Microsoft Entourage Calendar Cache Problem

I’ve noticed that Microsoft Entourage 2008 sometimes falls out of sync with the Exchange server. This results in missing or outdated events on a calendar. When you use multiple computers and webmail this can become annoying. I’ve traced the problem to the cache in Entourage 2008 becoming either corrupt or stale for some unknown reason. Clearing the cache can be done manually (right click on the calendar and go into “Folder Properties” then press “empty cache”) or can be automated.

Obviously I prefer the automated route. Here’s the AppleScript I wrote:

set accountIterator to 1
tell application "Microsoft Entourage"
        if (exists Exchange account accountIterator) then
            empty cache of every calendar of Exchange account accountIterator
            set accountIterator to accountIterator + 1
            exit repeat
        end if
    end repeat
end tell

Save it as a script, I’ll call mine clearCal.scpt. Now place it somewhere. I’ll use /Users/me/clearCal.scpt.

Now in terminal open crontab via crontab -e and enter the following obviously adjusting the path to point to the script:

0 8 * * * osascript /Users/me/clearCal.scpt

Save (ctrl-o) and exit (ctrl-x).

This will run the script at 8:00 AM every morning and clear the cache. I’m pretty sure this will only worked if your logged in, which is fine for me.

Warning: Clearing the cache means that if an event wasn’t sync’d to the exchange server it will be lost. In my case I find this to be the lesser evil. Obviously if you use this, it’s at your own risk.

Microsoft Office 2008 Updater Hang

Had I known about this bug earlier I would have saved about 90 minutes of my afternoon setting up a new MacBook Pro for my mom. Apparently since the last security update, the installer script for SP1 can no longer operate correctly resulting in an internal hang with low CPU. Killing the installer process shows an Apple Events error.

I ended up doing something a little different:

  1. I ran ps -u [USERNAME] killing any Microsoft related processes. I kept the terminal window open (this is key).
  2. Ran Installer again. This time it was successful
  3. Looked at above ps output and found where the updater program downloaded the installer. It’s generally /Users/[USERNAME]/Library/Caches/TemporaryItems/[RAND]Office 2008 SP1 Update (12.1.0). The download is over 100 MB, so that can save a few minutes.
  4. Ran updater again until no more updates found

You could follow the directions, logout and login again with the shift key held down, the only downside is the auto updater will re-download the update (which is over 100 MB).