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MacBook Pro, Dell Inspiron, Xbox 360, iTouch how can I sync?

I have MacBook Pro, Dell notebook, iTouch and xbox 360. I would like to sycn calendars, email, music, photos, games etc. I am on Verizon and will be up for renewal. How can I sync everything together including a new phone? Any ideas? My brother swears by the Xbox live system and hates itunes. he doesn't own a touch or ipod or Mac. I own all of the above and would like to incorporate the best of them together. Additionally, we will be getting a new PC in the very near future and haven't decided on another Mac or Windows based system. I'm open to any ideas and suggestions.

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Well, some of those will be easy, some of those won't be so easy.

The 360 doesn't have a calendar or email really, so you can use something like Google Calendar for the rest.

Email can again be done via an online mail system like Gmail. This would tie in particularly well if you get a Blackberry or Android phone next time around with your VZW upgrade. And while relations between Apple and Google have cooled considerably, you can still access Gmail on an iPhone/iPod Touch via standard POP3 or IMAP.

Music and photos I would store on a NAS device. You can also store files you want to share among systems on that. Alternate you could turn an old system into a file server, but a NAS device would save you a lot of money in electricity bills.

Games you're just kind of screwed on I'm afraid. No real method of sharing those. Game saves maybe, not the games themselves.

And as for the Mac or PC decision... If gaming is involved, go PC, even though you can dual boot on Macs now, it's likely going to prove annoying. But since you have a 360, I suspect you won't be doing a lot of gaming on the computer, so then I would say it comes down to whether or not you have any programs that you absolutely have to have, and are they Windows specific? If not, then there's a lot of good things to be said about Macs. Just make sure you do your homework before buying to make sure you really understand what you're getting into with a Mac. And if you do get a Mac, be SURE you get the AppleCare plan. Trust me, speaking as an Apple certified repair tech, everything except the Mac Pro (which is a joy) is a real PITA to work on. For anything but a RAM upgrade with the iMac, you'll have to take off the glass (which is untempered and requires special suction cups to get off), front bezel, AND the display. The Mac Mini requires you pry it open with a putty knife, and the MacBooks have some very odd screws. The new unibody MacBook Pros aren't bad, so long as you are very careful around the batteries. The AppleCare prices are dirt cheap for what they cover, and that includes someone like me to work on them instead of you.

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Your ideas are great. I bought my MacBook Pro last Sept. Love it!! I had so many problems with my windows based systems and got tired of fixing them. I bought the three year AppleCare plan with my Mac and have not had to use it. Compared to how much time I spent fixing my other PCs, I thought it was a bargain. I bought my iTouch and the xbox 360 two years ago. Well both of them didn't make it through the year and had to be replaced. The data on my iTouch was lost when it crashed. I had data on multiple systems which was very frustrating and time consuming to recover. I love my mac but we use the Xbox for Netflix, zune and music. The NAS device is an excellent solution for the media storage.

You are absolutely right about window specific programs. I'm replacing one of my other PCs and my office network does not support mac os. If I have a problem with the network I'm sol. I've been lucky so far but corporate will be upgrading the ancient xp network soon and who knows what may crop up. I think I will have to go with windows 7 to be safe.

I was really hoping the iphone would make it to Verizon but don't see it happening any time soon. I'll probably go with the android phone rather than switch to at&t. Verizon's service is too good to give up. My ideal phone would allow me to sync calendars, email and contacts between multiple systems. I wonder if that's possible??!

Thanks again for your help.

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Android and Blackberry

Android and Blackberry phones should more or less have you covered on syncing stuff between systems. The difference is that Android phones do so "in the cloud" and are pretty closely tied to Google's services. Blackberry phones can sync to Outlook, and I'm pretty sure you can get it to work with Entourage with a little work. Blackberry devices are generally pretty solid, but the OS is a bit dated and RIM doesn't seem interested in any bold changes. If you want the sort of media heavy iPhone type use, then you'd probably want an Android (I'd recommend the Motorola Droid or maybe Nexus One when it gets to VZW). The Palm Pre Plus might also be an option, but unfortunately Palm seems to be living on borrowed time. Odds are Google will be buying up what's left before the decade is out. You can also look into Windows Mobile phones, but I would think you'd have a bit of difficulty getting those to work with any Macs.

And if you would only need to do the occasional bit of work with Windows programs, don't rule out the possibilities like Parallels.

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