Forget synchronizing, I want ubiquity

by Niel M. Bornstein

Since I joined the modern wireless generation by buying a Sony Ericsson T616 last December, I've discovered the joy and pain of keeping my address book synchronized.



It's more of a pain than a joy sometimes.



Here's the problem: I want to effortlessly synchronize Thunderbird on three machines, Outlook, and the Mac OS X Address Book, with my mobile phone.



In short, it's just not gonna happen without some hacking.



But this problem got me to thinking. What's the one thing all these platforms have in common?



What's common is what I have in my pocket whenever I use any of my three systems: a BlueTooth-equipped mobile phone.



I think what should happen is that rather than manually synchronizing 5 different address books, each mail application should reach out and query my Bluetooth device in real time.



I don't know enough about wireless technology to know what would be necessary to make this happen, but I really want it.





Have you ever wished for ubiquitous directory services?


3 Comments

orensr
2004-10-14 10:05:08
for real ubiquity
I share your pain. It's always seemed to me that what I really need is to be able to have a single authoritative source of an address book, and to have a personal LDAP server that accesses that source, and to have all my devices know enough LDAP to be able to use that source (if not update it).


Certainly all the mail clients can talk LDAP - I don't know why nobody's built an LDAP-aware address book into cell phones yet.

GeoffSoper
2004-10-15 04:06:00
Definitely!
I would love to be able to have a single online directory which I could access from my local e-mail clients (Outlook Express I'm afraid) on my two computers, my web-based e-mail client (Squirrelmail) and my phone. Ideally this would also hold postal addresses for people as well as e-mail and phone numbers. I can't see anything resembling even a partial solution to this. I don't have an online server so can't set up an LDAP directory which I believe OE and Squirrelmail can access, there don't seem to be any places which will host an LDAP account for me and this still doesn't involve my phone. Surely this is something which is going to become more of an issue as time goes by and people's contact information becomes increasingly spread over different devices/locations?
mabl*ekek
2004-10-18 07:09:15
Mobical
Hello,


your problem with multiple sync with one source is typical for hungry geek user. Normale user still use only one app and still have the same disorder with their contacts etc.


but geek love order and then want make it better than hand_made :-)


i use mobical.net and that make it for me this.


i can sync my symbian mobile phone over syncML (little app in my phone that can connect over http(s) to server mobical.net and sync contacts,tasks,schedules,) and in second i can login to mobical.net and there i can show or edit or create entries to same diary as on the phone.


i think that in little time will come next services with able of make it secondary sync replica. maybe for thunderbird, maybe for oe or something else.


but it is in just time all what i can recommed to you


bye


/MBL