Oxford life. Thirtysomething challenges. Music leanings. Anything really.

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

The curse of being a tech-savvy bloke

I got a new phone the other day. I'm not an early adopter, so it is hardly ground-breaking to have a phone that is Bluetooth enabled, doubles as an MP3 player and can syncrhonise with Outlook. The uber-geeks have had this stuff for years, but it's still exciting for me to get on board.

I only actually got the phone because the contract is cheap and has more free anytime minutes than I could possibly ever use. They could have given me a brick of a phone and I would still have been happy. But I got the phone, and that's good.

So why is it a curse to have some tech knowledge?

The phone synchronises with Outlook, so I can finally have a Contacts database that lives on my laptop and on my phone; one of my personal Holy Grails.

But, I've been hanging with the Open Source world and using Mozilla Thunderbird recently. It's trendy, don't you know? Unfortunately,Nokia down stoop so low as to synchronise with Open Source software, so I need to revert back to evil Capitalist Outlook. But there's the small matter of the Thunderbird address book and mail folders.

"Ah ha!" I think. "With my superior knowledge of computers and software, I will be able to cleverly and efficiently export the data from one application to another. It will be done in a matter of minutes, and I will have a nice conversion process that will make me feel warm and smug inside."

First, export the addresses. Ah, you can't do it the way I want to.

Okay, try the emails: I have some emails I need to be able to refer back to, and will need those in Outlook . Well, it turns out they are in "universal" EML format. That's fine, I can download a piece of software, export from one to the other, and then import it into Outlook.

Download the software. Install it. Run it. Hmmm, it doesn't actually work in quite the way I wanted, and it insists on exporting all 100MB of email. Yikes, it's taking a while. Finally it finishes, but now I have a folder containing every single email I have ever received - I spend an hour going manually through them, before giving up - it's too daunting trawling through 3000 emails in order to save about 100.

Try again with the address book. Drag and drop doesn't work. Outlook won't import it anyway, it turns out, becuase I don't have the feature installed. That's annoying, isn't it - click on a menu option in a Microsoft product, and it tells you that, no, it actually wasn't installed, please insert your Microsoft Office CD - which you never have to hand...

So far, I have spent 2 hours trying to cleverly get data into Outlook.

Another wasted hour later, I manually go through my address book and copy them all over to OUtlook. I then manually go through my old phone's SIM card and copy them into Outlook.

Non-techy people will have done only the last step, saving hours over the amount of time I spent on the task. Who's the winnner? Not me, that's for sure.

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?