Time Machine and Entourage

Thanks to Entourage 2008, I finally got to try out Time Machine to do a restoration. Let me point out, first off, that I happen to like Entourage (and in fact, I’ve had a pretty favorable impression of Office 2008 in general). However, when I let it use iSync to handle my contacts, each one got duplicated. This problem can only occur (I think) if you tell Entourage to go to Preferences > Sync Services, and check “Synchronize contacts with Address Book and .Mac”, which is off by default.

Today I decided to give Leopard’s iChat a try. I’ve been an Adium user for a few years now and would recommend it to anyone who asked, but I thought it was time to give iChat another try. That’s how I noticed there was something weird with my address book: both iChat and Adium use the address book to map AIM and Jabber contacts with actual names (obviously, Adium can handle a lot more than that). Mostly iChat saw what Adium was seeing, but due to a few various reasons not worth mentioning right now, not all of them did. A quick look at my address book showed everything was duplicated.

Unfortunately for me, I can be quite stupid sometimes, and just started to delete half of the contacts. It didn’t occur to me to check that they were exact duplicates until I was well into it. As it turns out, they were not. For each contact that showed up twice, one had all the information I had spent a long time entering. The other had the name and email address only. Of course, I was rather indiscriminate as to which one I was deleting.

Time Machine in the Finder Address Book.app happens to be one of the applications in which Time Machine treats as a full fledged citizen. Finder is one, and iPhoto and Mail.app are a couple of others (and I'm sure there are more). That is, if you’re in one of those applications, it does the whole [APPLICATION OF YOUR CHOICE] windows going off into the distance.

Fixing the mess simply meant deleting my contacts, and telling Time Machine to restore all to right before I had flipped that switch in Entourage. As it turns out, Time Machine is of more use than just letting me fulfill my lifelong dream of computer juggling.

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