Tuesday 13 January 2009

Struck by Lightning

I know I'm a little stubborn. Actually I feel that it does not quite fit the Dutch word "eigenwijs", that means something like "know it better". And indeed on contrary to my colleagues I use OpenSuse Linux 64-bit, whereas they stick to 32-bit Windows. If they're happy with it, they should. But since my laptop has 4GB I want to use it all, so I wanted a 64-bit OS. And I want to drive myself in getting used to a unix-a-like OS, I use Linux. I learned all the windows versions from 3.1 to XP/Vista by doing. So the best way to learn an OS or an application for me is just by using it.

For reasons that lay in the line of the above, I use Thunderbird for years now (long before I stepped into Linux). And since recently I use Gmail.
Now I had a problem. I have a 64-bit Thunderbird, because of my 64-bit Linux. But the Lightning extension that you download at mozilla.com is a 32-bit and thus not fit for my Thunderbird. Therefor I used Sunbird with the Google Calendar Plugin.

Yesterday I stumbled upon the lightning plugin in Yast (the packagemanager of OpenSuse). So I installed it. And it worked. Apparently just recently they released a 64-bit Lightning. So I also installed the Google Calendar plug-in. But this reports that it misses modules. Also the Lightning plug-in reports that it is not updatable because of its source.

Googling I found the 64-bit Lighting plugin via this blog.
It states that you have to download the 0.9 release of the 64-bit Lighting at:
Download the file lightning-0.9-linux-x86_64.xpi and install it in Thunderbird.
You can find the Google plugin at: https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/sunbird/addon/4631.
Download the add-ons and install them in Thunderbird. Then after restarting the plugins both work.

Adding a Google Calendar is really easy. In the calendar settings click on the XML button of the private addresses:

Then copy the link in the pop-up dialog.

In Lighting create a new calendar. Choose "on the network" in the first wizard page. Then choose "Google Calendar" on the second wizard page, and paste the link in the location. At the connect dialog provide the correct username/password to your gmail account. You can give in a color and a name in the last wizard page, before you click finish. When you right click on the calendar and choose properties, you can check the "cache" box. This requires a restart of Thunderbird but will cache the events. Mark that adding events to the calendar while not on-line will fail. For that you might want to have a local (on the computer) calendar. Being on-line you can toggle the events to the on-line calendar when updating them.

Adding calendars of work-mates or friends is just the same. By default the connect-dialog provides the username of your work-mate/friend. Provide your own credentials and you're done.

So thanks Sunbird, but now I have my Calendars right into Thunderbird you're done.

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