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Can I use Mail+iCal to replace Outlook?

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
My company uses outlook. When combined with the Windows-based Dell laptop I am issued, I can barely get anything done due to all the freezing. I'm thinking about buying a MacBook to do mostly work-related things, and I would like to know how successfully I can replace outlook with Mail+iCal. This is the only thing that I'm not sure the mac can replace easily.

- Has anyone done this?

- Has anyone done this also through a VPN?

I should note that I use Plaxo, and it does a wonderful job of synchronizing everything. I'm not worried about that aspect.
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post #2 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by Splinemodel View Post

My company uses outlook. When combined with the Windows-based Dell laptop I am issued, I can barely get anything done due to all the freezing. I'm thinking about buying a MacBook to do mostly work-related things, and I would like to know how successfully I can replace outlook with Mail+iCal. This is the only thing that I'm not sure the mac can replace easily.

- Has anyone done this?

- Has anyone done this also through a VPN?

I should note that I use Plaxo, and it does a wonderful job of synchronizing everything. I'm not worried about that aspect.

For one thing, Mac users that use Mail+iCal... I've seen them handle tens of thousands of email in Mail and hundreds of iCal events. I would consider myself using my Mac for work/productivity 30 hours per week. I wouldn't even want to consider Outlook (Last version I used was Outlook 2003).

If you have specifically very Microsoft Exchange Server - related things for work (like scheduling meetings and all that stuff and replying if you're going to meetings and other fiddly thingys) then consider Office 2008 (Entourage) (really).

What sort of tasks are you planning to do? First you need to see if your VPN is Mac compatible... For SMB, IMAP, etc.

If we're talking mostly organising your events in a calendar then sure iCal is great, iCal has the "autodetect" from words in an email (like "hope to see you Fri 24th April for the meeting"), you right click on it and create a new iCal event. iCal time zone support is pretty good as well. iCal is quite elegant and intuitive, seems quite basic but it grows on you.

And for mail if we're talking straight up IMAP and so on, then you'd be pretty surprised how powerful ~ well, just no nonsense ~ Apple Mail is. Once you organise your groups using Address Book then managing group email lists is pretty easy.

Spline I always thought you're a Mac user already? You have one at home I take it?

Do you use something like LDAP a lot to look up your company contacts? That part and the Microsoft Exchange Server integration bits I am not too sure about.

Curious, you're doing 3D work, right? What do you use your Dell laptop for...?
post #3 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by Splinemodel View Post

My company uses outlook. When combined with the Windows-based Dell laptop I am issued, I can barely get anything done due to all the freezing. I'm thinking about buying a MacBook to do mostly work-related things, and I would like to know how successfully I can replace outlook with Mail+iCal. This is the only thing that I'm not sure the mac can replace easily.

- Has anyone done this?

- Has anyone done this also through a VPN?

I should note that I use Plaxo, and it does a wonderful job of synchronizing everything. I'm not worried about that aspect.

in all seriousness...no.

On a decent specced lappy, Outlook should be fine. Sounds like your issues are hardware not software in origin.
post #4 of 11
I've seen some real bad lagginess in Outlook in recent years on colleagues of mine using PCs ... both XP and Vista. Their PCs were fairly new. As in, no hardware reason why an Intel Core with 1GB of RAM on XP connected via wired network cable should be lagging up on simple things like opening a new blank mail window...

Spline has anyone at your workplace been able to pinpoint the cause of your Outlook issues? Are you running Vista? I'm no MCSE so I'm not sure what the troubleshooting/ fixing steps are...

Edit: Also what kind of attachments do you open/ send?
post #5 of 11
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by nvidia2008 View Post

I've seen some real bad lagginess in Outlook in recent years on colleagues of mine using PCs ...

Edit: Also what kind of attachments do you open/ send?

There are actually a couple of reasons why there are problems:
- One is outlook itself: it slows the whole computer down, which I have empirically verified.
- Another problem is Google Desktop, which I need because windows search is so bad, but I swear also causes tons of performance issues.
- The final problem is Guardian Edge, which is the big kicker. It encrypts all the data on the PC. I have postponed installing this, but IT is bearing down on me. This program makes everything ten times worse.

The PC has Core Duo @ 1.83GHz with 2GB RAM. It's two years old, but I don't do anything special on it: mostly just paper-pushy type stuff and occasional embedded programming. I am going to still keep it around but I'm hoping the macbook can do at least 90% of the job. This comes down to Outlook.

It looks like I'm going to have to find out the hard way.... Not a big deal, really.

P.S. I haven't done 3D work for several years. I've been at AI for a looooong time (1999). My old apps still run on PPC, and would cost in the ballpark of $5000 to update!
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post #6 of 11
Thread Starter 
Breakthrough: I just chatted with someone at work who has successfully implemented the corporate exchange connection on his iPhone ... without IT knowing!

I'm pretty confident now that this will be no problem. ... Off to buy a macbook.
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post #7 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by Splinemodel View Post

Breakthrough: I just chatted with someone at work who has successfully implemented the corporate exchange connection on his iPhone ... without IT knowing!

I'm pretty confident now that this will be no problem. ... Off to buy a macbook.

If IT wants to they can look up who's using ActiveSync very easily. Also, if they wanted to, they can turn off ActiveSync on a per user basis. Additionally, iPhone and ActiveSync are completely different than Mac connecting to Exchange
post #8 of 11
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by bbwi View Post

If IT wants to they can look up who's using ActiveSync very easily. Also, if they wanted to, they can turn off ActiveSync on a per user basis. Additionally, iPhone and ActiveSync are completely different than Mac connecting to Exchange

I don't think IT minds, they just won't support me. There are several unofficial iPhone users in the company, I found out. The trick is getting the VPN sorted out via IPSec. After that, the exchange part can be done.

As I said originally, I don't need to completely replace my PC. I can still run it if there's something that Mail can't perform, but Plaxo more or less handles all of my synchronization needs.

Aaaaaanyway, I'll follow up in a week or so after I've figured it out completely. I just ordered the MacBook from MacConnection (no sales tax).

Base Model (aluminum, 2GHz, 160GB, 2GB)
iWork (for Keynote ... this app is taking the business world by storm, I kid you not)
VMWare Fusion 2 (free after rebate)
4GB RAM (OWC)

Total price after rebates, taxes, shipping: ~$1340 ... NOT BAD AT ALL
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post #9 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by Splinemodel View Post

I don't think IT minds, they just won't support me. There are several unofficial iPhone users in the company, I found out. The trick is getting the VPN sorted out via IPSec. After that, the exchange part can be done.

As I said originally, I don't need to completely replace my PC. I can still run it if there's something that Mail can't perform, but Plaxo more or less handles all of my synchronization needs.

Aaaaaanyway, I'll follow up in a week or so after I've figured it out completely. I just ordered the MacBook from MacConnection (no sales tax).

Base Model (aluminum, 2GHz, 160GB, 2GB)
iWork (for Keynote ... this app is taking the business world by storm, I kid you not)
VMWare Fusion 2 (free after rebate)
4GB RAM (OWC)

Total price after rebates, taxes, shipping: ~$1340 ... NOT BAD AT ALL

You'll be glad you got 4 gigs of RAM if you plan on using VMWare for any extended use. I've got 2 gigs in my MBP and my machine pages to the HDD pretty hard when I run VMW. I've order a 2 gb stick to get me up to 3 gbs which is the limit on my machine.

You might have been able to use the extra 400 mhz of cpu. Let me know how it goes.
post #10 of 11
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by backtomac View Post

You'll be glad you got 4 gigs of RAM if you plan on using VMWare for any extended use.

VMWare is pretty much to run the IAR IDE, and that's it. Despite the recently reported speed bonus of using parallels, VMWare seems to have better hardware support and supposedly works better with bootcamp.
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post #11 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by Splinemodel View Post

VMWare is pretty much to run the IAR IDE, and that's it. Despite the recently reported speed bonus of using parallels, VMWare seems to have better hardware support and supposedly works better with bootcamp.

I can't speak about Parallels but VMWare has worked great me.
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