Fixing ActiveSync woes with Outlook 2007

Microsoft ActiveSync

Now here’s a remarkable (even blogable) thing: my slow Windows Mobile to Outlook ActiveSync synchronization woes now appear to be a thing of the past. But not before running into some difficulties.

After I upgraded from Microsoft Outlook 2003 to Microsoft Outlook 2007 ActiveSync point-blank refused to connect to my beloved O2 Xda Orbit.

Not only had I upgraded Outlook itself, I’d also moved from the older “Outlook 97-2002” PST file format to the newer “Outlook 2003-2007” format. I didn’t even realise that I had been working with the older format. That must go back to my upgrade from Outlook 2000 to 2003.

My usual solutions did nothing to help:

  • Remove the Windows Mobile 6 device from the cradle and then reseat it.
  • Reboot the Windows Mobile 6 device.
  • Reboot the Windows XP device.
  • Run scanpst.exe on my Outlook.pst file.

I went for a solution-hunt on Google, and discovered that disabling the advanced nework functionality might just do the trick. And you know what: it did.

What I did

  1. Click Start > Settings
  2. Click on the Connections tab, and you see this:

Windows Mobile 6 Settings

  1. Double-tap the “USB to PC” icon
  2. Now untick the only option available: “Enable advanced network functionality”.
  3. Click OK button (top right).

Windows Mobile 6 USB to PC settings

Now everything seems to be running faster and more responsive on my O2 Xda Orbit (not just connecting to ActiveSync but accessing menus, calendar data, contacts, applications start faster), and it connects to ActiveSync first time, even straight after a system reboot. Previously it would always object, and I’d need to remove it from the cradle and leave it until after the system had completely booted up.

But …

The only thing is that I’m not entirely sure what “advanced network functionality” is. I’m not sure what I’ve disabled, what I’m missing out on … any ideas?

Outlook attachment reminder macro

Spotted on LifeHacker: Mark Bird’s Outlook Attachment Reminder.

This Outlook macro will politely remind you to attach a file if it finds the word “attach” in your email and no actual attached file.

I’ve just tested it in Outlook 2003, and it sure does work … and you get to pretend that you’re a programmer for a couple of minutes.

In other news: hands up who knew that there was a Visual Basic Editor shipped with Outlook?

Calgoo calendar software now free

I got an email this week from Calgoo announcing that their calendar sync and share products are now free, as of 22 July 2008.

Here’s what they had to say:

Over the past two years, Calgoo Software has been developing the most complete calendar suite on the market. We released a full-featured desktop calendar program, the only Google Calendar sync solution that works with both iCal & Outlook, as well the world’s first cross platform calendar sharing service.  We are also working behind the scenes on our new in-calendar advertising models and are close to releasing these.

I’ve used Calgoo Connect in the past to sync Outlook with Google Calendar, and I was impressed.

Order

When I boot up my PC this is the usual order that I start my various essential applications:

  1. Twhirl (Twitter client)
  2. Windows Live Messenger (Instant messenger client)
  3. Mozilla Firefox (Web browser)
  4. Microsoft Outlook (Email, Calendar, Tasks)
  5. WinAmp (MP3 player)

Until I started using Twitter it used to be either Outlook or Windows Live Messenger that I fired up first.

Interestingly the first four are generally about connecting with people. It’s a very social place the internet.

What applications do you start first?

Xobni released

After seven months of invite-only beta, Xobni is now publicly available for anyone to download.

I like the idea of Xobni (that’s inbox backwards), and actually tried it out during beta.  It does cool things with searching through your inbox folders, pulling out useful information like telephone numbers, attachments, grouping conversations and that sort of thing.

However, surely it doesn’t really work terribly well if you follow the whole Inbox Zero thing because you end up with nothing to search.

Maybe they’ll bring out Orez Xobni for those occasions.