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.

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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Finally installed Outlook 2007 first thoughts

So I installed it and had to remove remote calendars and the syncML plugin I was using for Outlook 2003. One of those were causing Outlook 2007 to use up over 40% of my resources without doing anything. At first I thought it might have been Outlook its self but nope it pretty much idles in on my new Dell now the plugins are removed.

My main reason for the upgrade is the iCal support. And I don't mean just the ability to download iCal files, nope I mean publishing my calendars to a webdav or even caldav server and finally being able to share with Sarah my calendar. This works both ways of course, once Sarah also installs Outlook 2007 (think shes waiting for me to install it for her). This also means we can finally stop sending each other meeting requests which sounds really dorky but actually is efficient enough for generally telling the
person what your up to on a certain date. The only other solutions was use a exchange server (not cheap), not use Outlook and switch to Sunbird or another iCal client (we both use pocketpc devices so that would be a real pain) or simply dump online calendaring. The last one is simply not a option because I use my a lot otherwise I'd forget all this stuff and Sarah is very good at arranging her calendar and time, so it would be a nasty lost.

I did check out Calimanjaro but couldn't find the sync to pocketpc option so dropped it quickly.

My only problem with Outlook 2007 besides the new style (which I can live with for now) is that it won't sync with my Cocoon built WebDav server. So I really need something else which is easily deployed in a Java servlet engine like Resin and Tomcat. I can try again with Apache Webdav, but I have worries about how secure that really is and I'd prefer to keep Apache as simply a static file server and low balancer for Resin. Any thoughts? And please don't mention Apache Slide. I just can't get that thing to
work, talk about complex configuration.

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Who says the Social scene in London is nothing compared to San Fran?

Socialising at the geekdinner with Dave Shea

What the heck is going on? Next week is insane! There are tons of events going on in London next week. I'll outline the crazyness…

Now imagine if Momo Monday, Girl geekdinner and Pub Standards were all added to the mix! Someone needs to sort this all out. Its too insane that all these events are happening the same week.

So getting serious for a while now. To be fair everything is ending up on Upcoming which is a good thing. I was using Eventful for quite sometime but since most of the events are ending up on upcoming, i'm not going to fight it. So things are getting a little more origanised here but the problem is that the actual event holders are not looking at upcoming first let alone posting them. Then add the extra pain in the butt that you need to sign in to register yourself with an event, not everyone likes that. So actually things are not that rosey. I thought the Jigsaw wiki might be a good idea but it seems few people use it for events. Then I thought Techcrunch UK might bring some calm to the crazyness but nope, its not happened.

I've filled you all in on the context but this conversation has gone on a little longer in the TechCrunch comments on the same subject. The suggestion of using a google calendar by D4rr3ll sounds good but I'm not sure it solves the problem of sign up but it will certainly help with clashes. As he said a XSL would mean anyone could see it on a normal webpage, and yes using the API event.add or event new, it would be possible to automaticlly add it to Upcoming and Eventful.

So I've setup a Google account for London Social events which I'll email around to people who run events in London. The Calendar is here – http://www.google.com/calendar/render?cid=londonsocialevents@googlemail.com. You can subscribe to the RSS here and Ical here.

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Standard calendaring servers

So I was listening to a IT Conversations podcast about iCal/CalDav servers. My interest has perked up since Apple announced there own CalDav server will ship as part of the OSX 10.5 package later this year.

At its 2006 Worldwide Developer Conference, Apple Computer announced the iCal Calendar Server, an open-source implementation of a CalDAV server to be provided with the Leopard release of Mac OS X. CalDAV permits greater interoperability between calendars. This brings the number of open-source implementations of CalDAV to four, according to Dave Thewlis

So natrually I thought I'd check out the other 3 CalDav servers. Cal Connect is your standard consortium website, good information but badly architected. However before long I was off checking out the other CalDav servers.

Hula seems to be the most mature but I've had problems getting it running before, so I skipped it and looked at both UW Calendar and Bedework. From what I understand Bedework is based off UW anyway, so I skipped that one and tried out Bedework. So far I'm honestly impressed, its also worth checking out the feature list of this CalDav server or should I say Calendar framework/server. Now if I can only find the right URL for Mozilla Calendar CalDav syncing.

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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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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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