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?
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).
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?