In many ways, iCal is not so different from those "Hunks of the Midwest Police Stations" paper calendars people leave hanging on the walls for months past their natural lifespan. But iCal offers several advantages over paper calendars. For example:
Itcan automate the process of entering repeating events, such as weekly staff meetings or gym workout dates.
iCal can give you a gentle nudge (with a sound, a dialog box, or even an email) when an important appointment is approaching.
iCal can share information with your Address Book program, with Mail, with your iPod or iPhone, with other Macs, with "published" calendars on the Internet, or with a Palm organizer. Some of these features require one of those .Mac accounts described in Chapter 18, and some require iSync (Chapter 6). But iCal also works fine on a single Mac, even without an Internet connection.
iCal can subscribe to other people's calendars. For example, you can subscribe to your spouse's calendar, thereby finding out when you've been committed to after-dinner drinks on the night of the big game on TV.
iCal's Dock icon now displays today's date—even when iCal isn't running. That's reason enough to upgrade to Leopard right there, n'est-ce pas?
When you open iCal, you see something like Figure 10-4. By clicking one of the View buttons above the calendar, you can switch among these views:
Day shows the appointments for a single day in the main calendar area, broken down by time slot.
If you choose iCal → Preferences, ...