Pumpkin Seed HQ
Wednesday, 26. April 2006

So I think I need to jot down some thoughts, they may relevant to you or not. These ideas are random and but they are important to get my head around some time and contact organisation.

I am currently trying to figure out how to organise my work in a mixed industrial and research environment. At a first thought it is about addresses and contacts but I think it goes much deeper. How do I keep things in sync with about three or four machines (I rather would argue it is a n* scenario). And how do I keep things secure. My friend Tobi pointed out: none of my contacts will be hosted on a shared server if they are readable by admins. Technologies are there in a dozen but they cover mostly just a very limited scenario and do not scale very well. Point in case here: my Sony Clie SJ33 became just obsolete because I can't get it properly synced to any other application I use.

Well, as I am in New Zealand there is a large thrive towards Microsoft products. They have a large market share and they are keeping their back clean. I can understand the advantages of a Outlook/Exchange based system fairly well but it doesn't help me with my work at all. The calendars are not used by anybody in the lab, appointments rarely send around in a Outlook compatible format. On the other hand I need to use at least two different versions of Linux and also Windows and I am slightly alergic agains Microsoft etc. pp.

So what are my (incomplete and barely brainstormed) needs are:

  1. Sync, sync and even more sync, nothing is more anoying than having to admit to somebody that the address I just promised to share with him is on my server and not on my phone/notebook/random electronic gadget. (There is an attitude thing to this. But I am just for the reason of syncronisation an IMAP-zealot)

  2. Share with complexity! Forget KISS its not working for that! What I want is a fine grain possibility to share and move addresses and schedules around.

  3. Security. Nobody should be scared to provide or share his/her contacts with me just because the technology is flimsy.

  4. Interoperability. I am a pragmatic user of everything that works best for me. I don't want to lock myself down to specific applications because tomorrow they might be already obsolete.

Solutions tried:

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