06/05/2009, 04:09 AM
Okay, basically, I'd been playing around with Outlook and a trial of CompanionLink for Google in order to have a local version of my contacts, calendar, and email from Google on the computer.
I quickly remembered why I hate Outlook so much. Mainly because if you don't use Exchange, it's horrible. It's IMAP support is subpar, you can't map the junk email folder on the server, it doesn't support IMAP Idle, and a bunch of other reasons. I also didn't really enjoy having a separate program running in the tray in order to sync Google to Outlook.
I looked around for other solutions, and in the past had used Thunderbird for strictly email, so I first dismissed it because it had no calendar functions. But then, I started to look at things that had changed since I last used Thunderbird.
Namely, the Lightning add-in was released. It adds a calendar to within Thunderbird, just like how Outlook has a calendar integrated. And, more importantly, that calendar has iCal and CalDAV support, and wouldn't you know it, Google gives you the option for two-way CalDAV sync just by configuring things properly. The public calendars I'm using also mostly worked. I was able to add the US Holidays calendar from Google, and I have two sports teams' calendars imported into Google. These were original ical links anyway, so I just linked to the iCal calendars similarly to how I set up the main Google Calendar. The one calendar I had an issue with is Google Calendar's "Weather" calendar for my location, I'm going to work on that another time.
(Note that this does not sync Tasks either though, sorry.)
Now, there was the issue of syncing Google Contacts. As it turns out, that's pretty easy too, with the Google Contacts add-in.
Then, it was only a matter of a few visual tweaks. Namely, I customized the bar in the bottom left to remove tasks, since that doesn't sync with the Pre, and also installed a Minimize to Tray add-in.
I also want to be notified at all times by Thunderbird if I'm on my computer, so I made a shortcut to it and put it in my startup folder with the instructions to start minimized, so it's running even if I don't see it.
So there you have it. Completely open source syncing with Google Calendar, Google Contacts, and Google email (which you can set up using IMAP and then get new messages pushed to your Thunderbird just like you have the option for on the Pre) and therefore to your Pre as well, without buying any additional programs or having anything extra running in the background.
Edit: Okay, I take one thing back. I am not able to get it to start minimized yet, another thing I'll have to work on. But otherwise, this is the perfect solution for me.