Missing subscriptions in iCal

If you’re working with subscribed calendars in iCal, and find that you can’t see a subscription in the pop-up selector (I’m on iCal 4, on OS X Lion – yours might be different) then it might be because there are no items in that calendar.

I’m doing some development, where a calendar has three types of entries. It has standard appointments, recurring appointments and a special type of recurring appointment, that a user has assigned to them if they’re in a role for a period of time (think rotating roster). I have the first two types of entries sorted out, and disabled the output of these for testing purposes. This meant that the calendar was empty, and iCal hid it from the list of subscribed calendars. When I tried to add it again I got the error:

This is a duplicate calendar. This subscription calendar already exists in every account that supports subscription calendars.

If you’re having a similar issue, it might be because of this. On reflection, I can see why they’re hiding the calendar if there’s nothing there, but it made my debugging painful.

Removing yourself from a mailing list

I wanted to remove myself from a mailing list today, but there was no unsubscribe link in the email footer. The list was legitimate, and I don’t suspect that the operators were intentionally trying to lock me in, but it didn’t help my situation. The content just is not as relevant to me as it used to me.

I had this nagging sensation that I’d already attempted to remove myself from the list before, and that it might have been a problem with me using my work email vs. my personal email, even though they end up in the same inbox. As such, I used the View > Message > Long Headers function of Apple’s Mail application to see what address the email was actually being sent to. Doing so revealed a bunch of other headers that Mailman had added to the email that I found really useful.

Of note is the the List-Unsubscribe header, which shows both a URL and an email address (and subject) that can be used to unsubscribe from the list. Hitting the URL didn’t work for me (it might not be configured to listen on that port anymore) but sending an email with the right subject to the right address worked a treat, and instigated the three-way handshake that’s commonly used to confirm I am who I say I am, and I want to leave the list.

Vodafone, you’re making things difficult

In a few weeks my contract with Vodafone is expiring. This coincides with the (suspected) release of the iPhone 4G.

My iPad is using Telstra Next-G for mobile coverage, so I used the SpeedTest iPhone application to check each carrier’s connectivity from my office.

Each test was run once, so the results might vary if I used actual science and statistics to even things out, but that doesn’t reflect my real-life usage, so I opted for the “one chance to impress me” approach.

Download Upload
Telstra 1429 kbps 252 kbps
Vodafone 946 kbps 103 kbps

As you can see, Telstra’s network was about 1.5x faster downloading, and 2.5x faster uploading. Certainly, they’re different devices, but I think it’s comparable.

I just wish Telstra wasn’t, well, Telstra.

BarCamp 4

On Saturday I attended BarCamp 4 at East Perth TAFE. It was a really well organised event (Matt and Darcy did a great job) and the content presented by the speakers was really engaging and interesting.

I saw Jessica Ender’s talk on form design as well as Samuel Spencer’s talk on the Australian Bureau of Statistics and their adoption of open data formats for delivering data sets to the public.

My talk was on after lunch, and I think me wandering around in a blue gi drew a little bit of attention (which if I’m being honest, I was banking on) and had people interested. Aaron helped me with the talk and received a few knocks to the head as thanks – his noggin was determined to meet the carpet-covered-concrete as often as it could.

I talked about the overlap I see between my jiu-jitsu training and every day business life, and my hope is that I’ll get the audience thinking about all the areas of their lives, which they may have previously considered insular or separate, and how they might in fact be connected and relevant.

I personally had a great time at the event, and The Frontier Group will be sponsoring it again in the future. I was disappointed that another engagement meant I couldn’t stay for the whole day, but I was very pleased with what I did get to partake in. There were a few of us pressuring Matt to plan for the next BarCamp in 6 months, but we’ll see how that goes.

I’ve uploaded the slides from my talk if you’d like to check them out.