Saturday, November 04, 2006

Mobile calendar and synchronization

At home I use OS X iCal application on my Mac to mark up important events and meetings. Then I have Nokia 9500 Communicator with me all the time and mark events to it also. I have also Nokia 770 hanging round sometimes. To make things even more wicked I carry a laptop along me on my trips. This works usually but one night it became a real nightmare.

Communicator has a table stand which connects via USB to computer. It has sync button on it. However I have never managed to get it working with OS X. With my Linux laptop it works ok, but never successed to synchronize calendar events. Fortunately my Mac has bluetooth and so has the communicator. The next problem after pairing these two devices was that iSync didn't want to work properly. After googling a while I found instructions how to set up iSync for 9500 and how to install 9500 plug-in to iSync. Surprisingly everything was working fine. I got my contacts backuped and calendar marks in sync.

Oh, now I have nice working synchronization. But wait a minute. It's completely manual, needs starting iSync and pressing some buttons on both devices. One night I took my laptop and communicator and gone working to a distant location for a couple of weeks. I remembered that I had a meeting on one of these weeks but no idea on which day and what time. Took a look to my communicator and found... nothing. I forgot to sync my devices. Ok, no problem I have SSH access to my Mac. Unfortunately Apple has decided to make some modifications to iCal version 2 and the calendars are not available as files any more in my home folder. Quick search did not result anything. Now I got a problem.

You know it's not nice at all to call people and ask "when did we actually had the meeting"? It gives a stupid image of you. The lesson learned: always sync your mobile calendars. Also got an idea. Why not sync everything automatically, on multiple places and easily accessible remotely? I would like to see a command line interface for iCal or the calendars as easily readable files. How about automatical synchronization when my phone is available via bluetooth? Yes, I can still press the "accept connection" button in my phone if it for example beeps once when it's needed. Synchronize to my laptop - it has bluetooth as well. Unfortunately it lacks a good calendar. Also 770 lacks a calendar completely and it has bluetooth as well. So could somebody make a good open source calendar which works on my laptop, 770, other possible Linux based systems and synchronizes well with 9500 and Mac via bluetooth or USB? Automatically, if possible? Anybody?

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