No more Google SMS notifications for events

phonesauri

Important: SMS notifications not available after June 27th

Starting on June 27th, 2015, SMS notifications from Google Calendar will no longer be sent. SMS notifications launched before smartphones were available. Now, in a world with smartphones and notifications, you can get richer, more reliable experiences on your mobile device, even offline.

Shame because I got use to text messages 30mins ahead of a event as a sign I should go. However they are right, notifications especially since I have the Pebble smartwatch are good enough now.

Visual Calendar for Tablets

visual calendar

I have been looking for a way to combine calendaring, tasks and mindmaps. It just happened that I was searching around and found visual calendar for tablets.

Visually link the things you plan to do, creating logical chains. Think Mind Map for your project turned into actual tasks and dates, or events and appointments from your organizer presented in an intuitive, task-oriented way.
You can easily see all your events arranged in time, prioritized with color and categorized with icons, linked together.
Events created in Visual Calendar appear instantly in your Google Calendar. If you already have something planned in Google Calendar, Visual Calendar will import that in on first launch.

Its £3.99 but the feedback isn’t too hot. And I’ve not even considered the lock-in and portability issues

I can only assume because its a new concept and the app isn’t too mature. But I was wondering if it would be possible to take Mindmup and combine it with Google Calendar or something else?

Calendar Zero?

https://twitter.com/slavin_fpo/status/532935827379482624

Kevin’s right. Oversubscribed calendars are the new overflowing inbox. Remember my email inbox after coming back from my brush with death.

You should have seen my Calendar during September and October. I would share but I would need to blur so much of it, it wasn’t worth sharing, but I did get from Google Dashboard this figure –  over the past 28 days I attended 115 events, 146 hours total,  It wasn’t even funny. Thank goodness for ical subscribe, but this did mean if it wasn’t in my calendar, it didn’t happen. (not exactly ideal for somethings)

I’m not stranger to calendaring hell of course.

Wall mounted Calendar/Picture Frame

The Hudl arrives! There goes the afternoon...

I like Google Calendar a lot, specially because all my calendars are now inside of Google Calendar. Even my work calendar is inside of Google Calendar because I can’t stand to have multiple calendars again. So it would be great to have access to Google Calendar when I’m wondering around the flat without having to switching on a device and load up the calendar app.

The closes I’ve gotten to this to date is my Archos 70 tablet which sits on my coffee table as a XBMC remote. I’ve loaded a couple more things on to it including a Transmission remote, Yaste, Audio monitor, Plex, XBMC remote and Calender. Because its running Android 2.2 (Froyo) theres no Google now or Daydream support which is a shame because this is where I would use it.

So a wall mounted Google Calendar certainly rings bells, however with the price of Tablets now a day, I just don’t see the point. They all pretty much come with a Wide-SVGA or higher resolution and Wifi/Bluetooth. It would be easy to turn one of these into a wall mounted calendar with the right software (Any Cal?).

The massive price drop of tablets has also prompted me to reconsider the wireless picture frame. A tablet running the right software and a well setup daydream mode would make a great self updating picture frame. Specially if the Plex UPnP thing works as it should. Heck because your using a tablet, you could use RSS feeds with enclosures to get pictures on to the device. Or some other type solution.

What ever, now is a great time buy those cheap tablets… I’m certainly keeping eye out for the sub £50 ones in the New Years sales.

Offline support in most of Google Apps

offline google calendar

I just noticed Google Calendar added support for offline viewing and editing.

In the past I relied on Evolution’s iCal calendar support to save a copy of the webcal offline, so I could check my calendar when on a different network. Leaving Google Calendar open in Chrome would allow you to flick forward and backwards about 8 weeks, but you certainly couldn’t read the detail of an appointment or doing any editing. Now with offline support it seems to allow much more control. At some point I may not need Evolution at all!

Being so impressed with the offline support, I thought I’d check to see what other google apps support offline. I already knew about Gmail and to be honest I don’t need the rest so much.

Calendaring sharing joy with Outlook 2007, Amazon S3 and Jungledisk

Calendaring sharing joy with outlook 2007

Its finally working… Calendaring sharing with Sarah now works. I got fed up trying to do it with my own WebDav and CalDav servers, and downloaded Jungle Disk. Jungle disk is simply a local server which interfaces with Amazon's S3 storage and provides a webdav wrapper. So when Outlook 2007 asks for a Webdav server, me and Sarah just point it at localhost and Jungledisk takes care of syncing with Amazon S3.

Yep its not free but its certainly worth the bandwidth and storage space for a tiny calendar file, if it means I can see Sarahs Calendar and she can see mine.

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The upload of Calendar failed. There was a problem with the request

The title is the error I get when trying to upload my calendar to a webdav server

I just don't bloody get it! Everything is in place, Outlook 2007 and a Webdav server. But try as I might, Outlook just will not upload my calendar to a webdav or caldav server. It should be easy as pie according to the tutorial. But it just does not work.

I've tried multiple Webdav and even a Caldav,

  • Apache with Webdav enabled
  • Schedule World
  • Resin with Webdav enabled
  • Cocoon with Webdav setup
  • Cosmo standalone
  • Davenport standalone

Outlook didn't work with any of them, although I could connect and copy files back and forth using Windows Explorer. How can this be? Honestly I don't care where the Webdav server is, even if I have to pay a small fee to use it. The ability to share calendars with Sarah will make a huge difference. Anyone have any thoughts or ideas?

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Even more complicated Calendaring setup

Calendar setup as of November 2006

Hey and you thought my last calendar setup was crazy enough. Think again, welcome to the world where 2 mobile devices, 3 computers and 3 services isn't that hard to imagine. Well welcome to my insane syncing setup for calendars, contacts and tasks. No wonder it gets so messed up without too much effort. I've also included the SVG from Inkscape if you want a better quality version.

So starting from the mobile phone (SPV M600) its got a few things on it now. I'm using the Funambol Sync plugin with Schedule world but I can't seem to get it working all the time. So I've also stuck WebIS Mobilesync on there too which I have a 30 day trial of. This sync's directly with Plaxo which does away with my problems with Activesync not syncing. I say not syncing but actually it does sync with my computer at home nicely but not my computer at work. I would also sync with my laptop but someone at Microsoft decided that syncing with 2 machines would be all anyone would need. So now on to my other mobile phone (Nokia N80). Its my work phone but I still want it to fit in the sync system otherwise theres little point in having it. So Nokia has its own communication suite which actually isn't that bad. Its bulky yes and a hog on memory but consistently works unlike Activesync. So at the moment the suite is installed on my desktop machines at work and home but I only sync at work (only got one sync cable right now, and simply can't be bothered to take it out everyday). At some point I will start syncing on both machines. I've attempted to use the build in SyncML client to talk to schedule world too but failed so far.

So the biggest addition to my sync setup is ScheduleWorld. Its basically a Funambol server with lots of custom code to keep it working and running as a service. Ideally it could be thought of as the more open source version of Plaxo as it supports everything Plaxo does and even more. It supports contacts, notes and calendaring. Its web calendar is not as nice as google calendar but is reasonable. It also has a Google Calendar Sync link built in and supports SyncML. So I would like to one day replace Plaxo with Schedule World but its still quite some time off. For example the SyncML client on Windows Mobile 5 uses Visual Basic and so requires another download to work correctly. This is a pain because Windows Mobile 5 is pretty much all written with the compact .Net framework. Yes this is not schedule worlds fault and some would say Microsoft should build SyncML into its Mobile Operating system. And I would agree but its a pain none the less. Another flaky thing is the Outlook plugins. They seem to crash a lot, so its not reliable for everyday use. This is why Plaxo is still number one for daily syncing. Once you get stuff into Schedule world its easy to get things back out again. It also makes available everything using the SyncML API and I think it supports ATOM too. Plaxo does have an API but its no where near as open as Schedule World. So yeah Plaxo do hold your data hostage from yourself.

So going forward I would switch to using Schedule world or something similar if the plugins for outlook were more stable. I would even settle for no Activesync if the Windows Mobile 5 plugin was better developed. I'm also holding out some kind of hope that I will get the SyncML client working with the Nokia. I don't think I've spent nearly enough time looking into that issue.

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Calendaring, oh the fun…

This is a post while listing to the Inside the net podcast titled Calendar Swamp. Leo and Amber interview Scott Mace about the current state of Calendaring and more importantly will we ever get close to interoperability.

So generally Scott offerss some useful tips but doesn't quite have the ideal solution quite yet. Now I'm not saying I do either but I thought I'd outline my current setup which is messy but kinda works.

My calendaring setup

So generally I use Plaxo to sync between all my outlook running machines. It does a good job if you disable some of the things which could be seen as spyware. I also run Thuderbird for my email and have the Thunderbird Plaxo extension simply so my Thunderbird address book is pretty up to date. But I don't sync Thunderbird that much, unlike my outlooks which I sync pretty much everyday for all my contacts, calendar, tasks and notes. I'm still using the free version of Plaxo but I'm going to try the paid for version to see how I like it. The Mobile phone syncs with the desktop PC via Activesync. If Activesync would sync with more than two computers, I would sync it with my laptop which I have done in the past. You will also notice I'm now using Outlook 2007 beta on my laptop, mainly to test the iCalendar, which at the moment I'm not impressed with at all. I did for a while have the Mozilla Sunbird application running and connected to Google Calendar but I didn't use it enought really. The last thing about my arrangment is WebIS mobile sync which is a Windows Mobile Application which syncs directly with Plaxo. Its not free and only syncs contacts at the moment but there waiting for Plaxo to open up the calendar, tasks, etc api's then the price will jump from 12 dollars to 20 dollars. So I'm going to try it out for 30days and maybe disable contacts activesync's contact ability.

So its not a bad setup and things do work but I want to say I've not found a way to fit in Eventful and Upcoming yet. I'm also interested to see how Google calendar does against 30boxes and the new Plaxo web calendar.

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Geek and Geekhag podcast number 9 – Hate crimes and We Media

Digital Assassins

Me and Sarah discuss a few things in this 1 hour podcast. I'm hoping to expand on these subjects in further entries but for now here's the basic outline.

So first up me and Sarah recieved some Racist and Homophobic propaganda/mail yesterday (3rd May), you can catch the complete image here and close up's here. Sarahs done a really good job of covering this one in the podcast and her blog entry so I'll simply point there instead.

Then we talk about the We Media and We Media Fringe events. I spend quite a lot of time on the digital assassins section of the event and I'll write up a full account of my experience soon. Oh by the way don't miss Suw's Why We Media sucked talk recored by James Cox. James also filmed a whole load of other really interesting stuff before the Digital Assassins session and afterwards at the Wemedia fringe event.

Then finally we finish with Sarah talking about her painful experience with Plaxo and we touch on Calendaring. I expect Calendaring will pop up again in the next podcast because theres tons to be said about this.

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Eventful events turned into signs with xsl

How my posters turned out after printing

Its so funny, I tend to shy away from printed media. But I can see the value in some printed content. So anyway this is the result of my XSL which simply takes an Eventful ATOM feed and transforms it into simple XHTML+CSS for printing (next stage would be PDF). Here it is if you would like to do the same before Monday. Please bear in mind this works with ANY eventful event, as long as you take the id of the event and add it to the end of this url – http://cubicgarden.com/cocoon/eventful/poster/{eventful id}. Here's a couple more for the hell of it.

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Calendaring interoperation with eventful?

eventful interop with others

On the eve (maybe) or at least before Google Calendar didnt happen is put out into the public internet, the eventful seems to be scrambling for some more marketspace. In a unannounced blog move the people behind EVDB have a option to submit the event to other sites. I've not checked out what all the end result are like but if the del.icio.us/events entry is a example, its not bad. Yes it links back to the Eventful calendar but the tags and description are still pretty much there. I've already suggested a blog this option, which would save me copying and pasting. Export as hCalendar (microformat) would be useful too.

I meant to blog Eventful's new group feature which allows you to group togther peoples events via tags and searches. But honestly there blog entry says it all and all I can add, is that its great. I really need to check back on upcoming.org, see if they have improved things there.

The eventful blog has just updated and wrote a more detailed account about this new feature. And thanks Sheila for letting me know Google Calendar never quite happened as rumored. Which is a real shame, I was looking forward to seeing what Google would do differently from the others.

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PIM Overview please enable URL’s

PIM Overview

Quick thought, I was messing around today looking at new widgets for Konfabulator for my laptop and workstation computers. I havent really messed with Konfabulator since Yahoo! bought it, I just simply downloaded the updates and kept all my old widgets the same. Anyhow, I had a good look through them today and found this really nice one by Yahoo called PIM Overview.widget. What it does is look at your Outlook or Ical file and displays the data as a Windows mobile type today screen. This is great if your running Outlook as it just picks up the outlook pst file and goes from there. If your using ical you need to point to a place where the ical files actually exist. Luckly I've been playing with Mozilla Sunbird, so I was able to point to somewhere on the local machine.

But what I dont get is, why is there no option to look at a remote calendar? A simple URL out to Eventful or even Upcoming.org would be so useful to people who dont use Outlook and may not use a application as such. This would make so much sense for Yahoo! as Konfabulator is now a Yahoo application and Upcoming.org is a Yahoo! service. I mean what more of a reason do you need Yahoo? Hell, I might even try doing it myself, I've been meaning to build and hack a few widgets for a while.

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