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Access Google Calendar from Terminal

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gcalcliMurphy has been on the lookout for an easy way to use the Quick Add feature of Google Calendar, even when his calendar isn’t open in Safari or Firefox. There doesn’t seem to be a widget, but there is a Firefox plugin. Last time Murphy tried the plug-in there were some problems.

If you’re partial to the Terminal you might like gcalcli. Murphy uses gcalcli to make Quick Add entries from the tiny Terminal window he’s always got open. Simple, fast, convenient. He’s also using gcalcli with GeekTool to display calendar events right on the desktop, like the image you see above.

Installing gcalcli might look scary on the download page, but it’s not so bad. Especially if you’re on Leopard. You can download gcalcli here, but you’ll also need to download the Google Data Library. Murphy downloaded the most recent zip and unloaded it into a folder. From the Terminal, change into that folder and enter the following:

./setup.py install

Optionally, you can install it for only one user account. Details. Very easy!

Once the Google Data Library is installed you can delete the folder you extracted the zip into. If you read about gcalcli you’ll see Python is a requirement. Leopard already has the version of Python you need. If you’re on Tiger you might need to update your Python.

The gcalcli download can be placed anywhere. For this post Murphy placed it in his home folder and renamed it with a leading period to make it invisible. Watch the movie and you’ll see how Murphy uses gcalcli, including assigning an alias.

You might want to make an alias or two for gcalcli. Murphy simply made “g” into an alias for the gcalcli command itself and “q” into an alias for using the Google Calendar Quick Add feature. gcalcli seems like too much to type.

Visit the gcalcli page for more information on the commands it accepts.

If you’ve never tried Quick Add in Google Calendar you should give it a try. It lets you enter a line of text like “dinner with giselle tomorrow at 8pm” instead of navigating a series of drop-downs. In case it’s not clear yet: Murphy doesn’t know why anyone would add stuff any other way. Unless they require options for their event that Quick Add doesn’t support. Hopefully Quick Add will expand its functionality in the near future.

The movie is kind of sloppy, Murphy’s experimenting with different tutorial tools. Read more about how to create an alias. More about GeekTool. Also – take a look at using Quick Add to set a mobile phone reminder.

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One comment to “Access Google Calendar from Terminal”

  1. Hey,

    I really digg the blog. Do you have any interest in possibly doing screencasts for macgasm.net?

    Let me know. You can drop me an email.

    Thanks,
    Joshua Schnell
    macgasm.net

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