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Google releases web calendar

The problem with date books and event calendars is that you can only really have one going at any given time, and it’s really only as good as you are.

The problem with date books and event calendars is that you can only really have one going at any given time, and it’s really only as good as you are.

My own personal problem is that when I put something in a calendar, attempting to be organized, the important event immediately vanishes from my conscious mind because I presume it’s now safely on paper. And then I forget to check the calendar.

Sometimes I’ll log some important things in the calendar while leaving other things out, so if I do remember to check my date book I’m still not getting a complete picture of everything I need to do.

So I’ve given up on event calendars and date books. For now.

My default system is to just try and remember all my important dates, and wake up every morning with the nagging feeling that I’m forgetting something. That in turn forces me to think hard about all the things I have to do around that time, and most of the time my upcoming appointments just pop in there. Most of the time.

But Google Calendar is something I just might be able to use. I have a computer at work, a computer at home, and one day I might even have some kind of portable device that ensures I’ll have a computer just about everywhere else. Join the 21 st century in other words.

Google Calendar just launched last week, but for the life of me I couldn’t find a link from the homepage or through my Gmail account. Like Google Video, it’s still in beta testing, but you can link to it using a Google Search. I linked to it from a story on PC World ( ) that I found on Google News, where I discovered the URL is – not exactly, but Google will direct you to the right spot.

The test version doesn’t support Apple’s Safari browser, so I decided to use Mozilla Firefox, which I’m using more and more these days. Some sites, including online ticket sites, just don’t work as well with Safari these days, suggesting it’s badly in need of an update.

Finally making it to the Google Calendar, I have to say I was impressed. It’s as good as any day planner or calendar tool out there, minus a few of the little features – no pop-up windows come up to remind you of appointments, for example, at least not yet. It also doesn’t link to other software programs, like Microsoft’s Passport or Apple’s iCal, although you can schedule meetings and automatically invite people to them by going to a date and clicking "edit event details". Those invitees can be added to or selected from your Gmail address book (you’ll need a Gmail account to use the calendar).

But it’s quite easy to use, thanks to Ajax scripting, and it’s always there whenever I can access the web. I especially like the way you can look at each day, four days, week or month just by clicking the tabs. The Agenda tool is also kind of neat, condensing all of your appointments into one list.

If you’re already using a calendar program, you’re probably not going to drop everything, yet, to start using Google. Other than being highly interactive, it’s not that much different than the Yahoo calendar that has been around for years now.

But that’s assuming that Google doesn’t have bigger plans for the calendar, which they most certainly do. I just wish I knew what those plans were before I try to commit to any one calendar.

Website of the Week

Computers have literally thousands of uses, but one of the most dominant and growing uses these days is gaming. Some players are casual – an hour here, an hour there, no big deal – while others are slightly more compulsive – four hours here, a lost night there, don’t forget to blink occasionally or you’ll burst blood vessels in your eyes.

And then there are the truly obsessive players – 24 hours here, 24 hours there, and keep the coffee coming.

It’s the latter type of player that typically takes part in the World Cyber Games championship every year, a global contest that started in March and will wrap up in October when the best of the best from over 60 countries head to Italy to square off in six PC games and two console games. This year’s selection is FIFA Soccer ’06, Half-Life: Counter-Strike 1.6, Need for Speed: Most Wanted, StarCraft: Brood War, WarCraft III: The Frozen Throne and Warhammer 40,000: Winter Assault for PC and Dead or Alive 4 and Project Gotham Racing 3 for Xbox 360.

Last week Microsoft was announced as the official sponsor through 2008, hence the fact there are no PS2 or Nintendo titles, or Apple games like Unreal Tournament.

You can follow all the action online at

World Cyber Games also tracks online rankings for dozens of games at any given time, which you can browse at your leisure. For the truly obsessed you can even watch replays of the top players’ matches online – everything saved and archived for posterity.