the last week seriously investigating and trying various sync options. After various failures to sync my old Palm with both the KDE PIM and with Thunderbird using two different versions of OpenSync on two different Linux distros, looking at immature alternatives like BlueZync and the still developing Barry, I decided that syncing directly to the desktop was for the birds and Windows users.

Syncing Blackberry to various web services (the cloud as you put it) and syncing those in turn to Thunderbird seems much more doable.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dmacd View Post
Tasks: BBRTM - Blackberry Remember The Milk.
Memo: IdeaMatrix to handle memos. I no longer use BB Memos
Calendar: Google Calendar Sync. It sync to the BB calendar.
I had already made my choices when I stumbled upon your post, so I had to chime in with my thoughts. Taking your format, my choices are as follows:
Tasks: BBRTM and Remember The Milk Provider for Thunderbird
Calendar: Google Calendar Sync and GcalDaemon to sync with Thunderbird
Contacts: GMail Mobile (check out the Contacts Manager) and GcalDaemon to sync with Thunderbird.

Whereas you didn't have a solution for Contacts, I hadn't yet come up with a solution for Memos. I have a lot of memos on the Palm and more notes in a TiddlyWiki that I'd like to consolidate in one place and sync. I'll have to check out IdeaMatrix.

I haven't implemented any of this yet. I just found out that one of my stumbling blocks was due to a bad Thunderbird build and have downloaded the official Mozilla binaries which works properly with Lightning 0.8.

Wish me luck!
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Old 08-19-2008, 08:28 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dmacd View Post
I have therefore determined that I no longer wish to 'sync' anymore. I prefer to 'sync' through the 'cloud' with 3rd party software so I no longer have to rely on plugging my device into a PC anymore.
Isn't that still syncing? I guess you mean "wired sync".

Quote:
Originally Posted by dmacd View Post
I am, of course, on BIS - I think BES might be able to handle syncing better.
It's definitely more convenient. Wireless sync is just one benefit though. The BB is so much better integrated with your mail account with BES.

Quote:
Originally Posted by flowrider View Post
I also run a Macbook Pro but am just waiting to setup my desktop PC system again and give Unite! a try. The IT policies still scare me though and the fact that you have to use Unite's calendar instead of Entourage.
Meh -- IT policies can be removed.

Last edited by takeshi : 08-19-2008 at 08:32 AM.
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Old 08-19-2008, 10:18 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by evangineer View Post
I had already made my choices when I stumbled upon your post, so I had to chime in with my thoughts. Taking your format, my choices are as follows:
Tasks: BBRTM and Remember The Milk Provider for Thunderbird
Calendar: Google Calendar Sync and GcalDaemon to sync with Thunderbird
Contacts: GMail Mobile (check out the Contacts Manager) and GcalDaemon to sync with Thunderbird.

Whereas you didn't have a solution for Contacts, I hadn't yet come up with a solution for Memos. I have a lot of memos on the Palm and more notes in a TiddlyWiki that I'd like to consolidate in one place and sync. I'll have to check out IdeaMatrix.

I haven't implemented any of this yet. I just found out that one of my stumbling blocks was due to a bad Thunderbird build and have downloaded the official Mozilla binaries which works properly with Lightning 0.8.

Wish me luck!
I'll take a look at GMail Mobile, thanks.

I also use TiddlyWiki (a variant: ccTiddlyWiki) to keep notes but I am migrating to Evernote because there doesn't seem to be a way to get TiddlyWiki notes to show up nicely on a BB. Evernote has a mobile site and so I can see my notes on a BB.

I would like to consolidate notes/memos into one application, but there doesn't seem to be an ideal app out there. I use IdeaMatrix because it can sync on its own to the web, and the memos are available even if I have no BB connectivity. But it only handles plain text data - no where near the functionality of a TiddlyWiki or Evernote app.

Best of luck on getting 'desktop sync free'.
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Old 08-19-2008, 10:27 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by takeshi View Post
Isn't that still syncing? I guess you mean "wired sync".
Sorry, yes I meant 'desktop syncing'. It has always been a nightmare for me. I got a new BB Bold on Saturday and have spent the last 3 days (on and off) trying to get it to sync (so I could at least backup the device). Desktop Manager kept crashing on me!! Had to uninstall all Blackberry software, clean the registry and start a new! It is this kind of wasted time that makes me want to get away from Desktop syncing forever!

Quote:
Originally Posted by takeshi View Post
It's definitely more convenient. Wireless sync is just one benefit though. The BB is so much better integrated with your mail account with BES.
True, but I have my BIS set to sync with Gmail. It will even do reconciliation back to Google. As close as I can get it to BES I guess.
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Old 08-19-2008, 09:16 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Unyverse, aka Upvise (http://upvise.com) supports wirelessly synced notes between BB and a web application. I've been using it for a while. It also syncs contacts, in a way. That is, it'll import your contacts from your BB and store them on the web client, but as far as I know the only way to get contacts back into your BB Address book is manually.

This is, of course, another area where the Sidekick outshines the BB, and most other devices. Right from the very first model in 2002, all Sidekick contacts, notes, browser bookmarks, calendar and to-do entries are constantly synced to the web-based Desktop Interface. This doesn't require a special, more expensive account. It is part of the basic service. You can also configure it to auto-sync up to 2 MB of photos to the Desktop Interface. This feature was more useful when the Sidekick camera was smaller and image files were smaller.

This isn't a rant, but there is something important here. Now that RIM is marketing more consumer-oriented devices, Outlook sync isn't the only game in town. A lot of people just want to be able to access their data easily online, without fooling around with cables etc. Not only that, travelers could find themselves in places without data roaming agreements, but they could still get to an internet cafe.

A few posts back, Vincent Liou inserted a quiet advert for his service, ThinkPost. I haven't looked into it, but I'd expect that this sort of thing will get some traction in the BB community.
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Old 08-20-2008, 08:58 AM   #17 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dmacd View Post
Best of luck on getting 'desktop sync free'.
Google Calender Sync works.

I've not tested Gmail Contacts integration with the Phone app. I've imported a bunch of contacts from the Palm (via J-Pilot) into Gmail. Need to clean up the imported entries so the data is in the right fields in order to make use of the Gmail Contacts integration on the Blackberry.

BBRTM is too immature for my usage currently. The dealbreaker is that it not only doesn't work offline, it actually freezes the Blackberry when you try to start it up when there is no network service available.

So I think I'll give Milksync a try. $25 a year for an RTM pro account isn't that onerous and there's a 15 day free trial period.

Not spent any time looking into the Memo side of things yet, but I have some ideas.
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Old 08-23-2008, 02:13 PM   #18 (permalink)
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When Google Sync incorporates SyncML, will that possibly enable the syncing of contacts as well?

It appears that GMail contacts will soon work with SyncML
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Old 08-23-2008, 03:01 PM   #19 (permalink)
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How about Mobile.Me? That syncs calendar and contacts. I know you can hit a PC and a MAC. Not sure if you can hit a BB yet.

I am using Google Calendar to sync calendars on home PC, wife's PC, MAC PowerBook, Office desktop and 2 work laptops right now. If only I could get the contacts to sync wirelessly. Will look at Google Contacts and see if that will work.
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Old 09-21-2008, 10:13 PM   #20 (permalink)
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I, too, am trying to avoid desktop apps and use the "cloud" to store and sync all my data (using BIS, not BES). My choices are not perfect, but come pretty close. If interested, see my blog post on this (I am not affiliated with any company mentioned; I am a retired physician): charlesgoldman.wordpress.com/2008/09/21/going-paperless-and-getting-organized/
P.S. Google calendar did not sync accurately for me, so I switched to Yahoo (calendar and contacts), which works well w BB (but requires syncing via the BB Desktop app).
[I have a Verizon Curve and recently switched from Treo 700p]

Last edited by Charles G : 09-21-2008 at 10:16 PM.
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