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Geek Chic: Google Calendar

Google Calendar is one of the new online applications that uses the popular Ajax (Asynchronous JavaScript and XML) Web development technique to provide faster, more responsive and flexible data entries and updates. For example, users can enter appointments and other info quickly using either menus or by typing in simple phrases ("Lunch with Valerie noon May 14"), share calendars with specific contacts or the public at large, and incorporate other calendars that use the iCalendar standard for data exchange.

Google Calendar offers all these features in an ex-cellent, easy-to-understand, and well-designed interface. You have five views from which to choose: day, week, month, a specific number of days or a list of appointments. You enter a new appointment by clicking on the Create Event or Quick Add links, or by clicking directly on the day itself.

Clicking on an existing entry takes you to an edit page, where you can change the name, time, location and description of your event; start a newsgroup-like discussion; add a reminder (which can be a pop-up, or sent from your e-mail or mobile phone); and change the privacy level. The beta version we tested had some blips. For instance, it wasn't until I disabled pop-up blocking in Norton Internet Security that I was able to edit entries without running into problems.

The coolest thing about Google Calendar is the ability to share your calendar with friends or the public. You can also add as many other calendars as you want. Google's multitudes of fans are probably already working on a wide variety of snazzy calendars.

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