Thursday, February 22, 2007

Google Adds Docs to Domain Apps

Google just added Google Docs to their Apps for Your Domain offering and now are offering a paid version with many new features. Docs has been added to free and paid versions. The paid version of Apps for Your Domain includes unlimited users, 10GB of mail storage, optional ads, account management and single sign-on APIs and phone support. The paid version also includes a 99.9% uptime guarantee (thats like 8 hours a year of downtime). The paid version costs $50 per user per year. Pretty sweet deal if you ask me. Right now I'm on the free trial until April. For free users the addition of Google Docs was a no-brainer. It was the other shoe dropping. Now we have document collaboration which I think is Google Docs strongest competitive feature. The word processor is a bit underpowered for some of the writing I do and I've only dabbled in the spreadsheet but as far as I can tell I could use it as my main spreadsheet app. We are currently dealing with an issue at the shop that having a shared spreadsheet like this is probably the ideal solution. What can you say? Google continues to delight its customers while taking a clear shot at MS Office/Exchange. Someone should do a cost analysis of a 50 person office on Google Apps for Your Domain vs. MS Office/Exchange but my guess is it wouldn't look good for Microsoft.

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Wednesday, February 21, 2007


Saturday, February 10, 2007

Nice Feature of Google Calendar

I've been using Google Calendar to track all my appointments and here is a nice tip for anyone that attends a lot of conference calls. Make sure you put the conference call dial-in information (usually a telephone number and pin) into the location field when you book the appointment. Then if you set an alert to let you know when the conference call is about to start the alert message will contain the phone number and pin for the call. It seems simple but it's one of those Captain Obvious improvements that helps me juggle my schedule effectively and keeps me from dialing in late to calls because I can't find the number. Now for the bonus tip. If you enable SMS alerts you will get the information right on your cell phone just before the start of the call. Nifty! On my phone, the Nokia E62, I can highlight the phone number in the SMS message and dial the number for the call. Joy! The only downside is I have to go back to the SMS to retrieve the pin. Bummer. Anyone know how to do a cut and past on a phone like that? That might make this even more whiz-bang.

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Thursday, February 08, 2007

Google Reader Update

Ask and ye shall receive.... My Google Reader post a few days ago drew the attention of the Google Reader team. The net result? First they pointed out I can read posts via the mobile web interface by clicking on the subscriptions link at the bottom of the interface. You can then browse each subscription individually instead of viewing all the posts in the "river of news" mode. Second, they pointed out they've updated the online version to fix the Mac OSX/Firefox scrolling lockup. I can confirm that this seems to have fixed the bug and once again Google Reader is a joy to use again. Thank you Google Reader Team especially Mihai Parparita for pointing out the mobile tip and pre-announcing the fix that alleviates the Mac OS X Firefox crash!

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Monday, February 05, 2007

D&R Canal Update

My D&R Canal trek was completed on 1/27/2007. I have walked every section of the main canal except for the portion which is now buried and passes under Trenton. The last section from Port Mercer to Mulberry Street is not very scenic but it's officially part of the canal so it had to be conquered. My next hiking goal is to walk the entire feeder canal which winds along the Delaware River from Trenton to Frenchtown. I will probably tackle this in 10 mile sections so it will likely take about 3 outings to complete. I'm going to carry a camera this time to get a few shots of the trail. I should have done this for the main canal but I'll probably get back and take a few key shots later in the Summer. Beyond the feeder canal, I have dreams of hiking the AT through NJ. I'll have to find a different partner for that trip. My father-in-law has already expressed his distaste of camping and I think I want to through hike the AT in NJ. I don't think I'll ever be able to do the entire AT but if I can knock out New Jersey in one shot who knows. Maybe I can section hike it and finish it when I'm 60. It's been done before.

Google Reader Experience Update

I have two new items to update the world on since the new Google Reader update I wrote about in a previous post. First the good news. The mobile version works great on my new Nokia E62. The interface is usable but sadly it only works in it's aggregate view. I can't view posts by blog. It only shows me the latest posts in all my subscriptions. Still it's really a great feature and it helps me pass the time after all the email has been downloaded and processed on the hand held. Now the bad news. It crashes my browser (Firefox on Mac OS X) constantly. It's to the point that the thing is unusable. I notice this when I scroll down lists of posts for a particular blog that might have 100+ entries I haven't read. I haven't done the requisite search for other folks that are having this problem but if I'm going to be forced to search for a fix I might as well be searching for a replacement. So while I would hate to give up an online, server-based, aggregator, but I need something that isn't going to crash and loose my reading history every 15 minutes, (Yes, folks it's that bad) I need something more reliable. My time is too important to me. I'll keep this space updated on my progress. Alas Google Reader, your ajaxian goodness may have done you in.