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Try Remind as a command-line iCal replacement UNIX
I recently realized that I was very dissatisfied with iCal, because I wanted something that would be simple and powerful without being bulky or slow to load. I found my answer in a fantastic open-source program called Remind, which has evidently actually been around since the late eighties, if you can believe that.

Remind lets you do extremely sophisticated date entry, the permutations of which would be far too complex to go into here. Let's just say it's both very flexible and very powerful, allowing you to use it to run tasks at certain dates and times (much like cron, but with a more powerful timing ability), to run in a daemon mode (if need be) for timed reminders, as well as much more, including access to religious (Hebrew) and foreign calendars. It can handle giving you advance warning about an event ahead of time ("Event X in 3 days' time, 2 days' time, 1 day's time," etc.), recurring events, and more. It also comes with scripts to let you export your calendar to simple HTML and also to PostScript.

If you'd like to do more complex reminder entry, then you will need to study its scripting language a bit, and some of the more complex examples can be stumpers -- looking at this LinuxJournal article or this Google search may help. Fortunately, it also comes with TKRemind, which provides a GUI interface to much of the scripting language. You would need to install TCL/TK Aqua to gain access to that. The TKRemind interface, however, appears to be extremely buggy. You may need to often quit and restart the tkremind application in order to get the answer you're seeking. I recommend not letting it actually write to your reminder file, but instead just using 'Preview Reminder' to get the language you're seeking.

For extra fun, you can pipe the output through the GeekTool preference pane, so that your personal calendar can be displayed on your desktop.

This program is wonderful, but I must admit, it would be fantastic if some enterprising Mac developer wrote a GUI 'wrapper' for it. The existence of such a wrapper in TCL/TK shows that such a project is feasible, I would imagine. Anyone particularly entranced by the idea?
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Try Remind as a command-line iCal replacement
Authored by: andrep on Sep 27, '04 07:35:52PM
You can also use the Growl Notifier to display simple Remind messages.
In order to communicate between Remind and Growl, you will need a little Perl or Python to pass the messages. Using Python, for example, this gets you started:
  • From the Growl download page, install the Growl 'Application', and the 'Bindings for Growl'
  • Also download the 'Growl Scripts' and install the Python script 'gnotify'
You can then tell Remind to forward MSG reminders to Growl via gnotify, by issuing:

remind '-kgnotify -t Reminder: -m%s &' .reminders

By default, the Growl notifications disappear from the screen after five seconds or so, and are quite easily missed. Look at the Growl Applescript bindings for an example that shows how to make the notifications 'sticky'.

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Can't install Remind
Authored by: dzurn on Sep 28, '04 11:43:05AM
I'm running 10.3.4 on a G5, but I can't get the ./configure to run.
% ./configure
loading cache ./config.cache

*                    *
* Configuring REMIND *
*                    *

checking for gcc... gcc
checking whether the C compiler (gcc  ) works... no
configure: error: installation or configuration problem: C compiler cannot create executables.

I've installed lots of stuff using the Terminal and Fink, but this is the first time a program complained I don't have a working compiler.

Madness takes its toll.
Please have exact change.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Can't install Remind
Authored by: Anonymous on Oct 01, '04 11:42:18AM

That's interesting. I wish I could assist, but I really do think it's something peculiar to your system; it installed on my computer without any problem. You may wish to post to the remind-fans mailing list, and see if they can assist you. There's a link to the list on Remind's homepage, which is a link within the original article.

[ Reply to This | # ]
Try Remind as a command-line iCal replacement
Authored by: Dave Emme on Oct 02, '04 03:00:43PM

Note that Remind, like cron, does not account for a machine sleeping. So, for example, if you set a reminder for 9:00 AM and you don't wake your machine until 9:10 AM, the reminder will never be issued. At least that was my experience. Is there a way around this problem?

-Dave Emme

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