Tuesday 5 January 2010

Address Book him, Danno!

This is a follow-up to a tweet I left yesterday, where I was praising a great little app called ABMenu. This little guy just sits in the system menu bar and gives you easy, two-click access to any entry in your Address Book. I'd installed it earlier on my main iMac. This morning, I noticed that it wasn't installed on the new, two-week-old MacBook Pro, and fixed that.

Then of course I noticed that the new system didn't have all the entries that the old one did. The customary way of syncing data like this between Macs is to use Apple's MobileMe service; the Mac can also use LDAP or other enterprise-style directory services. "Fine, " I thought, "this definitely sells a lot of MobileMe subscriptions." (In fact, getting one is on my New Year's resolution list; the reasons for the delay have been Complicated™.) Continuing the thought process, " There's gotta be a dedicated app out there that will let me sync just Address Book."

A couple of minutes browsing VersionTracker brought me to address-o-sync, which does just what it says on the tin. Obviously reasonable but slightly irritating irritation: the app has to be installed and running on both Macs in order to sync; address-o-sync can't reach across your local net and pull "raw" Address Book data. (It compensates nicely, with a couple of features that would be impractical otherwise.)

So, I've updated my "how to bring up a new Mac" checklist and starred both ABMenu and address-o-sync on my installed-app lists. Take a look, and see if you agree.

(Now if I could only get the Hawaii Five-O theme song out of my head.)

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