Thursday Oct 08, 2009

Sun Calendar Server 7 supports Apple iCal natively

Users of icalds: Sun Calender Server 7, released last week as part of Sun Java Communications Suite 7, brings native support for CalDAV (as defined in RFC 4791) and iCal extensions (as defined in RFC2445bis). The icalds script should thus no longer be needed to access your calendars on a Sun Calendar Server once your company or provider upgrades to release 7. I am interested to hear from people that are going through the migration. Is iCal support matching expectations?

Friday Sep 18, 2009

My camera says an empty memory stick is full

An odd thing happened to me today, my camera was saying my 1GB memory stick was full, but I had only a few dozens of pictures on it. The solution did not occur to me right away so I thought I would bring it up here.

My first reaction was rather Pavlovian, I must admit. Disk full? Alright, I'll delete some files! but clearly, there was no way my few pictures were responsible for the loss of a full giga of disk space :) I then took a more rationale approach of looking at the memory stick info as shown on a Mac (Cmd-I).

Could it be that sectors of the fash memory had gone bad and been disabled? --I do not even know whether this makes any sense but I did ask myself that question. Apparently not, my GB of disk space is there and used by 914MB of stuff. Could it be that I copied data onto the stick without knowing/remembering it? Apparently not, when I open the memory stick inside Apple Finder, all the directories (root, DCIM and MISC) are empty. There's gotta be hidden files! I'm thinking. Since I cannot find some "show hidden files" check-box in the Finder's Properties (Cmd-,), I quickly open a Terminal and cd to the memory stick volume.

It turns out my Mac had been moving to a local trash directory all of the picture files I had copied away and/or deleted (Cmd-Backspace) ever since I switch from a Windows to an Apple laptop. On Windows, the behavior is that files (on removable media) are deleted permanently. I learned today this is not the case on a Mac.

$ cd /Volumes/CYBERSHOT/
$ ls -la
total 384
drwxrwxrwx   1 user      group  16384 Sep 18 18:43 .
drwxrwxrwt@ 11 root      admin    374 Sep 18 18:42 ..
drwxrwxrwx@  1 user      group  32768 Jun 15  2008 .Trashes
-rwxrwxrwx   1 user      group   4096 Jun 15  2008 ._.Trashes
drwxrwxrwx   1 user      group  32768 Sep 18 18:43 .fseventsd
drwxrwxrwx   1 user      group  32768 Jul  2  2006 DCIM
-rwxrwxrwx   1 user      group      0 Jan  1  1970 MEMSTICK.IND
drwxrwxrwx   1 user      group  32768 Jul  2  2006 MISC
-rwxrwxrwx   1 user      group      0 Jan  1  1970 MSTK_PRO.IND
$ du -ks .Trashes
913964  .Trashes
$ rm -r .Trashes

Monday Apr 20, 2009

Sun Calendar Sync for Apple iCal : Releasing icalds 2.1

Thanks to the user community, which reported issues on my original blog release of icalds, I am able to release today icalds 2.1 which includes one minor fix --icalds now strips out the MEMBER params when subscribing to a Sun Calendar server-- and a first validation of the Publish use case --you maintain your calendar in iCal and publish it out to a Sun Calendar server through icalds. You can download the Perl script from the same location at

Please refer to the original blog post for the icalds documentation for installation --steps 1 to 4-- and calendar subscribe --step 5. To publish, do this next :

  1. Publish from iCal
    • publish calendar as <calname>
    • publish on a private server with base URL http://localhost:7081/<username>
    • use username and password

Step 6 will publish one local iCal calendar to the sub-calendar <username>:<calname> on a Sun Calendar server. I have not yet tested to publish to the main calendar --I do use my main calendar for work and did not want to mess it up :)-- but it should work by entering <username> as the publishing name or leaving it blank. If you are getting Error 29 --turn on debugging to log the exchanges with the Sun Calendar server--, check for typos in the Publish window, check whether the sub-calendar was created earlier on the Sun Calendar server side.

Please use the comment section below for sharing about your usage of icalds and/or reporting issues.

Thursday Feb 19, 2009

Fixing Perl object version mismatch for icalds

After installing the Security Update 2009-001 on my Mac (OS X 10.5.6) this week-end, my icalds Sun-iCal calendar sync script stopped working with the following error message at start-up :

Sys::Syslog object version 0.13 does not match bootstrap parameter 0.24 at /System/Library/Perl/5.8.8/darwin-thread-multi-2level/Sys/ line 69.
Compilation failed in require at .../ line 23.
BEGIN failed--compilation aborted at .../ line 23.

Searching the web on the topic, I learned that this means the perl file is out of sync with the native library on my system. I am guessing that the Apple Security Update has partially upgraded Perl and left the Perl installation in a broken state. I thus needed to perform a re-install of the Sys::Syslog module to fix the object version mismatch. It took some more effort than anticipated --in the same vein of there is no 5-minute benchmarks-- so I thought I'd share my trials here --filtering out the errors from my trials-n-errors to keep it short :).

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Friday Feb 06, 2009

iSync support for Sony Clié TH55

My Palm PDA, a Sony Clié TH55, is a bit of an antic. To get it to work with the Apple laptop I received from work last summer --I was switching to Mac for the first time--, I had to perform a few hacks, that I googled here and there. The most useful instruction page now being a broken link, here are my notes, for Mac OS X 10.5 aka Leopard…

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