Sunday, June 22, 2008

Software Review: BusySync

BusySync Review

BusySync was one of the top rated products from MacWorld 2008. I immediately got a review copy and have been happily using it ever since. Though I had some initial setup problems, the product has worked so well that I simply forgot to review it. A program that works in the background and does what it says it will do is quite a refreshing surprise!

BusySync has two major functions. First, it allows you to sync with Google calendars. Google has functions that allow users to share calendars with the optional ability to edit someone else's calender. However, getting Google to sync with your iCal is key. That's where BusySync comes in. Purchase and install BusySync with a one time charge of $25, and you'll be able to sync your Google calenders with iCal on your Mac. On initial view, this sounds very ho-hum. You may not even use Google calendar, so why care? Ah, becuase Google is Google and everyone syncs with Google. For example, if you have a Mac at home and a PC using Outlook at work, Google can act as an intermediary to sync your iCal with Outlook. If you don't have an iPhone with Mobile Me, send a text message to Google and it will put an appointment on your Google calendar, and then BusySync will transfer it to your Mac.

Sunday, June 08, 2008

Hardware Review: AM OneClean Duopack ™

Review of OneClean DUppack
Unfortunately, I'm a member of the eat-at-your-desk club. I know the kitchen is just a few steps away, but until I get an iPhone, the idea of not being able to surf the net or Facebook is just too much to bare. Of course, some of you might actually be doing work during your lunch hour, so your excuse is better than mine. At least eating at my desk makes sure the dog always keeps me company: just hoping for the occasional crumb.

Even if you don't eat at your desk, the keyboard is a wonderful petri dish of anything and everything that your fingers touch. Yuck. If you want to get really grossed out, think about those shared keyboards on corporate computers, or the IT person that goes from keyboard to keyboard spreading whatever they have along with half the company. Freaked out yet? You really should be. Do Google comparisons of your keyboard and a toilet seat.

Not to fear, AM One Clean Duopack Cleaner is here. While I've heard of using Lysol or other cleaners, these aren't made for computers and could potentially do damage. AM Cleaner was especially designed to disinfect computer keyboards. Not only does the solution disinfect, but the cleaner sponge is specifically designed to get into the nooks and crannies of the keyboards because there is stuff hiding in there. The keyboard cleaner did a great job removing the grime and junk after my extended lack of cleaning.

The kit also includes a screen cleaner which does a great job, though it works horribly on the glossy Macbook (and newer iMac) screens. I have yet to find a good cleaner for those screens! That is the major flaw of the product and makes it unacceptable for users of glossy screens. If you own one of these Macs, buy the keyboard cleaner and wait for a product designed for glossy screens.

What makes these products designed for the Mac? Style of course! Instead of looking like a spray bottle and sponge, the kits match the colors and texture of the current Mac model line: brushed metal for the Pro and newer iMac line and glossy plastic for the Macbook and white iMacs. The sponge and cleaner are integrated into a stylish holder that looks like it was provided by Apple itself. People won't accuse you of being a germaphobe with this handy device on your desk.

Next time you eat at your desk or IT says "move" and uses their magic fingers on the keyboard, pull out your AM cleaner and do your part to protect your health.

PROS: Cleans icky keyboards with style
Cons: Makes glossy screens look icky

Three out of Five Dogcows

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Article was republished by the Lawrence Apple User's Group 2.0 here as well as other groups listed on the right