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iCal - Initial Startup

How to start iCal and what to do if things go wrong

Starting iCal from the Start Button
Once iCal has been installed it can be started by clicking the Start Button/Programs/iCal Web Calendar/Start iCal vx.x Web Calendar. This will start the iCal server and it will wait for web browser requests.

Settings on the iCal property box

Status Tab

Listener Tab

About Tab
Status Tab
One button toggles between Start Server and Idle Server. You must start the server before iCal will respond to browser requests. You must idle the server before you can make changes on the Listener or About Tabs. The "X" minimizes the property box to the system tray. To shutdown the iCal server you must click the Shutdown button.

Listener Tab
Note: You must first click the Idle Server button on the Status Tab before changes can be made.
  • IP Address: The default value for this is and is the preferred setting for 95% of the installations. instructs iCal to bind to the IP address assigned to the system running iCal. The only time a specific IP address needs to be entered in this field is when the host system has multiple IP addresses and the desire is for iCal to respond on only one of the IP addresses.
  • Port Number: The default value for this is 80 which is the default port for any web server. When the host system is running an existing web server such as IIS then this number will need to be changed. The port range of 8000 and above is a safe value.
  • Start Calendar: This is the name of the calendar for iCal to access when no calendar is specified on the URL line. This can be changed to any other calendar you might have in your system. Although this entry can be changed here, it can also be changed on the Global Administration Security menu. (This is available with your browser)
  • Data Directory:This is the path to the folder that contains all of the dynamic data used by the iCal system. The default location is a folder named data located beneath the iCal installation folder. This is the folder to include in your backup procedure.
  • Auto Start Listener: When checked, the iCal server will immediately start and wait for a browser request.
  • Start Minimized: When checked, the iCal property box will be minimized to the system tray.
  • Auto Start Browser: When checked, iCal will automatically pull up your browser when you start the iCal program and will present either the Tutorial page or the Start Calendar. (see above)
  • Show Tutorial: When checked, iCal will present the tutorial. Unchecked will present the Start Calendar.
About Tab
The About Tab is where you enter your Registration Codes. The Idle Server button must be clicked on the Status tab before you can enter your codes.

How you and others access iCal calendars
When iCal is first started the default settings will bring up your browser and take you to the iCal tutorial web page. You will notice that the URL in your browser will be http://localhost. localhost is a convention instructing your web browser to make a connection to your machine.

Others on your network can also access your instance of iCal. The URL they enter must provide the IP address of your machine. eg if this is the IP address assigned to your machine.

  • To find your IP address, go to a command prompt and enter the command ipconfig will display your IP address
Appending the calendar name to a URL will take you directly to the calendar. E.g. http://localhost/default

When a port number other than 80 has been assigned this needs to be included on the URL. For example, using port 8000 would make the URL http://localhost:8000/default

Error: iCal could not be started. Try changing the port number on the Listener tab ...
This error message is received when trying to start the iCal server, and can be very confusing to someone new to the system. The full error message also includes the words, Try changing the port number on the Listener tab, then click the Start Server button again.

When iCal starts it performs a bind with the IP address and the port number listed in the Listener Tab (A IP address indicates that the IP address assigned to the host machine will be used) The error message occurs when the IP address and the port number are already in use by the system. Here are the most common reasons this is happening and how to fix the situation.

  • You can not start iCal twice from the same install directory on the same host. Look in your system tray on the bottom right. You should not see more than one iCal icon. If you see more than one bring up the property box for each and click the shutdown button on the Status Tab.

  • There will be a conflict if you have an existing web server like Microsoft IIS running. Since the web server will be binding to port 80 you will need to change the iCal port number. This is done on the Listener Tab of the iCal property box. If you change the port number to 8000 you would then access iCal with a URL like: http://localhost:8000.

  • iCal may already be running as a system service and is causing the conflict. It is a good thing to run iCal as a service but if you don't know it is running it will cause confusion. iCal is installed as a service by clicking the Start Button/Programs/iCal and then the option iCal install as a service. This will cause iCal to run as a background task whenever the system is restarted. It will also cause a conflict error when you try to start iCal manually.

    Check your services dialog box to determine if you have the service running. The services dialog box can be access from the Control Panel and then Administrative tools. If iCal is running as a service, you will see an entry named, iCalService.

    When iCal is run as a service there is no need to start it manually. Simply open your browser and enter the URL required to access your specific instance of iCal.

    Occasionally you may need to make changes on the iCal property box. When iCal is run as a service the property box is not visible. You can stop the service, then run iCal from the Start Button, make your changes, shutdown iCal and then restart the service. The service will pick up the changes.