Welcome, I’d like to share with you about a project I began working on recently. I originally read about the idea on Lifehacker when they posted a clever Linux hack for configuring the Linux Cron using a Google Calendar as a front-end (this project is called GCalCron, I give all credit for the idea to that developer).
Regardless, I decided that I would like to use this software on Windows and set out to find an alternative for use in that lesser operating system. A few Google searches later, I was still unsatisfied and decided to look into making one for myself. I should also make the disclaimer that I am not a software developer, just a tinkerer. With that, though, I started exploring the Google Calendar API to see how feasible this would be. I was incredibly pleased to find a very well documented .NET library for the Google Calendar API and, at that point, decided to learn C#.
As an aside, as much as I detest Microsoft (mostly out of principle) Visual Studio makes it very easy to write and debug a program!
Regardless, a quick introduction to GCalWinTaskCnctr:
The configuration screen allows you to enter your Google username and password, select which of your calendars you would like to tie to tasks, enter your Windows username and password (as the user under which to run the tasks), set how often you would like the tasks to update, and set how many days ahead you would like the program to look.
Choosing to “Save Settings” registers a windows task to check the calendar every x minutes and update the tasks from the calendar.
This is the format that should be used in creating calendar events:
The first item in the description is the executable to be run (and anything after the pipe ‘|’ will be added as a command line argument to the executable).
At this point, I would classify this program as being in the Alpha stage: most of the desired functionality is present, but it still lacks some polish and documentation. If you are interested in contributing to the project or trying out the alpha version, please see the Google Code repository here. If you do test it, please feel free to leave comments or bugs. This is primarily a learning experience for me.
One last thought, a lot of people are hesitant to use Google’s services because they feel they are placing all of their eggs in one basket (or don’t agree with their policies, or whatever) but writing a program to interface with Google’s services made me feel a lot more comfortable using them after seeing how accessible they make the information you have stored with them. Google is not evil! (yet…)
Nice Project! *downloads
Have you tried running the app on windows 7, yet?
GCalWinTaskCnctr seems to be a rather lengthly name…
ps: I’m going to have to start following this blog.
Ha, that’s the shortened name…
Going try this, will be a beta tester for you. I run Windows 7 at home and work. Add me to your Project list. Great idea.
Thanks! I run windows 7 on my work laptop and I have some troubles running it on domain accounts. Also, I will look into subscribing users to certain category feeds.
Like your blog to Dantheman …………………………
As I don’t have time to keep up gcalcron, I’m really happy to other have taken up the concept, even three years later. Please keep up the great work.
Thanks Patrick! While my implementation is slightly different than yours, I definitely love your idea.