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Issue #766: Mar 27 – Apr 2, 2022

Q: I have my own domain that I use for email. On my Android phone, I get my email, but the Outlook 365 calendar does not sync with the phone and I have to use a third-party app to accomplish this. Is there a way to have the Outlook calendar sync with my phone natively?

– David B.
Navarre, Florida

A: For those of my readers who aren’t quite certain what David means when he says he has his “own domain” that he uses for e-mail, let me start by explaining.  You use domains all the time; you might just not know the proper terminology.  In this context, a domain is a named site on the Internet.  A common analogy would be Google.com, or my own ItsGeekToMe.co.  One generally purchases a domain name from an online seller, and that domain name becomes the property of the buyer, but must be renewed periodically.  As an aside, if you’ve ever wondered why this column’s domain name ends in “.co” instead of “.com” the reason is that when I first set-up the column’s page, someone else already owned the .com version of the domain I wanted, so I went with the alternative that I’m still using.  I tried to obtain the .com name when the then-owner let it expire, but a domain broker – someone who makes his living obtaining desirable domains and then re-selling them – snatched it out from under me, and put it up for sale for a substantial amount of money. If you want to see how much, go ahead and pay it a visit – I’ll wait for you.  Did you see?  I wasn’t willing to pay the multiple thousands of dollars that he apparently thinks it’s worth.  After all, as I’ve said many times in the past, I don’t make any money from writing this column – it’s all freelance, and free.  So, I’ve had to be satisfied with the domain that I have.  I also own several others related to my light show, and other ventures, but I have yet to develop sites for them.

But, back to business.  Reader David B. has his own domain, and on his domain he has his own e-mail service running, which allows him to have a highly personalized e-mail address (one of the benefits of owning your own domain).  All of the most popular e-mail servers implement calendar features as part of their functionality.  This seems logical, as both e-mail and event scheduling are common functions in the world of business, and increasingly, in our personal lives.  It makes perfect sense to be able to schedule and calendar events and share them with e-mail contacts.  It makes as much sense to be able to receive invitations and other event notifications via e-mail, and then seamlessly place them on your e-calendar.

So, David, the setup process is fairly straightforward, and should be done at the same time as you add the e-mail account.  Start on the Settings menu, and select “Accounts & sync” (which might be named just “Accounts”) then select “Add Account”.  Since you own your own domain and server, select “Corporate” (some versions of Android might call this “Exchange” or “ActiveSync”). Tap “Next” and enter your account information.  When you’re done, and click “Next” your device should verify your account with Office 365 Email & Calendar.  There might be an intervening security dialog, which you should read before tapping “OK” to acknowledge and dismiss.  Next you should see a screen called “Account settings”.  Make sure “Sync calendar from this account” is checked to do both calendar and e-mail.  There are also options here to sync your contacts from this e-mail account, which can be very handy to use e-mail on the go.  To finish, tap “Next” and give this account a friendly name that you will remember.  Click “Done” and you’re all finished.

• • •

 Geek Note: April Fool’s! – With April 1st just around the corner, here’s a simple and easy prank you can pull on anyone foolish enough to leave their system unsecured while away from the keyboard.  The best part is, it doesn’t require you to load any software or change any system settings, and it doesn’t leave any evidence behind as to who did it.  Here’s what you do: on the keyboard, press the combination of [Ctrl]+[Alt]+[Arrow], where “Arrow” is one of the directional arrow keys that are part of every keyboard.  What this does is instantly change the screen orientation to sideways left or right, or the down arrow flips it totally upside down.  After all the fun is over you can set everything to right again by hitting [Ctrl]+[Alt]+[Up Arrow].


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