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Eliminate the vibrating iCal alarm clock Apps
One of my least favorite things about OS X is iCal's event notification dialog -- specifically the ugly, annoying, vibrating alarm clock. So in lieu of replacing it with something better, I figured out how to just get rid of it. You'll need administrator access and some comfort with the Terminal.

The file alarmclock.mov exists in two different places, and it doesn't work to just delete them (well, it did work in 10.4.2, but not in 10.4.8), so the trick is to make it an empty file. In Terminal, move to the first directory:
admin$ cd /Applications/iCal.app/Contents/Resources/\
iCal Helper.app/Contents/Resources/
Make a backup of the file (-p preserves the permissions) of the file for safety's sake. You will be prompted for your administrator password:
admin$ sudo cp -p alarmclock.mov alarmclock-mov.BAC
Now overwrite the original:
admin$ sudo echo "" >alarmclock.mov
Finally, do the same steps for the file in /Applications -> iCal.app -> Contents -> Resources:
admin$ cd /Applications/iCal.app/Contents/Resources
admin$ sudo cp -p alarmclock.mov alarmclock-mov.BAC
admin$ sudo echo "" >alarmclock.mov
That's it. When the notification dialog is displayed, there will now be nice quiet white space where the alarm clock used to be.

[robg adds: As noted in this previous hint, if you disable QuickTime's Flash support, you'll also disable the alarm clock. This hint, however, provides a more specific solution without requiring you to give up Flash in QuickTime completely.]
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Eliminate the vibrating iCal alarm clock | 9 comments | Create New Account
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Eliminate the vibrating iCal alarm clock
Authored by: cclifton on Nov 14, '06 04:46:19PM

Even more annoying than the vibrating alarm is the fact that the notification dialog appears half way off the screen on both my PowerBook and on my PowerMac.

I haven't been able to discover the defaults setting that stores this or figure out what sequence of dragging the dialog and closing it will get iCal to remember where to stick it (so to speak).

Anybody have a clue they'd care to share?

---
Curt



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Eliminate the vibrating iCal alarm clock
Authored by: mghint on Nov 14, '06 09:55:52PM

I have the same problem as cclifton and have searched in vain to find a solution to this very boring, ancient bug. It is strange how Apple fails to take care of these little annoyances.



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Eliminate the vibrating iCal alarm clock
Authored by: Volt on Nov 17, '06 09:23:43AM

I, too, have this problem, and would very much appreciate a solution.



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Eliminate the vibrating iCal alarm clock
Authored by: jace on Nov 15, '06 01:01:15AM

Please note that using 'sudo echo "" > alarmclock.mov' isn't going to work, because you'll not have permission to write to the file (sudo only affects echo).

Instead, use 'sudo touch alarmclock.mov' (without the quotes).



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Eliminate the vibrating iCal alarm clock
Authored by: stephb on Nov 15, '06 03:44:41PM

Actually, it does work (at least on my computer). The permissions for the files are:

-rw-rw-r-- 1 root admin 1B Nov 7 09:33 alarmclock.mov

Also, using touch will not provide a replacement file with those permissions. That may or may not be important, but it seemed prudent to me to maintain the original permissions.



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touch is not the answer
Authored by: aardvarko on Jan 08, '08 12:51:19PM

That doesn't work either. Using "touch" on a file that already exists just updates its modtime to the current time. It only creates empty files if you specify a file that doesn't exist.



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Eliminate the vibrating iCal alarm clock
Authored by: ffr2822 on Nov 15, '06 05:57:24AM

Simplify your task: just mv the file. No need to copy, then, as already pointed out, touch the replacement.



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Eliminate the vibrating iCal alarm clock
Authored by: RPSGB on Nov 16, '06 03:30:30AM

Here is a little script to do it for you. You may need to chmod +x it and run it using sudo.

[code]
#!/bin/bash
fileone="/Applications/iCal.app/Contents/Resources/alarmclock.mov"
filetwo="/Applications/iCal.app/Contents/Resources/iCal Helper.app/Contents/Resources/alarmclock.mov"
mv $fileone "$fileone".old
touch $fileone
chmod 777 $fileone
mv "$filetwo" "$filetwo".old
touch "$filetwo"
chmod 777 "$filetwo"
exit 0
[/code]



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Eliminate the vibrating iCal alarm clock
Authored by: jjmarcus on Dec 04, '06 11:03:25AM

FWIW, though I haven't tried this hint yet, I tried disabling Flash, and that didn't stop the (annoying) clock. And listen, if anyone can write a COMPLETE replacement for iCal's terrible, giant, un-resizable, uncustomizable alerts window -- esp. a replacement that won't bring iCal forward whenever you click on it -- I'd pay money for it.



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