First of all, I am not the typical home user. I have a home network behind an SMC Barricade. My main home system is running Win 2000 prof, and my laptop is running Win XP Prof. I maily use the laptop and my wife uses the desktop.

I synch all of my files to the desktop using the briecase folder on my laptop. I run outlook 2000 on both systems. I have 5 pop3 accounts set up in outlook and I do not access any servers for corporate mail.

I thought I would start out trying the business connct directly on the laptop. This is not the ideal situation as it is not "always on". But it was more convenient to test the laptop first.

Initially, I signed up to bc and used the same user name and password that I am using every where on sprint. No problems there. I then installed the software on the laptop and synched the application to my Treo. Treo required soft reset, laptop no reset at all.

During the set up, I am asked about my server (not what I would expect from a "personal" edition. So I skipped that part about email, calandar and contacts. I select my root file for documents. My set up is complete.

Now I access the BC from the Treo and it asks for user name, password and phone number. It synches with the network and sets up a synch key. Pretty cool So then using the treo I access the docs, very cool. The problem is that all I can do is email them. It would be nice if I could view them. So now it is useless without email.

So I decide why not and change my settings to exchange server. Bingo! I get my contacts, email, and calandar. Very nice calandar layout. It does not like it when I ask for a corporate contact.

So now I am excited. I am thiniking I can email attachments from my home system. But then I realize outlook was open the whole time. So I close outlook and wham! NOTHING!!! Apparently BC is not reading the DB file directly but only an open outlook program.

So this kills my idea of setting it up on the desktop. I would have to share pst files with the wife. I do consulting from home and I get paranoid about my database. I don't wan't other to have write access to it.

So, the bottom line is:

1. Business connect will work from home with outlook (2000 on Win XP at least).

2. BC Falls short when it comes to accessing data from a shared computer with log ins. (This is probably why they want you to use a server where the data is "always on".

3. BC Falls short when it comes to using the info for other than emailing. So for example if you want to access an MP3 file, JPG, MPEG, XLS, DOC, PPT, ect. for viewing, it does not allow it. It would be nice even if you could pull the data to a local space on the Treo and then utilize it from other applications. You had beter believe that MSFT will do this.

So now, I am using eudora mail. I have it set up to pull info from the POP3 servers without deleting. I will use my home system to clean the servers. I also have a default BCC to myself so that I get the sent files. This may not be neccesary as I am going to try "back up to desktop" on the mail settings.

The great thing about the eudora is that it pulls the addresses right from my address book. I have all my addresses from synching with the desktop daily. That also updates my calandar. The only place it falls short is in the attachment of files from the desktop database and the push mail capability.

I was told by tech service today that I am on a static IP within the Sprint internal network. I am going to see if I can configure my barricade to allow some other form of access via an ftp program or something. This may allow file access. But still no push email for us work from home types