Sunday, June 28, 2009

The Contact Problem

Today my PDA, my beloved Palm Z22, left for its heavenly abode. Along with it left more than 8 years of Contact and Address book information that I had painfully collected. Doesn’t it sound really stupid that a wanna-be techie like me had no backup?

Well well, there is where I feel really bad. I “HAD” a  backup! But the backup was lost in my greed to get onto Windows 7. So the main pain for all this is … my stupidity! How you ask? Here is the story …

A month back I downloaded the Windows 7 Release Candidate to give it a test drive, and generally be lonely with my computer. But Windows 7 (though graphically fantastic on my MSI Wind Netbook) didn’t support most of my applications, right from my Anti-virus, and I had to uninstall it in less than 2 weeks. Coming back to my old setup required me to repartition, reformat and reinstall all my applications again. In this process, I somehow lost my backed up Palm data. I didn’t bother to backup my Palm to my desktop for the last 3 weeks. And today when I finally tried to, my Palm refused to come alive. So there goes all the birthday information and phone numbers I so painfully collected for so long. On last count I remember I had around 300+ contacts (yeah, I am no Mr. Popular, try collecting data of every person you meet in the last 8 years, and every normal person will cross a 1000)

Anyway thanks to Social Networking websites, I have already stopped wishing most of my friends on their birthdays. Cause these sites anyway remind everyone of everyone’s birthdays, and wishing someone on their birthdays doesn’t have the charm of the good old days, when we really had to make an effort to “remember” to wish people!

Since morning today I have been trying to collate all the left over information that I can get from my email contact lists and also my three social networking profiles – Orkut, Facebook and LinkedIn. And now I am facing a new nightmare! I haven’t come across any tool that can intelligently identify “John Doe Project Manager” from LinkedIn to be the same “John Doe” from Facebook and the “John Doe (Happy to be home!)” from Orkut. Now I have 537 contacts floating around in a spreadsheet on my desktop and I have no determination or inclination to collate the data!

So if most of you don’t hear from me, its time to call me up or email me :) !! Now I have a genuine excuse for not keeping in touch .. as for you .. you have none!

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