Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Moving the Calendar

Over the years that I've been at my current job, I've entered a lot of crap into the corporate Exchange server. Now that I'm moving, I've got to port all that stuff out to some more appropriate system. Personal email has gone to GMail. Task lists and projects over to Backpack (

Calendar and contacts have been a tough decision. After looking around a bit, I'm pretty sold on setting up HipCal ( as my source of truth. I've got Mozilla Sunbird configured on my new Laptop, and that's pulling feeds from HipCal nicely. When HipCal implements CalDAV/WebDav functionality, those two should be able to synch nicely.

The trick now is the portable calendar. I've been using my phone (Nokia 6600) for that for a while now. Unfortunately, the Nokia PC Suite for synching with a computer only supports Outlook and Lotus Notes.

That said, I have found a site from Nokia that allows you to send a data item to a Nokia phone from a web form. It arrives as a specially formatted text message which you can then install into your calendar or contacts.

The format looks pretty simple.

POST /clients/nokia/americas/vCal/send_single_vCal.asp HTTP/1.1
Accept: */*
Accept-Language: en-us
Content-Type: application/x-www-form-urlencoded
Accept-Encoding: gzip, deflate
User-Agent: Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 6.0; Windows NT 5.1;
SV1; .NET CLR 1.0.3705; .NET CLR 1.1.4322; .NET CLR 2.0.50727)
Content-Length: 597
Connection: Keep-Alive
Cache-Control: no-cache


It can't be too hard to slip a Greasemonkey script into HipCal, or to write a little ripper that would go through the HipCal RSS feed and push new items to my phone. Assuming of course that Nokia allows posts to that URL that didn't come from their form. Worst case scenario, I should be able to find some way to send similar vCal formatted messages to my phone.

Something to play with when I get some free time again. Assuming the Hipcal or Sunbird teams don't come up with a feature that makes this moot first. If HipCal accepts new appointments via email or sms (like backpack and many blogs do) then the phone becomes the source of truth.

Hmmm . . . I'm not sure which is lazier: writing a complicated set of feeds and scripts to avoid double keying a few hundred bytes of data, or rekeying hundreds of bytes of data to avoid working out a few dozen lines of Javascript.

File Under: Technology,

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