I'm a Christian, a designer, and a gadget fan who lives in Cheltenham, UK.

This is my blog, a creative outlet to mess around and play with as well as a place that logs my thoughts and inspirations.

iCal syncronisation

As many of you will know I have had two Mac’s for just over a year now. In that year there has been one thing that I have strug­gled with, keep­ing the two of them in sync. Through­out the year I’ve devel­oped a few lit­tle meth­ods of keep­ing them at a man­age­able state of syn­cro­ni­sa­tion par­tic­u­lar­ly with files. But there have been two apps that have con­stant­ly elud­ed me in my quest. Keep­ing Address Book and iCal in sync has proved very tricky. There are few meth­ods of keep­ing Address Book in sync, but over the year there have been a few options for keep­ing iCal in sync.
Span­ning Sync
I first linked to Span­ning Sync in March, and was a user of the prod­uct in the beta stages. It worked well after a few ini­tial hic­coughs and I had my iCal’s run­ning in sync and the abil­i­ty to look at them on gCal (which was an added bonus). So what was the prob­lem? When it launched it was just too expen­sive for me. I along with many oth­ers felt it priced itself out of the market.
Not hav­ing used it in a while, I can’t com­ment on how it works with pro­longed use, but I do know it was run­ning well for me and as I under­stand it, still does work well for many others.
I ran into the sec­ond prod­uct gSync only a few days after Span­ning Sync left beta. gSync was a lit­tle more rea­son­ably priced and whilst it too sync’d with Google Cal­en­dar it had the advan­tage of not using a third par­ty serv­er to com­plete the task. It worked well, but I had a few ups and downs with the prod­uct and whilst in the end it start­ed to work, it did­n’t quite seem to be doing it for me. Again the Google Cal­en­dar thing was nice, but real­ly I just want­ed to have the two iCal’s sync’d. Which is where my next solu­tion comes into play.
Since I linked to Busy­Sync a few days ago I’ve been try­ing the beta out. Unlike the oth­er two prod­ucts, which I also used dur­ing beta peri­ods, Busy­Sync has­n’t slipped up once. I haven’t had any issues with dupli­ca­tions at all, every­thing is just working.
So what’s the dif­fer­ence? The main dif­fer­ence and one which does­n’t both­er me in any­way, is that Busy­Sync does­n’t have any deal­ings with Google or oth­er third par­ty peo­ple. It talks between mul­ti­ple Mac’s over your LAN to allow you to pub­lish and sub­scribe to cal­en­dars, keep­ing them in per­fect sync. Using built in OS X tech­nolo­gies (Sync Ser­vices and Bon­jour) amend­ments to cal­en­dars are pub­lished and in less than a minute appear sync’d with sub­scribed cal­en­dars on oth­er Macs. Cal­en­dars appear on sub­scribed Macs as if they were cre­at­ed there and you can define what kind of priv­i­leges sub­scribers can have. I have my iBook sub­scribed to all my cal­en­dars on my iMac and have allowed my iBook read/write priv­i­leges so I can make changes to my cal­en­dars and have them appear changed on my iMac as well.
The added bonus is that even though Busy­Sync works over your LAN you can still make changes to cal­en­dars when you are out and about. As soon as Busy­Sync detects your home net­work and shared cal­en­dars it pub­lish­es the changes to sub­scribed Mac’s and you are all sync’d up.
Over­all it seems like a sim­ple and ele­gant solu­tion to some­thing many peo­ple would like to have. Yes dot­Mac pro­vides iCal syn­cro­ni­sa­tion, but for me it’s overkill for what I need (and expen­sive). Ulti­mate­ly, if you need to keep your iCal in sync across a cou­ple of Mac’s in your home or small busi­ness then I would sug­gest Busy­Sync is the per­fect solution.

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