18 January 2009

Web Pages closed on Sunday

This is a first for me - York Furnaces is closed on Sunday. This is not a web site note taking orders and not shipping.... this is a web site that actually "closes

The site Arnold’s Service Company has a different web page for Sunday's. I had visited earlier int he week when my furnace broke. Did not have time to follow through and after interim repair the urgency was removed. Problems returned Saturday evening and I went back only to find the site was
....closed this Sabbath Day to Praise God and the Lord Jesus! We have been blessed in Many Many ways, including great potential customers like you! Thanks so much for visiting our website! We will be back in business early Monday morning. Please check back early Monday Morning. We would love to have your business!
I just don't get it.... the main page remains intact with all the products but clicking on the links changes to refer you to a page to say they are closed and asking you to return on Monday. I understand that some people have the luxury of not working on a Sunday and recognize I might not get something I order on a Sunday but going to all that effort to change the page every week to switch off the order pages that unless they are different on all other web based order systems simply generate orders that are then ready to be filled why would anyone do this. Allow people to order but explain like may sites do that order times and processing are only done on business days.....?

14 January 2009

iPhone, Outlook Calendar and Synchronization

What a disastrous couple of days......
I noticed by chance a couple of days back that an appointment I had entered into my calendar on outlook was not synchronizing with the iPhone Calendar.
The appointment was a little unusual in that it recurred same day, same time for a full year, but not that unusual.

After a few failed attempts to re-synchronize and to use the "Replace" option under the advanced options for the iPhone Calendar

Still no joy and mounting frustration. Then I decided to restore the iPhone and delete all the information thinking if I just reloaded the calendar from scratch this would solve the problem. All this did was leave me with an empty calendar. Meanwhile all the other synchronizations were working - the contacts, music, bookmarks etc

Searching the web for terms like "outlook events not syncing 2007 itunes xp" provided some useful links and this link on the Get Satisfaction site proved most useful

My iPhone calendar will not sync with Outlook 2007

Halfway down was an extended list of actions suggested by Bled Edge that provided some helpful guidance but what was a missing was an underlying cause. Different solutions had worked for different people and no real explanation of what was going on. Was it an iPhone problem, was it Outlook/Microsoft and why was it occurring.

I had the fortune of access to another iPhone to try that was loaded with the same version of firmware and was clean, almost new. When I tried this it failed to sync the calendar but everything else synchronized.

I created a new Outlook profile and copied all the information across from the old profile but still no success. But the mistake here was copying in full the appointments from one Outlook pst file to the new one.

I believe the problem is caused by a rogue appointment in outlook. No idea which one or why but it prevents any further appointments form being synchronized and if the time it takes to synchronize is giving any in indication I would say the software is actually synchronizing but the results are not showing (see below for more evidence of that)

Since creating a new outlook profile is not small task I decided instead of doing this all over again I would delete all my appointments (a big challenge because I have a lot of invites and each of these wanted to send a cancellation - quick fix, let the cancellation notices be created but make sure outlook does not automatically send e-mail and then delete all the outgoing messages before they are sent)

Then I copied a few appointments to the empty calendar and created one new one. This time the iPhone calendar synchronization worked..... but interestingly I believe there was more appointments than I had in my outlook calendar which leads me to believe they were there (despite my calendar showing it was empty) and when the synchronize finally worked then the appointments that had been previously sent showed up.

Careful copying of appointments and re synchronization at various intervals allowed me to create a working copy of my calendar on my iPhone and now I am left with the task of cleaning up the calendar and checking for omissions.

Other steps that could work if I am right include using the outlook PST Scan tool (scanpst), exporting all your appointments and re-importing them and creating a new profile that does not have all the appointments copied across.

Hope this helps someone

05 January 2009

Two Million Minutes

The Global examination of education at Two Million Minutes makes for interesting reading:
Regardless of nationality, as soon as a student completes the 8th grade, the clock starts ticking. From that very moment the child has approximately -

…Two Million Minutes until high school graduation…Two Million Minutes to build their intellectual foundation…Two Million Minutes to prepare for college and ultimately career…Two Million Minutes to go from a teenager to an adult

How a student spends their Two Million Minutes - in class, at home studying, playing sports, working, sleeping, socializing or just goofing off -- will affect their economic prospects for the rest of their lives.
Pay attention - the clock is ticking