Archive | January, 2008

ActiveSync actively stynks

25 Jan

I am so done with ActiveSync! It’s the application that is responsible for keeping a Windows Mobile PDA in sync with a desktop PC, and it is the worst application ever created by Microsoft. This p.o.s. program has cost me more time than any other I have on my computer, in any operating system (whether Windows, Mac OS X or Linux). Its reliability and availability is abysmal. Take a look on any support forum, and you’ll find it full of people with endless problems with it.

Take a look at this list of possible errors you might experience with ActiveSync. The list has more than 50 entries! Frequent suggestions to users include: “reinstall Microsoft Office”, “reinstall Outlook”, “delete everything on your PDA”, “download a new certificate”, “backup your Outlook folder, delete the application and reinstall”, “open ports in your firewall”, and many other even more obscure suggestions all aiming at getting the thing to do what it is supposed to. And to think that they’re up to version 4.5. How many tries will it take to get it right?

Meanwhile, in years and years as a Palm user, I never had this type of problem with Hotsync. The damn thing “just worked”. Unfortunately for me, I sold my Palm TX recently, and am stuck with a PDA I use at work. But, I do have a plan.

From now on, I will no longer use ActiveSync. As an alternative, I’ll use the Funambol Google Sync plug-in for Outlook. This will keep my Outlook calendar in sync with my Google Calendar. Then I’ll use (and am already) the free GooSync application to keep my Google Calendar in sync with my PDA. If I pay $40/year for the premium service, I can also sync all my contacts, and multiple Google calendars.

Thankfully we’re moving into an age where more and more applications are available over the internet, so we don’t have to tolerate any more the crap that comes out of Microsoft.

I am greatly looking forward to the release of the Apple iPhone in Canada so I can once again get a PDA that will “just work” and sync effortlessly to my Mac or my Windows PC.

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