The Google switch
Google – the almighty company that seems to be streaming new services to its users all the time. Well, speaking of new services, I’m going to talk now about some old services. Old ones, which finally got into my habits in a way that I made a little „Google switch“.
I’ve been using the Gmail service almost since its start in March 2004. However, two other services – the Google Reader and the Google Calendar – were ones which I was pretty ambiguous about using. Why? Well, personally I’m aware of quite skeptical of having major portion of your personal data hosted on services, offered by a major company. In addition to this, these services are offered for free, and as we all know, there is no such thing as „free lunch“. That’s why I kept using Bloglines as my default rss reader for some time (almost 4 years now) and my local Sunbird calendars for managing my time and tasks.
However, it was yesterday that was the day for that switch. Why yesterday? Well, Bloglines again had one of their maintenance periods, during which you can’t see your feeds, but see the ugly face of the „Bloglines plumber“. Also, the interface of the Bloglines reader, which I really loved at the time when I began using it, has not developed that much. Google’s Reader AJAX stuff, keyboard shortcuts and the Google Gears for offline reading of rss feeds really wins over the Bloglines interface. So since yesterday I’ve switched rss-wise to Google Reader.
Speaking of the Calendar – almost the same story. I was reluctant to switch to Google Calendars since I really like my desktop Sunbird application. However, when I upgraded yesterday to version 0.5, I saw that there is an add-on, which finally made it possible to use Sunbird to write (not only read) calendar events and tasks to your Google account. Well, that was what was missing. Perfect. Finally I have my events somewhere online and have the possibly to share them with other people when it is needed. I’m happy of this fact for two reasons: a) I never managed to fight my way through the couple calendar sharing apps that I tried on my Ubuntu home server and this now works and b) it doesn’t change my daily habits (i.e. using the desktop Sunbird app) – it rather just changes the location of where everything is.
Anyway, this is my little Google switch. Recently I browsed through the Google Documents and Spreadsheets, but so far I’ll stick to using Open Office. I like it better!