Wednesday, 4 November 2020

Adventures in calendar land

 I am very dependent on Thunderbird.

I work on a number of machines, Windows 10 (mostly) Linux (sometimes) and OS X (more rarely than I used to) and I use gmail as mail service and google's calendar to manage appointments.

And, while I'm retired and my calendar is not as stuffed with meetings and things as it used to be, lockdown has embiggened it a bit with scheduled video calls, sometimes across timezones.

Thunderbird has the advantage of working across all the three platforms I use, meaning (a) I don't have to think too hard and (b) I can maintain a degree of consistency.

All good. I've tried (and even paid for) some alternative email clients, but at the end of the day I always come back to Thunderbird. Clunky but reliable - kind of like my 20 year old Impreza.

So, yesterday morning, I fired up Thunderbird to check my mail and see what was on for the day.

No calendar. Thunderbird had upgraded itself overnight and disabled the bit of magic 'Provider for Google Calendar' that makes it work with Google calendar due to incompatibilities,

I was not happy

but as you can see, later on in the day, the problem fixed itself.

But for a time I was without a calendar solution. So, being a tinkerer at heart, I tried some other things


It might well work well, but there's something rather screwy about my outlook installation, in that it won't let me add my gmail account. It's not just me, there's quite a number of people on the various Microsoft fora with the same problem, and the fix most likely needs some registry wrangling.

Life is too short and I had things to do, so I left it there.

One Calendar

Not a Microsoft product but a product from a company in the Netherland that claims to handle multiple calendars from multiple providers. Useful if you have to work across a number of different teams using different calendars.

It's a paid for application, but there's a free version, which worked well as a stopgap, but wouldn't let you print, or do a couple of other things without ponying up.

The interface was bit block and tile like, reminiscent of Windows 8 or Windows phone, but it worked.

Microsoft's Windows 10 Calendar application

I hadn't tried this before, because, hey, I use Thunderbird, but it worked impressively well, with a nice full screen view, handled timezones, and let me do all I wanted . Surprisingly good in fact

Yesterday wasn't a linux day, so I didn't look at alternatives. I have used Orage and Evolution in the past, and Evolution is definitely the more serious product. It was however an OS X day, and I can report that the standard Mac desktop calendar app did the job.

And then mysteriously it fixed itself. I don't know why, I'm guessing the update process got a little out of step, but that's just supposition on my part.

However, what I have learned is that if someone ever gives me a Windows 10 S machine and tells me not to do the one time change, there are standard bundled apps that will let me do my job ...

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