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Smartphone Calendar Syncing

In July, the Office of Information Technology upgraded our calendar program, Meeting Maker. The previous version of Meeting Maker allowed people with Palm based PDAs and smartphones to access their calendar using conduits through a wired connection.  PeopleCube, the developers of Meeting Maker, dropped support of these conduits in December 2006. We had to explore a new way of syncing portable devices with the new version of Meeting Maker.  PeopleCube recommended third party software called NotifyLink to take over synchronization using the smartphone’s cell connection.  After testing NotifyLink within OIT, we decided to move forward with this software.   

NotifyLink makes syncing your mobile calendar easy.

iPhone calendar

NotifyLink is an industry leader in wireless push technology.  It allows supported smartphones (Treo, Centro, Blackberry, iPhone & Windows Mobile devices) with data plans to set up a connection to Meeting Maker and will automatically synchronize the device to the server and vice versa at given intervals. The use of NotifyLink allows us to provide calendar support for more smartphones.

NotifyLink will also allow devices to take advantage of full IMAP email clients.  Certain devices were using purchased IMAP email clients but NotifyLink allows all of these devices to use email as though you were sitting at your desk.  You will have access to all of your IMAP folders and can use the same push technology where you don’t have to retrieve your email; it will be delivered at pre-determined intervals.  Blackberry users will not have to setup up their accounts through the Blackberry website; they will connect to our email server to retrieve their email. 

In the age of information security, NotifyLink offers protection if your device is lost or stolen.  As an administrator, I can erase all data from your phone once it connects over the air. 

The deployment of NotifyLink has been going very smoothly.  Clients are reporting satisfaction with the ease of use and the ability to maintain their Meeting Maker calendar remotely.  If you have any questions on NotifyLink, please feel free to contact me.

Microsoft Office 2007/2008

With the New Year comes a new software package for the Williams community- Microsoft Office 2007 for PCs, and Office 2008 for Macs. The new Office products have a different user interface, but retain all the features of previous versions, plus some new features to help make computing easier. At first glance, Office 2007 & 2008 applications may seem challenging to get accustomed to, but testing has shown that they are much easier to use than previous versions, once the new layout of the software is learned. The main difference is that the new interface uses tabbed menus rather than drop-down menus, which allow you to see more formatting options at one time. Office 2007 & 2008 will most likely be deployed on new computers this spring or summer. In the meantime, the software is available for download by faculty and staff on our software site, or on disc at the Equipment Loan Center (x4091). We encourage anyone who would like to try the software to install it on their computer, and attend any workshops that are available for the software.

In Word 2003, you accessed tools using pulldown menus:

Microsoft Word 2003 screenshot

In Word 2007, the pulldown menus have been converted into tabs:

Microsoft Word 2007 screenshot