Posting this a few days later than I’d expected (you see how much help we need managing my time?), I begin with an apology to Milton Friedman. As it turns out, our great big free-market economy does too provide decent calendar software, and all I had to do to find out about it was to ask the readers of this happy Corner.
In the hope that this proves useful–particularly to the man in Tempe who wrote, “Peter, I beg of you, PLEASE post the winning calendar software in the Corner. I’ve been searching for the same thing for my wife too. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE”–here goes:
The most often recommended: The free calendar function on Yahoo. It’s easy (or so a dozen readers have sworn), and you can use it from any computer in all the wide world that has access to the web. Go to www.calendar.yahoo.com.
The second most often recommended: The free calendar software that Palm makes available. Download it, and it lives on your own computer. Upload it to a website, and anyone can look at it. And if you have a Palm Pilot (a suggestion that caused my wife, who can barely figure out how to operate her cell phone, to laugh) you can keep you calendar in sync in all three places, your Palm Pilot, your own computer, and the web. For a download, go to http://www.freewarepalm.com/utilities/palmdesktop.shtml.
The most inscrutable (and here I merely quote from a reader’s email, which it must have taken him, God bless him, a quarter of an hour to work out and type up, with my thanks for the bigness of heart that must have led him to do so):
OK – The following folder has the following files:
An HTML file, calendar-JHP.html, that puts it all together
A calendar applet (calendar.class) for insertion into the file
A calendar java script file (calendar.java) for review of the source
calendar.html: The main source for the html page (with applet embedded)
calendar2.html: The source for the heading and applet (i.e. the top half of calendar)
calendar3.html: The source for the table of activities for family (i.e. the bottom half of the calendar)
Put all folders into the same directory.
Then open calendar-JHP.html in a standard browser. Make sure the page is in the same folder as the .class file.
Then navigate the calendar.
Below the calendar, on the HTML page, is a table. Date, Person, and Activity are the columns. As information becomes known to your family, enter it onto the table.
The usual shot from an Apple owner: One wrote to point out that if I owned an Apple, I’d already be using iCal, which is, by universal consent, the easiest-to-use, most effective, and most visually appealing calendar software ever devised by the mind of man. He closed by writing, “Never ask a friend what kind of computer he uses. If he has a Mac, he’ll tell you. If he doesn’t have a Mac, why embarrass him?”
The profoundly satisfying rejoinder, in which another reader explained (and, once again, I quote) how it is possible to use iCal even if you don’t own an Apple:
If you like ical, you can have it on a PC. You first have to install the Mozilla browser, if you haven’t already. But this is good because it’s light years better than IE. After disabling pop up windows, you’ll be surprised at how quick you forget what a pain they were. Or as described on their web site mozilla.org.
* For web browsing, email, HTML editing, IRC chat, and more
* Built with your privacy and security in mind
* Stop popups and junk mail
* Open multiple web pages in the same window with tabbed browsing
Will post on Advent calendars later today.