User indifference

Notice anything odd about this ad for the Microsoft watch?

It's upsidedown. Who wears a watch that only others can read?

I'm trying to synchronize three lists of contacts. There's a contact list in Outlook 2003 but all the entries in mine are duplicates (and I have no clue how to weed out the redundent ones). There's an Address Book available via Accessories that contains another list entirely. And there's a list that Card Scan maintains. And I almost forgot the names and email addresses that Outlook is capturing as I send mail; I can't find where these are. And some fragments left over from Outlook Express. And a list trapped in Eudora. And another in Mozilla Mail.

Communicating with contacts is one of my prime functions on the net, but if Microsoft has information to help out, I've yet to find it. There's no apparent automatic backup. Synchronization is a nightmare. What I really need is a secure web-based way to maintain one list of contacts info that's accessible wherever I am.

I'd prefer to have to read my watch upsidedown than to continue struggling with hidden .wad and .pst files. Am I alone in my confusion?

Posted by Jay Cross at May 16, 2004 01:06 AM | TrackBack

No Jay, you're not alone. I'm not endorsing this product but a lot of my friends have started using this: I'd be curious to hear your opinion of it.

Posted by: Ken Steinman at May 17, 2004 12:55 PM

Ken, thanks for the pointer. I already use CardScan -- works with my card OCR reader. It's just that I have such a devil of a time moving stuff into and out of Outlook.

Posted by: Jay Cross at May 17, 2004 11:35 PM

I agree with you and Ken - I have always struggled to keep my outlook contact list updated. And I have always wondered what the auto-archive feature in outlook was all about. How do I access archived mail messages, contacts, etc?

Posted by: Rajesh Lele at May 18, 2004 10:26 PM

Dammit. This is one of those neverending software-fu deals. I just discovered that Outlook has been routing mail from several associates to the Junk folder -- even though it put mail from them in the Inbox only a couple of days ago.

To try to get things in sync, I erased all the Outlook and Address Book files. Then I transferred my records from CardScan to Outlook. Outlook finds them about one time out of five. If I click "Contacts" in Outlook's left column, I see them. If I click open a new message and click "To:", Outlook informs me the Outlook Address Book is empty. I can scroll to the "Contacts" file but Outlook doesn't remember this, so I have to scroll every time.

Given that email is the killer app of all time, this is simply ridiculous. Kafka as software designer.

Posted by: Jay Cross at May 19, 2004 12:12 AM

I ran into this problem a few years back when I tried synchronizing Outlook, Goldmine, a Palm V and a PocketPC. I had to turn to the church.

Going there now, I see that even the church has given up on Microsoft Outlook.

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