Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Who Needs Spanning Sync Now?

Geek to Live: Sync Google Calendar and Gmail contacts to your desktop - Lifehacker

The biggest concern and disappointment I have had about the delay of Mac OS 10.5 is the weaknesses of my calendars. I have quite a few calendars: personal, professional, church, library, birthdays, mathematician birthdays, weather, Northeast Kingdom Events, and the Revised Common Lectionary. Trying to access them at work has been very difficult. I need to update and add events from work and have the updates sync at home on iCal. I could write scripts to do it but I don't have the time anymore. I cannot publish iCal to Mac servers because they do not publish private calendars like Google does. I don't want my calendars searched (and they were being searched); there is confidential information on them.

Then Spanning Sync came. I waited seemingly for ages until it reached public beta and then I grabbed it. It messed my calendars up quite a bit, but I accepted that. I could now add events to Google at work and it would update at home on iCal. When the beta ran out I had a choice of buying a $25 one-year subscription or a $65 one-time purchase. I decided to wait for OS 10.5 when I could expect all of my syncing and publishing needs to be available. But Apple delayed the release. I developed an attitude about buying Spanning Sync (for the privilege of having it mess up my life?) so I downloaded Google Desktop for Mac and my Google calendars are instantly available at home. I have trashed all of my iCal calendars.

Today I saw the link (above) in Digg for an open source project (free!) for syncing iCal and Google calendars. As soon as I am done gallavanting around on vacation this week I will install it.
GCalDaemon is a cross-platform, Java-based server that syncs your Google Calendar data locally and makes it available to applications like Sunbird (Thunderbird with Lightning), Rainlendar and iCal.
Apparently this app does way more than Spanning Sync. I will be more and more enmeshed with Google, which disturbs me for several reasons. But my calendars will now work smoothly and I will be happy about that. Nobody needs Spanning Sync now. I don't even need OS 10.5 ($129.00) anymore.


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