Saturday, September 13, 2008

Mobile Me Review

Ok, Ok... I know moving to the Macintosh is a big 'switch' - but a large part of why I moved was this new service called 'Mobile Me'. It is just an update to the service Apple has offered for years now. But it is like the 'perfect storm' - all the items in this story came together at the appropriate time.

First character
- the iPhone. I picked up an iPhone last year as soon as they were available. Both because it is just way cool technology, but also because the iPhone is a GSM phone that works anywhere in the world. So when I travel I can have a cell phone with me. Plus, did I mention the technology is WAY COOL!

Great interface, good phone, all the things I need in a PDA and more. So the iPhone is the first part of this story.
The second... the 'parts' of using a computer that I just can't live without. The applications that I use not just daily, but almost hourly throughout my day with my comptuer. This was mostly inside of Microsoft Outlook. Calendar, Task List, E-mail, Archive of e-mail (very important!), and my Address Book.

Oh, I've tried lots of options - way back when it was a Franklin Planner (used religiously daily for over ten years) - then a little HP 100, Palm Pilots, then then as a laptop seemed to be with me all the time a variety of different software applications. Culminating in Microsoft Outlook. At first it wasn't what I wanted - the interface looked 'wrong' and I couldn't get it to do all the things I wanted. But over time we came together and each adjusted somewhat so that up until about 6 weeks ago I was using Outlook all day long to manage by work and family lives.

next part is my propensity to update/change laptops every year (ok, sometimes sooner) but at least once per year for the last 25+ years. (see one of the next blog entries on why this is the case)

When I'd change out a laptop/computer it was a fairly arduous event. Usually over the Christmas holidays because the IT industry is usually 'down' for the week between Christmas and New Years so I knew I'd have time to make the switch.

So when this new Macintosh MacBookAir took over it's place as 'My' computer, I had to move all my items, calendar, e-mail, archives, address book, and tasks over to the new Macintosh.

I worked for a week or so using a copy of Windows XP running in Parallels on the Macintosh so I could still stay with Outlook. It actually worked fairly well. I thought I was 'home' - the nice little MacBookAir running most things, and then the Outlook in Parallels for the 'main' items.

Then the MacBookAir's hard drive went kaput on me and I had to make a quick change as I was leaving on a trip in just a couple of hours. My simple backups easily moved to the MacBookPro and I was off and running... during that week I moved the rest of the 'main' items over to the Mac platform.

The final part to this story is the fact that much of the work on computers now days is on the Internet and the Internet really doesn't care if you are on a Mac or a PC... so with Firefox being on both platforms my user experience didn't have to change at all.

Oh, and I like the feel of the Apple Mighty Mouse with the cool scroller ball instead of a wheel - and it also is Bluetooth so I don't need a dongle any longer.

Now all the parts are now together for why Mobile Me was the great changer in this story.

Returning from the trip with the MacBookPro - I picked up the MacBookAir at the shop and it took less than 30 minutes from start to finish... everything was back in sync.

  • E-mail
  • E-mail Archives
  • 'My Documents'
  • Calendars
  • Address Book
  • Task Lists
  • Firefox with Extensions and Bookmarks
Not only was my MacBookPro's stuff transferred to my new MacBookAir - but they were both in Sync with each other as well as with my iPhone too. So now with the use of Mobile Me all my computers are in sync with each other. Better than a backup - actually in SYNC - so any machine can give me what I need.And now for the pièce de résistance..

All of those items can also be accessed via the Internet - so even if I didn't have any of my computers, I could still access mail, archives, calendars, etc.

Digital Nirvana at last...


Janet said...

I'm so happy for you - really! You are my computer guru!

Gram said...

I could just echo Janet's comments. You are definitely our favorite technology guru. I am amazed at all the things you have learned and done in your married years. You definitly overcame the loss of the disks I unfortunately threw away all those many years ago. I hope I have been forgiven for that - I was just sick over it.