Whatever happened to the idea

Whatever happened to the idea of a centralized database at the core of the operating system that would store commonly used data like contact information and could be used by other programs – personal information managers, e-mail programs, etc.? OS X includes a very basic contact information application, Address Book, but no one other than Apple, with its free Mail program, ties into the Address Book to make use of the information.

The alternative is a mess. I have addresses stored in my Palm Desktop beta for OS X, addresses stored in my e-mail program PowerMail – bits and pieces of data strewn across the computer and duplicated here and there because there is no sensible way to tie it all together.

While Mac OS X is a big improvement over OS 9.x, it is examples like this that point out the shortcomings. There is plenty of room for improvement. Still. [Mac Net Journal]

This is something that really annoys me. I keep most of my contacts on my Handspring Visor Prism, which I sync to Palm Desktop. I use Entourage for my email, which has its own contact list. I also use FaxSTF X, which uses the built-in MacOS X address book. This means I have to enter anyone I need to send faxes to into my OS X address book (which I don’t use for anything else), keep all of my email contacts in Entourage, and have copies of everything in Palm Desktop to sync to my Visor. Why can’t all 3 of them share the same data? Why can’t I enter an address once and have it usable in all 3 places? Wasn’t AOCE (PowerTalk) supposed to take care of this years ago?

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