Windows Phone 7 Frustrations

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 10:10 pm

I recently switched to Windows Phone 7 from Windows Mobile, but I am awash in frustrations over being able to manage my calendar and contacts. My situation is as follows:

  • My phone needs to access my cooperate Outlook email, calendar, and contacts, along with my Gmail, and personal Yahoo accounts.  (set #1 of calendar and contact entries)
  • My employer runs an Exchange Server with which my office computer  (set #2 of calendar and contact entries) connects to via Outlook 2010. However access to the exchange server is not allowed away from the office environment, and I must resort to using IMAP for accessing my corporate email on my home computer.
  • At home I use Outlook to manage my cooperate and Yahoo email accounts (over IMAP and POP3 respectively), along with my calendar and contacts (set #3).


Previously using Windows Mobile,  any changes I made to my calendar or contacts at the office would sync over-the-air with my phone, then they would be synced to my personal Outlook address book and calendar via a USB connection and Windows Mobile Device Center.  If I made a change on my phone, it would update my office computer over-the-air via the exchange server, then would update  my home computer via USB. Finally if I made a change on my home computer, once I synchronized it with my phone, my phone would be update to date, which would then cause my office Outlook to match.

The key here was that Windows Mobile had a single calendar and address book, and that everything synced to that single repository. Now with Windows Phone 7, each account I add to the phone can have a separate contact list, and calendar in addition to email inbox. My goal is to maintain separate inboxes, and maintain a single set of contacts and calendar entries.

One possible solution that I tried for about a week was to use the Outlook Windows Live Hotmail connector to create a repository of contacts and calendar entries. I was able to synchronize my home Outlook contacts and calendar appointments to it, and then at the office I could synchronize my work copy of Outlook to my Hotmail account.  Then I set my phone’s address book and calendar to only display  the Hotmail contacts and calendar. This worked, but with one big drawback. A while back I invested a good deal of time adding contact photos/business logos to each entry in my address book. This way I see their photo in the bottom right corner of an Outlook email. Note that not all of my contacts have a Facebook or other social media profile.  Much to my frustration, this system of synchronizing my calendar and contacts had wiped away all of the contact photos ( I made a backup PST file first!) as Hotmail will only support an image if the contact has a Windows Live Messenger profile.

Now I am left without the ability to properly synchronize my Outlook experience across all three of my primary Microsoft clients. If I cannot solve this very annoying issue,  I may be forced to revert to Windows Mobile, or at least running a Windows Mobile device as a hardware peripheral for synchronizing my data using both the Wi-Fi and USB connections.  This does not seem ideal,  and I am still feeling like “upgrading” to Windows Phone 7 was really a downgrade in key functionality, and the new tagline “put people first” is a taunt as I cannot organize (synchronize) my people (contacts) to be able to put them first.

My next attempt at keeping everything in sync will be using Google via a 3rd party sync tool. If Google is my only option to sync my data, it makes me rethink my loyalty to Windows Phone; maybe I should be open to Android in the future if this is not solved by Microsoft?


2010 Southwest Conference Football Standings

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 10:22 pm

Over the course of the 2010 college football season there were 16 games played with the 1976-1991 version of the Southwest Conference.  Since the distribution of the games is not even (Arkansas played only one other former Southwest Conference opponent while Baylor and Texas Tech each played five games) and the resulting team records that ensued provide that one could not honestly award declare a 2010 champion. Here are  the rankings for your enjoyment. Data courtesy of ESPN.

School Conference Record Overall Record
Arkansas 1-0 10-2
Baylor 2-3 7-5
Houston 1-2 5-7
Rice 1-3 4-8
SMU 1-3 7-6
Texas 2-2 5-7
Texas A&M 3-1 9-3
TCU 2-0 12-0
Texas Tech 3-2 7-5


Kansas City From the 28th Floor

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 9:16 pm

Last week I had the opportunity to attend a conference downtown Kansas City on the 28th floor of a major hotel, and of course I had my camera handy for a few pictures. Enjoy!

Get the flash player here:

Global Warming Lecture

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 9:02 pm

Recently the University of Kansas welcomed to campus Dr. Michael Meyer to offer a guest lecture on sustainable transportation. The lecture was sponsored by the University of Kansas Transportation Research Institute (TRI).


Sprint Touch Pro2 Unboxing and Review

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 8:34 pm

This may be the perfect phone (right now) for me. It’s like an iPhone, but can do so much more. Here is my unboxing and four part review:


Review Part 1:

Review Part 2:

Review Part 3:

Review Part 4:


Googlebar for Firefox 3.5

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 11:37 pm

For those that recently upgraded to Firefox 3.5 and (if your like me) love the Googlebar Firefox extension but noticed that it didn’t work after upgrading to 3.5. Here’s how to fix it:

  1. download the XPI file from here
  2. rename the file extension from .xpi to .zip
  3. Unzip the file and you should two folders and three files that were contained in the archive
  4. Using notepad, open install.rdf and look for the line (about line #4) where it says em:maxVersion=”3.0.*”
  5. change the it to read   em:maxVersion=”4.0.*”
  6. save the install.rdf file
  7. re-zip the files and folders together into a new archive including the altered install.rdf file
  8. rename the .zip file from step 7 to .xpi
  9. Open firefox, and navigate to tools->add-ons
  10. click the install button, navigate to the xpi file you created in step 8 and click the open button
  11. Voila! you have Googlebar in Firefox 3.5


Drug testing in the Public Schools

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 11:49 pm

This week in the St.Louis papers news has been amuck with the issue of drug testing on public high school students in the Francis Howell School District. At issue is that the testing is mandatory (albeit random) for anyone involved in extra-curriculars, or who chooses to park on campus. If you take the bus and do not participate in sports or clubs then your exempt from the testing. On one hand you have the issue of “big brother” looking over everyone’s shoulder, vs. the reality that illigeal drugs are still illigeal drugs. Call it the Barry Bonds effect, but I think that the day has come to require such testing.


Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 6:19 pm

This officially marks the beginning of my blog… a project that certainly is overdue. Stay tuned as I continue to develop the site.

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