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iCal now available for free download Apps
In case you aren't paying attention to the news from Apple Expo Paris, and haven't hit Apple's page yet today, iCal was released today. iCal requires 10. and a account if you wish to share calendars.

I haven't had time to do much more than install it, so no comments as of yet.
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iCal now available for free download | 38 comments | Create New Account
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Authored by: porkchop_d_clown on Sep 10, '02 10:09:31AM

Does iCal sync with Palms or with Exchange server?
Does it offer anything that Entourage doesn't?

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Put iCal calendar on iPod?
Authored by: Anonymous on Sep 10, '02 10:41:23AM

I've been playing with iCal for about an hour now, and I can't figure out how to get my calendars to my new (just bought it this weekend!) iPod. iCal doesn't seem to export to the vCal format, and iPod doesn't seem to recognize the .ics format that is the only choice when exporting a calendar from iCal?

Any idea how to do this sans iSync?

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Put iCal calendar on iPod?
Authored by: kyrrigle on Sep 10, '02 10:45:21AM

i don't have an iPod, but the .ics files look like vCal format to me.
maybe try changing the file extension to what the iPod is looking for?

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Put iCal calendar on iPod?
Authored by: torifile on Sep 10, '02 02:43:49PM

It's actually a piece of cake. Export your calendar, drag the file the calendar folder on your iPod and you're done. If you're really slick you could just export it and have it go straight to that folder all in one step. Any applescript gurus want to whip up a simple script that will automate this until iSync comes out?

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Put iCal calendar on iPod?
Authored by: rainer3 on Sep 10, '02 10:54:49AM

Perhaps we need to wait for iSync?

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Put iCal calendar on iPod?
Authored by: brettmjohnson on Sep 11, '02 01:48:56AM
sjarvis wrote: "iCal doesn't seem to export to the vCal format, and iPod doesn't seem to recognize the .ics format..." I puzzled with this for a minute. Apple is making a big deal about it's open standards support. Why would iCal generate a proprietary format? When you look inside a .ics file, however, you will see it is standards compliant. It appears to be RFC 2445 "iCalendar" formatted data. iCalendar is vCalendar V2.0 (I remember reading somewhere the reason for the name change, but I can't remember it now.). iCalendar 2.0 is not new - it is about 4 years old. It doesn't have widespread penetration because Microsoft (and Palm) stayed with the 1.0 specification. Whereas vCalendar 1.0 was designed for simple calendar data interchange, iCalendar 2.0 adds significant dynamic interoperability for network-based scheduling systems. As we know, Microsoft abhors standards - especially those aimed at interoperability between competing systems. Most vCal data you see in the world is vCal 1.0 format, and that is the format the rudimentary calendar support in iPod understands. I expect we will see an iPod software update that understands iCalendar 2.0 formatted data at the same time iSync is released. As I mentioned, iCalendar predates iCal by 4 years, but it seems ideally designed for Apple's latest iApplication - even in its naming convention. Cudos to Apple for pushing another open standard rather than taking a proprietary path. See also:

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Authored by: Anonymous on Sep 10, '02 10:54:28AM

Good idea, but it didn\'t work. iPod still can\'t read the file. Maybe someone will create a little app or AppleScript that will convert .ics (which OS X.2 recognizes as an iCal file) to vCal, or Apple will either release iSync or update the iPod OS.

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Well, wait a sec... Maybe it does work
Authored by: Anonymous on Sep 10, '02 10:58:09AM

Hmm... after renaming the file with a .ics extension (after changing to to .vcal), iPod recognized it. Maybe it just glitched somewhere. That's odd. Let's hope it was a one-time thing.

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Answer: iPod and Publishing
Authored by: mithras on Sep 10, '02 11:04:22AM

Putting calendars on your iPod is very easy:

1. Go to the folder: ~/Library/Calendars
2. Drag the calendars you want onto your iPod Calendars folder.
3. There is no step three.

For a poor man's iCal publishing, just do this:
1. Copy a calendar from ~/Library/Calendars into your Sites folder.
2. Subscribe an iCal to http://yourmac/~username/Personal.ics (or whatever)

I'll post more detailed instructions on getting the whole WebDAV thing going soon.

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Too monochromatic and other nits
Authored by: Clint MacDonald on Sep 10, '02 11:20:09AM

I played with the new iCal for about twenty minutes this morning before work -- only long enough for a brief impression. For comparison, I have been a happy user of Palm Desktop/Claris Organizer for many years. I had no problem exporting my Palm Desktop calendar in vCard format then importing it to iCal.

I have a few criticisms. First, there seemed no way to categorize events (Work, Personal, School, etc.). There was a column on the left with what looked like categories, but they weren't obviously linked to individual events. I hope someone can correct me and tell me how it can be done.

Second, the color scheme is far too subtle and monochromatic. Every event is light blue or light green, with very little contrast. I don't know how to change the color scheme. Anyone know how?

Third, every aspect of an event must be accessed through a large "Get Info" pane, which seems clumsy to me. Within this pane, one can "invite" folks to the event by dragging their names from the Address Book, but it is not clear what this accomplishes. I would much prefer the ability to link events with names by a direct drag-and-drop onto the event (not the Info pane), which does not work.

So far, I do not see a compelling reason to switch from Palm Desktop. With the forthcoming introduction of iSynch and calendar sharing, I might reconsider.

Best wishes,

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Too monochromatic and other nits
Authored by: kyrrigle on Sep 10, '02 11:30:01AM

the "Get Info" pane can do most of what you ask.
click on the calendar name (top left) and you can set the color
click on an event and you can choose the calendar to associate with (this can also be done with the context menu)

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Too monochromatic and other nits
Authored by: gumse on Sep 10, '02 11:38:40AM

The categories to the left are linked to the events, the selected categorie to the left becomes the "owner" of new events that you create.

If you open the "Show People" in the window menu, you can drag directly to the event to invite people. They get an email with an .ics file that, when clicked, puts the event in their calendar.

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Too monochromatic and other nits
Authored by: Clint MacDonald on Sep 10, '02 12:06:39PM

Thanks for the corrections (kyrrigle, gumse and others). I can see by Apple's Web site <> that I was premature in my complaints about the categories and colors. I hope i was wrong about everything else, too. :-)

Best wishes,

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vCal import not working?
Authored by: jweinberger on Sep 10, '02 04:17:32PM

I tried this morning to import my calendar from Palm Desktop to iCal by exporting a vCal file from Palm Desktop.

When I tried to import it, nothing happened. iCal behaved as though it was going along fine, but then when i clicked "import" it just did nothing.

I spoke to Apple tech support (applecare), and was finally turned over to a product specialist, who experienced the same problem importing a vCal file.

I'm not sure (still) if I have any special circumstances that would prevent this operation from succeeding, but it seems that iCal can't (as advertised) import vCal files.

(suggestions aer welcome - if you have succeded!) Or it seems I get to wait for iSync until iCal becomes useful...

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vCal import not working?
Authored by: Arrakis on Sep 11, '02 04:39:57AM

I have exactly the same problem! Nothing happens. And ical is quit slow on my machine (powerbook G4 764Mb Ram, OSX 10.2). Ical is useless for me until isynch. I was so waiting for that app to replace my paml desktop :-(

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Palm import?
Authored by: Eastgate on Sep 10, '02 11:37:50AM

There surely must be a good way to import from Palm?

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Palm import?
Authored by: mike3k on Sep 10, '02 02:11:51PM

In Palm Desktop, export your calendar as vCal. in iCal, select import and choose your vCal file.

Unfortunately I found that it messed up pretty badly - a lot of items were missing and a few had the wrong date.

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Palm import?
Authored by: mgmcotton on Sep 10, '02 03:58:41PM

Export your Palm Calendar to a vCal file. Then import that file in iCal. This worked for me except that it imported my events into my Home calendar and not my work calendar.

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Palm import?
Authored by: mgmcotton on Sep 10, '02 05:06:57PM

I found that when importing your events highlight the calendar that you want to use and your events from you vCal file will import into that calendar.

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Palm import?
Authored by: Arrakis on Sep 11, '02 04:34:36AM

I tried everything and my vcal files from PalmDesktop won't import into ical. I don't even get en error message. And the interface is quit slow on my Powerbook G4 (768Mb Ram) when I switch from a view to another; and that's with my calendars completly empty. :-(

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iCal will sync to Palms ... when iSync's out.
Authored by: Anonymous on Sep 10, '02 12:48:23PM

Good to note this from the Installer screen: "iCal works with Apple's iSync software to let you update your calendar information across computers using the Internet and .Mac, or via a USB connection to a Palm OS device."

So it sounds like iSync will work with USB connections to Palms! At least with iCal, and one can reasonably expect Address Book will, too. Excellent. I'm going to hold off on installing iCal until iSync's released, then ...

Hope the fact that iSync will be a "beta" release doesn't mean it's crappy ...

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forgets window position
Authored by: ibook on Sep 10, '02 02:35:06PM

iCal opens.
I move the window so it doesn't overlap with my Dock (on left side of screen).
I quit iCal.

When I restart the window's back where it was before.

Bring on iCal 1.1 ....... and OS X.2.1

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iCal (1.0!)
Authored by: kwdmb on Sep 10, '02 03:37:42PM

In general I like it. It will certainly help keep me organized, especially after iSync is released.

Tiny List Of Annoyances:

1. ToDo items with the same priority can not be rearranged and they aren't even displayed in the order that I enter them.

2. Calendar publishing can only be set to manual or to publish after each change. I'd like to have a happy compromise - perhaps the option to have iCal ask me if I want to publish whenever I quit. (Like Quicken can be set to ask if you want to create a backup file before you quit.)

3. No matter how many times I adjust the window size and position and adjust the mini-calendars to only show three months, the settings are back to default when I open up the program again. It's hard to read and use iCal when the window is dangling off the bottom right side of my screen! :)

That's my .02 cents worth.

P.S. I don't know if you've noticed but the web site ( has a Calendar Library set up with movie release dates, US holidays, Sports Schedules, etc. Nice!

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Ical subscribe & Proxy server
Authored by: livi on Sep 10, '02 04:42:08PM

I noticed that I can't subscribe to a calendar when I'm at home (cable modem with proxy server). At work it was no problem (Leased line and no proxy)....

Second problem : How to import from Now Up to Date ? NUTD can export to a tab separated file only? So i've imported this in Entourage first and then imported in Ical from Entourage... works but it took more than 2 hours to import although i only have maybe 50 appointments...

Ical 1.1 soon ?

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Ical subscribe & Proxy server
Authored by: kith on Sep 10, '02 05:31:06PM

Apparently, iCal (just like doesn't include any proxy support.
As I have to work in proxy environments alot, this makes iCal and Mail almost unusable for me.

Why the hell didn't they include SOCKS support????

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Ical subscribe & Proxy server
Authored by: zedwards on Sep 11, '02 12:18:07PM

Doesn't this happen in System Prefences > Network > Proxies?

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ICal and Entourage Integration
Authored by: charliemorss on Sep 10, '02 04:52:56PM

We are forced to use the calendaring system with exchange here at work so I've been using Entourage, but I'd really like to move away from the Microsoft solution!

When I send a calendar invitation from Entourage it comes into my Mac Mail as an attachment that is shown in-line. If I save this off to a file then drop it into iCal it will attempt to add the event (with some minor issues like not knowing who it came from). When I create a new iCal event and invite people they show up as an attachment that is not in-line , i.e. an iCal.ics file. It would seem that if I could get the Entourage attachment to show up this way I'd be in business (at least for what I need, which is to accept invitations only).

So is there some way to do this? Is there some way to add scripts in the rules that could do this? I've been a software developer for 15 years but I just got my first mac only three months ago!



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Applescript and
Authored by: ericw13 on Sep 10, '02 09:35:49PM

Is there any way to get to automatically accept the first applescript-created email (such as those used by iCal) rather than popping up a dialog? It seems less than useful to have to manually approve of an alert, especially if you are having it sent to your cell phone while you are away from your computer.


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Sharing Calendars across local accounts
Authored by: jamesbeck on Sep 10, '02 10:24:01PM

Been playing with iCal tonite.
Does anyone know the unix terminal stuff needed to force ical to share its 'database' across two local users of my home mac.
My wife and I have different logins but share iMusic and iPhoto info across them. Now we need to add iCal also...

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Sharing Calendars across local accounts
Authored by: davidkarp on Sep 11, '02 03:01:42AM

Here's the problem

What you can do is move all the calendars into one directory and put links pointing from the users ~/Library/Calendars/ directory to that single shared directory such as
/SharedCalendars/ the only problem is that whenever somebody creates a new calendar, it will have the permissions 755 (read only). So the other users will be able to view the calendar but not alter it. This can be fixed by going into the shared calendar directory such as /SharedCalendars/ and typing 'chmod 777 *' (this may return errors on some of the files, that is to be expected) That works fine, but must be done every time a new calendar is added.

If you don't think your going to be adding calendars frequently enough for this to be an issue, here are the commands to run in terminal.


mkdir /SharedCalendars/
chmod 777 /SharedCalendars/

then each user that will be sharing calendars will have to be logged in under their account and type:

rm -rf ~/Library/Calendars
ln -s /SharedCalendars/ Calendars

then whenever a new calendar is added, the account adding it will have to type the following in terminal:

chmod 777 /SharedCalendars/*
(this may return some errors, that doesn't mean it didn't work)

not as simple as it should be...
I'm sure this functionality will be perfected in later releases.

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Sharing Calendars across local accounts
Authored by: laotzu on Sep 11, '02 08:39:10AM

Another way to do this would be to enable personal web sharing (turn on Apache), setup Apache as a WebDAV server (info here), and then publish your calender to http://localhost/user/.

Then you can subscribe to http://localhost/user/calendar.ics as another user.

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Useful iCal Tips
Authored by: davidkarp on Sep 11, '02 02:31:44AM
Here are some tips I've come up with after playing around with iCal all day.

Sharing Calendars between computers without .mac
[ only for computers on local network or on internet with static IP ]
also keep in mind this opens up your calendars for viewing by
anyone that can access your computer via the web

1) Enable 'Personal Web Sharing' [ System Prefs -> Sharing -> Personal Web Sharing ]
Make sure the checkbox next to 'Personal Web Sharing' is checked.
2) In Terminal type:
cd ~/Library/
mv Calendars/ ~/Sites/
ln -s ~/Sites/Calendars/ Calendars
3) Now you just need to find your IP address. This can be found in:
System Prefs -> Network -> 'IP Address:'
4) Finally, on the computers that you wish to subscribe to your calendars:
In iCal select Subscribe from the Calendar menu and in 'Calendar URL:' enter
Then just hit subscribe.
You'll need to do this step for each calendar you wish to subscribe to.

If your not sure what to replace CALENDAR-NAME with, you can visit the URL:
http://IP-FROM-BEFORE/Calendars/ for the file names of the calendars

MS Exchange like functionality

For calendar syncronicity (as in more than one person able to view and edit the same calendar) you need to choose one machine to act as a dedicated Calendar "server". ( no extra software has to be running ).
Multi-user calendars basically entails enabling applesharing on this machine so that people sharing the calendar will be able to mount it.
On this machine you just need to create a folder that will contain all of the iCal files. This folder must be accesable by everyone that will be sharing the calendars. In other words, change the permissions so that it can be edited by everyone.
Then, on all the macs you want to share calendars, mount this iCal "server" (can be done in Finder -> Go menu -> Connect to Server ), then make a sym-link to the calendars folder created on the iCal server in place of ~/Library/Calendars/ . This is done in Terminal and will look something like this:
ln -s /Volumes/MountedMacHD/sharedcalendars/ ~/Library/Calendars

!! Before the above step you must first remove the ~/Library/Calendars/ directory. This can be accomplished with the following command but FIRST BACK-UP ANY LOCAL CALENDARS as they will all be deleted
rm -rf ~/Library/Calendars

It seems complex but all it really is is redirecting iCal on your computer to look for calendars on another computer. Very similar to the functionality of Microsoft Exchange.
A few notes:
-This method is for the most part very secure, as it requires a login and password to mount the iCal server's drive.
-It is entirely possible for the iCal server to run iCal and access the same shared calendars.
-Though iCal will still function the same, the calendars will not be stored locally, making iCal useless on a laptop that leaves the network. An idea though: this method will work over almost any of the protocols os x supports such as ftp. Making it possible to access your calendars over the internet by utilizing jaguars ability to mount ftp drives.

iCal to iPod

Simply export the desired calendar and change the extension to .vcal
The file name will not change properly unless done from the Get Info window.

iCal is definitely lacking some serious functionality, not to mention performance, but I'm sure later releases will evolve this application into a fantastic addition to the iApp family.

Sorry if any of this is unclear, I'm writing this at 2 in the morning.

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Renaming not necessary
Authored by: sapporo on Sep 11, '02 05:29:55AM

I just exported a calendar from iCal straight to my iPod's calendars directory and it showed up. It Just Works.

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iCal and email notification
Authored by: nemesis on Sep 11, '02 05:11:52AM

When I try to have iCal notify me of an event by email it asks me to create an email account in the address book first..even though I already have one..It opens the address book so I create my email account anyway...still doesn't work....what's going wrong?

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iCal and email notification
Authored by: PR on Sep 12, '02 12:35:11PM

I found this by accident, (typical) but here's the deal.
Open Address book and select your card.
Click on the Card menu at the top of the screen and click on "This is my card" in the drop down.
Open iCal and you can then select any email address in your card for the alert.

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Not able to import from Palm
Authored by: danvtim on Sep 11, '02 09:56:59AM

I'm not able to import from Palm. I was able to import a new file with a few datebook items and it worked; however, mt real datebook with a few thousand items will not import.

So, it's hard to tell if Palm is exporting correctly or iCal isn't importing correctly.

Has anyone else found a work around yet?

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I have nothing to do so....
Authored by: zedwards on Sep 11, '02 12:13:52PM

Maybe its just me, but I don't have much to put into ical, so I was very happy to find a library of ical subsriptions:

Now, I it looks like I am loved! :)

Thank you Apple!!

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Deceptive import
Authored by: AMacAddict on Sep 11, '02 03:29:29PM

Although it seems like nothing is happening, my import from Entourage went fine, after I realized that someone forgot that without some kind of process dialog, it looks as if nothing's happening. I forced iCal to quit twice, thinking it had crashed during the import. I discovered it was importing, just that it was slower than I could even believe. I had a fair amount of events to import, but come on, it took about two hours. I monitored it by searching my drive for ".ics" and making sure the size of the file that was created was growing.

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