Help me get rid of iCal timezone support!
September 21, 2007 5:06 AM   Subscribe

iCal Filter: Getting rid of idiotic timezone support once and for all?

Background: I just moved 9 timeszones (Los Angeles to Vienna), and iCal has panicked and moved all of my events from Los Angeles around to different days and generally made a mess of things. I've already made something of a schedule in Vienna, so currently I have 4-5 years of events in the Los Angeles timezone and a month or so of events in the Vienna timezone. If I need to hand-edit all of the Vienna events, that would be fine.

Idiotic Behavior: Lets talk about three sample events, representing one of many similar such events:
-Event A occured in Los Angeles on August 19th at 9am. (Stored as Los Angeles timezone)
-Event B occured in Vienna at 7:30pm on Sept 11th, but was added to the calendar after I turned timezone support off. As such, it is stored as occuring at 4:30am on Sept. 12th in the Vienna timezone. When the global timezone is set to Los Angeles, it shows up at the correct time.
-Event C occured in Vienna at 7:30pm on Sept 19th, but was added to the calendar when the global timezone was reset back to Los Angeles, so it's stored as 7:30pm in the Los Angeles timezone.

If my computer is set to the Vienna timezone and I shut off iCal timezone support, A B and C move 9 hours forward.

Events A B and C all show up at the correct time, just the way I'd like, if I change the computer's timezone to Los Angeles and then turn off timezone support in iCal. I can then change my computer's timezone back to Vienna and my calendars are fine...until I quit and reopen iCal, at which point everything has shifted forward 9 hours.

If I set iCal's timezone to Los Angeles while my computer's timezone is in Vienna, everything shows up correctly in week-view, but anything I add to the calendar is stored just like event C (in the Los Angeles timezone), and everything in group B is still stored at the wrong time, which becomes irritating when looking at events in month view.

The only option that would stay the same before and after I quit iCal (and show correct times for group A events) is to just set my timezone to Los Angeles, add my events as if they were in Los Angeles, etc. But I'd rather some way to turn OFF timezone support without all of my events moving.

Any ideas?
posted by sdis to Computers & Internet (6 answers total)
Response by poster: (iCal 2.0.5, Mac OS 10.4.10)
posted by sdis at 5:06 AM on September 21, 2007

I don't understand the problem, exactly.

Why are you turning timezone support off? It's designed specifically to handle this kind of situation.

Yes, your old Los Angeles events will appear at different times and days while iCal is set to the Vienna timezone, but that's because they are at different times and days as viewed from Vienna. If you want to temporarily view your events at the times they occur(ed) in Los Angeles, just change your timezone (in the upper right-hand corner of the iCal window) to Los Angeles.

If you have Vienna events that have been stored as Los Angeles timezone, you need to manually correct them to Vienna time, and make sure they are labeled as Vienna timezone in the info panel.
posted by designbot at 6:43 AM on September 21, 2007

Also, you can set the time zone to 'floating' if you want an event to always occur at a given time, regardless of time zone.
posted by nathan_teske at 12:40 PM on September 21, 2007

Response by poster: nathan: Is there any way to set all of my events retroactively to floating? Or even to set all new events to floating without needing to do it manually each time?

designbot: I'd like to turn timezone support off because it is not a convenient or useful feature to me; it's instead fairly irritating. When I go back to visit Los Angeles and want to look at my schedule, only to find that everything has moved 9 hours or changed days or whatnot, this is not a helpful feature; I would much rather see events at 7pm in a given location to stay at 7pm, even if I'm not at that location. I realize it can be a useful feature to some, but it is not to me, and so I'd like to shut it off.
posted by sdis at 2:56 PM on September 22, 2007

Uh oh!! Thank you so much for the warning sdis, this is extremely interesting to me too.

Like you I would also love to hear if anyone knows any way to retroactively set every iCal event one has already entered to "floating" -- as well as if there's any way to make "floating" the default choice for all newly entered events from now on.

(There sure doesn't seem to be. iCal is crazily non-customizable in comparison with the other cals I've used.)
posted by lorimer at 1:05 AM on September 23, 2007

Response by poster: lorimer: A warning about doing that - i read a number of articles with people complaining that their 'floating' timezone items transfer incorrectly to various non-iCal things (including gCal and the iPhone)
posted by sdis at 11:02 AM on September 23, 2007

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