Dan Connolly's tinkering lab notebook

sidekick calendar subscription for SXSW

At a conference, like in a good coding session, it's too easy to lose track of time, so I rely heavily on a PDA to remind me of appointments. The SXSW program has just the features I want:

  • an "add this to my calendar" button next to each session
  • a calendar feed of my choices

But I carry a hiptop, which doesn't support calendar subscription. I could copy-and-paste a few critical sessions to my hiptop, but when the climbing geeks offer an hCalendar feed, it becomes wortwhile to use iCal on the laptop, i.e. something that groks calendar subscription, as the master calendar device.

I have had a system for exporting my mobile calendar as a feed, but it's a tedious 4 step shell command sequence; it's OK once or twice a week, but here at SXSW, I want to sync up several times a day.

I have been moving my palmagent project from shell commands and Makefiles to a RESTful Web service, and this pushed me over the edge to add calendar feed support.

As usual, to pull the data from the hiptop's data servers:

  1. Make a directory to hold hiptop accounts and put it in
    AccountsDir = "/Users/connolly/Desktop/danger-accts"
  2. Start running:
    pbjam:~/projects/palmagent$ python &
    Serving HTTP on port 8080 ...
  3. Use to log in and get some session credentials for half an hou of use:
    ~/Desktop/danger-accts/ACCT $ python ~/projects/palmagent/ \
    --prod --user ACCT \
    --passwd YOUR_PASSWORD_HERE \
  4. Visit and hit the Pull button.

Now you have event, task, contact, and note directories containing a JSON file for each record and lets you navigate them in a few different ways.

The pull feature is incremental; it grabs just the records that have changed since you previously pulled:

Pull majo from danger hiptop service

back to sync options



The new feature today is the ical export, linked from the event categories page:


back to sync options


You can copy the address of that ical export link and subscribe to it from iCal, and bingo, there it is, merged with the SXSW calendar and such.

@@screenshot pending