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Frequently Asked Questions about buying DATES! calendar services
  1. What is DATES! ?
  2. Why should I use it?
  3. Shouldn't DATES! run on my own server?
  4. What does it cost to use it?
  5. What is Hardy Systems?
  6. What is the Hardy Systems web server?
  7. Will any web browser work with DATES! calendars?
  8. What happens to my event data if I decide to stop using DATES! ?

 What is DATES! ?
DATES! is a web event calendaring and scheduling service. It provides event calendars to your web site for your visitors, with searching, sorting, and visitor-interaction built in.

All you do is enter events into a short web page form.

DATES! ensures that your web-posted events and schedules are always up-to-date. It gives you access to your event data in a huge variety of formats: attractive web displays, plain text for copying into a word processor, comma-separated lists, web pages formatted specifically for direct printing, and much more. All from a single, one-time-only event entry!


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 Why should I use DATES! ?

Calendars and calendar software seem to be on every major "portal" site on the web. Many of them are free. Why should I use DATES! ?

  1. Event calendars vs. personal calendars. Most of the calendar services on the web are personal calendars. They can be used for events, but they do not offer flexible display alternatives, let alone sorting and searching options, let alone the ability to display your organization's logo, let alone the ability to track who entered what events at what date and time--all of which DATES! does offer. DATES! is designed for organizations and events. Personal calendaring software is not. 
  2. Professional-looking appearance. With free web calendars, you get a lot of advertising and little or no opportunity to make your calendar look like anything other than a marketing tool for somebody else's web site--which it is, of course.
    If you care about your own organization and what it stands for, do you really want to send your web site visitors to an events calendar full of flashing banner ads and things that scream "My Calendar!!"?  With DATES!, you get a calendar that not only looks professional, but more important, one that looks and acts like a part of your own web site
  3. Wide range of display formats.*  DATES! tells web site visitors about your events in whatever ways you choose.
  • You pick the types of calendars (monthly, list, table, etc.) for display; you can have different types of displays on different pages.
  • You pick your own colors and use your own logo.
  • You can specify that calendars have an optional tool bar that allows users to select dates, search the calendar, and the like, or you can choose to keep your calendars simple in appearance and omit the tool bar. You can do it one way for one web page and a different way on another page.
  • You can have one web page display only certain event categories and another page or link display different types of events. For example, you can have one page show a calendar for only "Sports" events, and another page show only "Concerts." And you can have a third page that shows all events. All from the same DATES! calendar.
  • You can have your own standard menus appear at the top or bottom of your calendars.
  • You can put DATES! calendars inside frames.
  • You can use all of these different formats and options in whatever combinations you want, in as many different places on your web site as you like.
    Flexibility is built into DATES! so that your calendars are built into your web site the way you want them!
  1. Ease of use. DATES! is unbelievably easy to use. You only need to enter event information into a simple online form. DATES! will take care of formatting, sorting, searching, month and year selection, and all other details. You don't need to know HTML, you don't need to know FTP, you don't need to know web editing programs like FrontPage or HomeSite, you don't need to convert from word processing formats. You just need to know what your events are--that's it and that's enough!   Sign up right now!


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 DATES! runs on its own web server; shouldn't it run on mine?
  • In a word, "NO." Sure, you can install things on your own server. But then you have to install things on your own server. Why add to your own or your I.T. staff's burden when you don't have to? DATES! offers you a chance to avoid installing any software whatsoever. You can stop worrying about configurations, stop tweaking software to fit with your own server's peculiarities, and stop having to get approval from from your I.T. department to do something you know you need to do and that ought to be easy. You need events calendaring, the I.T. department doesn't, and DATES! makes it easy. Why wait? Sign up right now! The first month is free!!
  • No maintenance of anything. Hardy Systems maintains DATES! on its own server, in one central place. This approach ensures that you and your I.T. staff will have to do literally no maintenance at all. Even better, DATES! is kept up to date with new features added regularly--but you never need to think about it, never need to worry whether you have the latest version, and never have to experience the dread of new software versions causing havoc with your existing applications.

    In fact, DATES! first began use at the College of William and Mary with version 1.0 in mid-1999. It's now up to version 5.5 (as of June, 2018).

    Isn't this what you've been waiting for? 
    Sign up right now! You can be entering events into your calendar within 15 minutes.


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 What is "Hardy Systems"?
Hardy Systems is a sole proprietorship owned by Trotter Hardy, a law professor by profession and a computer programmer by inclination.  More details about the company are available here.


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 What is the cost of using DATES! ?

DATES! is available on a subscription basis, with a monthly cost that ranges from $25/month to $125/month, depending on the service plan you select (for details on the different service plans, please click here).

The subscription fee is payable by credit card. Credit card transactions are processed by Bank of America Merchant Services.

Under all plans, the first four weeks of service are free of charge. You can sign up from the Hardy Systems home page by choosing the "SIGN ME UP!" link, or you can go straight to the sign-up page now by clicking here. Your account will be opened immediately, and you can start using DATES! right away. And don't forget, the first four weeks of service are absolutely free, so there's no risk at all.  


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 What is the "Hardy Systems web server"?

DATES! runs on a commercial "web hosting service." A "web hosting service" is a business that exists to provide, maintain, and support other companies' web sites. DATES! runs on a hosting service called "ActiveHost." Hardy Systems chose ActiveHost services because of its 24 x 7 web access and its established reputation as hosting service for a large number of corporations and businesses. For information on ActiveHost generally, see

Hardy Systems continually evaluates the suitability and quality of its web hosting service, and reserves the right to change to another service at any time. Any such change would be invisible to DATES! users, however, so would require no action on your part or that of anyone who accesses your events calendar. 


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 Will any web browser work with DATES! calendars?

Yes. Different browsers make the same things look different sometimes, so calendar information will not look exactly the same in all browsers and all versions. More recent browsers (e.g., Netscape 4.6 and up; MS Internet explorer 4.0 and up) do a better job of formatting the screen displays than older ones, but the information will be available and completely legible in any browser, in any version.


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 What happens to my event data?
At any time, you can log in to the DATES! home page and obtain a copy of all your events in a machine-readable format that you can use any way you like. They're your events: if you want to incorporate them into some other software or system, go right ahead. If you ever decide to cancel your service, Hardy Systems understands and expects that you will want first to obtain this listing of your event data for your own subsequent use. (For the benefit of your technical staff: the machine-readable listing is in comma-delimited format, with a heading row. Internal quotation marks are doubled.)






*All the options specified apply to Plan 1 subscribers; other plans may have more limited features.













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