When is Your Birthday?

I noticed around the web that we have three community members celebrating birthdays today! Traci Toguchi, Frank Eliason and Drew Olanoff will all be blowing out candles today. Now, normally I’d say a simple “Happy Birthday!” and be done with it. However, realizing today is Drew’s birthday gave me pause, and made me think…

Six months ago, Drew completely sure what his future held. He was diagnosed with cancer back in May, and the fight began. He finished up his last Chemo treatment a week ago, and the doctors have given him the awesome news that his tumors are gone. He is free of that stupid disease, hopefully forever. He continues his fight against Cancer, with the support of many thousands of people… including Drew Carey. In order to help raise money for the Livestrong foundation, all you have to do is click that little “Follow” button on Drew Carey’s Twitter page. For every follower – up to one million – that Drew gets prior to midnight on New Year’s Eve, he will donate one more dollar. How cool is that?

Thinking about all of this, and Drew O’s birthday, kind of puts life into perspective a little, eh? It makes one remember to stop and be thankful for what we have… right here, right now. It makes us want to push ourselves a little harder to do the things we promised ourselves we would do. It makes us want to reach out and tell those we care about that we do, in fact, love them.

Cancer touches everyone. EVERYONE. In some way or another, your life will be affected by Cancer at some point. Even though Drew’s personal fight may have come to an end, the war has only begun. Keep doing your part in kicking Cancer’s ass, everyone. We won’t rest until we eradicate it for good.

Birthdays aren’t the only thing going on in our community today, as you know. All of you are busy posting and writing, sharing your thoughts and dreams. What have you read that was interesting or thought-provoking? If I missed something, please leave a follow-up comment and share it with the rest of us!

Today in our downloads center, we have several excellent apps for Windows. Be sure to check them out!

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Apple MobileMe vs. Microsoft Live Mesh

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I’ve paid for a .Mac subscription from Apple. I’ve also paid for an MSN subscription from Microsoft. I paid about the same amount for each one. I can’t call it .MAC much longer. From now on, it will be called MobileMe. If you’re asking me whether it’s worth the subscription price, my answer is an unequivocal yes… especially if you have an iPhone. Even if you don’t, the synchronization will still come in handy. You still get web-based applications, and a great experience… whether you’re running on a Mac or Windows.

MobileMe is giving you access to 20GB of space ‘in the cloud’. With that, you can upload photos or documents. You can have and share a calender. You will get email if you would like to use it. You can use Microsoft Outlook to access your account if you wish! If you are using Gmail, you may wonder why you would want to use MobileMe. Again, if you have an iPhone, why wouldn’t you? It’s a no-brainer.

I’m already paying for an Exchange account so I can get my email and calenders hosted to share with Ponzi. I’m already paying for email, basically. Since I have an iPhone, this just makes sense. It’s a new service for your iPhone, iPod touch, Mac, and PC. This is the simple way to keep everything up to date. You can have the same data everywhere: your desktop, your laptop and your phone. The tagline for the new MobileMe is: Push email. Push contacts. Push calendar. The idea is that when something changes in one place, it will automatically change in all of the others. In essence, it will “push” the changes through across your synched devices and machines. From Apple:

MobileMe stores all your email, contacts, and calendars on an online server – or “cloud” – and pushes them down to your iPhone, iPod touch, Mac, and PC. When you make a change on one device, the cloud updates the others. Push happens automatically, instantly, and continuously. You don’t have to wait for it or remember to do anything – such as docking your iPhone and syncing manually – to stay up to date.

Do everything you need to do on every device you own. MobileMe works with Mail, Address Book, and iCal on a Mac; Microsoft Outlook on a PC with Windows XP or Vista; and the built-in applications on your iPhone or iPod touch.

Check your email, change your calendar, edit your contacts, and more at me.com. Accessible anywhere, me.com is an ad-free suite of web applications — Mail, Contacts, Calendar, Gallery, and iDisk — that are elegant and easy to use. You can drag and drop, click and drag, use keyboard shortcuts, and even switch between applications with a single click. Me.com is such a great web experience, it seems as if you’re using desktop software.

I don’t know if I am going to be able to use the email feature yet. Apple hasn’t said yet that I know of if or how they will handle personal domain emails. My email has been [email protected] for years, and I want and need to keep it that way. There are so many other features that I’m looking forward to using, though.

It’s not about ‘where’ you are, it’s about where your stuff is. You don’t want to have to stop and try to remember where you saved a particular file. You don’t want to run across a building, or even across town, to retrieve something you may have forgotten to bring to work. It’s going to be interesting to see how many Windows and Linux users subscribe to MobileMe.

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Miranda vs. Trillian

As reported tonight, I’ve switched from Trillian to Miranda (for several reasons). It’s been a pretty good experience so far, save a couple of random crashes. Here’s what I love about Miranda:

  • Active development community cranking out updates frequently
  • Slick interaction with popular and minor IM protocols
  • Polished skins are readily available through the directory
  • Fast startup and shutdown, relatively small memory footprint
  • My buddy list is transparent (read: no background)
  • I can see what IM clients and versions all my buddies are using
  • There’s a decent “Find Updates” plugin available
  • It’s a nice upgrade from Trillian 2.x’s feature set
  • Individual message windows can contain useful info
  • It’s open source – bonus!

Things I dislike about Miranda:

  • It took a full day to configure to my liking
  • Options are all over the map (in a disorganized config hierarchy)
  • no full support for Skype (read: Skype must still be open)
  • Skins aren’t applied program-wide (very frustrating)
  • I can’t undo a specific font change I made
  • You can’t set a universal buddy icon easily
  • User experience lacks the polish of Trillian’s
  • Some cryptic error dialogs
  • It was designed with geeks in mind
  • I’ve been having problems with MSN connectivity
  • Random crashes with no easy way of recovering open convos
  • I can’t access more than one account on any single network
  • It doesn’t auto-organize incoming IMs by preset protocol groups

I’ll stick with Miranda for the time being. If Trillian 4.x can lick the performance issues that dog 3.x, I’ll go back to it. No word on when the new version will be unleashed, though.