Sync Multiple Google Calendars on iPhone: Finally Figured it Out! [en]

[fr] Instructions pour synchroniser plus d'un calendrier Google avec son iPhone.

This is something that has been annoying the hell out of me for some time, now. I use at least half a dozen different Google calendars to keep track of my stuff, but when adding a Google account to iCal, all it does is add the main calendar.

I had come upon a hack which consisted in adding each Google calendar in iCal on the computer separately, rather than using delegation. A few weeks ago I was doing some digital housekeeping, and forgot why I had initially done that, and switched back to normal delegation. There went all my lovely syncing.

Let me explain things a bit more clearly:

  1. I have a bunch of Google calendars.
  2. I prefer using the iCal application on the computer and on my iPhone rather than the web interface.
  3. I want everything to sync.

Now, getting Google calendar to sync with iCal on the computer is quite straightforward: add a Google calendar account to iCal following these instructions, and under the “delegation” tab, include any secondary calendars you may have.

It gets tricky with the iPhone. You might think that now that you have your Google calendars in iCal, you will find them on your iPhone if you configure your iPhone to sync calendars with your computer. But no. iCloud or no iCloud, that’s not how it works.

So, you can add a Google account to your iPhone under Settings > Mail, Contacts, Calendars > Add Account… > Google Mail. That’s fine if you have only one calendar, but not if you have more than one, because there isn’t anything like the “delegation” function you had in iCal.

So, if you have more than one like I do, here’s what you need to do:

  1. Add your Google account as a Microsoft Exchange account as described here.
  2. Head over to, select your iPhone (or other device), and choose which calendars you want to sync.

It’s pretty straightforward, but (a) you have to know about it and (b) do not forget the trailing slash in the URL above. I kept getting “device not supported” and 404 errors which were driving me batty until I figured out what was the cause. Almost gave up!

Thanks a lot to @zecege who patiently tweeted to and fro with me while I figured out all this!

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Solved Another MacBook Fan Problem! [en]

[fr] En recherchant la cause d'une trop grande activité du processeur (et donc du ventilateur) de son MacBook, ne pas oublier d'afficher "tous les processus" dans Activity Monitor. Sinon, on risque de rater MozyBackup, par exemple, qui a piqué une crise et décidé d'utiliser 99.6% du processeur...

Remember how happy I was after solving my print-queue-related MacBook fan problem? Well, for the last few days, my fan has been noisy again. I had a vague suspicion the noise coincided with when I reactivated my Mozy account and endeavoured the get my computer backed up again remotely. However, the fan remained noisy even when Mozy wasn’t uploading or being active.

A friend of mine dropped by on IM to help me troubleshoot. I went through Activity Monitor, sorted the processes by CPU, and closed off those that were using the most ressources — to no avail. The highest process on the list was using 4.5% of CPU ressources, and iStat Nano (a dashboard widget I heartily recommend) was still telling me my fan was running at around 6200rpm and my CPU temperature was approaching 70°C. I could also see that the graph depicting CPU activity was showing it pretty active overall.

I bit at loss over what to do next. Clicking around in iStat Nano, I noticed that at the top of the process list there was MozyBackup, using up 99.6% of my CPU! The reason this process didn’t appear in Activity Monitor was that I was filtering “My Processes” instead of viewing all processes, and MozyBackup was running as root.

Activity Monitor

I killed (force quit) MozyBackup, and it popped up again. I killed it again. And again. By that time, my friend had unearthed this article about Mozy Backup going crazy, where I learned that MozyBackup coming back from the dead was normal (it’s a feature).

Thankfully, once I’d killed MozyBackup a few times, it started behaving normally again, and as you can see on the screenshop posted above, it’s now happily backing up my data without squeezing all the ressources out of my poor old MacBook, which is now quiet again.

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Solved the Dreaded MacBook Fan Problem [en]

[fr] Résolu un problème qui commençait à me pourrir l'existence: le ventilateur de mon MacBook fonctionnait à fond tout le temps, même si je ne faisais rien avec mon ordinateur. Solution (voir l'article anglais pour les liens): vider les queues d'impression -- pour une raison qui me dépasse, avoir des fichiers en attente dans la queue d'impression surcharge le processeur. J'en avais qui étaient là depuis des mois!

For some time now, I’ve had a very noisy MacBook fan. As if it was on full speed all the time. I was starting to despair, and @swinhoe pointed me to the solution: delete any old print jobs which may be sitting in a printer queue.

I sent to my printer list in System Preferences. Out of the four printers installed on my machine (I never print, honest) two of them were “in use”. “In use”? I haven’t connected to a printer in months. I checked the queues, and lo and behold, there were files sitting there. I simply deleted them, and a few minutes later, my fan stopped being audible.

What a relief! This had been going on literally for months, if not longer.

So, if you find your fan is working overtime, your processor is getting hot, your battery life has melted… check your printer queues.

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Addicted to Technology! [en]

[fr] Une longue tirade, malheureusement pas vraiment traduisible vu l'heure et la longueur, sur la dépendance à internet, qui est à mon avis un faux problème. J'y parle de notre définition de la technologie (une voiture, c'est aussi de la technologie, et on ne s'alarme pas des gens qui seraient "dépendants de leur voiture" comme on le fait de ceux qui sont "dépendants de leur ordinateur"), de la valeur (petite) généralement accordée aux rapports humains qui passent à travers un ordinateur, de l'insuffisance de la "déconnexion" pour résoudre un problème d'utilisation excessive de cet outil, puisqu'il reste un outil valable et même indispensable pour certains, même si c'est un lieu privilégié de fuite.

Help! we’re all becoming [addicted to technology]( “Panel on technological overload which concluded by asking for the best way to unplug.”)! Think of it… we’re soon going to be merged to our computers and cellphones, and we already have a hard time living without them. Heck, we can’t even spend a day without chatting or checking our e-mail! Or our blog comments! Where is the world going?

#### What technology?

Let’s take a few steps back, shall we? First of all, please define technology. Do we consider that we are “addicted” on our cars? Our clothes? Our flats? The postal system, goods manufacturing and distribution, the newspaper? Oh, but those things are actually *necessary*, not superfluous like all this internet/computer/techy stuff. *That’s* what we mean by “technology”. People could communicate very well without IM and cellphones and e-mail, couldn’t they? So, shouldn’t we strive to remember that “real” human relationships happen outside the realm of all this “technology-mediated” communication?


Cars are technology. The banking system, and similar infrastructures our world relies on, are in their way a form of technology, and certainly, built upon technology. People who argue that cars, fixed landlines, or shoes are more “necessary” than IM are simply stuck with [views on what “technology” is and its value that are dictated by the state of the world when they came into it]( (Read [original material by Douglas Adams](

We consider things like fixed phones and the postal system like something we *need* because they have been around for so long that our society and the individuals inside it have completely adapted to having them around, relying upon them, and using them. It is “normal” to feel uncomfortable or jittery if your phone landline is cut or if your watch breaks down. But somehow, it is not “normal” to feel uncomfortable or jittery when we can’t check our e-mail for 24 hours.

Computers, the internet, and the various programs we use are *tools*, like the phone and our vehicles. They allow us to get things done, interact and connect with others, and also enjoy some recreation. Of course, they can be over-used. Of course, some people will have an unhealthy or even pathological utilisation of them. But they differ from the classical objects of “addiction”, like drugs, which (usually) do not serve a directly constructive purpose.

#### Addicted to our cars

I find it very problematic to speak about “addiction” regarding computers or the internet, partly because it makes it look like the problem is with the tool (instead of the person), and partly because it is very difficult to draw the line between healthy and unhealthy use of the tool without taking in many environmental and personal factors.

I think that making a comparison between computer and car usage is quite enlightening in that respect. They have in common that they are a form of technology, they have a use, and can be abused. Yet we worry about addiction to computers, but not so much about addiction to cars. Let’s have a closer look.

A car is not a vital necessity. Before cars existed, humanity managed to survive for quite a long time, and wasn’t necessarily worse off (I guess that judgement depends on one’s view of progress). However, nowadays, depending on where you live and what your lifestyle is, it’s hard to get by without a car (though [possible]( by making some arrangements). Would we consider somebody who uses their car everyday “addicted”? Most certainly not, because probably the main reason the car is needed is to commute to work. But what if one likes going to drive around in the countryside every week-end? Or takes the car to drive to the store when it is 5 minutes away on foot? Or uses the car for comfort, when public transport could be used? What about the distress one can end up when a car breaks down and has to be taken to the garage? Would anybody dream of speaking of addiction here?

Just as the car allows us to easily cover long distances, the computer allows us to do things we could not normally do without. It’s technology. Now, if the way we live tends to require or expect us to do these things, the technology becomes “necessary”, and not “superfluous”. Makes sense?

#### Nurturing online relationships has little value (not)

One problem with applying the reasoning I did for the car to the computer has in my opinion been touched upon in the [LIFT’07 panel I mentioned previously]( the blurring of the distinction between what is “work” (ie, “necessary”) and “personal” (“not that necessary”). Aimlessly chatting on IRC can actually be very important for my professional life. In general, taking care of one’s network (really: taking care of the relationships we have with other human beings we know) is something which should not be considered “superfluous”. During the panel, Stefana Broadbent mentioned that technology allowed us to actually keep alive (“manage”) a greater number of relationships than what we would be capable of without. Which leads us to the second problem: human relationships which take place “through the internet” are less valued in today’s world than the “real” ones which take place face-to-face.

What’s missing here is that “virtual” (how I hate that word in this context) interaction is not there to “replace” face-to-face interaction, or traditional communication technologies like the written letter, the fax, or the phone. IM, chat, blogging and e-mail most often keeps people in touch when they would *not* be communicating at all. I would not be keeping friendships alive across the Atlantic without my computer. And some of these friendships are no less valuable than the relationships I have with people I get to see in the flesh more often because they live in my hometown.

But more than that, these “poorer” channels of communication open up different dimensions in the way we relate to others. I’ve heard this said twice recently (though I’ve been aware of it through personal experience for years). First by [Regina Lynn]( in her (well worth reading) book [The Sexual Revolution 2.0]( At some point, she explains that for those who are used to texting and IMing in the context of a romantic relationship, the absence of these “channels” makes it feel like there is something missing in the relationship. Second, Stefana Broadbent (again on the LIFT’07 panel, link above) mentioned that the arrival of Skype and VoiP did not kill chat — people are still chatting even though they could use the richer communication channel and actually talk.

This is not surprising. We know that some things are easier to say or more adapted to this or that communication channel. It’s not news either — using letters or the phone rather than face-to-face is not always a choice made for questions of distance or availability.

#### If not addiction, then what?

Of course, as I mentioned, there are unhealthy uses of computer technology. And computer technology has [characteristics that help us get “hooked”](, so it won’t be surprising that people might use it compulsively or excessively. And for people who for a reason or another (and I at times can include myself in that lot) need to “escape” life/reality/pain, goofing around aimlessly online or chatting for hours with random strangers can be used as an alternative to getting drunk/stoned/passing out in front of the TV/reading all Harry Potter books cover-to-cover without interruption. But is it right to talk about “addiction” in such cases?

Whatever you call it, the problem here is that you can’t just tell the people to “unplug” as a solution. For most people who have built part of their life around the internet, the computer is a valuable tool for work and social life. And anyway, even with substance abuse addictions, [going “cold turkey” does not solve the real problem](, though it’s usually better for your health. (I have personal experience from “the other side”, here: I have never in my whole life even tried smoking a cigarette, because I sense that if I did, there are high chances I would turn into a heavy smoker. I’m not free. One could say I have an addiction problem, even though it is not manifest in substance abuse. It’s latent and finds an expression in total abstinence.)

If the computer is used excessively, it is necessary to address the *real* underlying problem. The “thing” that makes people need to escape to somewhere. Because the line between “normal use of the tool” (I need to chat to some extent to keep in touch with my friends/family/collegues) and “excessive use” (I spend all my free time chatting, forget to eat, and don’t go out anymore) is drawn in *quality* rather than *quantity* and does not comprise a clear border like a different environment, schedule, or tool, the “easy” solution of “quitting” does not work.

Then, how does one determine if one’s use of the computer is *excessive*? I like to say that the main defining criteria for this kind of problem is **pain**. Is the intensity with which one uses the computer (or cellphone, or whatever) a source of suffering? Does the person feel that it’s out of control, and would like to do something about it? Is it having concrete effects like work loss, strain on relationships, or is there dissimulation regarding the time spent at it, hinting at a general unease about the time that is used on the computer? The secondary criteria would be **purpose**. Addiction or escape serve a purpose (shields one from something). Is it the case? What is this purpose? It’s not a simple question, and it often doesn’t have a simple answer, and addressing it might even involve a therapist.

#### Not that addicted…

I find that the mainstream press and certain specialists (doctors or teachers I’ve met) are a bit quick to shout “addiction” when faced with the importance the computer and the internet have taken in our lives. I’m not an “addict” because I get uncomfortable if I haven’t accessed my e-mail in 24 hours. I’m not an “addict” because I chat to my friends from the other side of the pond every day. I’m not an addict because when I think of something interesting, I feel an urge to write about it on my blog. I’m not an addict because I need my computer to take notes during a conference, rather than a paper and pen with which I’m illegible and which [hurts me]( “I can type OK and be readable if I have very mild pain, but handwriting hurts a lot and is just useless.”). I’m not an addict because I sometimes choose to stay in and catch up with what people I know are saying on their blogs rather than go out clubbing.

Yes, when I’m not doing too well I will easily turn to my computer to escape from the world or myself. Before I had a computer and a social life on the internet, I used to turn to the TV in such occasions, or drown myself in books or music. One isn’t better than the other. But here, clearly, the problem is me, and not the nasty technology.

*If you’ve read all this, let me know what you think. I suspect I might have taken a few shortcuts here and there, and I’ll be more than happy to make them explicit if you point out what isn’t convincing.*

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Flock Sync Issue Solved! [en]

[fr] Problème de synchro de bookmarks avec Flock réglé!

Yay! The really [exasperating]( behavior Flock was putting up by [refusing to sync my favorites unless I restarted the browser]( has now come to an end.

It seems that a file named flock_fq_default_in.rdf (in Library, Flock stuff, profile, you’ll find it if you need to) was corrupted. So I shut down Flock a couple of times, made sure my bookmarks were in sync, and deleted the file.

Now everything seems to be running smoothly! Thanks to [Mike]( for being my liaison in the resolution of this problem — and for the information to drop into the offices [when I’m in San Francisco]( I might very well do so!

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Cours de psychologie fĂ©line — euh, humaine [fr]

[en] Most efficient way for dealing with humans who complain that your cat is excerting revenge on them by peeing on doors: don't try to explain that cats don't have human feelings or attitudes. Instead, tell your cat sternly off in presence of the complaining person (just talk normally but firmly, of course, no being nasty), and say something like "Now, Puss, have you heard that? You can't go on peeing on doors like that. I want you to behave, understood?" And tell the person that you're going to have a serious discussion with the guilty feline about the situation.

Un truc infaillible pour rĂ©gler le sort des personnes bien intentionnĂ©es qui se plaignent de problèmes avec votre chat en l’anthropomorphisant Ă  outrance (concierge, voisine du dessus, etc.) Exemple: votre chat se venge des gens qu’il n’aime pas en allant marquer sur les portes des appartements quand il les voit. Tenter d’expliquer que ce genre de comportement ne correspond pas Ă  la psychologie fĂ©line se solde en gĂ©nĂ©ral par un Ă©chec cuisant et du temps perdu (conversation tournant dĂ©sespĂ©rĂ©ment en rond).


Ramasser le chat, qui durant la conversation est venu voir de quoi il s’agissait. Regarder ensuite sĂ©vèrement le coupable qui ronronne dans vos bras et lui dire: “Bon, Bagha, tu entends ce qu’elle dit, hein? Ça ne va pas du tout. Faut vraiment que tu apprennes Ă  te comporter correctement, c’est compris? A partir de maintenant, plus de marquage sur les portes que la concierge vient de nettoyer, d’accord? Sinon, je vais me fâcher!”

Et préciser à la personne qui se plaint que vous allez avoir une discussion sérieuse avec votre chat et que vous comptez bien lui faire entendre raison.

A problèmes humains, solutions humaines.

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Blogsome: a WordPress Weblog Farm [en]

A hosted WordPress weblog provider just opened. I’m testing.

[fr] Blogsome est une solution hébergée fournissant à  qui le désire un weblog WordPress en deux clics (moins d'une minute).

Check out Blogsome. It looks exciting. I’ve set up a test blog: enter a username, an e-mail address, your blog title, and there you are. 1 minute.

I’m very curious to see how this will scale, especially given my experiences with my school blogs. I’m also curious to see if they will release the code used.

If you’re trying it, please let me know what you think!

[via Ollie]

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