Time is Running Out for BusySync Deal


I’ve been using the BusySync 2.0 beta for some time now and find it very well put together. I reviewed it here. The Google Sync is seamless and I haven’t had any errors. This application has entirely replaced Spanning Sync for me.
I’m told the official 2.0 release date is toward the end of this month so if you are thinking about making the jump, try the beta now. If you are sold, buy it before the 2.0 final release and you can get the old price of $19.95. It is going up to $24.95 when the new version comes out.

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BusySync 2.0 Beta Impressions


You may recall my enthusiasm for BusySync, a preference pane application that allows you to sync all of the various iCal calendars on all the Macs in your home or office. I reviewed it right here. The promised version 2.0 is just around the corner and there is now a public beta of version 2. I’ve been using it just a few days but very impressed. The addition of Google Calendar syncing allows me not to just sync my calendars on my home network but from any computer plugged into the interweb.

BusySync google sync 2.jpg

I have a subscription to Spanning Sync and have been a generally satisfied user (except for the occasional sync explosion). That being said, so far I prefer BusySync. BusySync will put your iCal calendar straight on Google. I do not need to create separate calendars on Google and go through the process of linking iCal calendars to Google calendars. If I want to sync my iCal calendar, I just check the box. The actual syncing process also seem faster. Finally, at the expected $25 price point, BusySync is less expensive. I may do a second review of BusySync 2.0 once it escapes beta but for the time being, if you are interested, go download it here.
As always, whenever you are playing with calendar syncing back up early and back up often. That is actually another benefit of BusySync. It automatically creates and stores 10 backups of your calendar.

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Review – BusySync


Calendar syncing is a subject that can strike fear into the hearts of anyone who uses it. If your calendar data is important enough that you must sync it, you also probably can’t afford to lose it. Unfortunately the very process of syncing calendars on computers often has that very effect. With my Treo it was really bad. Somedays I’d sync and lose all my appointments. Other times I would end up with four copies of every appointment. It got to the point where I would just plug in and pray.
Nevertheless, I desperately need a calendar syncing solution in my home. The Sparks home is a hectic place under the best of circumstances. Because we are all so busy, it is embarrassing how often we double book ourselves and end up having to cancel plans.
It was with this problem in mind that I found myself at the BusyMac booth at Macworld looking at BusySync. The developers told me this application could reliably sync calendars with all of the Macs in my home without these headaches and without an OS X server. This is something I had to see.
BusySync allows you to share calendars. You can pick and choose which calendars to share and what kind of access you are giving the other users. You can give read only or write access. You can require a password, or not. BusySync then goes out over Bonjour or the internet and Syncs with other iCal users. Over Bonjour the syncing is really fast. Within seconds. I’ve been using it for two week now and am happy to report it just works.
In addition to giving you the ability to customize your sharing, BusySync also give you the ability to restore from a backup. Indeed BusySync keeps ten backups of your calendar at all times so if things do get all kerfluffled, you can restore with one click. Thank You BusyMac.
BusySync is the brain child of John Chaffee and Dave Riggle. These guys have long Mac calendar roots and were the original developers of Now Up-to-Date for the Mac back in 1991.
Getting back to the Sparks house, we now can all see each other’s calendars and we have a new calendar called “Family” so when we are planning that trip to the mountains we can all see it. If my wife wants to “schedule” me to watch the kids while she goes crafting with her friends she can first check to see if I’m stuck in court. Suddenly we aren’t double booking on top of each other and peace has broken out. Well sort of.
It gets better though, BusyMac is about to release version 2 of BusySync that allows you to also sync your iCal data with Google calendars. So with this one product you will get networked calendar syncing and Google sync allowing you to view and modify your calendars from any Mac or (dare I say it?) PC.
A BusySync license will cost you $20 per computer. When version 2 is released, the price will go up to $25 per computer but the upgrade will be free to licensed version 1.5 users. Not only that, BusyMac has agreed to give an additional discount to readers and listeners. For a limited time, you can get a 20% discount on BusySync by entering the coupon code “MACSPARKY”. Just go to www.busymac.com/buy and enter the coupon code.

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A Lawyer’s Take on Macworld 2008


In addition to being an affirmed Mac geek, I am also a lawyer. So as I spent the last several days talking to developers and roaming the halls of Macworld, a few things in particular got me excited about practicing law with my Mac.

Macbook Air

Apple’s new machine is a real eye catcher. It is just three pounds and manages to keep a 13 inch monitor. While this would be really nice for the roadwarrior or running around in depositions and trial, the $1800 price tag makes me look twice. If you really need thin and are willing to sacrifice a bit of functionality (no ethernet or firewire) you may want to check it out. I’m sticking with my Macbook Pro for the time being.


For those of you former PC users who miss having DragonDictate in your toolbelt, fret no more. I was never a big fan of iListen, but the folks at at iListen recently acquired the license for the Dragon recognition engine for use on the Mac. Their new product, MacSpeech Dictate will be releasing next month and looks fantastic. I spent about an hour at their booth and am very impressed. I also watched David Pogue fawn over it as it produced very accurate and quick results.
I wasn’t alone in my opinion that this product will change things. It was one of the “Best of Show” award winners by several publications. Put this one at the top of your list for productivity boosters.


I’m a big fan of the Omni Group applications. I use OmniOutline, OmniPlan, and OmniGraffle to manage much of my caseload. I got in early on the beta of their OmniFocus task management application and it was just released as a 1.0. This application is fantastic for keeping all the plates in the air. I did an extended review of it at Macsparky.com
I talked to the folks at Omni and they are going to do everything in their power to get these applications on the iPhone once the iPhone SDK releases.


For the small offices that don’t need the expense of a server but want to sync iCal calendars between multiple desks, there is a great little application called BusySync. For a cost of $20 per computer, you get seamless bonjour and net syncing between machines. They have a new version due out soon that will also allow for Google calendar syncing.


FileMaker is the best application for database intensive solutions. If you are running a small practice, FileMaker’s smaller application, Bento, looks really robust.

Billings and Daylite

Marketcircle continues its place at the top of small office management software. They had a nice booth and made regular presentations. I was unaware of some of their interesting add-on products like Daylite Delivery and the FileMaker connector. These guys fill a very particular niche.

Fujitsu ScanSnap

I love my Fujitsu ScanSnap. It is a reliable, fast scanner with a small footprint. Now they have a portable version, the S300M, that retails at $295 and looks perfect for those depositions on the other side of the country.

Smart Board

Smart Technologies has a very impressive device you install over your LCD television that allows you to create a virtual white board like you are John Madden. The price point is steep. I was told “around $5,000” but it sure is nice.

Storage – Drobo and TimeCapsule

While TimeCapsule is aimed as a consumer device, 1TB storage with a built in wireless “N” router is a pretty attractive product.
I was also impressed with the Drobo that allows you to drop up to four swappable drives in with no headache. Interestingly, if you pull out a drive while it is running (or if the drive dies), Drobo automatically moves the data around to protect its integrity. The Drobo device costs $500 without any drives.
For all of you Mac lawyers, I highly recommend visiting Macworld sometime when you get a chance. Not only will you find some great tools for your practice, you’ll probably have a good time while you are at it.

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