Reset iCal and Entourage

I’ve had terrible problems with both iCal and Entourage. With iCal, I first tried to use Google Calendar and then started deleting excessive calendars. Then, when I rebooted, I discovered that I couldn’t see any calendars and also that when I tried to add another calendar with New calendar, iCal just hung.

First thing to do when this happens is to start the Console (go to spotlight at upper right and type _console_ and in the search box, type “ical”. I saw right away there was an “Coredata uncaught exception” so something was wrong. A little research showed Coredata are the internal Apple library for managing databases, so it sure feels like a database corruption. First thing to do is to try to reset iCal

Apple – Support – Discussions – How do I completely reset iCal? …

How do I completely reset iCal? I want a really clean startup situation as if iCal has never run on this account. I tried:

rm -rf ~/Library/{Caches,Caches/Metadata,Preferences,Application\ Support}/*iCal*

but when I start iCal after that I get still a calendar mentioned (which I created a while back but is empty) besides Home and Work. I tried removing as above and logging out and in but that also did not work

Unfortunately, this is not quite correct. There is another database called ~/Library/Calendars which is your list of all calendar data. This what was corrupt which is why there was no left pane. There is a problem. Delete these many files and all is really reset.

Now Entourage somehow decided to take one recurring Birthday and make it a daily event spanning 46 years and then repeat that every year. Didn’t appear in Exchange, so this was something in the Entourage not liking what it saw in Exchange. Solution is to complete wide Entourage. Even a database rebuild (in Spotlight, search for Microsoft Database Utility) didn’t help. So you have to go to Account Settings and delete the offending and reinstall. Also delete in ~/Library/Microsoft all the Entourage databases.

RealVNC needs Port 5900 open

Also if you just have to control a PC from a Mac, John Ludwig told me that, Microsoft actually has a Remote Desktop Client for Macintosh, so Macs can control Windows from “Microsoft”: RDC2 requires Vista for control, so download 1.03 to use all the other Windows.

If you want to run a VNC Server, then the Windows Firewall needs to open port 5900 XP SP2: RealVNC Will Not Connect. Unable to Resolve Host by Name. –

As the realVNC server installs itself as a service, XP never asks the user if it should punch a hole in the firewall for it. Therefore, you must do it manually.

1. Click Start
2. Click Control Panel
3. In the classic view, select Windows Firewall
4. Under the exceptions tab, click Add Port button
5. Name it RealVNC
6. Port Number is 5900
7. Select TCP
8. If you only use VNC over your local network, you should press the Change Scope button and select the My Network (subnet) only
9. Press OK until you are out of the firewall panel

Remote desktop between Mac and PC

I use Microsoft Remote Desktop between Windows machines and it is very convenient to logon and see the screen of another computer. For Apple, they have something called Share Screen which is the same thing and is based on “VNC”: protocol that lets you control one computer from another. But what if you want to do this between a Mac to a Windows machine. Very useful if some application only run on a PC and you don’t like the overhead of running Parallels or having to reboot with Basecamp. Just have a Windows machine somewhere and use VNC.

Here is how:

# Use an open source free VNC server and viewer like “RealVNC”: They have paid version, but the free one works for Windows and includes a client and a server.
# On the “Mac”:, there is already a VNC server built in. Go to System Preferences/Sharing and turn on Screen Sharing. It nicely gives you the IP address you use if you have Windows, otherwise if you are controlling this computer from another Mac, you can just see it as a button when you go to the sharing section of finder.
# You still need a Mac client to complete the picture, so you can control a PC. And Tao of Mac recommends “JollysFastVNC”: although “Chicken of the VNC”: comes up first in google:”mac vnc client”

The Tao of Mac – Virtual Network Computing (VNC)

Mac OS X includes a VNC server (check the Sharing preference pane, it’s part of Apple Remote Desktop).

2 port USB car charger and power inverter

I’m such a nerd, right now, I need no less than six car chargers in my car. Here is what I need:

# Escort 9500i. This actually has a dedicated cord that attaches to its own charger. Shame on them for not just using 5V, but OTOH, it works super well I have to say. There is a new model out that let’s you download radar traps online like the TomTom does. It has a GPS, so its logical. Wish I had the new one. So I need one adapter for this.
# iPhone 3G. Just need a USB adapter that is USB
# Jawbone headphone. Has a strange head, but is just USB on the charging end.
# TomTom 720. This is mini USB on one end and regular USB on the other
# Blackberry. This is my chinese phone. Need a mini USB here. It is a high current device, so needs more than 500mA, so doesn’t work with all car adapters.
# MacBook Air. For those long trips, nice to plug it in. Require unfortunately a 120V AC adapter as for some reason the MacBook only has an airplane adapter. Everything fits, but it doesn’t work. This draws 45 watts VAC for the MacBook, so need about 4 amps without losses at 12VDC. Most of these circuits are 8-10 amps out of the car, so that means it should work OK.

Even a new 2008 Mazda with two 12V adapters doesn’t have enough, so here’s a solution:

# Two port USB, I can get the TomTom and the iPhone working. That’s two devices.
# Four adapter on the inside has the 120VAC adapter, then two splitters with a total of four USB ports for the Jabra, Blackberry, Escort, MacBook with one left over.


Making Apps work across multiple iPhones

The apps on an iPhone use Fairplay DRM which allow five machines to be authorized. So here is how to get two iPhones in your family works. Hat tip to TUAW for this note from “allforces”:

It is complicated, but basically what you do is to have two computers and authorize both for a single iTunes account. Then re-download applictions that you bought on one computer to the other.

iPhone 2.0 tips and tricks

Most of these are not that obvious to me but the Edit button in Mail is useful as is saving images from the web

PDAStreet: Software Reviews: Review: iPhone 2.0 Software Upgrade

E-mail Management: You can now mass delete or mass move e-mails in the Mail application. Just tap the Edit button in the top right of the interface to call up the controls.
* E-mail Attachments: The Mail application expands its attachment abilities with support for iWork and Microsoft PowerPoint files.
* Image-Saving: It’s now simple to save images from Web pages or e-mail attachments by tapping and holding the image. You’ll get a message asking if you want to save it, and the saved image will end up in a new iPhoto folder.
* You can also take a screen shot of your desktop by quickly pressing the sleep/wake button and the Home button at the same time.
* To end .net, .com or .org, press and hold the .com button or if there is an @ sign on the keyboard, press and hold the period “.”