My mom always said calculators would make my brain lazy. She was right of course. The same theory works with contacts and phone numbers. I have become more reliant on Outlook and my cell phone to find out how I contact an individual. The big problem? Not a loss memory and the ability to recall a phone number, rather that Outlook and my cell phone are not connected. This problem has become more and more annoying.
My first thought about solving this problem is to get a bluetooth enabled phone. My wife is using my old cell I replaced last year in May. Her batteries are not retaining a charge so I figured I could get a new phone and give her mine. Verizon was helpful in showing me several phones, but they all have the useless and stupid camera technology (a blog entry/rant in the future on why I believe cameras should be disabled and outlawed). So my provider does not have a phone compatible with my lifestyle at the moment.
So I ask the sales guy if there is software I can use to synch Outlook to my phone. He looks at it and giggles, brings it over to the tech support staff and they giggle more. I have had this phone for a year and they tell me it is old. Old?!? The one tech women proceeds to explain to me how the electronic lifecycle works and how technology pace is faster than other commodities. I proceed to tell her how I could have written the software she was using to look up my account on her PC. I understand this, but my phone is not old. My last phone is still in use and I had it for four years. Still works great.
Verizon sells software to connect a PC with a phone, but they could not answer my question about it working with my cell. They give me the number to LG's tech support (instead of calling it themselves). I call on my way to Best Buy where I wanted to purchase a UPS. LG cannot answer and give me the phone number to their software vendor Susteen
. By now I am in Best Buy. The tech support guy tells me about DataPilot and how it not only reads my Outlook contacts, but also writes them to my cell phone address book. He tells me DataPilot is available at Best Buy. Cool!!! Talk about the planets being in alignment.
So I get the product and it works great. It connects to my phone via a USB wire. The connector is a universal design and it comes with probably a dozen different connectors for the different phones (talk about something that needs standardization). It does not sync like a Palm or PocketPC. It reads the contacts and you can edit them (remove duplicates like ones already on your phone which it reads, remove ones you don't want on your phone, etc.). Then you initiate the write process. This works great.
DataPilot also allows you to read and write images, calendar items, email, ringtones, and connect to the Internet via dialup and your phone. I only wanted the phone contacts and to me that was worth the US$80. I have not played with the Internet connection, but it sounds promising.
I will say the surprise of this is the ringtones. I have been searching for the Harry Potter theme song (Hedwig's Theme) for my phone since I bought it a year ago. No luck. My daughters were playing it on our piano the night I brought this package home. They have the sheet music. The ringtones module allows you to create ringtones via a piano keyboard and sheet music. So the three of us spent an hour learning how and entering in the music and downloading it to my phone. We had a lot of fun.
So today I have my contacts up to date and Harry Potter music ringing when someone calls. Life is good.