How-to 2 way synch between Google Calendar and iCal

In case you haven’t heard yet, Google now makes it possible to synch all your iCal data to your Google Calendar account.

So Mac users can now take advantage of all the OS X integration features of iCal, and still have their data up to date in their Google Calendar account, which they probably obliged to use at work to share data with non-Mac colleagues.   Two way synching is supported, so enter your event in either source and moments later the other one gets it.  And maybe you have 10 or so Google calendars, no probs, you can add them all to iCal.

Great to hear this news as I was just on the edge of paying $25 for the un-named commercial product that also manages similar synchronisation.  

And if you’re really keen you can setup a mobile me account, so any dates entered in your iPhone 3G also get synched to your iCal and Google calendars.  I guess it won’t be long before your iPhone senses that it’s lunchtime, knows your location and schedule, and suggests a list of highly rated Indian restaurants in your area, knowing what cuisine you love 😉… Read the rest

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Date & time in the menu bar in OS X

Personally I find it unbearable not to have the date and time in the menu bar, or at least somewhere on screen that I can see at a glance without having to click to see it.

For some reason the Mac usability guys decided that showing just the time, and date on one click, was more usable.

There are a lot of tutorials about how to customise this and generally each one has around 50 comments, the thing is none of them work without a black magic hack that can usually be discovered around comment #47.  

If you don’t select the format medium and don’t include the seconds (even though they won’t show up) the formatting does not work.

I found this tutorial one of the more helpful ones, and after trial and error discovered the seconds problem.… Read the rest

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iPhone Developer Program Hiccups

At last I received a sign from the folks at Apple that my application to the iPhone developer program was moving ahead!

I received confirmation of my original application a few days later on Feb 7th, 2009, then just today March 4th I got a phone call saying that I had been accepted.  That was following a number of forms being filled, my company incorporation certificate being faxed over, and a few chasing emails.  And a month of waiting!  Somehow I thought it would be faster but reading around it seems about average these days.

But the whole process I’ve found suprisingly bumpy – there are many aspects that could be improved.

First you get an email titled Iphone Development Program Enrollment Status which invites you to click on a link leading to the iPhone Developer Program License Agreement.  After that’s done you’re invited to pay $99 to sign up to the program, then you receive an email that invites you to look at your electronic download, which in fact turns out to be nothing you can download.

The trick, pointed out in the above-mentioned site, is you must then wait up to 24 hours, then you login to the … Read the rest

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How to price your tech services?

I was googling around to see what folks are charging for the range of services software devs offer. Although some humorous sites (a must read) are amongst the top results returned, how to price one’s services is of course a serious question.

One categorisation of services could be as follows:

  • consultancy
  • training
  • software development
  • support
    • ad-hoc
    • packages

For me the list runs from most difficult to easiest, and I charge accordingly.  Consultancy general involves technology recommendations, project specification, business analysis, etc, and the kind of input you can give after say 10 years experience is considerably different to what you might have offered after 5.

Next is training, and the reason I’ve put that higher than run-of-the-mill development is that preparation is involved.  For a 1/2 day or 3 day course considerable prep work is involved.  Subject matter can cover any software or platform you’re an expert on, but ideally you want to be teaching something that you built that you know better than anyone else.

In third position is regular software development; the more I do of this the more I see it as generic implementation – a commodity, and therefore chargeable at a lower rate.  Given a skilled team, … Read the rest

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