Lumia 800: Sync WLM Calendar via Hotmail (18th May 2012)
Specifically, this is the rather long solution to syncing offline WLM Calendar with my Windows Live ID.
Windows Live Mail is my favourite e-mail program and it’s become an always-open hub on my laptop. All of my Contacts, Calendar and Messages go through it. However, I created all of these without signing into my rarely-used Windows Live ID.
Now I find that I can’t merge these offline features into the online equivalents. I have to get these online things online so I can sync them with my phone via the Windows Live ID.
I started by opening the People app on the Lumia 800 and it pulled in all my online stuff. Contacts from when I was regularly using Windows Live Messenger and MSN Messenger before that. Originally – and preferrably – this was set up for Windows Messenger, which I liked a lot. Windows seems to have come full circle and returned to those design principles of reducing GUI clutter, which is a very good thing. But I digress…
Sadly there is no official way to put the offline calender online. However, you can manually copy the calendar’s database file.
I had to untick Hide proctected operating system files as well as having already selected Show hidden files, folders, and drives in the Windows Explorer options. So I copied this file:
C:\Users\[username]\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows Live Mail\Calendars\DBStore
I closed WLM, took a deep breath, then pasted it over this one:
C:\Users\[username]\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows Live Mail\Calendars\firstname.lastname@example.org\DBStore
(I had opened that file in Notepad before replacing it, by using File > Open with the Encoding to Unicode. Searching the file for
200 revealed only 2 dates, both part of a sole entry for one birthday. Despite the file being 2MB big!)
Restarted WLM and…it worked! Yay!
Now the previously offline calendar is shown in:
- WLM on my laptop;
- Windows Live website;
- Windows Live Calendar online;
The new calendar wasn’t appearing on my phone. So as I was impatient I jumped through a few hoops:
- Flicked right from the Start Screen.
- Clicked Settings.
- Clicked email+accounts.
- Changed Download new content from manually to as items arrive.
- Pressed the tick to confirm.
- Was now back on the the email+accounts screen.
- The text below the item gave sync progress as it checked everything and brought the new stuff in.
- Once it finished I went back to the apps list.
- Clicked Calendar.
- My previously offline calendar events had now been synchronised. Yay!
- Went back through settings and made it hourly now.
Sharing Hotmail Calendar with Friends (4th June 2012)
- Went to the Hotmail Calendar website.
- Clicked the Share just above the tabs for the calendar.
- Clicked the Calendar item.
- Selected the option Share this calendar.
- This showed lots of options.
- Already ticked section was Share you calendar privately with friends and family.
- Within that section I clicked the Add people button.
- This showed a modal layer in the page.
- I started typing Fiona’s name in the unlabelled search box. (It has a magnifying glass as a button – I wonder if that’s another arcaic GUI icon now?)
- This filtered the list instantly.
- Clicked the entry for Fiona.
- The setting Choose how much these people can see and do was already set to View details. (That means read-only in geek speak.)
- Clicked the Add button.
- This closed the modal layer.
- Clicked the Save button.
- This showed a modal layer for Sharing confirmation. Ouch, that’s awkward language.
- Clicked the OK button.
- Briefly displayed a loading… label in the bottom right, then returned me to the normal Hotmail Calendar view.
Security! (14th June 2012)
WLM wouldn’t let me log in. It displayed a message box saying my account may have been compromised and I should click OK to continue.
This immediately looked like a phishing attack:
- It was a bog-standard messagebox.
- It had opened on the primary screen instead of the screen in which WLM was running.
- There were no links to further help or information.
- The choices of either OK or Cancel don’t quite match the nature of the earlier statement. It’s really a Continue or Cancel question.
- The question itself was rather awkward. Windows Live tends to be more friendly and things phrase to lead into clear Yes or No answers.
However, as I was prepared to monitor and kill suspicious processes which might start up, I clicked OK. It opened the Windows Live desktop login window, properly branded. It also opened a Windows Live page in a new tab in my web browser, Firefox.
I went through the process of resetting my account security status. The first run didn’t work but the second run did. This culminated with changing my password and logging in afresh, both in the website and then in WLM.
When I signed out of the website, it told me all the other services I had signed out from:
- Microsoft Answers
- MSN Account Services
- Windows Live Storage
- Windows® Marketplace for Mobile
- Windows Online Integration
- MSN Secure
- Windows Live ID website
- Windows Live Account
But it said We couldn’t sign you out of these sites:
- Windows Live Multi Store Gateway
Oh, I’ll also have to update the login details on my phone, so it can sync again. Went to Settings > email + accounts and it already said Attention required for the Windows Live item. Clicked it and it gave me a login prompt, already populated. So I deleted the old password, entered the new one and it synchronised right away.
No data was lost and everything is working like normal again, which is a relief. All of this took me about half an hour. (I wrote it up from memory afterwards, rather than during.)