Add Sri Lankan holidays to your Outlook calendar

How many times have you scheduled a meeting in Outlook only to find out later that it was a holiday? I just did today and here’s how I’m going to prevent myself from doing it again.

In Outlook you can add custom holidays so that they show up in your calendar like this.

So here’s how you do it.

– – – – – – – – –  Start Copy – – – – – – – – –

[Sri Lanka] 20
Duruthu Full Moon Poya Day,2006/1/13
Tamil Thai Pongal Day,2006/1/14
National Day,2006/2/4
Navam Full Moon Poya Day,2006/2/12
Medin Full Moon Poya Day,2006/3/14
Milad-Un-Nabi (Holy Prophet’s Birthday),2006/4/11
Bak Full Moon Poya Day,2006/4/13
Day Prior to Sinhala & Tamil New Year Day,2006/4/13
Sinhala & Tamil New Year Day,2006/4/14
May Day,2006/5/1
Vesak Full Moon Poya Day,2006/5/12
Day following Vesak Full Moon Poya Day,2006/5/13
Poson Full Moon Poya Day,2006/6/11
Esala Full Moon Poya Day,2006/7/10
Nikini Full Moon Poya Day,2006/8/9
Binara Full Moon Poya Day,2006/9/7
Vap Full Moon Poya Day,2006/10/6
Il Full Moon Poya Day,2006/11/5
Unduvap Full Moon Poya Day,2006/12/4
Christmas Day,2006/12/25

– – – – – – End Copy – – – – – – –

Update the current holiday file<?xml:namespace prefix ="" o />

To do so:

1.                   Exit Outlook if it is running.

2.                   In Microsoft Windows Explorer, locate the following file:

drive:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office11\1033\Outlook.hol

3.                   Open the file using notepad.

4.                   Add the contents of the above text (between Start Copy and End Copy) at the end of the Outlook.hol and save it.

Updating the Outlook calendar with customized events

The final step is for employees to update their calendar with the new holiday file.

To update the Outlook calendar:

1.                   Start Outlook.

2.                   On the Tools menu, click Options.

3.                   On the Preferences tab, under Calendar, click Calendar Options.

4.                   In the Calendar Options dialog box, under Calendar options, click Add Holidays.

5.                   Select the check box for your customized set of events and holidays, and then click OK. For this example, select the box labeled <?xml:namespace prefix ="" st1 />Sri Lanka.

Note  It's possible that a set of holidays or events observed in your country/region has already been selected in the Add Holidays to Calendar dialog box. If you try to add the same country/region again, you see the message, "Holidays for country are already installed. Do you want to install them again?"

Right-click here to download pictures. To help protect your privacy, Outlook prevented automatic download of this picture from the Internet.
*                          Click No. If you click Yes, the holidays and events are installed a second time, and you will see duplicate holiday and event entries in your calendar.


Oh to be in Singapore

William Tay boasts about Singapore becoming one BIG Giant hotspot. Unfortunately I don’t see a single visionary soul in our current government thinking of anything remotely innovative.

I saw this bumper sticker on a car today: Don’t act like a BOZO, that’s what we have politicians for.

Samsunig i310 Announced – With an 8Gb HD!

Our mates at</a> have got news on samsung galaxy s8 contracts</span> involving a new handset from Samsung. This is the i310 and comes with an 8Gb hard drive. Samsung are really throwing the punches at the moment. Their Samsung i320</a> QWERTY phone is already thinner and smaller than the Motorola Q</a>, plus their i300</a> got uprated to a 4Gb HD with the i300x.

The new Samsung i310 comes complete with an 8Gb drive, Windows Mobile 5.0, a 2 Megapixel camera with flash, MicroSD (TransFlash) memory, TV-output, USB 2.0 (which can be used as external connection), stereo speakers, a digital amplifier and - yes - Stereo Bluetooth A2DP. We should see the real deal at CeBIT 2006</a>, which starts on March 9th.

The Samsung i310 should be available here in Europe during the second-half of this year.

Link -</a> - Samsung gets ready for CeBIT</a>

Turning back the clock

This turning the clock around thingy is becoming a fashion statement that every Sri Lankan President wants to do. Right now its Mahinda mamaa’s turn and he wants us to go back by 30 minutes. This way we go into the same timezone as that in the LTTE controlled areas as well as India’s.

Personally I prefer the time as it is now since I get to work early and have more daylight in the evenings. What I’m interested in finding out is whether there will be a Windows patch to change the timezone or if we’ll need to wait till Vista is out.

We do live in interesting if not wierd times.

March user group meeting today

If your a .NET developer in Colombo and are into developing smart client applications make sure you don’t miss the user group meeting today. We have two sessions with one be Wela focusing on the current Windows Forms 2.0 and the other by Isuru on WPF, the next big thing in client development.

Plus we also have some goodies. Five exam vouchers to be given away worth 12,500/– each.

Let’s hook up.

Leaving Microsoft

A lot of you guys already know that I left Microsoft Sri Lanka after being on the job for just five months. The big question everyone wants to know is. Why?

This quote from the the classic Mythical Man Month says it all: The programmer, like the poet, works only slightly removed from pure thought-stuff. He builds his castles in the air, from air, creating by exertion of the imagination. Few media of creation are so flexible, so easy to polish and rework, so readily capable of realizing grand conceptual structures.

Do I regret joining Microsoft? No. It was truly a great experience. I got to work with some really great people, was involved in some of the really cool stuff that happened in Sri Lanka like Tech.Ed 2005, Visual Studio launch, Imagine Cup 2006 and a number of other smaller things.

What do I do now? Well I’ve joined Assette (formerly BTA) again. My boss was really wonderful about taking me back and I’m super charged about the exciting stuff that we’re working on. Would you believe that we’ve already moved on to SQL Server 2005?

So expect to see and hear more from me.

So tell me again, why is it an interesting time to be a Windows developer?

Check this out!

- Microsoft stunned its customers last month with a swarm of product announcements at its Professional Developers Conference (PDC).

- An unprecedented lineup of desktop, server, and developer offerings fuel Microsoft’s largest assault ever on the enterprise.

- The breath and depth of new technology from Microsoft is staggering, from four new APIs to new versions of its Office, SharePoint, Visual Studio, CRM, ERP and other apps.

So what are you waiting for? Get your ass down to Tech.Ed Sri Lanka and check them all out.

I’m pissed off with the consular officer at the US Embassy

I've been seeing a lot of new lately on all the fun that the MVPs are having at the Global MVP Summit in Redmond and boy it pisses me off that none of our Sri Lankan MVPs were able to attend.

The simple reason being that the consular officer at the US visa office felt that the summit was not too important to attend for the MVPs. WTF does he know?