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Online calendar recommendation
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MacosNerd
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Jun 5, 2008, 12:19 PM
 
I'm not sure if this should go in the application forum. I suspect not because its not an OSX application request.

While I use iCal at home, I have a need to have something online that will hold my calendar which includes the ability to add/modify and delete appointments. During the day I do not have access to a mac, and my wife does not use a mac so those are two huge obstacles to iCal AFAIK

In my searching, I saw google,com/calendar but I'm interested in hosting one myself if there's an open source solution available that I can install on my web host, I'd prefer that over google.com/calendar.

Anyone have any recommendations on this or should I go the google route.
     
Paco500
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Jun 5, 2008, 01:03 PM
 
There are likely loads of roll-your-own clandars out there. I used to use one called something creative like php calendar, but no longer care for the headaches. Google, Yahoo and others offer online calendars with great feature sets, no support worries and for free. You can even do some level of synching with Google and iCal.
     
MacosNerd  (op)
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Jun 5, 2008, 01:07 PM
 
I have, and to date I've not seen too many that are what I'm looking for. This is why I'm asking here. google/yahoo also doesn't tell you if they're any good or not. Folks here if they have any experience can do that
     
Synotic
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Jun 5, 2008, 01:08 PM
 
Look into Google Apps if you want to associate your Google account(s) with your own domain.
     
MacosNerd  (op)
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Jun 5, 2008, 01:41 PM
 
Its more of the fact that I don't my data and information on the google servers - if I can help it
     
ghporter
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Jun 5, 2008, 02:23 PM
 
Another vote for either/both Google and Yahoo! They're easy to use, BOTH provide reminders (in the form of emails), and you can upload and/or download other calendars (like iCal exports) to them. I don't know that the Google Calendar app has the same sort of "data mining" that GMail does, but you should be able to obfuscate your data easily enough to make it moot.

And there are always inexpensive PDAs...

Glenn -----OTR/L, MOT, Tx
     
MacosNerd  (op)
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Jun 5, 2008, 02:48 PM
 
Originally Posted by ghporter View Post
Another vote for either/both Google and Yahoo! They're easy to use, BOTH provide reminders (in the form of emails), and you can upload and/or download other calendars (like iCal exports) to them. I don't know that the Google Calendar app has the same sort of "data mining" that GMail does, but you should be able to obfuscate your data easily enough to make it moot.

And there are always inexpensive PDAs...
I've looked at goole and to be fair their's seems to the most polished. I'd prefer maintaining the data on my own system bt so far I've not found too many solutions that offer the same level of features. They could be out there (hence this thread) but I may end up with google.

The PDA won't work only because this calendar will be used between the wife and I to share our schedule and to make plans. Lately we email/talk/call each other but stuff gets missed. We both agree an online solution is the way to go.
     
zro
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Jun 5, 2008, 05:45 PM
 
Welcome to Chandler Hub

On a Mac you'll need to use Firefox, but you can subscribe using iCal or Sunbird.
     
besson3c
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Jun 5, 2008, 07:26 PM
 
Why not install Apple's Calendar Server on a spare machine of yours?
     
MacosNerd  (op)
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Jun 5, 2008, 08:22 PM
 
Originally Posted by besson3c View Post
Why not install Apple's Calendar Server on a spare machine of yours?
I don't have a spare machine and wouldn't I need to have server running plus would my wife who uses a peecee be able to interact with it. She'll mostly be using her work computer and that means she is limited to what should could install on the workstation.
     
Mastrap
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Jun 5, 2008, 08:47 PM
 
Google apps for your domain is the way forward. Great features, stable and always available.
     
besson3c
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Jun 5, 2008, 08:50 PM
 
Originally Posted by MacosNerd View Post
I don't have a spare machine and wouldn't I need to have server running plus would my wife who uses a peecee be able to interact with it. She'll mostly be using her work computer and that means she is limited to what should could install on the workstation.
It works with any CalDAV client, which includes Mozilla Sunbird. I'm not sure I understand your question about "server" (I'm assuming you mean OS X Server), but Calendar Server does not require OS X Server, it works under both Linux and FreeBSD as well (as well as OS X Client).
     
zro
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Jun 5, 2008, 09:03 PM
 
Take that "works" with a grain of salt. Its dependencies still won't build on my server. So I'm waiting for a binary or some actual documentation before I try it again.

Google apps makes me too nervous. I want to run my own stuff wherever possible.
     
Mastrap
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Jun 5, 2008, 09:26 PM
 
Originally Posted by zro View Post
I want to run my own stuff wherever possible.
I used to think that, but then I figured that I could not possibly match the constant updates and feature improvement that google could manage.
     
besson3c
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Jun 5, 2008, 09:46 PM
 
Originally Posted by zro View Post
Take that "works" with a grain of salt. Its dependencies still won't build on my server. So I'm waiting for a binary or some actual documentation before I try it again.

Google apps makes me too nervous. I want to run my own stuff wherever possible.

What dependencies won't install for you? I've installed it successfully under both FreeBSD and Linux.
     
besson3c
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Jun 5, 2008, 09:59 PM
 
Originally Posted by zro View Post
Take that "works" with a grain of salt. Its dependencies still won't build on my server. So I'm waiting for a binary or some actual documentation before I try it again.

Google apps makes me too nervous. I want to run my own stuff wherever possible.

I know what you mean. There are no guarantees that you will not log in to your calendar one day to find all of the entries gone, corrupt, or whatever, and in the event of such a failure there is absolutely nothing you can do - no backup, no phone number to call, etc.
     
besson3c
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Jun 5, 2008, 10:05 PM
 
Speaking of Google apps, in theory it would be possible, in the event that you gained access to somebody's home directory, to search through their browser cache and find sensitive information saved within a Google doc page, right?
     
Synotic
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Jun 14, 2008, 06:30 PM
 
I offer e-mail accounts to a few of my fiends, and whenever they ask about privacy or security, I tell them the same thing: I trust Google more than I trust myself.

Here are the things that could happen with your data on Google's servers:
  • People at Google could read your e-mails.
  • Their servers could get hacked and your confidential data would be openly accessible.
  • Their services could go down or become unavailable.
  • They could lose your data.
  • And so on, and so forth.
But is hosting your data on a shared server really any different?

If you physically own your own box, then only the first point goes away. I have been doing this kind of thing for nearly 8 years now and I have:
  • Lost data
  • Rendered my services unavailable or unusable
  • Accidentally crashed my server
  • Written programs that weren't entirely secure that had the opportunity to be hacked
The reality of it is that if you're putting your information out on the internet, you're making yourself vulnerable, no matter where or how you put your information.

Can you trust yourself?
     
Peter
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Jun 14, 2008, 07:11 PM
 
are there any calendars that have both a web interface and the ability to sync (and edit) in iCal?
we don't have time to stop for gas
     
besson3c
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Jun 14, 2008, 11:11 PM
 
Originally Posted by Synotic View Post
I offer e-mail accounts to a few of my fiends, and whenever they ask about privacy or security, I tell them the same thing: I trust Google more than I trust myself.

Here are the things that could happen with your data on Google's servers:
  • People at Google could read your e-mails.
  • Their servers could get hacked and your confidential data would be openly accessible.
  • Their services could go down or become unavailable.
  • They could lose your data.
  • And so on, and so forth.
But is hosting your data on a shared server really any different?

If you physically own your own box, then only the first point goes away. I have been doing this kind of thing for nearly 8 years now and I have:
  • Lost data
  • Rendered my services unavailable or unusable
  • Accidentally crashed my server
  • Written programs that weren't entirely secure that had the opportunity to be hacked
The reality of it is that if you're putting your information out on the internet, you're making yourself vulnerable, no matter where or how you put your information.

Can you trust yourself?

You are missing the point. There is a privacy issue with these free services, but more importantly to me is the idea of being locked in to their service with no way to get at your data. How would you backup your Google calendar data? How would you get your data off of Google if you decide to switch to something else?

At least GMail allows you to export your mail via a standalone client, but what about the contacts you have saved within the Webmail client?

All of this should be carefully considered before just leaping into a free service and getting cozy with it. Nothing is free. These services literally and quite seriously expect their customers to be naive, that's how this stuff works.
     
Synotic
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Jun 15, 2008, 12:09 AM
 
Originally Posted by besson3c View Post
You are missing the point. There is a privacy issue with these free services, but more importantly to me is the idea of being locked in to their service with no way to get at your data. How would you backup your Google calendar data? How would you get your data off of Google if you decide to switch to something else?

At least GMail allows you to export your mail via a standalone client, but what about the contacts you have saved within the Webmail client?

All of this should be carefully considered before just leaping into a free service and getting cozy with it. Nothing is free. These services literally and quite seriously expect their customers to be naive, that's how this stuff works.
Thanks for the, uh, constructive criticism . But, yes you're completely right, and I neglected to complete the second half of my post.

My full point was that both an onsite solution and a hosted solution (I think the debate is between onsite vs. offsite, rather than free vs. paid data services) are equally unreliable, and you should make a backup of your data in either case. So you're right in that you should evaluate the export options of different hosted options, if you're considering that route.

If you're looking at Google's services (and you should definitely look at other products to make sure you choose what's best for you), they seem to be providing at least the basics when it comes to export: You can export Gmail's contact list as either CSV or vCard (Address Book, for example) and you can export either individual calendars or all your calendars at any time to .ics format (which can be imported into iCal).
     
besson3c
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Jun 15, 2008, 01:13 AM
 
Originally Posted by Synotic View Post
Thanks for the, uh, constructive criticism . But, yes you're completely right, and I neglected to complete the second half of my post.

My full point was that both an onsite solution and a hosted solution (I think the debate is between onsite vs. offsite, rather than free vs. paid data services) are equally unreliable, and you should make a backup of your data in either case. So you're right in that you should evaluate the export options of different hosted options, if you're considering that route.

If you're looking at Google's services (and you should definitely look at other products to make sure you choose what's best for you), they seem to be providing at least the basics when it comes to export: You can export Gmail's contact list as either CSV or vCard (Address Book, for example) and you can export either individual calendars or all your calendars at any time to .ics format (which can be imported into iCal).

Sorry, I wasn't offering you constructive criticism personally, I just disagreed with your advice as I was interpreting it in your post...

I will add to what you have written here that I would not consider the presence of an export feature a backup option, as most people (including myself) are not going to be good about performing manual backups regularly. Personally, I wouldn't consider any manual backup system a true backup solution.

I'm not trying to put words in your mouth by suggesting that you are stating otherwise, I'm just using what you wrote as a launch point to make my own point. I've seen it a number of times, and I'm sure many of you have as well, where people that we provide consulting services for run off and make dumb decisions about their data that later comes back to burn them. A lot of small businesses gravitate towards these free options (in many cases rightfully so), but many don't really think through these sorts of things clearly and seem absolutely naive to these sorts of downsides as if these sites are sort of these magic benevolent entities that exist to provide us free stuff with no strings attached. I think it is our role to really lay things out and make it clear what they are getting into (both the good and potentially bad).

This data lock-in sort of danger is, of course, not just limited to online stuff either, as most of you are no doubt quite aware of
     
zro
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Jun 15, 2008, 01:48 AM
 
Well as I understand it while not actually having used it, using Sunbird's (and Thunderbird+Lightning's) "experimental" caching feature you'll always have a local copy of a remote calendar. Plus with the Google calendar add-on it makes the best client for managing a Google calendar. I have one lightweight calendar I'm using that for and so far so good.

As far as the debate on personal vs. provider hosting I know that I will never data mine my personal solutions for profit or for the benefit of any sort of vague affiliate. And those terms of use won't ever change.
     
chabig
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Jun 15, 2008, 07:28 AM
 
Originally Posted by Peter View Post
are there any calendars that have both a web interface and the ability to sync (and edit) in iCal?
MobileMe from Apple.
     
Peter
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Jun 15, 2008, 05:41 PM
 
besides that.
we don't have time to stop for gas
     
- - e r i k - -
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Jun 15, 2008, 08:34 PM
 
Google Calendar and iCal sync for free with Plaxo - Stay in touch with the people you care about.

[ fb ] [ flickr ] [] [scl] [ last ] [ plaxo ]
     
- - e r i k - -
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Jun 15, 2008, 08:35 PM
 
Originally Posted by besson3c View Post
How would you backup your Google calendar data? How would you get your data off of Google if you decide to switch to something else?
You are kidding, right?

[ fb ] [ flickr ] [] [scl] [ last ] [ plaxo ]
     
besson3c
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Jun 15, 2008, 11:18 PM
 
Originally Posted by - - e r i k - - View Post
I was speaking in very general terms, but I'll bite, how will Plaxo help me get my data off of the various Google apps if I choose to do so?
     
- - e r i k - -
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Jun 15, 2008, 11:27 PM
 
Originally Posted by besson3c View Post
I was speaking in very general terms, but I'll bite, how will Plaxo help me get my data off of the various Google apps if I choose to do so?
We are specifically talking about calendar apps here, but yes, Plaxo will get all of your Calendar and Contact data off Google apps and save it locally. That would be included in the syncing part.

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besson3c
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Jun 15, 2008, 11:49 PM
 
Is there an OS X Plaxo desktop client? How does that work?
     
- - e r i k - -
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Jun 16, 2008, 12:02 AM
 
Yes. It integrates with Mail and Address Book. Works like iSync. Any further questions?

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Peter
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Jun 16, 2008, 05:23 AM
 
want.
we don't have time to stop for gas
     
MacosNerd  (op)
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Jun 16, 2008, 07:13 AM
 
Originally Posted by - - e r i k - - View Post
Yes. It integrates with Mail and Address Book. Works like iSync. Any further questions?
With the Mobile me announced, It seems a little redundant to me.
     
besson3c
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Jun 16, 2008, 10:54 AM
 
According to the Downloads page, their OS X component only syncs Address Book stuff?

Plaxo - Downloads
     
- - e r i k - -
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Jun 16, 2008, 07:32 PM
 
Originally Posted by MacosNerd View Post
With the Mobile me announced, It seems a little redundant to me.
$99 vs $0.

Will Mobile Me sync with Google Calendar and Contacts?

Just saying. I'll be on Mobile Me, but Plaxo has been an excellent companion to .Mac so far. Not to mention all Plaxo-enabled contacts stays up to date when they change their contact info.

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- - e r i k - -
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Jun 16, 2008, 07:33 PM
 
Originally Posted by besson3c View Post
According to the Downloads page, their OS X component only syncs Address Book stuff?

Plaxo - Downloads
How about you just try it, huh? That way you won't have to guess.

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nonhuman
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Jun 17, 2008, 09:02 AM
 
Now if only Plaxo would sync my iCal calendars with my hosted Google apps calendar...
     
   
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