Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Google Calendar Sync not working with Outlook? Try Mozilla Lightning + Provider

If you are like me, you probably screamed when you found out that Google was going to stop support for Google Calendar Sync on 1st August 2014.

I didn't really think about looking for an alternative since my phones sync'ed with my Google Calendar anyway. That was until I started double booking appointments and missing appointment since I use Outlook at the office. Outlook was able to import the iCAL for my Google Calendar but that was only one-way traffic. I could only view the appointments in Google and not add/edit them.

I could have launched Google Calendar along with Outlook everyday, but I preferred to use a thick client. Which led me to an old familiar name - Mozilla Thunderbird.

Thunderbird is Mozilla's answer to Outlook. By itself, it's a sturdy email client, however, with the right add-ons, it's the perfect solution to this problem. The add-ons are:
  • Lightning Calendar - This is an add-on to Thunderbird that adds Calendaring features to the client. This by itself allows you to view your Google Calendar in Lightning, however, if you want to also add and edit appointments, you'll need...
  • Provider for Google Calendar - This allow bi-directional support for adding and editing appointments. So whatever you add to Lightning will also be added to your Google Calendar, and vice versa. Oh, and since your online Google Calendar is up-to-date, so will the calendars that you sync with your mobile devices. Nifty eh?
So, once you have installed Thunderbird, hit the menu button and select Add-On.

In the Add-On Manager, search for Lightning and install the latest version of Lightning.

Next, search for Provider and install the latest version of Provider for Google Calendar.

Almost there! Now, we just need to import your Google Calendars into Lightning. There is no need to configure anything on Provider. It just... Works!

Your Thunderbird should now look something like this:

Click on the Calendar Tab button to open up the Calendar Tab view.

Next, Right-click on in the blank area under the Calendar on the left pane of the Window. The pop-up will allow you to manage your Calendars. Repeat the next steps for all the Google Calendars that you wish to add:
  1. Select New Calendar.
  2. Select On the Network and click Next
  3. Select Google Calendar
  4. For the Location area, you will need to get the private address of your Google Calendar. To do that, log in to your Google Calendar account. 
  5. In the left pane, mouse-over the Calendar you wish to add and click on the arrow drop-down button. Select Calendar Settings
  6. Scroll to the bottom of the page and select the XML button under Private Address. Copy the URL that is shown.
  7. Before you enter the Private URL into Lightning, you will need to configure your Google Account to allow Access for less secure apps.
  8. Go to your Google Security settings page (https://www.google.com/settings/security) and under the Account permissions section, enable the Access for less secure apps option. If you do not do this, Lightning will keep asking you to enter your password when you try adding the Calendar.
  9. Return to Lightning and paste the URL for your Google Calendar in the Location field. Click Next.
  10. Now you can name your calendar, choose a color for it and decide if you want reminders to pop-up before the event. Click Next.
  11. Enter your username and password and VIOLA - Your calendar has been created! Remember, if you keep getting asked for your password, it means that you have not set your Google account settings to allow less secure apps. Refer to point 8 above to get that done.
There are of course paid options to get Outlook and Google Calendar to sync in the background like how Google Calendar Sync did it. But, if you don't mind launching another application along side Outlook every morning before you start your day, Thunderbird+Lightning+Provider for Google Calendar should suit you fine.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Tweets Not Appearing on Facebook

The Twitter Facebook application is really useful to automatically have all your tweets update your Facebook status. However, it's good to check from time to time to ensure that your tweets are still being posted to your Facebook.

That's what happened to me earlier this February. For some reason, my tweets were not being updated to Facebook via the Twitter application anymore and I only found out at the end of the month.

To fix this problem, do the following:

  1. Log into Facebook and go to the Twitter application http://apps.facebook.com/twitter/
  2. Under App Permissions, you should see the following:

  3. Uncheck the Facebook Profile check box.

  4. After the spinning circle disappears, re-check the Facebook Profile check box.

  5. Send a tweet using your favorite Twitter client to test that your tweets are being posted as your Facebook status again.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

StarCraft in 5 minutes

Ok, everyone is going gaga over StarCraft 2: Wings of Liberty, which will be released today. But other than being a classic RTS, does anyone still remember what is it all about? It has been 12 long years since the original was released after all!

Well, rest your grey matter, 'cos the good folks at IGN have summed it all up for you... well, kinda...

Now go get StarCraft 2 and get your Zergling rush on!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Play Snake while watching YouTube

Ok, let's face it, some YouTube videos are just boring. So what do you do? Play Snake of course!

Those geeky geniuses at YouTube have embedded a hidden easter egg in videos that are viewed from their website (ie it doesn't work for embedded videos like the one below).

Here's how you get it to work:
  1. Go to YouTube.com (duh...)
  2. The Easter Egg doesn't work on all videos, so just try your luck with a video from the Most Popular section at the bottom of the page. Or just click on this link; or double click the embedded video below to launch it in a new window)
  3. If the video has annotations, the Easter Egg won't work, so choose another one.
  4. Pause the video
  5. Press the left arrow button on your keyboard for a couple of seconds.
  6. If the Easter Egg works in the video you selected, you should see the Snake and "food" appear!

With this, YouTube is now even a bigger time-waster than it was before! Enjoy!

Friday, July 23, 2010

Spider-Man Shattered Dimensions Trailer

Ok, let's face it. Most of the Spider-Man licensed games so far have sucked.

I don't recall a single Spidey game that's really engaged me since the ancient Questprobe Featuring Spider-Man on the Apple II! (Yes, I am that old...) The last game that featured Spidey-related game that I liked was Marvel Ultimate Alliance, but Webhead was just one of the many characters in there and it didn't really feel like a Spidey game.

Well, looking at the Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions trailer that was released at the San Diego Comic Con (SSDC 10), this all should change on September 7th, 2010!

In a nutshell, the Shattered Dimensions will feature 4 different Wall-crawlers from different universes:
  • Amazing - Your standard friendly-neighborhood web-slinging Red & Blue
  • Noir - A 1930's version which plays mostly in the shadows, taking a cue from Batman Arkham Asylum perhaps?
  • 2099 - Future Spidey who flies through the air with the greatest of ease
  • Ultimate - My favourite - Black Symbiote Spidey! I always loved the black suit! Too bad it's like an evil and psycho ex-girlfriend in the comic book...

The playing styles and feel are supposed to be different across the 3 universes and judging from the preview on IGN, that seems to be the case.

I'm really looking forward to this one! Let's hope it lives up to it's promise!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

iPhone 4 ad that Apple didn't want you to see

Part of the Antennagate response ad that didn't quite make the cut... =)

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Your Mii Wants Gold Pants!

Tired of the worn-out black threads on your Mii? Looked in envy at some of the funky looking disco-ready Miis in gold or blue pants?

Well, now your Mii can have them too!

First of all, you will need to extract your Mii and load it into MyAvatarEditor. If you don't know how to do this yet, please see my previous post on How to Extract, Edit & Upload Mii characters for Nintendo Wii.

To change the colour of the Mii's pants, you will need to edit the Avatar ID value. Change the value to something within the ranges below to change the pants color.

Pants Type

Avatar ID Value Range

Black Pants (Normal Mii)

20-00-00-00 to 3F-FF-FF-FF
60-00-00-00 to BF-FF-FF-FF
E0-00-00-00 to FF-FF-FF-FF

Gold Pants (Special Mii)

00-00-00-00 to 1F-FF-FF-FF
40-00-00-00 to 5F-FF-FF-FF

Blue Pants (Foreign Mii)

C0-00-00-00 to DF-FF-FF-FF

Save your Mii, install it back to your Wii and VIOLA!

For full details on Mii Pants, head over to David Hawley's blog.