Calendar and Clock on Your Mac Desktop

Desktop CalendarOne thing that has been missing from the Mac OS is a readily accessible calendar. Since I can *never* remember the date, I frequently need to be able to glance at a calendar. While I use Mail as my email client, because there is no integration with Exchange and iCal, I use Outlook for calendaring. I don’t want to have to bring up Outlook or even iCal just to see what the date is.

Recently, over on the excellent blog, there was a post showing off some tricked out Mac desktops. I was intrigued by a number of samples. A number of desktops made extensive use of GeekTool such as this entry from Mike Harris. While Mike’s entry was intriguing, all that information was a little over the top. However, Bill Israel’s entry had just what I needed.

To create this clock and calendar combo, you will need GeekTool and a couple of shell scripts. Once you have installed GeekTool, open System Preferences and click on the GeekTool icon. Follow the documentation to create a new entry and locate it where you want on your desktop. Enter this script into the text area under the command tab: cal | sed “s/^/ /;s/$/ /;s/ $(date +%e) / $(date +%e | sed ‘s/./#/g’) /”. One thing to note is that you will want to use a monospace such as Monaco so that the dates in your calendar will align properly. You can set the update interval to something relatively long.


To create the clock, follow the same sequence, except use this script: date +%I:%M. You can find out more about the parameters for the date function in the man pages for date (in the terminal enter ‘man date’ or visit one of the online man pages for ‘date’.

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