I bought a new MacBook Pro. Not one of the new solid-brick-of-aluminum ones, but one of the slightly older aluminum ones held together with screws. It has a beautiful 15-inch matte-finish monitor, and it's faster than any portable I've ever used. It runs Windows XP applications in my Fusion VM about 33% faster than the native XP laptop I replaced.
It was a big investment, but I love it. Every time I open up my MacBook, I feel good. Thirty seconds later after it has booted completely from scratch, I love it even more.
VMware Fusion, by the way, is a brilliant penetrant to the barriers I had perceived about moving from Microsoft Windows to Mac OS X. With Fusion, you can make your whole Windows PC run on your Mac if you want to. As you gain comfort in OS X, you can migrate applications from Windows to the native Mac operating system. I digress...
So, now I use iCal, which gives me the ability to subscribe to iCal feeds like the one from TripIt. And ones like webcal://ical.mac.com/ical/, which automagically populate your calendar with US holidays, so you won't accidentally book a course on Labor Day. (Visit iCal World for more.)
My new system completely solves the travel problems I was talking about. Now, I do this before I travel:
- Book travel.
- Forward the confirmation emails to email@example.com.
- Print my TripIt unified itinerary for my briefcase. (Or not.)
- Sync my iPhone with my laptop.
One more requirement I had, though, was syncing my iCal calendar with Google Calendar. I found a solution to that one, too. I tried using the Google Calaboration, but I really didn't like the way it forced me to deal with my separate calendars. The tool I chose is called Spanning Sync. I used their 15-day trial, liked it a lot, and bought a subscription. I love the way I can map from my list of Google calendars to my list of iCal calendars. However, I don't like the way it syncs my contacts, so I just turn that feature off.
I'm intrigued by the Spanning Sync business model as well. You can save $5 on Spanning Sync by clicking here. It works like this (I'm quoting here a Spanning Sync web page)...
After a 15-day free trial period, Spanning Sync usually costs $25/year, but you can save $5 by using my discount code if you decide to buy it:Anyway, I'm very pleased with the new system, and I'm happy to share the news.
Also, if you use my code I'll get a $5 referral fee from Spanning Sync. Once you're a subscriber you'll get a code of your own so you can make money every time one of your other friends subscribes to Spanning Sync. Pretty cool!