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Never miss a birthday again with Birthday-Aware for Ubuntu

Trying to keep tabs on everybody’s birthdays is a pain if, like me, your brain tends to shelve dates away in a dusty box rarely to be accessed…

Hallelujah then for Birthday-Aware – a small python application that uses Ubuntu’s Notification bubbles to remind you of approaching birthdays.

ss1Reminders are given at 7 days before, 3 days before, 1 day before and one final alert on the actual date itself – which means I guess I’m out of excuses for forgetting!

Gmail vCards

Birthday-Aware gleans its data from that stored in your GMail contacts’ vCards. You’ll first need to export these to a .vcf file (how-to for that here) in order for the application to do its’ thang.

Install Birthday-Aware

No .deb installer yet so getting this tool up and running requires some manual pokery – but nothing too taxing.

To install we need to do the following mundane tasks: –

  • Extract the archive
  • Enter the extracted folder
  • Right click ‘birthday-aware-install.sh’ and choose ‘Properties’.
  • Ensure the ‘allow executable permissions’ box is checked (ticked).
  • Double click on it and in the dialogue that pops up choose ‘Run in a Terminal’.
  • Enter your user password to install the application

The last step is to place your ‘contacts.vcf’ file from GMail into the hidden ‘.birthday-aware’ folder located in your Home folder. (Press CTRL+H to see hidden folders).

Finally you can run it via the terminal (python /usr/bin/birthday-aware.py) or create a launcher/start-up menu entry for it using the same command.