Stevenator65’s Weblog

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When Technology Advances Are Not

I’ve had my Dell Axim x50v running wm2003se for 2 1/2 years.  I carry it everywhere.  It has all my contacts, notes, software, games, gps, login information (wallet software w/all my passwords) and everything I need to keep up in business and enjoy family life.  I also carry a World War II style Nextel i580 Motorola phone for work.  It doesn’t get me on the internet, it has a small screen, but it’s rugged, durable and has that push to talk feature that drives the ladies wild.  And until a few days ago, I had a desktop computer.

The Technology “Advance”

I’m in sales and I travel the midwest, visiting customers.  Since I have absolutely no memory, I depend on my notes.  For the last few years I’ve used Act! 6.0 as a contact manager.  It’s easy to use, far easier than Outlook, and much more suited to the job.  However, it’s not without its faults.  But I am able to sync it with my pocket pc via the mighty excellent Companionlink, so I don’t have to bring much with me when I travel. 

Since our office is expanding, we decided to give my desktop to a new employee, and get a laptop for me.  After three delays, Dell just shipped me a Latitude D630 loaded with XP pro, a Sprint Wireless Card, 2 GB of ram, a 14″ screen and tons more.  I was excited.  There were a few issues to consider, however.  We use Outlook, and Dell didn’t have any deals on it, so I decided to get a copy of MS Office elsewhere.  I bought Office 2007 Professional.  Schweeeet.  Or was it?

What Did I Do?

Now the comedy of errors began.  I’m not going to replace my pocket pc with my laptop.  I still want to sync my contacts as before.  After all, a laptop does not have “instant on” capabilities, nor does it fit in my pocket, and I wasn’t going to buy a UMPC (ultra mobile PC); I have real work to do.  So what’s the problem?  The first problem is that Word 2007 does not work with Act! 6.  Oh oh.  That’s a problem.  But I was thinking about moving ahead to Outlook anyway, because they integrated Business Contact Manager to make it more robust like Act! 

So I transferred my Act! contacts into Outlook with the included wizard.  Of course, none of my notes transferred.  Nor did my categories or custom fields.  Then, I transferred every Outlook contact into the “Business Contact Manager.”  I’m flying by the seat of my pants.  This is not intuitive like Act!  But it’s working.  Now to sync my pocket pc.  It syncs!

Where Are My Contacts?

After the sync, I have 40 contacts instead of 600.  What the ….?  Ok, I should take a break here.  Don’t I write articles about tech?  Shouldn’t I know stuff like this?  Shouldn’t I have planned more?  Am I an idiot?  Should this be that difficult?

To be fair, my boss and our outside tech consultant told me to get Office 2003.  But I was all, “Whatever, I’m not buying a three year old system.  I know everything.”  So now when I share files in the office, I have to save my files in the 2003 version or else nobody else can read them.  That’s not very convenient, is it?  Microsoft wants you to buy their new Office 2007, but doesn’t tell you the files are not compatible with the older office.  When you save a file such as Excel, in the older, 2003 version, you lose all the formatting.  That was not the case when going from Office 2000 to Office 2003.  Hey, the Office Ribbons are nice, but I want compatibility.

Yeah, I digress.  I did a help search.  It turns out that in order for me to sync my contacts, I have to download a file onto my pocket pc.  I also have to, uh, have windows mobile 5.  I also have to have a higher version of active sync than the 3.8 I use.  Basically, I need to change the OS on my pocket pc, or get a new one!

In Conclusion

Well, that was a learning experience.  Can I hit the Tivo rewind button?  How about the Windows System Restore?  Should I upgrade the OS on my pocket pc or get a new one?  Should I find out if the newest version of Act! will work – or will that compound the problem?  Should I punt?

Can I have my OLD desktop back with my OLD version of OFFICE and my OLD pocket pc?  I’m not sure I like NEW technology.


August 28, 2007 - Posted by | Opinions

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