Mac OS X Conference Sessions with iCal

by Terrie Miller

Thanks to the efforts of program chair Rael Dornfest (and some help from Peter, too), we have a handy expermental iCal version of the O'Reilly Mac OS X Conference schedule.

Just fire up iCal, go to the Calendar menu and choose Subscribe. For URL, enter -- you can accept the default values for other fields, though you may want to ask it to refresh daily (schedule changes to the conference are very infrequent, so there's really no need to have it update more often, at least until the conference starts).

You may want to adjust your iCal views a bit -- in the default interface, it can be difficult to work with time slots that hold several sessions. Turning the "show search results" panel may help, as you'll be able to see the sessions as a list. And the "show info" option will let you change the default color or refresh interval for the calendar itself. You can also use the info panel to show more details about each session.

Screen shot.

Using "Show info" and "Show search results" (circled in red here) can be helpful


Any questions or suggestions? We'd love to hear them!


2002-09-18 14:36:31
Nice job with the calendar and note for other time zones

Nice work with the iCal -- we can all walk around the conference with our schedules on our iPods.

If you're not from the west coast, don't freak when you get your Mac OS X schedule, the times are correct in local time. Those of us on East coast time looking at the schedule for September 30th might note that the Tutorials run from 11:45 am - 3:15 pm and from 4:30 pm - 8:15 pm. Of course, once we arrive in Santa Clara and reset our TiBooks on west coast time the sessions will run (as expected) from 8:45 - 12:15 and 1:30-5:15. I'll admit it makes planning my schedule feel a little funny.

iCal experts can maybe answer a couple of quick questions: (1) with overlapping events, is there an easy way to move from one to another so that you can flip through them, (2) with a read only calendar, how can you prioritize events (it would be nice to mark the session I most want to go to at a given time)

Thanks again for putting the time into producing an iCal of the show.


2002-09-21 06:25:05
Nice job with the calendar and note for other time zones
Thanks Daniel! Interesting point about the time zones. That *would* make planning a bit odd.

I'm also a bit frustrated with viewing the overlapping events. The only solution I've found for that is to turn on the search results window and view them as a text list (you don't actually have to do a search, just turning it on helps).

And ditto on the read-only calendars. One thing you can do is export the conference calendar to your own .isc file, then create a new calendar and import your copy of it. (Don't do the import while you have your existing conference calendar selected -- it will just duplicate all of the events.) That will give you an editable copy. It won't, however, update automatically if there are any changes to the conference schedule.

There might be other work-arounds to these things -- hopefully others will chime in if they know of them.

2002-10-01 23:22:54
Just installed iCal so I could take a look at this. Am liking muchly!