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Author Topic: VueMinder calendar at 50% discount - Bits du Jour  (Read 4582 times)
LM7
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« on: June 29, 2009, 01:22:03 AM »

This is a very impressive calendar program for those who are interested - the discount is being featured on July 1 (Wed.).
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Steven Avery
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« Reply #1 on: July 01, 2009, 09:41:20 PM »

Hi Folks,

Truly nice to work with.  Esthetically A+.

Question .. there is a "custom" boolean choosing of e.g. this calendar and this calendar together.  One of the main features  I want in a calendar, allowing for easy layering in various ways.

However I do not see that you can save and name the "Custom" element, it looks like you have to regen it each time, limiting the use a lot.  Am I right in how I see this ? 

The task list is more a lead-in to the calendar than anything else, which is ok, this is meant for calendar and reminder with visual clues everywhere. (Color-coding is nice.)  Surprised that there is not a "priority", however there is enough layering and esthetic usage (nice in a calendar, you want to enjoy looking at it, as you think of all the things you may or may not do) that I can design what I want that way.

My "custom" concern stands.  It sort of limits the purpose if you can't save the grouping and re-get at it quickly later.  The boolean aspect is very nice, adding to the feature discordance.  I would be tempted to buy this anyway, for the many niceties.  Thinking in the next hour and a half.

Shalom,
Steven Avery

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vuesoft
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« Reply #2 on: July 14, 2009, 11:42:48 PM »

Hi Steven,

I'm Dan Chartrand from VueSoft, developer of VueMinder Calendar.  Sorry for the delayed response to this thread.  I wasn't aware of your post until just a few minutes ago. 

Regarding the ability to define a custom grouping of calendars, this is a feature we're planning on implementing in the near future. In the meantime, you can combine calendars within the same layer by individually checking or unchecking the calendars you'd like to display or hide.  I understand if you have a large number of calendars and want to quickly switch between having one group displayed and then a different group, this could be cumbersome - which is why we're working on improving it!  smiley

We're also working on improving the task list, adding the ability to categorize tasks and view them within the calendar.  The task list improvements are currently in test, along with a bunch of other enhancements, and will be in the next release.

I'm glad to hear you enjoy the esthetics of the program. We've tried to balance an attractive and customizable interface with one that is traditional enough to be instantly familar to new users (notice there's no ribbon bar?).  It's a fine line, so when I see feedback like your's, it helps confirm we struck the right balance. 

If you have any other feedback or suggestions, please let me know.  We're very receptive to user feedback.  Thanks!

Regards,
Dan Chartrand
VueSoft
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Steven Avery
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« Reply #3 on: July 19, 2009, 05:22:52 PM »

Hi Folks,

Thanks for the response, Dan.  I think I sent you an email too.  However we can continue here just as well, and I see you have a webforum with moderate activity.  Important, close to a necessity in the utility easy-use software world.

This is one of the few programs that I have on a 30-day trial that I won't mind if it expires, as I will be thinking of a purchase, especially if you just enhance that one feature and/or we run into the next discount (e.g. a DonationCoder discount would be nice, a suggestion for consideration). 

I'll try to work with VueSoft a little, if I need an extension I'll give you a holla, and then I'll give you a bit more feedback. 

A good calendar (and alarm) program is a real need, even if it doesn't have the ToDo list as some super-function (the long-term goal).  I'm playing with Rainlendar, Kirby and yours, and will probably settle on two of the three, all have their pluses. 

It is true that esthetics on a calendar is important (where you really lead the pack).  Boy, is the calendar on my Samsung cell phone ugly !  And hard to work with !

More laters.

Shalom,
Steven Avery
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johnk
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« Reply #4 on: July 20, 2009, 01:29:28 PM »

I recently gave a trial to Vueminder Calendar. It's pretty, certainly, and loaded with features, but it fell down for me in two areas.

1. It doesn't support categories - you need to build a separate calendar for each category (as with Google Calendar). I find this is a clumsy way to work. But each to their own.

2. More seriously, although the program claims to share iCalendar (.ics) files with other calendars/users, it is not "sharing" in the accepted sense -- instead it is "importing" the existing ics file each time, then creating its own calendar, and then exporting the file back to ics again, deleting the categories (if they exist) and completely overwriting the original ics. That was a surprise to me.

At the moment, I share a single ics file between Rainlendar, Lightning and Google Calender, and all three play nicely with each other, as they should. Vueminder is not suitable for such a setup.

I have raised this issue with the developer in the Vueminder forums, and he said he would address the issue in a future update.

I would recommend Rainlendar, based on my experience. It is my hub, managing the ics file it shares with Lightning and Google (that's my "events" calendar). Then I also have a separate ToDo calendar in Rainlendar, which it syncs with Remember the Milk and Lightning. It all works seamlessly.
« Last Edit: July 21, 2009, 05:22:28 PM by johnk » Logged
steeladept
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« Reply #5 on: July 20, 2009, 01:54:17 PM »

Okay, let me preface this with "I have not tried any of these types of calandars yet".  Keep this in mind as I mention my must have's and desires of any calandar application since some may fit all of these.

Currently I use Outlook 2007 at home (part of the Office suite I got) and Lotus Notes at work (blech, but I don't have a choice).  What I am looking for from an application like this is not really just a calandar, but a full featured PIM.  That said, the calandar portion is what I will focus on due to the jist of the post.

First and foremost, the application should work on/with a variety of handheld devices including Blackberries, iPhone, and Windows Mobile (I only use the last, but the other two are where the money is now, so if you are doing it, you might as well make it work for all). However, I do not want it to be a web only app, as I am not web connected 24/7 (data plans are way too much for personal use!), though a web synch option may be desirable for some.

Now for the application details.
1.  It should be able to read Outlook, Lotus, Groupwise, Yahoo Mail, Live Mail, and GMail options at a minimum.  I know these are all email apps, but they all have calandars associated with them.  These calandars should be able to synchronize with the program.

2.  Any unsupported features should not be discarded, but rather ignored, so as the data moves, the unused parts could still be accessed when brought back into the originating program.  (This should be standard for ALL collaboration software that claims to work with any other system!)

3.  It should support multiple calandars per person, and multiple people independently while associating the groupings if appropriate.  For example, I have a home calandar and a work calandar that I can turn on or off separately.  Joe has the same.  If I want to turn on all his appointments and only my work appointments, I should be able to do so while knowing which appointment belongs to which person and which calandar for that person.  I would suggest color coding the calandars, then grouping by user with a faded background color per user.  Maybe there is something that does this already, but it is just one idea for an implimentation.
 
4.  It should also support alarms.  What good is a calandar that doesn't remind you of your appointments?  I have seen some good implimentations of calandars that don't support alarms.  Useless to me....

There are several more, but I can't think of them at the moment, and I don't have my compiled checklist here.  I will look into it later and hopefully post back with more.  Anyone have any suggestions so far?   cheesy

Now, to be fair, it is time to look at VueMinder to see how close they come to these requirements....
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broken85
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« Reply #6 on: July 20, 2009, 02:03:04 PM »

I'm very sad that I missed out on this deal. VueMinder looks like a calendar I'd like to support, although my funds are too limited at the moment to impulse-buy at full price.

I'll use my trial, and see if I find it worth continuing. Maybe I'll get lucky and it'll go back on Bits Du Jour in the near future smiley
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Ben M
steeladept
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« Reply #7 on: July 20, 2009, 02:10:20 PM »

Oh, what's my problem with Outlook given these requirement (it does almost all of them after all)?

1.  It doesn't work well with Lotus (or anything else really) unless I connect to the server via POP or IMAP and download it - I can't just move a file and have it read it.  Not a major limitation, unless you are not authorized to connect that way like at work.  Well that and to my knowledge there is no direct way to connect Outlook to Domino servers...

2.  It is expensive.  Right now I can get one copy cheap through the military, but once I retire, I have to pay whatever price I can find, which is going to be expensive no matter what.  Add to that, I still have to pay full price for any additional copies to share my family's schedule unless we all use one computer.  Not happen'n.

3.  It is big, bloated, and offers a lot of useless features that I can not turn off easily if at all.  That said, I do like having integrated contact lists with my email and calendar, and to a lesser extent to-do lists.  I just wish some of the fields could be changed and/or removed to speed it up a bit, especially for contact lists.  But now I go off on a tangent away from the calendar again.

While I continue dreaming, I want a car that creates power while I am driving, fixes all relationships, and solve world hunger.  Is that too much to ask... tongue
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Steven Avery
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« Reply #8 on: July 21, 2009, 06:57:21 AM »

Hi Folks,

Thanks, John for the info on integrating Rainlendar, Lightning and Google Calender and Remember the Milk.  I may work with some of those, especially since I picked up Rainlendar on the Bits special.

John, VueSoft is relatively new, only about a year, the new few months will tell a lot, if they begin putting in the features we are talking about, saved categories for sure and better integration with at least one web tool I will be ready to give it an extensive try. While now it is more play. Kirby is the other one I am really checking.

Questions for Dan.  

"VueMinder Calendar is free to try and fully functional for up to 30 days. After 30 days, it will no longer run, but any events or reminders that you defined during the trial period will be waiting for you to view after you've purchased a license."

Really you should simply prevent new entries.  I hesitate to put in real data if it will become totally invisible after the trial.  Too much pressure.  I want to be able to at least screen view or print what I had without counting days or having to request a special extension.  Nobody is going to continue to *use* a calendar long on stale entries, so you will not lose anything.

"A single-user license can be used by a single user on up to 5 computers ...."
- Excellent (separate users on one puter - separate licenses though)

Dan, you have gone to release 4 from release 1 in about a year.  Has this required a paid upgrade ?  What is your policy.  I would hope that with a new software you would give something like 2-years (at least 1-year or 18 months) of free upgrades.  Have the release 1 folks been hit with 3 upgrades ?  You clearly go version to version much quicker than most softwares.

As for the Outlook PIM replacement ..steeladept .. hmmm .. very tuff, especially with your list of requirements.  Outlook is so fragile and strange, a lot of the folks at work use it (some use Outlook Express, I have Thunderbird loaded at work with Eudora at home being my main email.).  For PIM functionality Outlook is clearly kewl, but having one kitchen sink data file with email attachments and calendar and this and that is an architectural train-wreck. Have you looked at Lightning or Sunbird (with or without Thunderbird) and various add-ons ?  It is the most likely to have a lot of integration resources with a cadre of open source developers doing this and that. A lot of people like Essential PIM as an Outlook replacement, but you would probably have to give up most of your integration requirements. How is Chaos32 (formerly the better-named Time & Chaos) these days ?  Might be worth a check.

broken, be not too sad.  Dan is here, maybe he will whisper about future discount plans and maybe consider a DonationCoder connection.  (Although DC would probably like to know his upgrade policy very clearly as well.)

Shalom,
Steven Avery

« Last Edit: July 21, 2009, 07:03:43 AM by Steven Avery » Logged
herneith
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« Reply #9 on: July 21, 2009, 10:07:39 AM »

Hi.  I purchased the VueMinder when it was on sale with Bits du Jour.  I received an email from the developer stating that I would receive updates for life.  However, with the next major version upgrade, version 5, the developer will be going to a '1year service contract' for new customers.  I'm glad I purchased this product when I did for I received my lifetime license! I was informed in the email, that the new version would be coming out shortly. I am impressed with it's functions and, being a fairly new product, it can only improve.  I went to the website this morning and noticed that the lifetime licensing is still in effect.  Based upon other calender software I have used, this one is the most comprehensive for my needs and I heartily recommend it.
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SKWilliams
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steeladept
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« Reply #10 on: July 21, 2009, 01:55:07 PM »

As for the Outlook PIM replacement ..steeladept .. hmmm .. very tuff, especially with your list of requirements.  Outlook is so fragile and strange, a lot of the folks at work use it (some use Outlook Express, I have Thunderbird loaded at work with Eudora at home being my main email.).  For PIM functionality Outlook is clearly kewl, but having one kitchen sink data file with email attachments and calendar and this and that is an architectural train-wreck. Have you looked at Lightning or Sunbird (with or without Thunderbird) and various add-ons ?  It is the most likely to have a lot of integration resources with a cadre of open source developers doing this and that. A lot of people like Essential PIM as an Outlook replacement, but you would probably have to give up most of your integration requirements. How is Chaos32 (formerly the better-named Time & Chaos) these days ?  Might be worth a check.

Thanks for your input Steve.  Yes, I have used Thunderbird with Lightning.  Great stuff and it does almost as much.  The killer there is portable devices, specifically Windows Mobile.  There may be plugins now for it, but last time I looked there wasn't.  The same goes for Essential PIM if I remember correctly.  I should check that out now for both...

As for Chaos32, no.  That is completely new to me. 

The funny thing is, email is the least I use Outlook for.  It is more that I use it for email because I am using it for other things rather than using the other things because I use Outlook for email.  My big email use is webmail.  Downloading it into outlook is just a bonus used primarily to synch it on my Mobile device or to read offline.  I will say, though, that it is nice to have the email address automatically poplulate when you choose the name.
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« Reply #11 on: July 21, 2009, 07:15:30 PM »

Hi all, good discussion here!  I appreciate the comments, especially with regard to what you're looking for in a calendar/PIM.  That really helps direct our future effort, as VueMinder will continue to evolve and improve based on the needs and desires of its users (or potential users!).  Our next major version, 5.0.0, will be released within the next day or two, and contains many requested improvements.


1. It doesn't support categories - you need to build a separate calendar for each category (as with Google Calendar). I find this is clumsy way to work. But each to their own.
John, we're improving this in 5.0.0.  You'll be able to categorize both tasks and events.  There's also a built-in category editor, so you can add, remove, or rename categories.  When you rename or remove a category, all events or tasks associated with that category will be automatically updated, so it will be pretty slick.


2. More seriously, although the program claims to share iCalendar (.ics) files with other calendars/users, it is not "sharing" in the accepted sense -- instead it is "importing" the existing ics file each time, then creating its own calendar, and then exporting the file back to ics again, deleting the categories (if they exist) and completely overwriting the original ics. That was a surprise to me.
Categories will be preserved in ics files. As for preserving other things, we still have some more work to do in this area.  Changing this requires a bit of a redesign to how we implemented ics file sharing.


Questions for Dan. 

"VueMinder Calendar is free to try and fully functional for up to 30 days. After 30 days, it will no longer run, but any events or reminders that you defined during the trial period will be waiting for you to view after you've purchased a license."

Really you should simply prevent new entries.  I hesitate to put in real data if it will become totally invisible after the trial.  Too much pressure.  I want to be able to at least screen view or print what I had without counting days or having to request a special extension.  Nobody is going to continue to *use* a calendar long on stale entries, so you will not lose anything.
Steven, thank you for the suggestion.  That's a good idea!  We'll work on making that change.


"A single-user license can be used by a single user on up to 5 computers ...."
- Excellent (separate users on one puter - separate licenses though)

Dan, you have gone to release 4 from release 1 in about a year.  Has this required a paid upgrade ?  What is your policy.  I would hope that with a new software you would give something like 2-years (at least 1-year or 18 months) of free upgrades.  Have the release 1 folks been hit with 3 upgrades ?  You clearly go version to version much quicker than most softwares.
Before version 5.0.0, anyone that bought VueMinder received a license that provides free updates for life.  So, people that bought version 1.0 have been able to update to version 4.0 for free, will be able update to 5.0 for free, and will continue to receive free updates for life.  While generous, this policy doesn't really make much sense from a business perspective, so we're going to be changing this policy when version 5.0 is released.  Anyone buying VueMinder will automatically receive a 1 year service contract.  A service contract allows for free updates until it expires, and can be renewed at any time - even after it has expired.  If you like the free updates for life policy, you can lock into it by buying VueMinder before we officially release 5.0.0 (but no pressure!)  tongue


Thanks again for the comments and suggestions.  We're working hard to make VueMinder the very best calendar and reminder program available, and can't do it without all the excellent feedback and ideas we receive from customers and forums like this.

Regards,
Dan Chartrand
VueSoft
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broken85
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« Reply #12 on: July 21, 2009, 07:37:28 PM »

Dan,

If VueMinder would have one more sale before the 5.0 release, I would definitely become a customer... as it stands I don't know if I'll be able to afford a full-priced license before 5.0.0 is released, and I would hate to just miss out on the lifetime license deal. Here's hoping smiley

So far after a couple days, I'm really liking the VueMinder trial! If I only had the cash i'd buy a lifetime license right now!
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Ben M
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« Reply #13 on: July 22, 2009, 11:25:23 PM »

To anyone interested, VueMinder Calendar Pro 5.0.0 has been officially released.  You can download it here.

Best regards,
Dan Chartrand
VueSoft
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Steven Avery
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« Reply #14 on: July 24, 2009, 12:00:59 PM »

Hi Folks,

Dan, does the VueMinder calendar have a clock-turner-backer to reinvigorate the lifetime lifeline of 4.0 ?

Maybe a real quiet DonationCoder alternate reality ?

We can keep the discussion quiet as a mouser.  (Realizing that you have a rather sound and helpful
potential pool of users in the pond.)  Or some type of longevity special (2 yr. +).  (Notice my comment
above about new releases, if that pattern continues ... it could discomfit in the new reality.)

Just asking .. smiley

Shalom,
Steven  
« Last Edit: July 24, 2009, 12:04:47 PM by Steven Avery » Logged
vuesoft
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« Reply #15 on: July 24, 2009, 02:45:34 PM »

Steven,

An 'alternate DonationCoder reality' sounds fine to me!  Thmbsup

We'll extend the lifetime service deal through the end of July, but to DonationCoders only.  After purchasing a license, send an email to support@vuesoftsite.com, referencing this thread.  We'll then send you the information required to convert your 1 year service contract into a lifetime service contract, which will allow you to receive free product updates forever, for no additional charge.

If you miss this deal, don't despair.  We're planning to have other occassional promotions in the future, which could involve discounted prices, longer (or lifetime) service contracts, and other incentives.  I'll post about these promotions when they become available.

Regards,
Dan Chartrand
VueSoft
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