Download of the Week: Sunbird
One thing I’ve always liked about Outlook was the built-in Calendar. Unfortunately, I don’t really use Outlook anymore. Doctor appointments, birthdays, special events… I miss ‘em all. Heck, Christmas sneaks up on me every year. I need help; it’s only a matter of time before my lack of organization becomes a matter of life and death. I’m not joking. If I forget another anniversary, my wife’s going to run over me with the car, and I probably deserve it.
Don’t lose any sleep over my well-being yet. I have seen the light. Sunbird, an open source stand-alone calendar, has all the tools I’ll need without being tied to some other program or web service, and it’s free.
Sunbird really is a full-featured calendar with tons of options and a great looking, dynamic interface. The program is still in Beta, so there isn’t a manual or a help file yet, but the application is very intuitive and straight forward. Nothing should surprise you or seem in any way overly complicated. Just give yourself a little time to create a couple of Events or Tasks and pay close attention to all the options you have, and it should make complete sense. If you do have questions, you can look them up in the Sunbird forum, which is very helpful.
Here’s a list of a few of the options you can expect to find for scheduled Events and Tasks:
Options for Events and Tasks (E/T):
· List important location information that you may need to carry out your E/T whether it’s a physical local or the location of something on your system such as a file, folder or program.
· Set the Event or Task’s Start/End time, or check the Runs all day option
· There is a Notes field for a detailed description of your E/T for your reference
· Can bind the E/T to a web address (this only works if you have FireFox installed on your system)
· You can make E/T “private” so they can’t be seen until the notification configured time has been reached.
· The notification alarm can be set up with how close to the event you want to be notified, if you want to be notified after the event, or how many times to notify you. Also the frequency in which the E/T is to occur (with exceptions).
· You set the status
· You can categorize your E/T to help you sort through your entries.
· The notification alarm can be emailed to you so you don’t forget, even when you’re away from your desk (only if you have Thunderbird installed on the system).
· When notified, you can acknowledge the alarm or hit the Snooze button for a little extra time.
· You can have multiple calendars to cover different aspects of your life (work, home, school sports) and view them together or independently.
You can access all of these options by highlighting the day you want the E/T to start, and then either:
· Using the right-click menu,
· The Toolbar icon,
· Double-click on the desired start date, no secret tricks here.
There’s also a portable version of Sunbird that you can run directly from a Flash Drive (i.e., Thumbdrive, some MP3 Players, and Memory Cards). The option to create different Calendars and export/import them separately from one version of Sunbird to another means you don’t need an FTP connection to synchronize your calendar. You can take your Sunbird calendar with you, any PC you plug it into will have your Sunbird calendar to further help you stay organized.
Note: I have written down the instructions for the import/export feature in PDF format so it will be easy to save and reference.
A few of the free antivirus programs might see the portable version as a virus. Don’t worry, this is an very rare issue, practically a bug in the antivirus software. The program sees the portable launchers used in these portable versions as a Trojan. This is a false positive, not a real virus.
Portable Sunbird: http://johnhaller.com/jh/mozilla/portable_sunbird/
Last Weeks article on Portable Applications:
SunBird Forums: http://forums.mozillazine.org/viewforum.php?f=46
~ Chad Stelnicki
** WorldStart is not the developer of this software and cannot offer technical support. We have no control over the pages that we link.