Tag Archives: iCloud

How to Fix Persistent Apple Calendar Entries

Icon_Calendar1Meetings, appointments, reminders—if you’ve put Apple’s iCloud Calendar to good use for awhile, you probably have lots of old Calendar events, maybe years, maybe decades of old events. You are paying for that storage with your money, and for the processor overhead with your time. And…do you really want the NSA to have access to all this? You should clean it up. It’s the past. Let it go! But how?

This is Apple, so it should be easy, right? Well, yes, but friends, this is one of those rare potholes in the normally smooth road of the Apple ecosystem. Apple will help you hide your old Calendar entries, but we want to DELETE, and just locating information on deleting them requires an epic effort worthy of a Homer narrative. For you, TechWite provides the “Cliff’s Notes” shortcut to the answers:

🙈  The iCloud Ostrich Method

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Hide old events in iCloud: Click the Gear icon for Preferences… > Advanced > Old Events. But they are still there.  We want to DELETE and in iCloud, that’s as good as it gets. On your Mac? Back when versions of OS X were named after BIG CATS, there was a similar option in Calendar > Preferences. That option is GONE.

SAre_you_sure_you_want_to_delete_this_event?top Making Sense—Warning: If you manually delete appointments ONE at a time, iCloud will try to send “updates” to all your meeting recipients. You may have hundreds or thousands of entries. Imagine the annoyed responses from old friends, lovers, family, and former work associates asking why you are cancelling a meeting in the PAST?? My advice: If you encounter this issue, and get queries, DON’T RESPOND.

Like the Labors of Hercules! The long, tedious, and frankly annoying search propelled as if by a motivational prophecy from the Delphic oracle—that this should be easier, this should be obvious, and if “The Steve” were here, this simply would not be a problem.

iCloud: Advanced Calendar and iCal troubleshooting

The most common causes for data-based issues with Calendar are:

  • Unreadable or incompatible calendar data.
  • Reoccurring calendar events that have no end date (such as birthdays).
  • Duplicate events.
  • An excess of calendar events that happened in the past (especially those that were previously synced from another calendar client).

Any of these conditions could be the cause of your issues with Calendar in OS X (or iCal) and iCloud.

Well thanks Apple! And in that most important article, Apple explains how to perform all kinds of maintenance on your Calendars, backing up, disconnecting from iCloud and other services, cleaning up, and restoring. I leave that work to you, reader.

…to delete those old entries, I provide the two answers:

  1. Delete Entries in Macintosh Calendar App: In the search bar, type “.“—a single period—and press <Return>. This will produce a search response list of ALL your entries, which you may then select (using the various select options that you know how to use, right?) and <Delete>. (This still has the issue with sending “updates” to recipients, so be careful. Otherwise, go to #2, below.)
    [BTW: Can you do this in iCloud? I can’t even find the Search Bar in iCloud. Where is it??]
  2. Use a 3rd Party Macintosh Calendar Tool: Download a more capable Calendar replacement, or a Calendar utility. These will do the work for you that Apple has abandoned. I recommend BusyCal. You can download the free trial, and use it to batch clean your calendar using their wonderful List View of calendar entries. You may like it so much that you decide to buy it. (I did!)

And there you have it.  Peace Out.—TW

 

Overlooked and Underused: iPhone Personal Hotspot

Mac and iPhone—Best of Friends

 

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Tether this. On a PC, if you don’t have access to ethernet or Wi-Fi, you can “tether” your cell phone for internet access—if your phone and data plan support it, and if you can figure out the configuration. You set it up with a bunch of steps, using Bluetooth or a USB cable, Windows, and phone configuration settings, and hopefully, it works. The real “road warriors” out there know this and may use it, but for most people? Meh. Too much trouble. (I used to tether a Blackberry. Maybe it’s easier for you Windows folks now. I hope so, but it doesn’t matter to me—because I use a Mac!)

In the Apple world, we expect a little more… Think about it. You guys are “tethered” to the Internet like you’re being tied up or something. iPhones come with “Personal Hotspot” capability, and it’s another one of those overlooked and underused, convenient, “personal” features that makes me want to exclaim, “THERE! See? THAT’S why I use a Mac!!”


Sometimes I wonder if this “personal stuff” is Apple’s snarky revenge for the late-to-the-party IBM PC, that usurped the name “Personal” Computer, and then danced around with a lampshade on its head screaming, “Look at me! Look at me!” for the next 30 years, while the Mac tried to get attention by standing in the corner, being cool, and drawing pictures.


My iPhone is in my backpack. To get to the internet, I don’t have to touch it; I don’t have to see it! It appears on the Mac Wi-Fi menu as a “Personal Hotspot” choice (see screenshot). And get this, incredibly, my iPhone “Personal Hotspot” is actually “Off“. (Check this on your iPhone: Launch Settings > Personal Hotspot.) It’s “Off”, but my Mac and iPhone are pals, so my Mac puts the iPhone on the list, and even displays signal strength (Yellow Arrow) and battery level (Blue arrow). If I select “Christo’s iPhone 6” from the Mac Wi-Fi menu, the “Personal Hotspot” on the iPhone switches to “On“. The secret here is that my devices share the same iCloud account. Cool right? Will it turn it back “Off” too? Of course! After connecting, a “Disconnect from Christo’s iPhone 6” item appears on the menu. As long as I choose that, the “Personal Hotspot” turns “Off“.

Here’s an important tip: Remember to “Disconnect..” if you just close the lid on your MacBook, your iPhone continues to act like a Wi-Fi router, burning battery and cellular data like a FIEND!! So remember to Disconnect first! Why doesn’t Apple just make it turn off as soon as you shut the lid on your MacBook? They could, but remember, you might not be the only one using the Personal HotSpot!

It’s your business if you get “tethered” or get “Personal”.  I know what I like, and to TechWite, this Personal Hotspot functionality has been well thought out and sensibly integrated, end-to-end. And, as I’ve been saying for a long time, “…that’s the difference!”


Would you like to hear more? Sometime soon TechWite will write again about: “Mac and iPhone—Best of Friends”.

What is the Cloud anyway?

Lost in the Cloud #2

It was, hm, some years ago, at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, in between listening to Friday night jazz sets, and I was trying to explain to some friends what “the cloud” was. IBM had already starting to promote the concept of “the cloud”, and Microsoft was not that far behind. In IT, it was beginning to be a buzz word, just like all the other marketing labels foisted on us in the last twenty or thirty years. Clearly not that many people understood it yet. Except for the rare far-seeing visionaries, few people saw the power, the potential, the inevitability that was to become “the Cloud”. And though the term is now in common parlance, there are probably plenty of people who still want to ask, “What the hell are you talking about? What cloud?”

But don’t worry. I’m here to explain.

Other than its own defining article, “The”, the Cloud, is not much different than its real-world counterparts. Clouds are out there. Far away, up in the sky. They move, they disappear, they change, evaporate, and re-form. They do whatever they do, and unless they are up to no good, most people don’t even think about them. And that’s pretty much the story of “The Cloud”. It’s your data, accessible to you out there, and you don’t have to think much about it. And this isn’t even new.

Pretty much anybody on a computer, anybody using the Internet, was already using “the Cloud”—they just didn’t know it yet. How did this happen?

  • Email is the obvious one – All of you with your AOL, MSN, Yahoo, & Google mail “on the web” stored on some big company’s servers.
  • Facebook (and MySpace before it) – With all that personal information, photos, timeline, likes, accessible to just about anyone.
  • Flickr – And all the other photo-saving and sharing sites with thousands and thousands of your photos.
  • YouTube – Zillions of home videos, old home movies, and pirated clips of TV shows, and movies, and everything else.
  • iTunes – Jeez, let’s not forget the bizillions of songs, and albums, and playlists and reviews that Apple had up there-at first, just to buy and download and store on your own device, but that changed rapidly.

You get the idea. Everybody started pushing stuff up onto the Internet primarily to share it, but also to store it. As usual, Steve Jobs had some idea of where this was all headed. He understood this was going to be about storage. Storage players were beginning to appear – think DropBox and Evernote, with apps and access from many devices and platforms, and of course from the web browser. You could store your stuff, all kinds of your stuff, on the Internet (maybe even referred to by that time as “the Cloud”). It was safe there, presumably. (This was before we found out about our friends at the NSA). You didn’t have to worry about backing it up, or losing it if your computer was lost or stolen.

Apple tried pretty early on to capture and cash in on the consumer storage idea. But Apple stumbled a lot on this one. It was “Mac.com”, and then “Mobile.Me”, then “Me.com” – heck! I can’t even remember all the various names as Apple tried to re-brand and renovate this idea and eventually settle on (duh!) “iCloud”. At one point you could have your own web site, and photo galleries, and Internet storage that worked just like a disk drive, sort of… but it was all a moving target. Apple managed only recently to integrate iCloud into the MacOS, and iOS, and the Apple apps, and your data, along with iTunes and all the media available there. Microsoft, Google, even Amazon, are all competing with Apple in this same space. Who gets to sell you stuff? Who gets to keep it for you? In “the Cloud”. This “ecosystem” wasn’t just devices, it was storage, of your stuff, by someone else, away from your home—and eventually, storage of your work stuff away from your office.

Because the move of data —by businesses—into the Cloud, is another part of the story, to be addressed by TechWite, another time! TFSB!

The Incipient Cloud

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For decades IT people have made diagrams of their networks and data centers with lightning bolts that point from someplace local to a fluffy blob. Riding from the local computers and corporate data center and LAN, all the data and email and files and voice telecommunications, everything, rides that lightning bolt and disappears into this blob, which was sometimes called a “network cloud”. That cloud was a little symbol to represent the enormous external private and public networks that we now generally refer to as “the Internet”.