The Ultimate Guide for switching from a PC to a Mac
(Part 2 - coming soon)

Monday, July 2, 2007

iCal icon that follows the real date!

One of the real downside that came with the latest OS, Tiger, is that the iCal icon doesn't follow the date anymore. Before Tiger, after you opened iCal, the icon remained with today's date. Not anymore, so we don't have the choice but to solve the problem ourselves. I thought it was really cool when I saw iConiCal on MacUpdate. I thought someone finally solved the problem. Well, they did but it's not automated. I was working on an Automator script to get that more user-friendly, but it didn't really work out. I was always missing an "action" to close iCal afterwards. After giving up on Automator and thinking that I would just use the iCal alarm (even if it wouldn't close iCal afterwards), I found the solution in iConiCal's preferences. To get everything running:

2. Once it is installed, it will load. Go to the settings tab.
3. Choose the color of the icon iCal will have when it is closed.
4. Uncheck the box "Leave iCal open after changing the icons".
5. Click "Okay".
6. When you close iCal, the icon should have kept the date.

The only problem is that it is not automated. To automate it:

1. Open iCal.
2. Create a new calendar called "iCal icon".
3. Create a new event in this calendar.
4. Set a time for the event to happen (I chose 1:00 AM so that the icon would be updated then).
5. Set the "repeat" to "every day".
6. Choose "Open file" in alarm.
7. Select the iConiCal application you installed earlier.
8. You can uncheck the new calendar you created at the left so that you don't see the event among the other events.

That is it! Your iCal icon should now update automatically at the set time. The only downside is that if you put your computer to sleep at night, it will probably wake it up. You can solve this by choosing a time during the day that your computer will most likely be awake.

Video screenshot:


Blogger Mikoangelo said...

Odd, the icon worked perfectly out of the box for me...

July 2, 2007 at 12:33 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

My iCal icon currently reads July 2. That is today's date, isn't it? I don't quite understand this post. I'm running 10.4.10 on a MacBook, and the iCal icon always has maintained the date after opening.

July 2, 2007 at 1:33 AM  
Blogger Taenon said...

I think the problem he is trying to remedy is that the icon returns to the 17th after you quit the application, thus only remaining on the current day's date once a month. Yes, of course, when the application is open the icon displays the day's date.

July 2, 2007 at 2:12 AM  
Blogger Horacio Mijail said...

So, lessee, my choices seem to be:

-- Keep open iCal, which consumes 0% CPU and which is efficiently paged out by OS X so it won't waste memory (and so iCal is always ready to use)

-- Pollute my calendars, add an alarm, keep them from syncing with my phone / PDA, risk the computer going on unexpectedly... to run a hack that will change an icon...

To me, not a difficult decision!

July 2, 2007 at 6:55 AM  
Blogger Rohit said...

not worth the effort by cluttering the ical with an alarm!

July 2, 2007 at 10:12 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

im running tiger and the ical picture is showing today's date in the dock
but i havn't got that installed ... strange

July 2, 2007 at 5:27 PM  
Blogger Malo said...

1. open ical
2. click the red "x" to close, not quit, ical.
3. enjoy the current date in your dock.

July 2, 2007 at 6:37 PM  
Blogger KingOfSpades said...

I agree that it seems too much trouble to go to when you can always keep ical running and get the right date, but keep in my mind that
a) some people with older computers might not wanna keep ical running all the time and
b) for the perfectionist who sees a problem and has to solve it, MacGeek's solution works out.

So even though i will just keep ical running from now on instead of using the tip, you gotta give some credit to MacGeek. Great work dude!

July 2, 2007 at 8:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

July 2, 2007 at 10:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My ical icon shows the current date all the time. In system preferences choose System >Accounts > Login Items then put a check mark in the Hide column next to ical. I use this on both my G5 imac and my Intel MBP. Even on reboot it shows the correct date.

July 2, 2007 at 10:47 PM  
Blogger humzarizvi said...

It does display the current date?
Are you talking about how after you turn it OFF it goes to July 17th??

July 3, 2007 at 12:18 PM  
Blogger Carl said...

That "17" bugged me so much. I feel better now. Thanks!

July 3, 2007 at 2:01 PM  
Blogger shawnhood said...

SO glad you found a solution. I hated the 17, and hated the little black arrow indicating my program was open if I didn't want it to be open. Great fix... although I didn't have to do any of the extras, I just had to download the program.

July 4, 2007 at 3:44 PM  
Blogger Morgan said...

ok.. heres a much simpler way to do things on Tiger without any extra downloads and clutter
1. open sytem preferences and click "accounts"
2. click "login items" at the top of the screen
3. click "+" at the bottom of the screen
4. find and select ical, then click "add"
5. check the box to the left of the ical icon on the list
now, every time you login or turn your mac on, ical automatically opens, but is hidden, so all you see is the icon displaying today's date.. easy

July 9, 2007 at 4:07 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Thanks Morgan! That is most elegant...

July 11, 2007 at 8:16 AM  

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