Wednesday, August 12, 2009

PIM type tools.

On a slightly tangential note, one of the tools that I constantly review and revise are my tools for managing tasks and scheduling. I figured it was worthwhile to direct you to my other blog and links to my two latest posts regarding the state of the three big open-source contenders: Evolution, Chandler, and Thunderbird/Lightning.

- Jim

Upgrading my existing PIMs and Systems: Take 2

As I said last week, Chandler appeared to be a bust.

Over the weekend, I tried out using Thunderbird 2.0 and Lightning and a few plug-ins.

It is definitely far more stable than Chandler. Installation was a breeze. The Thunderbird functionality was rock solid. The Lightning integration was a little less so. Many of my Google calendars did not display all of the events.

I then went on to try Thunderbird 3.0 beta and the corresponding experimental Lightning version. Integration is a little cleaner, some Google events still did not display (though not the same ones) and the application did crash under the 64-bit version of Ubuntu (Jaunty Jackelope) I am running.

So I ended up back using Evolution as my primary PIM. But I did make a few changes in how I used it.

I change the system so that my two Gmail accounts are accessed using IMAP. My Comcast account is accessed using POP , and I am experimenting with using rules tailored for each of the three accounts.

In addition, I have switched over to using "Remember The Milk." (aka RTM) as my primary task manager. Google tasks appears to be of no real use for me since I can't sync my tasks to anything useful.

I use Tasque ( Linux only) to edit and modify my task entries and I use Evolution's read only access of RTM to see the tasks on the fly. It is far from ideal. Far, far, far from ideal. But it is a step up. When Evolution has the ability to access Google Tasks then I may be able to switch to one online provider. Of course, for that to happen Google needs to publish an API that allows us to access the tasks.

- Jim

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Upgrading my existing PIMs and Systems

Periodically, I reviewed the existing PIM solutions that are out there in the hopes of finding something that will please to handle my intermediate needs while I am writing something to handle all of my needs.

I am currently using Evolution in connection with Google calendar and sinking evolution to a Palm pilot. In my review. I discovered that Chandler is now at a greater than 1.0 version. Yay. Sort of.

I have often commented in this blog about how effectively the Chandler Project has modeled the domain of task management and scheduling. They have some brilliant concepts and have nailed many of the basic issues needed to take things to another level.

Unfortunately, stability is not one of them. I tried pulling down and installing Chandler on four different machines/OSes. Windows XP/Vista/Ubuntu 8 and Ubuntu 9.

Every single one of them crashed multiple times during normal operations. Whether it was importing from Google ics files, to creating a new collection, or creating a new calendar. Crashes were the rule rather than the exception.

This was also my experience over a year ago.

I don't know what else to say, but "Damn"

Over the weekend . I will look at both Thunderbird 2.0 and its corresponding Lightning plug-in as well as the Thunderbird 3.0 beta and its corresponding Lightning plug-in.

- Jim