This FAQ section contains question I received from Mac users over time either by email or via posting in the old Forum setup, most are still relevant. If you have a specific question you feel should become part of this FAQ please send me an email.

How to correct a subscripted iCal calendar that is different from the published?

I am currently subscribed to a calendar, however, the information on the publishers calendar is different from what is displayed on mine. I have tried clicking refresh and have also followed the steps listed on the Mac Advisor site "iCal - Subscripted Calendar Fix. How do I correct this problem?

The problem seems to be with the database either the one that holds data online, such as MobileMe, or the user's iCal database. To correct the problem there are two options.

The first option is a quick one:

  1. The user publishing the calendar simply "unpublished" the calendar by selecting in iCal "Calendar => Unpublish..."
  2. Wait a few minutes to allow for the server to deleted the data.
  3. After the wait, republish the calendar.
  4. The subscriber will need to unsubscribe and subscribe again for the data to resync.

If this did not fix the problem, the next step is a bit more involved as we are now updating the iCal database on the publishers side. The steps are:

  1. Unpublish the calendar
  2. Select the calendar in question and export it via "File => Export... => Export..."
  3. Delete the calendar -> Ctrl (Right) click on the calendar => Delete
  4. Exit iCal, this will close the open database file
  5. Start iCal again
  6. Import the saved calendar (File => Import... => Import...)
  7. Publish the calendar
  8. Again, the subscriber will need to unsubscribe and subscribe again for the data to resync.

How to reset my user (admin) password which I forgot?

Resetting the original administrator account password

Follow these steps to reset a password when there is only one administrator account on the computer, or if the original administrator account needs a password reset. "Original" administrator account refers to the one that was created immediately after installing Mac OS X. If the original administrator password is known, that administrator account may be used to reset the passwords of other administrator accounts using the steps described above.

  1. Start up from a Mac OS X Install disc (one whose version is closest to the version of Mac OS X installed). Usually, you can start from the disc by putting it in your computer, restarting, and holding the C key. Or, put it in the computer and click the Install or Restore icon you see in the disc's main window (after which the computer will start from the disc without you needing to hold C).
  2. Choose Reset Password from the Installer menu (or Utilities menu in Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger). Note: If you don't see this menu or menu choice at the top of the screen, you're probably not started from the Install disc yet.
  3. Select your Mac OS X hard disk volume.
  4. Select the user name of the original administrator account.
    Important: Do not select "System Administrator (root)". This is actually the root user. You should not confuse it with a normal administrator account.
  5. Enter a new password.
  6. Click Save.

Is there a way to allows the user to not send iCal Invitation replies…

Is there a way to allows the user to not send iCal Invitation replies, send all replies, send replies on a case by case basis or open the replies in Mail for editing?

In addition to the request on how to not send replies to invitations received, we all have wished that to be able to delete a particular scheduled event that has attendees without getting the dialog box that requires us to choose the “Delete and Notify” option. Why can’t I just delete a calendar event without notifying the whole world that I am deleting a event?

There is a simple solution to that problem - iCal Reply Checker from John Maisey.

iCal Reply Checker is an iCal add-in that gives you options for how replies to meeting invites are dealt with. For more information about iCal Reply Checker and how to get a copy visit the developers site by clicking on this link.

How can I process calendar invitation from Outlook?

The problem is due to It a number of incompatibilities (not complying to the vCalendar standard) between Microsoft Exchange style meeting invites and what iCal can understand. The safest way is to install the YAI (You Are Invited) plug-in for Apple Mail that translates and transfers Outlook, Google Calendar, Zimbra and Exchange clone meeting invitations to iCal.

With YAI installed Exchange style invites received in Mail's inbox are automatically processed as they arrive and are sent to iCal, ready to be acted on. The incompatibilities YAI fixes include problems with Exchange style invites from different time zones, invites that generate warnings about the recipient not being on your 'me' card and differences in the way event updates are handled that result in error messages in iCal.

For more information about YAI and how to get a copy visit the developers site by clicking on this link.

How can I add the public published US holidays?

How can I add the public published US holidays, or any other specialized calendar to my iCal?

Details how to subscribe to private or public published calendars can be found on my iCal 101 Tutorial. Click on this link to get to the specific section.

However, there is still the question where do I find the URL for these calendars? If it is a private published calendar you need to asked the owner to provide the link (URL). As to public published calendars, Apple has a download page that contains a large number of special Calendars.

As to the original request for the US holidays URL, it is You can either cut and past it into iCal, or go to the specific US Calendar page to download it and open it with iCal.

Can you give me a quick tip on how to defrag my hard disk?

In theory OS X drives don't need defragmentation. Most of the time there are two other reasons why the drive seems slow. The first being to many icons are on the desktop, solution is to move them into the directory structure below your home directory. The other may be related to file permissions needing repair.

You can learn more about how to repair the permission from my article in the Tips & Hints section under the System category. Click on this link to open that page.

If you still feel you need to defrag your drive, the best and cheapest utility I can recommend is called iDefrag from at Coriolis Systems. Click here to go to their web site.

How do I change my thumbnail photo (login user icon)?

How do I change my thumbnail photo (login user icon) that comes up on my email and some other Mac docs?

When creating a user account OS X, depending on the hardware, either presents a set of icons to choose from, or if an iSight Camera is build allows the user to picture of themselves.

You can change this icon or picture following the steps below:

  • Optional - Prepare the picture you want to use. You could use a graphic file, or take a picture using an iSight camera. You can also ignore this step if you plan to use one of the supplied icons provided by Apple.
  • Open System Preferences. The System Preferences application launches.
  • Select the Accounts pane.
  • Select your account.
  • To to use one of the supplied icons click on the current Icon/Picture button and replace your current icon/picture with the new icon/picture of your choice.
  • To use use a new iSight picture, iPhoto picture or graphic image, open a Finder window, locate the file and drag it over the current picture/icon button and drop it.
  • Close System Preferences.

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