Google Calendar, Plaxo, Outlook, and the iPhone - How to Sync Multiple Calendars

A couple of weeks ago I got an iPhone and have been trying to figure out the optimal way to get it synchronized with all of my contacts, calendars, and tasks ever since.  I use the following services:

  • Google Calendar (work calendar via Google Apps)
  • Microsoft Outlook (currently my master calendar and currently sync'd with my Google Calendar)
  • Plaxo (to sync my calendar and contacts)
  • Remember the Milk (tasks)

What I'd like to have is:

  • Google Calendar 1 (Work Calendar)
  • Google Calendar 2 (Personal Calendar)
  • Plaxo (Contacts)
  • Remember the Milk (Tasks)
  • Access to all of the above via separate calendars in Outlook
  • iPhone (Over the Air access to all calendars, contacts, and tasks)

I've spent more time than I care to admit trying to figure out how to get all of my info sync'd.  It looks like there is no one solution (not sure about MobileMe btw... I can't figure out if it can sync with Google Calendar) that can help me get two way synchronization working between all of these various services.  However, after a significant amount of pulling of hair and gnashing of teeth I think I've come up with an (almost) workable solution for my contacts and calendars.

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Kindle On The Way!

At some point this afternoon I will become the proud owner of an Amazon Kindle eBook reader (special thanks to my colleagues at Verilab, btw!).  For those of you who haven't been reading newspapers, blogs, web news sites, or who have generally been living under a rock for the last few months) the Kindle is an eBook reader with a built-in 3G wireless connection, allowing users to purchase and download books, blogs, magazines, and similar content directly from Amazon.  It is also possible to transfer audio books to the device via your computer, and to email documents in HTML or MOBI format to the device directly for a small fee ($0.10/document).

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Moshe Gavrielov to Head Xilinx

Joe, Moshe, and Ric before the KeynoteI came upon the news of Moshe's departure from Cadence in a bit of a roundabout fashion.  I've been getting a heavy amount of traffic this week from a Google cached copy of the Conference Coverage section of Cool Verification.  Specifically, people are looking for a photo I took at DVCon last year of Moshe Gavrielov and a couple of the guys from Cadence.  On a whim, I typed in "Moshe Gavrielov" into Google, and was surprised to see that as of Monday Moshe is the President and CEO of Xilinx.  Congrats Moshe! 

BTW... if someone could tell me how in the heck the above photo is getting located in relation to this announcement I'd sure appreciate it - it's certainly not showing up in any of the Google searches I've tried.

Finally - Google Now Reporting Subscriber Statistics!

As some of you are probably aware, I use Feedburner to manage my RSS and email-based feed subscription services.  If you look at the top left corner of my site, you'll see a box showing the number of people subscribed Cool Verification.  The number fluctuates from day to day depending on whether people have their feed readers turned on or not.  The weekends are usually slow, but I've recently seen subscriber numbers up around 75-80 during the week.  This morning, I logged in to Feedburner to check my stats, and low and behold I had 109 subscribers yesterday!  That's a jump of 36% - which hasn't happened in a single day since perhaps the first day I started tracking feed subscriptions.  A little research through my stats showed the real cause - Google finally started reporting statistics for those subscribed to blogs via Google Reader or Google Personalized Homepage.  Google polls my feed each day on behalf of everyone who subscribes through those tools.  Previously, that would show up as one subscriber in my feed statistics.  Now, each time they poll my feed they provide a count of the number of people who have actually subscribed.  For details, check out Google's description.  The Feedburner description of the issue is also useful.

What do I use this info for?  Knowing how many people subscribe helps me understand whether what I'm writing is being widely read, and knowing which posts people are most interested in helps me know what topics to focus on.  For example, I'll be interested to see if anyone is especially interested in my upcoming coverage of DVCon (you are planning on reading my coverage next week, right?). 

I do want to thank everyone who reads Cool Verification on a regular basis.  Hopefully there are enough good nuggets of info passed on from time to time to make it worth your while.  As always, let me know if you've got suggestions for things you'd like to hear about. 

In Search of the Right Web Host

Starting around this time last year I started seriously looking into what it would take to host my own web site.  The search ended temporarily when I found Typepad and purchased my first domain name ( from  I quickly realized that even with the flexibility of Typepad as a blogging platform I'm still lacking a degree of control.  For example, many bloggers use Feedburner to distribute their RSS/Atom feeds.  Feedburner lets the blogger track how many people have subscribed to a feed and adds tools to make the feed itself more useful.  The problem is, if you don't have control over Apache you end up having to give out the URL directly to Feedburner.  For example, I would end up having to publicize instead of the "coolverification" feed at  If I was running Movable Type on my own web host I could redirect accesses to my index.rdf file to Feedburner, but it's not possible through Typepad.

The other problem with my current hosting configuration is I can't run anything except blogging software, such as a regular website using a Content Management System such as Joomla, a Wiki, or bug tracking software such as Bugzilla.  Why would I care to run any of these packages?

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