Archive for the ‘ General ’ Category

Sync And Share Your iCal Calendar With Multiple People Using BusySync and Google Calendar

My wife and I keep our calendars in iCal, but without some divine intervention we couldn’t sync our calendars or view each other’s calendar in iCal. We ran into this same issue at the office as well – I needed our Project Manager to see my calendar, but because we were both using iCal we were isolated into our own little islands of calendar hell.

So we started using Google Calendar, where we could share calendars and see each others events – even add events to each others calendars. But let’s face it… it’s just not as pretty or convenient as iCal, and it won’t sync events to my iPhone. If only there was a way to do this in iCal…

Well, I found a way. Using BusySync, I can use Google Calendar as a conduit, which holds and shares all of our calendar information. So I can see the calendars of others, and they can see mine. When I add an event in iCal, BusySync sends that information to Google Calendar, and BusySync on the other user’s computer picks it up and updates the information in iCal for them. The whole process happens within seconds – it’s pretty amazing. Watch the video to see what I mean.

So what happens if I have multiple computers and an iPhone? (Which I do). That’s where MobileMe comes in. Here’s the full setup:

We have an iMac at home which we use as our “base” – that’s where BusySync is installed. This computer is always on, so there’s never a lag in the data getting synced. If I add a calendar event on my laptop, MobileMe syncs that information with my iPhone and the iMac at home. BusySync then picks it up and syncs it to Google Calendar, which in turn triggers BusySync on other user’s machines to update the calendar event on their iCal calendar. And with MobileMe it shows up on their iPhones as well.

So with the two services combined, you can have multiple shared calendars, managed by multiple people, syncing on multiple computers and phones without doing anything more than simply adding an event.

Hidden Files in OS X Finder – No Terminal Hacking With Path Finder

I posted a way to show hidden files in OS X’s Finder a while back and have found a much better option that I thought I’d share. Path Finder from cocoatech is an amazing app, and even with the improvements to the Finder in Leopard, Path Finder still blows it out of the water. Five reasons I can’t live without it:

1) Show Hidden Files. This is huge when you’re working with a website that requires the .htaccess file or editing system files without the Terminal. If I want to copy a folder or group of files while ignoring .DS_Store files and .svn (Subversion) files, the Finder is great. But .htaccess is going to be left behind too. Path Finder shows and hides system files with a simple “show invisibles” checkbox.

2) Those Relentless .DS_Store Files. Sure, they tell the finder what font size, color or format to show each unique finder window in, but come on… do we REALLY need this written in every folder the Finder touches whether we change the layout or not? I hate clutter. Even if it’s invisible clutter. Path Finder shows folders without adding a .DS_Store file to tell you it’s been there.

3) Compressing Folders. Have you ever opened one of those .zip files you’re sending your PC friends that you compressed from the Finder? They’re filled with all kinds of extra junk that you can’t see on a Mac, but confuses the hell out of someone on a PC who’s looking at two versions of every file in the folder (a hidden __MACOSX folder contains duplicates (0 or 1KB versions) of every file – most likely meta data about each file). Path Finder compresses folders without adding… whatever that is that the Finder adds.

4) Tabs. Tabs… hello, Apple? TABS!! They’re everywhere now. They should be on the Finder too. Even my toaster has tabs now.

5) Sort Folders First. If I had to choose one thing I miss from my days on Windows, it would be that the Windows Explorer always sorted folders first, and then files. I always found it hard to quickly find things in the Finder with folders and files all jumbled together (sorting by “Kind” fixes this… sort of). Path Finder brings that back, and it’s oh so nice.

Another nice feature (I could go on with 20 more of these, but I won’t) is something they call the “Drop Stack.” It’s a magical place where you can put files… almost like a little favorites drawer, to access quickly, or burn to a CD, without creating a folder on the Desktop for them.

So I suggest you check out Path Finder – it’s well worth the $35 you’ll shell out for it.

We’ve Moved!

Well, virtually, that is. If you’ve found yourself here after going to ablogapart.org, fear not – you’re in the right place. It was time to bring some focus – to who this is and why I’m doing this – and start adding some meaningful posts. The important ones have been migrated over to the new site, while others weren’t quite relevant enough to carry on. More helpful info on the way…

Nettica ‘safeguard.php’ Hoax

This morning I received an email hoax purporting to be from Nettica, our DNS provider. Details aren’t clear yet on what it’s intent was (the attached file was encrypted, which we’re working on decrypting), but I’ll post an update as soon as we figure it out. We’re working with Nettica Support to find out what’s going on.

The email instructions appear to be referencing a Plesk installation.

Here’s a copy of the email that was sent in case anyone else receives it:


Dear Nettica Inc. valued MembersRegarding our new security regulations, as a part of our yearly maintenance we have provided a security guard script in the attachment.So, to secure your websites, please use the attached file and (for UNIX/Linux Based servers) upload the file “safeguard.php” in: “./public_html” or (for Windows Based servers) in: “./wwwroot” in your site.If you do not know how to use it, you can use the following instruction:For Unix/Linux or Windows based websites that use PHP/CGI/PERL/ASP:
1) Download the attachment named “safeguard.php”
2) Login to your site Control panel.
3) Open “File Manager” window.
4) Go through “Public_html” or “htdocs” (for UNIX/Linux Based servers), but for Windows Based server, please Go through “wwwroot” directory.
5) Choose “Upload Files”
6) Upload the file “safeguard.php”
7) Check its URL too “http://www.yoursite.com/safeguard.php”, if it is okThank you for using our services and products. We look forward to providing you with a unique and high quality service.

Best Regards

Nettica Inc.


[UPDATE] Nettica has added a post about this on their blog as well.