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Tire Buddy Back in September of 2004 I published a Perl script I wrote called You can read that post if you like, because it’s still there (but we’ll get to that later.)

A day after I posted it, Phil Wilson wrote about it. You can read that post, because it’s still there.

Anyway, was a total hack. Short, simple, and it worked for me. Perfect.

Over the years, I’ve gotten a few pieces of email from others who used it, or tried to use it, or wanted to use it. Some of them I could help, others I couldn’t. (I switched jobs, and didn’t have access to an Exchange server anymore.)

So last week I got an email from a guy named Josh Lee. He had the following to say:

Thank you for the script. I would like to add a comment about it. I found it best to wrap it’s execution in a bat file on windows, then call that with a scheduled task. I set up the task to start 10 minutes after logon, and every 15 after that. I also setup the Sunbird option to reload remote calendars every 15 minutes and it works like a charm. On the properties of the remote (work calendar) itself, I unchecked “Show Alarms” and now everything is perfect, home calendar and work one, side by side in my Sunbird.

Thank you very much for sharing this. I would like you to add my comments to your page, sharing with people how to set up this a little further, in windows.

Also, not being a Perl guy, I was lucky to figure out I needed active Perl for windows, and that I needed the non standard Net::IMAP::Simple package installed, and how to do it, you might consider mentioning your dependencies.

Josh also sent me $10 via PayPal as a thank you! (He also suggested I add a “donate” link to my site in case anyone else wants to thank me.

Well, thank you Josh. I do appreciate the email, as well as the $10. :)

High Medium Low One reason Josh wanted to thank me is because I went out of my way to publish the script and make it available to anyone who wanted it. But here’s the thing… The reason I started doing things like that was because others did things like that. I’ve always felt that the web was a collaboration medium, and to a large part, it’s about helping each other out. Also, I like solving people’s problems, just as I like when other people can help me solve my problems. Every time someone posts a solution to a problem on a forum, or a wiki, or their own personal blog, it makes me happy that there is knowledge being shared, and I want to be a part of that.

Oh right, I know… blogs are not cool. Twitter, Facebook, “Social Media” … that’s where it’s at. Right. So… here’s a challenge: Find some post you made on Twitter or Facebook 2 or more years ago that clearly solves someone’s problem, and provides them with some piece of code they can download and run. Go on, I’ll wait. Also, send me the permalink to that public post that I can see without being logged into anything.

So when I said “You can read that post, because it’s still there” what I was talking about was the permanence of what you create when you control the publishing platform. You don’t control Twitter or Facebook, and you never know when the old posts will go away, or not be accessible. I know platforms like are hosted solutions, and they may also someday go away, but at least they offer an easy export of all of your data. Your Data.

So while Twitter and Facebook are platforms with a lot of good in them (as well as some bad) I’m still ultimately going to maintain my own home on the web, and it’ll be right here where I’m an owner, not a renter, and I feel like I have some control over things.

(If you’ve enjoyed this post, we’ve got about 13 more years worth, if you’re interested. If not, don’t worry… Someday you may need a problem solved, and a search will lead you here. Either way, thanks for stopping by!)

Update: I ended up donating $5 of that $10 to an open source developer who solved one of my problems today.


Hacked up our own gCalendar

iCal is good, but iCal sucks. It allows one computer/person to be the central point for a calendar’s control. So while Person A can create and edit a calendar, they can do so only from the original Mac they created it on, and no one else can make edits, they can only view it. This can be good if you want total control over something, but not so good if you want to collaborate on editing.

Google Calendar is good, but Google Calendar sucks. It’s dead easy for multiple people to manage one calendar. But, sometimes I just don’t like to rely on someone else to manage my data. Seeing messages like “Oops, we couldn’t load details for your calendar, please try again in a few minutes” does not instill confidence that all is well. (In the Google Calendar Help group you’ll see some posts about things going wrong that do not instill confidence.)

Maybe my expectations are high because I’ve been running my own server for years with my personal calendar data, that gets backed up regularly. I dunno..

Anyway, we needed a solution at the office for a handful of people to all edit the same calendar. iCal can’t do this (yet) and while it was easy to create Yet Another Google Account, I didn’t want people to have to constantly login/logout or even have to sign up for an account. So I created an account, and then built a custom WebRunner app (or a Site Specific Browser, as they are called.)

WebRunner / gCalendar

So now we have a bunch of people who can subscribe to the calendar in iCal (nothing new there) and a select few who can use our gCalendar app (or, just log into Google) and edit the thing. iCal has a great interface, but dammit, you can only edit a calendar on the machine it was created on, unless you look to third party apps to fix that.

WebRunner / gCalendar

It’s clunky, but it works. Of course a few days later I found which is a WebKit equivalent. So, hey, at least there are choices.

Along the way I also tried Calendar Server which did not work (Python-foo failures) but looks promising for the future.

Despite the progress, I just feel like calendaring still has a long way to go.


Lightning DST Problem?

Does Lightning have a Daylight Saving Time problem?

Lightning DST bug?

I don’t know when to go to the Apple Store! (18:00 is not equal to 5PM…)

Ah, I just checked for updates and a new version of Lightning was installed. Looks like they had a DST fix about a month ago. There’s also a Calendar blog which I might actually try to follow in the future.