A Richer Off-line Experience

As an additional article to the ThinkFree & U3 experience of being a disconnected mobile user, I thought I write about the experience of using the normal day to day applications in a off-line way.

Lotus Notes:

As a mobile Lotus Notes user there is no issue of accessing my local resources, mail file, calendar, contacts etc to carry on with activities I planned or need to prepare of the rest of the working day.

The Logon interface into Notes is as usual, but of course I select a “disconnected” location setting to prevent any unnecessary attempt to access network resources from the client.

Strangely the Sametime 7.5.1 client that runs as part of the Lotus Notes 8 Beta 2 client is not as savvy to my choice of location as the rest of the client.

(I shall raise this as an issue to the Beta programme)

Off-line rating = Excellent

Local Office Productivity Programmes:

Not surprisingly these run without a fuss. Off-line rating = Very good

Internet Explorer:

My experience with IE is not to bother launching it without an active network connection, I would think this is also true for most users. However, IE does have an off-line experience, and it can be pretty rich. It is dependant on the what content the user has cached in their history, but it can be useful source of information.

Of course you do need to tell IE to “Work Offline”, otherwise you will be greeted by “Page cannot be displayed.”

Off-line rating = Fair


Onfolio is a plugin available for the Windows Internet Explorer task bar.

It also enables you to capture web site content in an off-line form. But it is an richer experience, allow the user to build up a set of collections, where items of a similar subject nature can be grouped together to be referred to at another time.

The Onfolio GUI appears as a separate frame within the IE window. Within that GUI you can create and save content to collections and folders within those collections, import your IE favorites, import Atom or RSS feeds into the Onfolio feed reader and search (utilising windows desktop search) across your saved content.

I particularly like the idea of collections it seems and more intuitive way of linking web browsing content to the activities you are currently involved in. It is also more permanent and manageable that just referring to your browser history which is normally a huge jumble of things or have its limits enforced by various desktop management policies.

Unfortunately the Feed reader is not a consistent at picking up updates as some others. However the feeds views is good, very clear and highly customisable.

Off-line rating: Good

So now you can work in peace and get those jobs done!


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