Printed 2017/07/23 07:05AM

Google Replication

By Steve Jones, 2009/03/16

One of the things that I've struggled with for some time is how to manage my data across multiple machines. I have my desktop below, which I love, and with the 3 monitors, I tend to do most of my work there.

However I also travel regularly with my laptop, and I've been considering a netbook for shorter trips and presentations.

That has caused me issues with my schedule in Outlook as well as keeping my data in sync. I tried copying off my .PST file from Outlook and copying it around, but I have a huge file and that doesn't work well. I tried using a USB key to move data around, but occasionally I'd forget things. I was getting frustrated by the hassles and considered moving completely to my laptop just to keep things in sync. Then I discovered two solutions:

Calendar and Contacts

The impetus for this solution really came from my purchase of a T-Mobile G1 phone, powered by Android, the free OS from Google for small devices. This phone is highly integrated with Google's services and they push you towards GMail and their other services. I already had a GMail account, so this wasn't a big deal for me.

However as I looked more at the features, I noticed that Google has a nice calendar service and that if I enter appointments on my phone, they sync up with my Google account. That's a nice feature, but I wanted to still use Outlook where possible since I get appointments from Red Gate in Outlook.

Google knows that most people use Outlook and it's a nice desktop client. So they built Google Calendar Sync, a utility that you install on your desktop and it moves data from Outlook to your Google account. I downloaded and installed it, and have a 2 way sync with my desktop machine. I have a one way sync with my laptop, and since I'm the only one entering meetings and reminders, I never have collisions.

I set this up, and immediately saw all the various entries on my desktop moved to my phone inside of a couple hours. I used the defaults of having my desktop sync every 2 hours and my phone every hour.

Over the last month, this has worked outstanding for me. I can enter a new doctor's appointment when I'm out and by the time I get home, it's on my desktop. This way I get reminders on my phone, and on my computers, all kept in sync

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