That was helpful but at present the source of truth is the Mac which I haven't yet connected to iCloud.
I am checking the contacts in iC and there are plenty of duplicates, on the computer there are none.
Would it be easier to wipe out the ctcs on iC and restore from the computer?
As to Calendars: there are not only duplicates but tri- and quadruplicates!
If I clean it up on iCloud and what happens when I connect the computer? Which will override the other?
On the iC all calendars appear on the default wheras on the Mac they are all correct. If I connect the Mac to iCloud will it override iC or will iC ransform my carefully crafted Mac calendars into one default mess? My calendars cover 10 years!
Thanks for the cheers, but even though I'm laughing (out of near desperation) I don't feel very cheerful!!!
For the contacts, if you delete all in iCloud, be sure no other device is connected, or it will probably delete them there also.
If you do delete all, when you logged into iCloud from your Mac, it will merge the data from your computer to iCloud. You will have another duplicate card for yourself since iCloud will have created one when you deleted the rest. You can then choose your card and make it your me card and delete the other.
For the calendars, iCloud removes the calendar info from your computer and doesn't store it local. So, if you log out of iCloud, you will not have calendars on your computer. Address book does give you the option to keep them local also. So, your calendar setting in iCloud should hold. I'm not using the calendar in iCloud, so I don't want to try to get to specific.
@ Glenn Leblanc
For the calendars:
I'm not clear on your last paragraph: I want to make sure I understand.
I have not yet activated iCloud on my computer.
The iPhone (which inherited in feb. 2009 contacts and calendars from the Palm as far back as 2000) is +/- up to date with the Mac.
The iPad was acquired this past July (2011) and has been used intensively as I have been away for as much as 10 weeks since then.
Even though both connect to iCloud, I am not sure that all the events on the iPad have been pushed to the iPhone, I believe some of them disappeared from the iPad and don't appear on the iPhone!
So, the info that appears when I log on to www.iCloud through Safari is what it has taken from the iPhone and what has been entered into the iPad, some of which is NOT ON the Mac!
I feel safe about zeroing Contacts on iCloud and replacing them with those from the Mac, but you have made me wary with your remark that "iCloud removes the calendar info from your computer and doesn't store it local".
I don't plan to log on to iCloud to make entries either on calendars or contacts: I want my reference base to be the computer, assuming that once I activate iCloud on it it will push all the correct info on to iCloud and from there to the iPhone and the iPad: am I correct?
For calendars, they will be removed from your devices and stored in iCloud. In other words, if you log out of iCloud on your mac, it will delete the local calendars from the computer. When you log back into iCloud, your calendars will appear back on your Mac. In other words, they will be stored on the server and not the computer.
I did this and had to restore my calendars back on my Mac from Time Machine. I don't stay logged into iCloud and not sure if I will use it since I have no other devices to sync with.
As long as you are logged into iCloud from your devices, you don't need to go to the website to make changes. That goes for iCal or Address Book.
The data you store in iCloud works the same way as iCal. It will not be local to your device, but stored only on the server.
Your MMe account will also only be visible on your mac if you're logged in iCloud. When you log out of it on the computer, it will disappear from the Mail application until you log back in.
For address book, logging out of iCloud gives you the option to keep contacts local on your computer. No option for this for iCal.
As far as the iPhone and iPad, I'm not sure what will happen when you log in iCloud from those devices. It may give you the option to replace your contacts on your device or merge data between them and iCloud. If the addresses are correct in iCloud, then just choose the option to replace the data on your device. Like I said, I don't have iPhone or iPad to test this.
If you have backups of iCal and Address Book, you can always restore the info if you mess up.
When I refer to logging into iCloud, I'm not talking about the website. I'm talking about the iCloud application located in System Preferences.