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charlie, computer cat

August 2018



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charlie, computer cat

So, I turned off my phone last thing on Friday to switch the batteries (I keep a spare and switch between them so that I don't have to leave my phone plugged in to charge) and when I put the other battery back in it wouldn't switch on. Tried both batteries, tried plugging it in, all no dice - dead phone.

I absolutely have to have a phone this week for Brownies if nothing else (we're going out to the theatre) so I decided I was going to have to brave the horrible weather and go into town to see the Vodafone man. They too had a go but had no luck getting the thing to switch on. They offered to send it off for repairs but as I had been considering a new phone anyway when my contract ran out next month I decided to pick one up now for the hell of it (I can tell you're surprised :)).

I had been considering the Samsung G600 with the 5 megapixel camera but when I sat down with the chap downstairs and he asked me what I was looking for I gave him the details (internet, camera, not too bothered about music) and he suggested the F700 instead and got me one out to play with. Well, we all know that's the best way to sell me a gadget :) I was hooked really quickly and decided to go for it within about a minute of having it in my hand.

The amazing thing was that when we looked at my last couple of bills, I run out my minutes way too often (which I had realised and was planning to change when contract expired) so I have ended up on a new plan with many more free minutes, fixed price internet up to a reasonable limit (described as unlimited in the ads, but there you go) for about half what my bill has been for the last couple of months and a beautiful phone thrown in for free!

So far I like it a lot - the keyboard is great for messaging (although slightly awkward if you've also got the power plugged in), the touchscreen is nice, web browsing is fast and the whole experience is very pretty. Unfortunately, what it doesn't have that my old phone did is syncML built in. It hadn't occurred to me to ask about this as I kind of assumed it would be pretty standard but apparently not. I had been using it on the old phone to keep a backup of contacts and calendar to the interwebs via ScheduleWorld after my contacts got too big for my sim (and boy am I glad I did!) but unfortunately, I couldn't then just point my new phone at SW and be off again. It took me some considerable time to get a contacts backup in vCard format (SWs fault) which I could sync with my phone and I still haven't managed to get my Google calendar into vCal format so that I can transfer it over.

Long term, I'm not sure what I'm going to do about it though. I really like having my google calendar available to me on my work desktop but do I really need it there if I've got it on my phone? I've spent a bit of time trying to get gCalSync to work but no dice there as it just keeps giving me certificate errors so it looks like I have to choose and we all know there's only one way of making a choice on LiveJournal...

What shall I do about my phone vs web calendars?

Ignore the phone calendar. Get Google to send reminders by text and add new appts via the web browser on your phone if you can't wait
Ignore Google calendar. Just get all your data copied over and use your phone - it's not like you need to share the data or go out without your phone
Do an awkward manual sync - install Outlook on your PC, sync that with Google and your phone with that
Keep them both up to date manually (if you pick this I will assume you hate me)

I would be inclining more towards option 1 except that I really like the way the calendar app on the phone works so I am currently more or less agnostic. Break the deadlock in my brain!


Out of interest, how much is your monthly payment? I'm on PAYG and normally only spend about £10 a month, but that's because I don't use my mobile for making calls because of the cost, and I'm wondering whether if I had a contract with minutes I'd actually use the phone more...
I'm paying £30 per month for 500 mins of free calls and then have added the data plan on top. I used to be quite cautious about using my mobile but I actually really like being able to be on the phone while bimbling around doing other things and have started using it while at home even now that I have a bluetooth headset so my previous 2 phone bills were for about £65-£70!
Irritating though it is Outlook does seem like the easiest option. Smartphones seem to assume you use Outlook and I have no problems synching to a succession of phones it even syncs to my I-touch without apparent conflicts. Also since I keep a copy on my work pc calender it tends to minimise work/social conflicts.
Yeah, I know the technical side of that would work - the phone comes with an outlook synchronizer and I found a couple of things that would do the outlook to Google leg while looking for solutions. The problem is that I'd have to remember to do it on a regular basis :)
Not entirely sure what OWIWEIC means but I'm assuming its some form of 'Other'?

Old fashioned I know, but how about a paper-diary. You have no charging cables to worry about! ;-)
Yes but then I have to find a pen and I have to carry around 2 things instead of one - it's not like I ever leave home without my phone anyway.

OWIWEIC is other which I will explain in comments.
i use my phone's calendar for everything. whereever i am, my phone will vibrate in my pocket half an hour before i have to be somewhere. it even reminds me to eat!
I like being able to see my plans at a glance - but I do use Google for a similar thing when I'm at work, so I'm torn...
I don't hate you ;) I just had to pick it because I'm nice like that.

Why do you need two calendars anyway? Don't you always have your phone with you?

True but it's slightly less to hand when I'm at work and slightly less inconspicuous than using google.
What advantages does using google have over (just) the phone? Seems like an easy choice to me, but then i've never used google calendar!

-- tom
More data security and slightly more unobtrusive access at work. I started doing it because I don't remember to link my phone & pc very often and so this backed up my contacts etc for me with no intervention on my part, which I was very pleased about when my phone suddenly went down :)