MacInTouch Reader Reports

iCal: Experiences

Mar. 31, 2012
Apr. 2, 2012
Apr. 3, 2012
Apr. 4, 2012
Apr. 5, 2012
Nov. 1, 2012
Dec. 18, 2012
Mar. 16, 2013
Mar. 18, 2013
Mar. 19, 2013
Mar. 20, 2013
Mar. 31, 2012

item.155070

Matthew Elvey

Bugs in iCal (Version 4.0.4) that lead to data loss:

1)If an iCal appointment alarm message window is on the screen when (or appears just before) my Mac is shutting down or crashes, the alarm doesn't appear when I log back in.

2)If an iCal appointment alarm message window pops up on the screen as a user is pressing Command-W to close another window in another application, the appointment alarm is permanently dismissed before the user has had a chance to see it. (Race condition.) Perhaps in iCal, Command-W should be interpreted as snooze instead of cancel.

https://bugreport.apple.com bugs filed:
11013332 and 8496675 (both have been open for ages.)

Apr. 2, 2012

item.155104

Alan Newman

iCal does not handle Daylight Savings Time correctly.

When most of the US switched to DST, Phoenix does not. Phoenix stays on Mountain Standard Time year round. When the nation switched a few weeks ago, my iPhone and Mac both got switched from Phoenix (MST) to Cupertino (Pacific DT), which both are on the same time now. However, *some* of my appointments moved an hour earlier, and some stayed the same.

Apple blamed AT&T for switching my time zone (possibly true), but has no idea why many, but not all of my appointments switched, nor why none of them switched back when the time zone was switched back. The Apple iCal specialist I was talking to was confused about what happened, and could only send up a problem ticket to the developers.

I did miss some appointments, and all Apple could do was apologize. They tried to help me recover with my Time Machine copies of my iCal file, but that did not work, and caused other problems, requiring me to recover the latest version back to the original problem.

The assumption is that the iPhone/iTunes on Mac synching brought the problem to the Mac. I have the iPhone and Mac's auto time zone update turned off now, so that the problem should not return. Not sure if that might cause other problems when I travel. There was no travel involved with this problem, and the time zone support in iCal has always been off (you can tell if it is on by whether it gives you a time zone option when you set an appointment time).

item.155108

David Krafchick

[Re: Matthew Elvey's posting about iCal bugs...]

I wonder if you are setting the alarms at times when you cannot see them. I set all my alarms to alert me at the start of the day. I also have all my calendar on my iPod, and since I will travel in a car to a workshop or film, then I cannot get to the iPod until I dismiss the Alarm.

If they are coming up at odd times it might be that the alarms are set wrong. You can go in via Edit and see if something is set incorrectly.

Apr. 3, 2012

item.155143

Mike Weasner

Alan Newman mentioned that iCal does not handle Daylight Savings Time correctly. I also live in Arizona and experienced the same iCal and iPhone Calendar event time problems when Daylight Savings went into effect. Some events changed and some didn't. There are several "time zone" settings that need to be set and the interaction between them all is not very clear.

There is the OS X system setting (Date and Time), there is the top iCal setting, there is an event time zone setting. On the iPhone there is a Settings time zone, a "clock" time zone, and then there is also event time zones. Keeping all these consistent across platforms is difficult, especially with time updating set to Auto on the iPhone (which lets the cell carrier update the time *and* time zone).

The solution, since Apple can't seem to get it right, is to abolish DST. It wastes energy and is no longer applicable or desired by many people.

item.155148

Skot Nelson

Re:

However, *some* of my appointments moved an hour earlier, and some stayed the same.

You can assign a time zone to specific events. It seems likely that some of your events where in one zone and some were in others.

item.155236

Bruce Klutchko

Mike Weasner wrote,

"The solution, since Apple can't seem to get it right, is to abolish DST. It wastes energy and is no longer applicable or desired by many people."

I'd like to report on a scientific survey conducted in New York City one day after the start of Daylight Saving Time this year.

Over one gazillion people had new smiles on their faces during the period from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m.

My kids love it every evening when they can go outside and it is not dark. Everybody leaving work at 6 p.m. in lower Manhattan seems to inhale and look around at the sights before exhaling and heading home. Spring is here, life is renewed, and DST helps.

Apr. 4, 2012

item.155217

MacInTouch Reader

The solution is to make "floating" an available time zone default option in iCal. Woe unto you if you schedule an appointment in another time zone but fail to explicitly enter that time zone, or "floating."

Other than for scheduled phone calls to locations outside one's own time zone, iCal's time zone "support" just gets in the way. In airline schedules, all times are local, and I wish my computer calendar acted the same way.

item.155234

Eric Hildum

Skot Nelson writes:

Re:

However, *some* of my appointments moved an hour earlier, and some stayed the same.

You can assign a time zone to specific events. It seems likely that some of your events where in one zone and some were in others.

You can also set events to float so they stay at the same relative time regardless of time zone - e.g., things like lunch which happen at 12:00 in every time zone.

I suspect that many of the problems people are having is setting floating when they should have specified their local time zone.

I have found the Time Zone support to be quite robust and reliable, but it did take a little time to understand how it all interacts. Given the complexity of time, and the many formats of common usage (airline departures and arrival times anyone?), it is not surprising it is confusing.

item.155274

Skot Nelson

Mike Weasner wrote,

"The solution, since Apple can't seem to get it right, is to abolish DST. It wastes energy and is no longer applicable or desired by many people."

There are areas of the world that do not follow it: the province of Saskatchewan is one.

What's particularly interesting is that this is a very agrarian province and legend has it that the purpose of changes to time zones was to allow for more daylight for harvest.


[Actually, it appears to be more the opposite rationale, as described in the Wikipedia article linked below. -Ric Ford]

Daylight saving time

Brandon, Manitoba became the first location in the world to use daylight saving time by ordinance, starting 17 April 1916. Shortly thereafter, starting on 30 April 1916, Germany and its World War I allies were the first countries to use DST (German: Sommerzeit) as a way to conserve coal during wartime. Britain, most of its allies, and many European neutrals soon followed suit. [...] DST can adversely affect farmers and others whose hours are set by the sun and they have traditionally opposed the practice [...].

item.155281

MacInTouch Reader

DST actually saves energy, by extending daylight into evening hours, taking it away from early morning sleeping hours. It's essentially an hour less each day that everyone has their lights on.

Apr. 5, 2012

item.155357

John Muccigrosso

Getting a bit off-topic here (but when has that stopped MacInTouch readers?)...

There's actually been a study (DSTpaper.pdf) on the effects of DST on total energy usage in a part of Indiana that started using it recently. The finding was that it didn't save energy in part because of the need for heat in the early hours of the day, which were in use under DST. Indiana isn't the entire US of course, but in a world in which we use significant amounts of energy for things other than light (esp. heat), DST doesn't have the same effect it would have had in, say, the 18th century.

Nov. 1, 2012

item.165854

Brad Hurte

I just migrated computers, and one of my Google calendar subscriptions, Weather, didn't migrate. It neither shows up as events or as a calendar under subscriptions. Yet if I try to add it as a subscription, iCal tells me it's a duplicate subscription. Any ideas? Unfortunately, I can't restore my calendar from a backup prior to the migration.

Dec. 18, 2012

item.167983

MacInTouch Reader

Recent studies have shown that people actually used *more* energy during the war because of DST. Do some google searching. The intent was missed.

Mar. 16, 2013

item.171553

Jim Palmer

My wife and I share iCal on our computers, with her appointments colored one way and mine another. Today I opened up iCal and it is unusable, with thousands of spurious appointments in my wife's color, which extend for months ahead. They all relate to events in Palm Springs. How did this happen? How do I get rid of this and get my calendar back to normal?

Mar. 18, 2013

item.171558

David Krafchick

Jim,

If it is one Event that is being duplicated, here's how you can clean it up:

Highlight the first occurrence, then hit Delete. It will bring up a dialogue box asking if it's a one time or for all future Events. By choosing All Future Events, it will delete all linked to the Event going forward.

item.171587

Jeff Blume

I recently have had similar experiences where a few un-related, non-repeating events went virally self-replicating. I reported it to Apple, but I was not expecting much. In fairness, I couldn't begin to tell them how to duplicate the behavior. Neither iCloud nor syncing any calendars but my own devices were involved. It has since settle down. Just weird...

Mar. 19, 2013

item.171669

Samuel Herschbein

The spontaneously created events issue has been around since at least Snow Leopard. In the MobileMe days it plagued some of my users so much they stopped using MobileMe syncing. It also plagued Snow Leopard and Lion users of my Snow Leopard OS X Server. By 10.6.8 and after a couple of server/client rebuilds it stopped.

Luckily I haven't seen it in my Mountain Lion.

At the risk of being redundant, repetitious, and repetitive: Apple: we need the core GTD apps to work reliably! We have work we need to get done on our computers. We don't have time to deal with this buggy, barely functional software.

item.171678

Mike Friedman

I had problems in the past with an old Sony-Ericcson phone adding lots of duplicate appointments to my iCal via iSync. I used iCalDupe Deleter to remove them.

It works well, and the person who wrote it was very nice when I had a question.

item.171646

Robert Sorrels

RE: Jim Palmer's (and others') iCal dup problem:
I've had this a couple of times. I finally called Apple and worked my way up to a very competent tech. She had no explanation for why this happens, but suggested iCal Dupe Deleter by John Maisey available at www.nhoj.co.uk. It has worked perfectly the three times I needed it and is certainly worth a $5 Paypal donation. Recommended.

<rant on> After suffering thru multiple years of the hash of sync, iTunes, me.com, iCloud, and whatever else this "service" has been labeled, I can only conclude that Apple hasn't a clue how to provide "cloud" service. I do everything I can to avoid it (including syncing locally), but it continues to creep in. Passwords are a particular problem. </rant off>

Mar. 20, 2013

item.171698

MacInTouch Reader

An informal survey of 5 friends who are iPhone/iPad iCal users reveals that 3 of us have had serious Calendar sync problems, to the extent that we don't trust the system to work properly.

In my case, what happens is that at some point, changes no longer sync to the iPad. When this happens I can see sync errors in Console.log, and they seem to suggest that there's a conflict which is causing the sync server to choke. (It's often something like - can't change a timed alarm to null).

Last time this happened, I used the techniques here:

Sync Services: Advanced troubleshooting for contact and calendar syncing

which did work but ended up nuking many of my settings on the iPad, so I had to go back in and re-set them manually (settings such as "which calendars to sync", "how many days to sync" etc.)

Frustrating.

"It just doesn't work"


MacInTouch Amazon link...

Talk to MacInTouch     Support  •  Find/Go