DX on your Desktop

    In case you haven’t noticed, DX-World.net spends considerable time creating a DX calendar (called the DX Diary) which appears in the left-hand column of the site.

    DX DIARYNot only is this a great tool with which you can check special operations while you’re on DX-World, it also provides an RSS feed that can provide you with dx calendaring capabilities right on your own desktop.

    If you look at the DX Diary calendar, you’ll see the RSS Feed Button. Clicking that will download a .ics file to your computer.

    The .ics file contains all the information from the calendar for both current and future dxpeditions, AND it’s the default data format for importing to calendar programs. This should work with any calendar program that supports .ics format files for import.

    If you’re using Outlook Express, double clicking on the downloaded file will bring up the import function and ask you into which calendar you want to import the data. I’ve taken Outlook Express off my machine, so I can’t show you what the interface looks like, but my main objection was that it only showed a couple of the “events” and I had to scroll up or down to see others.

    I’m currently using Windows Live Mail Desktop client because I like the presentation much better than standard Outlook Express, and I haven’t yet installed the full version of Outlook (I’ll do that in the near future and update this article).

    Here’s what my DX Calendar looks like on my Desktop: (click image for a larger version).

    Double click on any event and it opens up a window in which you can place any text information you want. For this one, I’ve included their website and their planned frequencies:

    Unlike Outlook Express, Windows Live Desktop doesn’t directly support importing .ICS files, but the web-based Windows Live/Hotmail does, and it’s syncs directly and automatically with the desktop client every time you send or receive.   To use this, you need an account on Windows Live, which of course is free.

    This gives me the advantage that I can access my calendar from my Iphone, Ipad or any other computer with internet access.

    Here’s what the Windows Live Internet display looks like – kind of familiar, huh? And of course, you have the same ability to open any of the events and expand the available information.

    My next test will be with the full version of Outlook, which I normally have on this machine anyhow. Outlook and OneNote apparently work very well together so my hope is that I can include a link from my Outlook Calendar Reminder that HK0NA is going to be on today directly to my OneNote page with all the information about the HK0NA dxpedition.

    If you’re not familiar with how OneNote can be used as a DX Tool, see the previous article “Using OneNote as a Great DX Tool

    There are undoubtedly other calendar programs that will do something similar. Mozilla Sunbird appears to have the ability to import ICS files, and I’m sure there are others. Use your favorite, but these happen to be the programs I’m familar with, so I’m using them as an example. PLUS, the integration between Outlook and OneNote really has me jazzed.

    If you have others you’d recommend, please feel free to leave a comment and share your information and expertise.

    This article was originally published on my blog – www.af7s.com. Give it a visit for more various musings and splatter on the wonderful world of DXing.