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Birthday Notes

Birthday Notes is an application with two purposes. On one hand it provides an easy way to keep track of people’s birthdays on Mac OS X. The other role it plays is to learn Cocoa programming using Python, Cocoa and PyObjC.

Why bother with yet another birthday tracking tool? Quite simply, most were too difficult to get the information that I wanted. The main aim of Birthday Notes is to provide a list of upcoming birthdays with relevant information.

For example, I rarely think of people’s birthdays in terms of their birth date (eg 1977-08-04). My brain is wired so that I remember that my birthday is on the 4th of August and that I’m currently 28 and turning 29 on my next birthday. Rather than show the birth date, Birthday Notes shows the birthday and the person’s age they turn on that day.

Birthday Notes features integration to Apple’s existing applications for storing data. This means that iSync support comes for free. The current focus is on a maintenance and reporting tool, so you can edit a person’s birthday from within Birthday Notes, but not create or delete. For additional actions, simply double click on the person’s name - they will be revealed in AddressBook.

I like to know some trivia about people’s birthdays, so Birthday Notes includes a bit of useless astrological information.

Birthday Notes is available for download. Requires OS X 10.4 or greater.

Any thoughts, suggestions, bugs or feedback should be sent to gmwils AT, or posted in comments on this post.

For those interested in the code, it is available under a GPL license. To compile, Python 2.4, a recent build of PyObjC, and icalendar are needed.

Finally, my thanks to those who have been helping with alpha testing. This release marks the start of a public beta.