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Messages - timns [ switch to compact view ]

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It's not too late for a tattoo...
Talk like that'll get you drummed out of here!
-cranioscopical (March 23, 2012, 01:58 PM)
Are you telling me to beat it?

So is it on? Do I need to do something? It's not too late for a tattoo...

I for one would donate towards someone's time for setting something up at last.

I still send folks here to have them report back and say they can't really see what's on offer...

Great to hear some feedback. And if anyone needs a working instance in order to test anything, just let me know. I have a little private setup which I can leave in place.

Living Room / Re: Auslogics promoting false speed tester?
« on: March 19, 2012, 09:45 PM »
Pluto is not a planet.

Of course it's a planet. Don't get me started, or I'll have Renegade berating me for being off-topic.  :D

Did anything ever come of the 'DC directory' in the end?

I updated the first post with the article. I hope it's helpful to someone out there.

General Software Discussion / Re: desktop sharing
« on: March 18, 2012, 12:00 PM »
This thread is very interesting to me. I mainly use BeamYourScreen (aka Join Session, aka Mikogo) and it's pretty good, except that there's no VOIP which I could really use.

The main issue with other desktop shares (from my point of view) and why I have stayed with BYS despite the expense, is that there's no way for a participant to show you where they are pointing with their mouse. In BYS, if Fred and Joe are viewing my screen, and Fred clicks somewhere, I see a big arrow marked 'Fred' so I know where he's pointing. It's amazingly useful.

Does anyone know of other services that support this seemingly simple but essential feature?

Living Room / Re: Auslogics promoting false speed tester?
« on: March 17, 2012, 04:14 PM »
Yep, looks to me like they are skewing the results. I should get 50mbps, Speedtest tells me 48.5, the Auslogics thing tells me 10.86  :'(

Or maybe they are routing me to a server based on Pluto (which will always be a planet to me)

Living Room / Re: On a lighter note: A Man Said to the Universe
« on: March 16, 2012, 01:32 PM »
Inevitable Reponse

A man said to the universe:
"Sir, I exist!"
"Yes," said the universe,
"and there's already a thread on DC about it"

Well in zat case I will be delighted to do a little write-up over the weekend. Thanks for your interest.  :Thmbsup:

When I first looked into setting this up, I was fairly confident that I would quite easily find a way to create a simple shared calendar and todo list for my company. After all, it’s such a basic requirement.

But it did not take long to find that it’s actually quite a messy business. For a start, we have a very open IT policy. All our staff are pretty IT savvy and they can install and use anything that they feel is best for them as long as it's licensed correctly. Consequently we have a mix of Thunderbird and Outlook clients. This kind of ruled out Exchange as an option, although there are Thunderbird plug-ins to allow connection.

Failed / Rejected:
  • BackPack from 37 Signals – this web-based calendar has two massive drawbacks.

1)   You cannot add, update or delete events from within your client. You have to connect to their website.
2)   When you do add an event, it can take literally hours to be propagated to your desktop calendars. Are they kidding?

  • SabreDAV – never could get this going at all.

  • ownCloud – almost worked. I could add events to the online calendar, but I could NOT get Thunderbird to sync. A lot of people seemed to have the same issue.

  • Google Calendar –it’s just me, I don’t like Google’s services. I don’t like clouds either. For several reasons, our data needs to be on a server that we control.

But anyway, eventually I came across Radicale – a very lightweight CalDAV server written in Python.  Installation was extraordinarily simple, and it just works! Right away!

And here’s how…

First, gather your software:
•   Radicale (
•   Python (
•   A web server (we use IIS)
•   XYNTService (hard to find – contact me if you need a version)

What to do:
The following steps are the ones I had to take to get a Windows server up and running. I would expect a Linux system to be comparable or perhaps even easier, since you will not need XYNTService at all.

1.   Install Python (if you’re on Linux, you can skip this step). I used the msi installer and it took just a few moments to get all set up automatically.

2.   Install Radicale. This is even easier. Create a folder, and then download and unzip the archive into it. We’re using 0.6.4.

3.   At this point, I recommend testing it from the command line. Open a command prompt, cd to the Radicale server and type
Code: Text [Select]
  1. C:\Radicale> python

All being well, Radicale will start up, and open port 5232. You may of course need to configure your firewall to allow this port to be used.

Using your mail client (I used Thunderbird for my testing and it does seem to be the easiest way) you can create a new calendar on your server:


Make sure you say it's on the network:

And it's connecting to a CalDAV server:

The address to use is as follows:
Code: Text [Select]
  1. http://<your server>:5232/<yourname>/calendar

If everything goes according to plan, you will see Thunderbird sync, and on the server side, you should see a new calendar file appear. You can find this in your user folder. In my case it’s

Code: Text [Select]
  1. C:\Documents and Settings\Tim\.config\radicale\calendars

since we still use Windows Server 2003 for this stuff.

4.   If everything is working well, there’s only one thing left to do, which is to get the Radicale script to run permanently. If you’re on a Linux or Unix server this is easy since you guys have nohup.

For Windows, it’s only one step more work. Unzip your XYNTService files into the same folder as your Radicale script, and edit the XYNTService.ini file.

This is mine:
Code: Text [Select]
  1. [Settings]
  2. ServiceName=CalDAV
  3. CheckProcessSeconds=30
  4. [Process0]
  5. CommandLine="c:\python32\python c:\radicale\"
  6. WorkingDir="c:\radicale"
  7. UserInterface=Yes
  8. Restart=Yes
  9. PauseStart=1000
  10. PauseEnd=9000

You’ll need to specify your own path names in lines 5 and 6, depending on where you installed Python and Radicale.

Then install the service by using the command
Code: Text [Select]
  1. c:> XYNTService –i

Finally, fire up the services control panel, and start your new service.  Open up the Task Manager and make sure you can see ‘python.exe’ running.  If so,  you’re all done!

Further reading:
I recommend you take a look at the Radicale documentation ( especially if you would like to make any changes to the basic configuration. There’s also some good information in there about private and public calendars.

Clients supported (and there are probably more)
•   Evolution
•   Mozilla Calendar (Mozilla Lightning & Mozilla Sunbird)
•   Postbox Postbox and its Postbox Lightning add-on, working very well. (It's paid)
•   Mulberry
•   Chandler
•   Cadaver
•   Kontact / Akonadi / KOrganizer
•   iCal version 3.0.1 onward from OS 10.5
•   SOHO Organizer
•   Outlook via iCal4OL
•   RemoteCalendar for iPhone
•   iPhone and iPad fully working.
•   CalDAV support for Android
•   eTask (Task app for iPhone)

Why I said (almost) Free:

I switched to Outlook from Thunderbird quite a while ago, and as usual we Outlook users have to pay for everything. Outlook cannot sync with a CalDAV server without some 3rd party help. Fortunately there is a remarkable piece of software called iCal4OL that takes care of this. This software is remarkable for two particular reasons. First is that it seems to be utterly unique - it's literally the only program I can find that offers this facility.

The second remarkable thing about this software is its user interface. I can honestly say I've never seen or used anything quite like it. Prepare yourself for some serious head-scratching when you first set it up. But to its credit, once configured it works beautifully.

In Closing:
I hope you have as much luck with Radicale as I did. We have a bunch of shared calendars set up and so far the only issue seems to be someone who's on an old Sunbird installation. I think an update to Lightning will solve that.


  • Radicale script does not appear to be running:
  • Check that you have set up your XYNTService.ini file correctly

  • Cannot get the calendar to be created / updated in my client:
  • If Radicale seems to be running, check your firewall  - it’s likely that port 5323 is being blocked

These articles really irritate me. It reads as a case of being "contrarian" just for the sake of it. Maybe he had to find something to grind out to meet a deadline.

I'd file the article alongside such things as "why you should eat more salt" and "why it's ok to put your credit card details in email"

Living Room / Looking for opinions on changing ISP
« on: February 25, 2012, 01:23 PM »
I am thinking of switching to these guys. Anyone have any experience with them?

Living Room / Re: Any DCer's in Seattle?
« on: February 23, 2012, 06:56 PM »
Oh crud, yes, sorry. Brought a stinker of a cold back with me from Atlanta courtesy of the pinhead in the next booth at our trade show.

I'll get to work this evening, I promise  :-[

Living Room / Re: Any DCer's in Seattle?
« on: February 23, 2012, 09:37 AM »
That is so useful! Thank you. I am looking forward to a visit even more, by now. I also hear the coffee is good  :Thmbsup:

General Software Discussion / Re: Structurer for Windows?
« on: February 01, 2012, 04:36 PM »
Now this looks interesting. And thank you, Curt, for PM-ing me about this thread. What a hero!  :Thmbsup:

Yes, I shall sing it to the tune of "Air on a G-String"

My mug and DC thong arrived today - I'll take a photo the next time we get some daylight here!

Living Room / Re: Any DCer's in Seattle?
« on: January 17, 2012, 09:37 PM »
    • Will you be coming alone, or with a companion?

    I will be bringing the missus

    • How long will you be staying?

    Hoping to do a long weekend - 3 or 4 days

    • When is your trip planned (soon, spring, summer)?

    Spring, all being well - say May.

Looking forward to it - going to take the ferry from Victoria.

How about a simple program wrapper around the Google (or some other search engine's) API?

Living Room / Re: Any DCer's in Seattle?
« on: January 17, 2012, 02:50 PM »
I live in Bremerton, just over the pond (er, sound) from there, but I've lived in and around there.
What do you need to know?

Ah ha! I was looking for do's / don'ts, must-see's and of course the best places to eat!

Living Room / Any DCer's in Seattle?
« on: January 14, 2012, 04:45 PM »
Is anyone here on DC living and/or working in Seattle?

I'm thinking of popping over for a visit and would appreciate any travel info  :Thmbsup:

I use smath to manage unit conversions but like your quick to use and beauty java application. Thanks!
There you have some sources to add units:

Thank you - these links look useful. I'll add some more general units asap.

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