Trumba beta

I just got a Trumba beta account (along w/ 12 million others, I’m sure). Trumba is a new online calendaring service, similar to Yahoo! Calendar and twelve gazillion others.

So far, I’m quite pleased. The UI is nice, the basic concepts seem nice. I don’t know anyone else’s account, so I haven’t tried “sharing” calendars, but I have started to publish a sub-calendar.

Nits, which would help convince me fully:

  • Not clear how to have a public calendar show an event on a parent calendar as busy but w/o details.
  • I want to be able to quickly enter an event w/o having to tab all the way down to the bottom of the new event form. Ctrl+S or such.
  • I want to be able to really, really, really easily turn an email into a private event with attached note. Possible ways to do so include: a Thunderbird plugin, an email-to-event interface, or a flickr/uploader style drag & drop target.
  • I need integration of my contact list. Entering lists of email addresses doesn’t really cut it. Gmail is a good model to look at there (or suck data from).

Other buglets:

  • The color choices for the weekly view are weird — including a very bright yellow.
  • The date “Goto” field doesn’t do anything interesting when you put in “tomorrow” or “today”, but it doesn’t complain either.
  • Some days are colored darkish green in my summary calendar view, and I have no idea why. Oops, that’s gone. Very strange.

Feature Wishlist:

  • I have a big screen, so I’d like to be able to have the features of the 1-day or 3-day view applied to a full week or a 5-day week.
  • I want to be able to type in “August” in the Go To field and have it do that.
  • I think I want event categories, with implied defaults. Meetings have 10-minute reminders, birthdays have 3-day reminders, etc.
  • My public calendar should have a name which doesn’t necessarily include a prefix derived from my main calendar. The URL doesn’t have to, which is good.

Random other bits:

  • By default, published calendars have Google AdWords. That’s odd, as I have no idea who would get the money, or how Google would figure out what adwords to use to pick ads. I turned mine off.
  • Generally very nice use of DHTML/Ajax. Things work the way you hope they will (e.g. click on a calendar day in the “new event” view and it updates the form appropriately.
  • Generally good word choices

So far there’s an “invite a friend” button, but it doesn’t let me do that yet. Just sign up for the beta is my advice. I did so a few weeks ago IIRC.

Overall, it’s an interesting bit of technology, in desperate need for integration with others of its kin. I’ll be interested to see the business model details be unwrapped over the next few weeks.

Note to the world: Thunderbird is a pretty decent piece of software by now which has been underserved by extension authors. It needs Greasemonkey-style attention, and it could do a lot to solve the current PIM/groupware nightmare.

Flickr, wikidpad, google maps, the game

So as a beta customer, I just got my flickr account duration doubled (i’d paid for 2 years so I’m good until Dec 31, 2008!), upload capacity doubled (2G/month), and I have two free accounts to hand out. Nice. I’m not as excited about Flickr as I was before Yahoo, but I’ll probably get over it someday.

In other news: the wikidpad software I mention in the last post is (likely) going to go open source, as the author doesn’t have time to do the shareware thing seriously. The customer base has been very happy about that direction.

In yet other news: Hugo (age 7) was playing w/ google maps’ satellite view, and we were exploring around the Grand Canyon. He took it upon himself to follow the Colorado river until the ocean, at the highest level of magnification with data (which means zooming out at times due to missing values). Complained about the shadows, noticed rapids, etc.

I had three thoughts:

  1. scary that he thinks it totally normal to explore satellite data of anywhere (although I notice that unlike Keyhole, gmaps is still NA-only) from a laptop not connected by wires;
  2. cool — my son just invented a game that no one has likely ever played before;
  3. the Colorado river is very long and the data is quite close up — you haven’t left Arizona yet — time for bed.