My Beef with ical in Lion

I’m re-posting this from the Small Dog news letter.

I know for an audio engineer this sounds nukkin futts but the reason I haven’t updated any of my macs to Lion is the horrible job they’ve done to the ical redesign. Next to Logic 9 and Pro Tools I use ical more then any other software on my machines. I book everything, even dates with my GF in ical and sink it to my Android. I’m one of those disorganized people that need to be highly creative with my time management, it’s the Aquarian in me. I schedule time in ical for everything, time for reading news in the morning, if I don’t I miss manage my time and it’s so very easy to do being self employed. Well…. At least for me it is, I wont speak for others :)  The new ical is terrible, not jut it’s look but the un-sizeable screen limitations and all the windows object configurations they changed for the new look just sucks (that’s a technical term). Michael Burl from Small Dog figured out a great work around. I deployed it on a 30 plus node network this morning and it worked perfect! Enjoy! Oh and remember when people tell you what a closed off ecosystem Apple OS X has, kindly remind them the open source UNIX under the hood makes this possible. Try this one with the outlook calendar. NOT!

The Problem
So OS 10.7 Lion has been out for some time now, and I know for a fact that I am not the only one who is up in arms with Apple’s designers—specifically those who decided to “think outside of the box” and thought a textured leather iCal look would be a great idea.

Sure, those who are new to Apple computers probably think it looks great—perhaps reminiscent of a desktop calendar. But for those of us who have been using Macs prior to Lion know what we’re missing: the sleek, subtle and stylish aluminum texture of iCal. My biggest issue with this leather look is that it isn’t consistent. If you open any other preinstalled app on your Apple computer, they all have an aluminum “skin” with the exception of iCal and Address Book.

The Solution
So if you’d like to lose the leather, what can you do? There are several options to replace the leather graphics with aluminum, though several may be dicey for the novice user. The one that I ended up using makes the process much easier and safer.

Rather than making the user dig around in the iCal package contents and possibly moving, renaming, or deleting something which in turn might cause iCal to not function properly, this method comes to you as an installer. The only thing you should do before running the installer is to back up the iCal app.

Word of Warning: A word of caution before proceeding. This installer does take care of the legwork so you don’t need to fuddle around; however, you will be changing the files of a preinstalled Apple app. If you do not make a backup and something goes wrong you will need to reinstall. By doing this you assume all responsibility if you lose any data, need to reinstall iCal or purchase any software or services to fix it.

The Instructions

First and foremost, back up your iCal app in case anything goes wrong (or you want to revert back to the ugly leather).
Create a folder labeled “iCal_Original” and put it whereever you would like to store the backup (I put it in my Documents folder).
Navigate to your iCal app which should be located in Finder > Applications.
Once you see your iCal app, select it and drag it to the iCal_Original folder while holding the Alt key. You should see a green circle with a plus symbol in it next to the icon you are dragging.
Place it in the folder and verify that the iCal app is in both your Applications folder AND the iCal_Original folder. If it is, continue to the next step. (If it is not, try the method below to duplicate* the app.)
Download the installer here.
Open the .dmg file
Run the installer. If you had iCal open when you ran the installer, simply quit iCal and relaunch it; otherwise launch iCal and behold the glory of the aluminum.
*How to duplicate iCal: Select iCal in your Applications folder. Select the Edit drop down menu at the top of the screen. Select Copy “iCal”. Open the iCal_Original folder. Select the Edit drop down menu again. Select Paste item. Verify that iCal is in both your Applications folder and the iCal_Original folder.)

The Conclusion
As I mentioned, this is the process that I myself used to eliminate the leather, however it isn’t the only one out there and I am in no way taking credit for this. I found this installer on MacNix’s blog.

I chose this one over the others because it seems to be the easiest way of going from leather to aluminum. I hope that anyone who uses this installer enjoys having the look of what iCal used to be.

If you have installed the aluminum skin and decide that it really isn’t for you, then you simply need to drag a copy of iCal from your iCal_Original folder into the Applications folder and replace the iCal app. The leather is back!

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