Computing Technology

Xobni Makes Outlook Rock

Microsoft Office Outlook
Image via Wikipedia

If you’re like me, you often find yourself stuck using tools dictated by corporate policy and tradition. One of my pet peeves in this area is Microsoft Exchange and the enforced use of Microsoft Outlook that Exchange brings with it. Yeah sure, nowadays you can actually use the free Evolution client, but sometimes that is just not an option. So what do you do when you’re stuck with Outlook and Exchange and data hidden in the murky depths that .pst files are? You get yourself a Xobni install. (Yes, duh, that’s Inbox, spelt backwards).

I’ve been using and testing Xobni for about a year now and I will never go back to using plain old vanilla Outlook. Xobni’s mail search feature is the shit, and the attachment handling is a godsend. Xobni takes Outlook and turns it into a useful, responsive and helpful application. It improves your access to the data in your mailbox, rather than hindering that access, which is what Outlook is traditionally so good at.

The latest release alongside LinkedIn also boasts Facebook and Skype integration, turning Xobni into even more of a social tool, and making email that much more useful. And as a cherry on top there’s the analytics features which should prove useful in making your email time a bit more GTD friendly.

If you’re using Outlook, you’d better go download Xobni now.

Xobni Demo Video



Why “Windows Vista” is a bad name…

I’m not alone in thinking that “Windows Vista” is a really bad name. Apart from the obvious ‘Hasta la Vista’ catch phrase which brings images of the Governor of California single-handedly shooting up Redmond.

Hugh Macleod (I love his little sketches) thinks it is bland.

I did a search for other “Vista’s” on Google. Here’s what I found: – Helping small business do more business.

Vistaprint – Full service graphic design and printing.

MontaVista – Feature rich video phone for the home – runs Montavista Linux. (snigger)

Vista – VISTA is a comprehensive suite of programs and databases for comparative analysis of genomic sequences.

Vista – Software engineering and System Integration.

AltaVista – The search engine.

Vista Software – Vista Software specializes in building high-performance database engines for Windows software developers.

Vista – Vista is a software environment for computer vision research.

Vista Magazine – The Magazine for all Hispanics.

Vista Imaging – Professional Digital Imaging Solutions.

Vista Gold – Vista Gold Corp. evaluates and acquires gold projects with defined gold resources.

Vista Training – VISTA develops training programs for the construction and surface mining industries.

Vista Healthplan – VISTA provides affordable health plans and access to one of Florida’s largest independent physician networks.

Vista Control Systems – Vista Control Systems, reflects the detailed view of your facility provided by our suite of real-time process control software products.

Bloody hell, I’m tired of Googling now.

Nope, Microsoft, you screwed up on this one. Scoble, I agree with your brother.


Bold Office Moves – The Empire Strikes Back

So according to the folks at Channel9, Microsoft has just announced their new XML-based file formats. This goes a long way towards finally reaching a documentation standard for all office suite vendors. No doubt OpenOffice will be able to read these documents (the idea for zipped XML was swiped from them anyway) , as will KOffice and AbiWord et al.

What worries me now is that in effect Microsoft has very cleverly made themselves the standards-owner for XML documents. Notice that they did not fully comply with any third party XML format – they made their own. By opening their format to a “friendly XML format” and using the weight of 400 million users they can now more easily dictate what happens in this space, and others will feel compelled to be compatible because the format is an open one.

Very, very clever Darth Sidious. Now quick, go build a DEATHtoSTARoffice.