The Googlization of Gulker

Google logoGoogle Health debuted yesterday, and I signed right up. Unfortunately, UCSF is not yet on electronic patient records, but my drug store, Long’s is. It was easy to link to Long’s and enter some info about me and my ailments. Subsequently I linked to the My Daily Apple health news site, and it automatically set up a custom RSS feed of articles mentioning Glioma or any of the medicines that were imported from Long’s. The site even automatically generated a warning about a particular combination of the drugs I take. Slick.

For the last couple of years (at least), I’ve been thinking about my ‘personal software strategies.’ I like Apple’s suite of free and inexpensive apps, which I much prefer to the Microsoft Office products I used for, it seems, forever. I also spent a year using Sun’s Star Office and‘s suites when I was covering the open source beat – I even wrote a 353-page book using Writer.

I’d already been experimenting with a paperless way to manage my personal records using a fast Fujitsu scanner, Adobe Acrobat and a PDF browser called Yep!, when the blizzard of paper that accompanied my cancer diagnosis all but mandated a paperless workflow, which has been at least as successful as my old paper-only record-keeping. The secret is Acrobat’s batch-OCR processing, which, combined with Apple’s Spotlight search facility makes the documents findable (unlike unfiled or misfiled paper docs).

But, increasingly, I find myself using Google to manage my affairs. Google Apps suffice for most of my documentation needs, Google Calendar keeps me organized and in sync with my spouse (and works on my iPhone) and I run all of’s email through Gmail for its superior spam filtering. The big advantage is that everything is ‘out there’ in the Google cloud, and I can get to it from anywhere there’s a browser and a Net connection. Google Sync means my life – to the extent it’s organized as bookmarks and page histories – follows me anywhere the Net can be accessed.

There are gaps: for example, I can’t easily link all my financial information. It sits on half a dozen bank, credit card and brokerage servers, but I’m guessing this will be solved in time, too. As William Gibson famously said “the future is here already, it’s just not evenly distributed”…


About Chris Gulker

Chris Gulker, a self-described Infuential Blogger, lived in Menlo Park, California with spouse Linda. He passed away in late October 2010.
This entry was posted in All, Context, New Life, Open Source, Technology. Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to The Googlization of Gulker

  1. Chris:

    I suspect that in the very near futures, most of our office apps will be ‘online’ to one degree or another, hence Microsot’s recent shot at acquiring Yahoo.

    Due to Enid’s health concerns, and her pending adoption of her 8 year old grandson, I am returning at the end of the summer to Southern California.

  2. Jon Tringham says:

    Hi Chris, as someone who is about to spend 5 years cycling around the world (you blogged me a month ago), I’ve been trying to get as much of my life as possible onto google. My blog, website, photos, email, calendar are all hosted by google and accessible and updatable from anywhere with internet access. I’ve even put all my contacts in the address book in gmail. Photos and maps are linked, so I can geo-tag all my photos and see a map, then embed that map, with my route, on my website. It’s all very nicely done, my only complaints are that there could be a bit more integration (how about geo-tagging blog entries as well), calendar should have a ‘to do’ list like apple calendar, and how about a simple ‘google file storage’ app so I could even dispense with the USB key.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Heaven forbid Google & its investors ever have to pay higher tax rates and have to take those out of our much beloved services.

  4. Lamar Van Gunten says:

    You are certainly a fearless “early adoptor” of inet based services and products. Personally, I would never share my private “stuff” with a corporation. In “free” enterprise, there will be a backdoor to somebody’s unanticipated enterprise with my “private” data. I suspect, however, this is indeed the oncoming future, and that Scott McNealy, former CEO of Sun Microsystems had it right when he said, “Face it, there is no privacy anymore”.

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