Everything but the kitchen synch!


I got this cool MacBook that I’ve been yapping about and I’m getting hooked. It started when I had my first conversation with it. I’ve never met a PC (or computer of any type) that I could talk to. So then I started doing development on it. It’s got a native bash shell, none of that Cygwin stuff, it’s got an easy to use interface, and everything just works the way you would naturally expect it to. As a testiment to that fact let me explain what happened the first time I did a power-point presentation with it. I setup in our conference room and plugged the projector into the DVI (using the supplied VGA to DVI adapter) and the thing knew what I wanted to do. It figured out that there was an extra screen attached and split its display accordingly. I merely had to drag my power point window off of the Mac display onto the projected screen. I could review my notes on the Mac display while I gave my presentation! How slick is that? We recently I’ve been doing a lot of Windows development and I got this new flat screen ViewSonic which makes things pretty. So now I connect the new monitor to the MacBook and run Parallels on the Mac display with OS X showing on the flatscreen. It’s like two computers side by side without the hassle of an extra keyboard and mouse. Whenever I want to do something in Windows I just pull my mouse over to my Mac display on the right and click a Window to start working. Whenever I want to do something on OS X (check email, code in Idea, run a shelll script, etc.) I drag my mouse back over to the left flatscreen display and go to town. Then I have my Core Duo Wintel Dell that I use. It has it’s own flatscreen connected but I’m finding less use for that screen (along with the attached mouse and keyboard) because I can just remote desktop in from my Mac and bring that up on the windows display and use it just as easily.

So what’s wrong?
As cool as I think my setup is there’s always something that annoys me. First off, I have a lot of redundancy. Thunderbird runs on all three machines (My Dell, My Mac, and the VM on my Mac) but it’s not too painfull since I use IMAP accounts keeping most of my mail on the server and filtered into folders. But there’s the calendar problem. I got used to Lightning with T-Bird on Windows but that doesn’t work on the Mac, so all of my calendar entries have to be re-entered in my Mac iCal. I have Entourage but I don’t use that because I like TBird better. Maybe I should just buckle and use Outlook/Entourage and things would be more simple. I was hoping, however, that there was some sort of slick way to auto synch iCal with my Lightning calendar on my Windows box and also over the VM but I haven’t discovered it yet. Also I got this blackberry that I want to keep up to date with the contacts from my Mac. I find myself frequently adding entries in both address books with no clever way to synch things up. I guess Entourage may be my best bet for this as well. I’d just rather use the Mac’s native software for PIM (that’s geek talk for email, calendar, contacts, etc.) If there are any Mac gurus that occasionally take pity on me speak up. What’s the best way to synchronize PIM data between a Mac, a blackberry, and two Windows instances?

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