Gmail Outage Outrage

August 14, 2008

Wow! There’s been plenty of coverage of the recent massive (yeah, right) 2 hour GMail outage. The end of cloud computing? Erm… I don’t think so.

A couple of observations that immediately sprang to my mind:

One. Do the Maths.

Go figure how much all this would cost you: email server, email software, o/s licenses, backup software, hosting, ongoing management and maintenance, staff costs, etc… Yes. This all adds up. Compare the costs against GMail…. Erm.. That’s a no-brainer.

Hey – ask yourself this as well. For those in corporate environments, how many times is your email service down? Probably more than GMail I would say.

Two. Is email *that* important?

Have you ever heard about GTD (I’m quite fond of it myself). In today’s world of a gazillion emails they’re now recommending that you check your email only at certain intervals. I know countless people that say they only check email three times a day!! So it’s obviously not that big a deal.

Wooo! Then there’s this amazing technological invention known as the telephone. Or this marvel called face-to-face. Yes – we can actually talk to people. That’s a good thing.

No email equals no interruptions. I remember my days as a CIO, when we had a four hour unplanned email server outage. Outrage! “Burn him!”, they cried. Four hours and a good lashing later, people came up to me and said that was the most productive four hours they’ve had for years!

Email ain’t everything. Get over it.

A two hour email outage is not the end of the world, nor for cloud computing.

(and if you even bothered to check IMAP was working fine – sigh!)

Now that we’ve got our own offices, and I’m free of the super restricted corporate firewall we we’re previously (and kindly) bludgeoning off, I was really excited at the prospect of using GMail’s IMAP capabilities and finally being able to use

One word.  Disappointed.

Pluses for IMAP and using

  • I can work offline
  • Creating mail is faster
  • I can haz decent signatures
Pluses for staying with the GMail web browser:
  • it’s instant
  • I can easily tag (Google call this “label”) messages
  • no mucking about with syncing
  • it’s not restricted by IMAP locked down firewalls
  • great search functionality across my whole mailbox
I have tried and tried and tried and tried to persevere with and IMAP, but no matter how hard I try I still gravitate back towards browser based Gmail.
Am I missing something here?
Are there some uber-tips and uber-features I just haven’t seen?
At this stage, Gmail through the web browser wins hands down.

Google Blackberry Sync

At last, at last, at last.  No more syncing via cable.  No more missed appointments.  We’re back in the 21st century!  Google Sync for Mobile is finally here. 

Me happy. 

I love Newsfire.   Arguably it is the sexiest and most pleasant way to read your RSS feeds.

But I’m putting it on hold.  Our household has two macs, I have a work PC, and I have a home PC.  Oh – and I have a HTC Apache in the back pocket for feed reading on the bus.  Quite simply, maintaining a consistent state of what feeds I have read and not read is just too difficult.  So it’s back to Google Reader for now.

A lot of people are going on about how important it will be for web apps to be offline enabled.   My problem is similar to this, but I need a desktop app to be more “online enabled”!  Imagine, if Newsfire (and your other desktop apps) could maintain state between other desktops and web apps.

I’m sure we’re gonna see this real soon.

The Mobile Web

December 20, 2006

google mobileI must look like a right tosser on the bus home from work, continually fiddling with my HTC Apache surfing the mobile web and reading my offline websites.  Hey, I can even check-in with my works mobile “operational dashboard” (lifesaver!). I don’t care though. I’m doing work, keeping vigilant, and keeping up to speed with the million and one things you need to nowadays. And I’d look like an even bigger tosser if I had a laptop (not to mention a burnt lap).

Here’s what I use to help give me info the go:

AvantGo: Read your favourite AvantGo channels either on the go or synchronise them for offline reading. Limited range of channels, and better to sync before you leave for the bus. I currently sync 8MB of guff.

Google Mobile: I get my personalised home on my cellphone, which includes Google Reader and GMail. What’s even better is that if you link to an external site, Google automatically reformats it in a mobile friendly version – it’s better than Opera mini. You need to be “connected” though so watch those data charges.

VadeMecum: Brilliant and obscure little app that lets you read Plucker documents that you can easily create with SunriseXP. Awesome! I synch up all my favourites before I leave! Creating Passionate Users to go! Read/Write Web to go! Burnley FC to go!

And then for tunes on the go, forget about using Windows Media Mobile – the sound quality is utter sh*te. Try using GSPlayer instead.

Big tip: don’t miss your stop!

Mobile Fraudband

December 4, 2006

I downloaded Google Maps for my Palm the other day. Great! Maps on the go.

I fired up my trusty Palm and fired up the mobile broadband, and began interactively using Google Maps on my Palm with ease. It will be really interesting to see Project X‘s mobile implementation of ZoomIn.

Anyway, after about (literally) 2 minutes I noticed that I’d gobbled up almost 500k of bandwidth. And here’s my issue.

I currently pay Telecom $22.22 per month, for 20MB of mobile broadband traffic. Yes, TWENTY MB. So that basically means if I am out and about I can spend no more than 40 minutes using Google Maps. Pardon me if my maths is wrong but it is any wonder why mobile broadband has not yet taken off yet?

Normal Broadband = Approx $49pm for 10GB

Mobile Broadband = Approx $22 for 20MB

Sigh. I long so much for the days when I can stream audio and video podcasts to my phone. Or even just hold a Skype call to get around the extorsionate international mobile calling fees.

Vodafone are no better.

New Zealand Telco’s are monopolistic and backwards thinking. Rod Drury tells the same story on a post with regard to the need for ubiquitous broadband.

Shame on the Telcos.

In the Red Corner…

November 27, 2006

You can’t beat a good Google Fight.

Simple stuff.  (And an amazingly fun way to find the right words to seed your website with.)

Doing a search on a Silicon Welly theme I thought I’d pit PlanHQ against LetUseIt.  (see the big fight here)

Great stuff!  Kapow!