Monday, November 11, 2013

Microsoft makes me long for paper!

I've enjoyed my run with Microsoft Outlook.  I maintain my contacts happily in Outlook.  I had found it to be a great place to put information about my accounts, including login and other account information.  Then once I could sync it to my phone, it got even better.  However, I guess those times are over.

Years (I mean many years) ago, I used to have an electronic organizer.  Okay, I went through a couple electronic organizers, the next one more cool than the last.  First, there was the one that could dial a number for you into a phone.  So when at the airport using a payphone (oh geez, if I have to explain this ...), I could have the organizer auto dial the number for AT&T, then the number I wanted to call, and finally my account number for the billing.  This tool helped when the cyber thieves actually watched to see what numbers you pressed on the keypad (am I really this old?).

I went from there to a Casio organizer which had a spreadsheet function in it.  So I could keep all my information in there.  Next stop was the Palm 3c which allowed me to edit my information using my computer.  All this seemed so unnecessary once I was able to leverage Outlook and get the information synced onto my phone.  I've found this to be a convenient place to keep information like family social security numbers, drivers license numbers, airline and the like membership numbers, and website login information or at least keys to remember the login information.

Can you imagine!?  One place to put all your information and it gets ported automatically to all the devices that need it.  Plus, if you change the information on a device, it gets updated in Outlook and voila the other devices too.

Or so it did.  I was really looking forward to the Windows 7 phone.  As chronicled in other posts, that turned out to be a big bust.  In order to get the information from my computer to the phone, I had to sync to the Microsoft website (hotmail).  Well, can't tell you how excited I was to think of all that information that I kept in Outlook on the web.  So, I didn't do that.

What I did do, was determine what phone platforms could sync to an Outlook client.  It turns out that the Apple iPhone and Android devices could do it, but not a Windows device.  (Last I checked Outlook was still sold by Microsoft.)  So I went to an Android device, which I've liked much better than my Windows 7 phone.

Now, I've purchased a Windows 8 laptop to replace my Windows 7 laptop which I thought was slowly dying.  Fortunately, I've figured out what was wrong with my Win 7 laptop, so I'm good.  Thankfully, because I really don't think the Win 8 platform is very user friendly.  Now, don't get me wrong, I've been using Win 8 for about two years.  I have a development machine which had a developer beta copy and now has dual boot to both Win 7 & Win 8.  I also have a few tablets around the house that have Win 8 on it.

However the requirement to use a Microsoft login in order to use the laptop is just simply over the top.  I installed 8.1 on it, and have regretted it ever since.  The way that the apps get installed and customized is very different.  There are also a few other issues, but the whole Microsoft login issue just riles me up.  I created a local login, but in order to access the store I have to log into my Microsoft login and get a code sent to my cell phone EVERY TIME.  Once, I could understand, but no, it's EVERY TIME.

So now I have to figure out what I'm going to do with my contact information.  I'm not about to put all that info on the web.  I'll have to scrub my outlook as well before I can even port it over to the new laptop.  Then it hit me, there is a solution which will keep the cyber crooks at bay.  I can put all that information into a notebook.  No, not a notebook computer, a notebook notebook, you know, the kind that comes from trees.  Yeah, I think I've finally got my answer.

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