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MadDog3057
Ex Astris, Scientia
Premium
join:2002-02-26
Miami, FL

.mac is it really worth it?

Well, I've been thinking about it for a while but i can't actually decide. I mean, I wouldn't mind getting a .mac account, but it's not like it's really needed. I wanted to here from some of u the pros and cons about having .mac. Is it worth the money? Is it that useful? Is it true how Apple says that every mac needs .mac?
--
It's true, I have bought a 17" powerbook!


The Dv8or
Just call me Dong Suck Oh, M.D.
Premium
join:2001-08-09
Denver, CO

Never seen where Apple says every Mac need .mac

I didnt buy .mac, but I have my own Web server and email server. However it doesnt support WebDAV like .Mac does, which is kickass for syncing several Macs when it comes to bookmarks, addressbooks, iCals, etc.
--
Why buy your woman a watch for Christmas? There's already a clock on the stove.



MadDog3057
Ex Astris, Scientia
Premium
join:2002-02-26
Miami, FL

said by The Dv8or:
Never seen where Apple says every Mac need .mac
Sure they did.


»www.apple.com/promo/everymac/
Snapped 2003-09-02 14:59:44

--
It's true, I have bought a 17" powerbook!


Parogadi
What? Stop Looking At Me Like That
Premium
join:2003-03-31
Racine, WI
reply to MadDog3057

Try the free trial, then decide if its right for you, I did and liked it, but then again I don't have a web/mail server of my own nor do I have broadband(everything in my area $u¢k$ for what I'd like to do with it) but you can't beat the fact that they keep giving you free stuff(games, utilities ect.)
--
Please visit The Mac Forum that George Jin, Shadowlord and I from the Apple Discussions are trying to get off the ground. Visit my homepage!



rjackson
Premium,VIP,MVM,Ex-Mod 2005-13
join:2002-04-02
Ringgold, GA
kudos:1
reply to MadDog3057

"Every Mac needs .Mac" is just a marketing slogan...obviously you don't need .Mac to use your Mac. But it's got a 60 day free trial, so why not test-drive?

I don't use it just because they're not features I really need and I don't have $100/year to blow. But some people find it useful and worthy of the price, it's just something you'll have to try out and decide yourself.



ray1083

join:2000-08-09
West Haven, CT
reply to MadDog3057

I use it I did not pay $100 for it yet but my renewal is coming up soon. You get a bunch of free goodies during the year that help to make it easier to take the $100 hit.

In addition to the syncing that was mentioned you also get to use your safari bookmarks from any computer.



Mauricio9
Premium
join:2001-12-04
Vancouver, BC
reply to MadDog3057

I was initially very reluctant to pay for what I once had for free under the name of iTools. I sat a year out, then I test-drove and eventually kept it. What did it for me was the ability to synchronize the address book, calendar and bookmarks across multiple computers. Under Panther it's going to get even better with automatic synchronization of your iDisk to a local folder on each computer. You can work on the same documents on as many computers as you like, picking up where you last left it and not having to worry about whether you uploaded the latest revision or not. .Mac email is also pretty good. It's IMAP, for which your ISP would normally charge you. But again, what did it for me was the syncing ability.



dennismurphy
Put me on hold? I'll put YOU on hold
Premium
join:2002-11-19
Parsippany, NJ
kudos:3
Reviews:
·Verizon FiOS

said by Mauricio9:
I was initially very reluctant to pay for what I once had for free under the name of iTools. I sat a year out, then I test-drove and eventually kept it. What did it for me was the ability to synchronize the address book, calendar and bookmarks across multiple computers. Under Panther it's going to get even better with automatic synchronization of your iDisk to a local folder on each computer. You can work on the same documents on as many computers as you like, picking up where you last left it and not having to worry about whether you uploaded the latest revision or not. .Mac email is also pretty good. It's IMAP, for which your ISP would normally charge you. But again, what did it for me was the syncing ability.
It is absolutely worth the price, *IF* you have more than one Mac.

The simple fact that my calendar at work, and at home, and on my PowerBook are all in sync, all the time, is a *major* bonus for me. Well worth the $99/year in my book.

Not to mention the free games, software, $20 at the Apple Store for renewing, email, home page, etc.

I also find that the homepage/iPhoto process is *so* damned easy it's ridiculous. I love the fact that I can just click a single button and publish lots of pictures instantly...

--DM


KE7JFF
SKU CHECK

join:2001-12-01
Hillsboro, OR
reply to The Dv8or

You might be interested in this: »www.drijf.net/dototto/webdav.html
--
34 years of UNIX stability vs. 13 years of Windows stupidity



sporkme
drop the crantini and move it, sister
Premium,MVM
join:2000-07-01
Morristown, NJ

1 recommendation

reply to dennismurphy

said by dennismurphy:

The simple fact that my calendar at work, and at home, and on my PowerBook are all in sync, all the time, is a *major* bonus for me. Well worth the $99/year in my book.

I also find that the homepage/iPhoto process is *so* damned easy it's ridiculous. I love the fact that I can just click a single button and publish lots of pictures instantly...
It does really burn me that this has been locked-up a'la M$. WebDav isn't all that new or proprietary, but Apple has set up all the best features so that you must use their (overpriced) WebDav server.

A much nicer, open approach would have been to publish the specs. I'd love to see a ".mac marketplace" where ISPs and hosting businesses (like the one I work for) could offer something special to their Mac users. We could sell a hell of a lot more DSL accounts if included in the base price was X MB of "iDisk" storage that allowed people to upload photos easily, sync their machines, publish calendars, backup important files, etc. And low-click email setup would be quite nice as well (we already do IMAP).

Stupid move on their part; that's not their core business, no need to be so 'proprietary'. I just hope someone reverse engineers it soon. It's a pain to do so, as all communications are encrypted via https, but it's still possible. Just have to find where the more industrious/curious/naughty Mac/Unix gurus congregate.
--
just a minute


Mauricio9
Premium
join:2001-12-04
Vancouver, BC

I don't see why bundling .mac type of services with broadband would be a good business model. If I move every two years, I want to be able to get the best broadband around in my new area, but I still want to keep my .mac services. Broadband and WebDAV are not inseparably linked; bundling them would be more M$ type of beahvior than the current .mac policy.



sporkme
drop the crantini and move it, sister
Premium,MVM
join:2000-07-01
Morristown, NJ

said by Mauricio9:
I don't see why bundling .mac type of services with broadband would be a good business model. If I move every two years, I want to be able to get the best broadband around in my new area, but I still want to keep my .mac services. Broadband and WebDAV are not inseparably linked; bundling them would be more M$ type of beahvior than the current .mac policy.
No, I want them to *unbundle* .mac. That way for those that want to buy the service from Apple, great. But if you want to purchase elsewhere, or simply use your own server, that should be an option.

As someone that works for an ISP, I think it would be a great selling point to make the already-included web/email space usable via the .mac tools. Where I work, we have many long-time customers, they like us. They'd like us more if we could offer them something the Earthlinks/AOLs of the world don't yet offer...
--
just a minute


mgilliland
Premium
join:2001-07-28
Joplin, MO

Click for full size
said by sporkme:


No, I want them to *unbundle* .mac. That way for those that want to buy the service from Apple, great. But if you want to purchase elsewhere, or simply use your own server, that should be an option.
sporkme,

If you follow the link that AgentSkelly provided (or others that are out there) you can easily setup a Non-OSX Server (that is the client OSX) to run WebDAV. The tools are a different story in that where they point needs to be changed depending on what server you might set up.

I have been working with it and currently testing on an older iMac to do just what .Mac does. At this time we are able to share iCal calendars, view the calendars as webpages, and just now getting iSync going. The OSX client is OSX Server just with no GUI and all the goodies turned ot (commented out),

For example, to view the httpd.conf file just open TextEdit, Select File and then open. Now in the Go to text box type the below:

/etc/httpd

You will see something similar to the above graphic.

Just open the httpd.conf file and uncomment the items that you wish to use serverwise. If you uncomment the two dav lines and install the mod_dav module that AgentSkelly point to you will now have WebDAV up and running.

The two lines are as below: (just remove the # from the front of the line)

#LoadModule dav-module liibexec/httpd/libdav.so
#AddModule mod_dav.c

You can even set up basic authentication by using Terminal for access to your WebDAV share.

For this, we use the 'htpasswd' command.

1.make the directory that will contain this file: sudo mkdir /etc/httpd/passwords.

2.Use htpasswd with the -c option to create the file: Of course use someone else's name besides mine (Michael)

sudo htpasswd -c /etc/httpd/passwords/webdav.access Michael.

3.For any other users you want to add, including a 'guest' or anonymous user, use a command like sudo htpasswd /etc/httpd/passwords/webdav.access guest. For each of these, of course, you will be asked for a password for the given user.

Those are the basics and you probably knew that information.

Michael
[text was edited by author 2003-09-02 19:26:49]


hyperjoe
Premium
join:2000-11-03
Gates Mills, OH
reply to MadDog3057

its worth it!!



shavano
Even in America -- I long for America

join:2003-06-08
Dallas, TX
reply to mgilliland

Michael,

You mean I could just enable WebDAV on one of my Macs and then use iSync with it instead of .Mac to keep my B&W and my TiBook synchronized?

jet



MadDog3057
Ex Astris, Scientia
Premium
join:2002-02-26
Miami, FL
reply to mgilliland

Who names their Hard Drives Plato and Socrates?
--
It's true, I have bought a 17" powerbook!



mgilliland
Premium
join:2001-07-28
Joplin, MO
reply to shavano

Shavano,

It is not as simple as that at all. I have only begun to look at iSync and alternative syncing solutions using the software. If you control-click on iSync and then select show package contents you can see everything for the application. The information for where iSync syncs is in those files.

This type of thing is an area that one has to be careful of with Apple or any other companies software. Don't want any one to think that their software is being altered thus causing conflict with the end-user agreement.

Right now WebDAV and iCal is a simple matter and anyone can get their system to do that easily. The rest of the stuff is a bit different.

Michael



mgilliland
Premium
join:2001-07-28
Joplin, MO
reply to MadDog3057

MadDog,

Well, probably not many individuals would choose such names. I received two more drives to install in this particular system and will have to work on names for those.

My B&W G3 (courtesy of a great trip around the US) has a couple of drives in it and they are named Dostoyevsky and Solzhenitsyn. There are some composers names in other systems.

Michael



Mauricio9
Premium
join:2001-12-04
Vancouver, BC

said by mgilliland:
I received two more drives to install in this particular system and will have to work on names for those.
Isn't it obvious? Aristoteles and Onassis!


sporkme
drop the crantini and move it, sister
Premium,MVM
join:2000-07-01
Morristown, NJ
reply to mgilliland

said by mgilliland:
Shavano,

It is not as simple as that at all. I have only begun to look at iSync and alternative syncing solutions using the software. If you control-click on iSync and then select show package contents you can see everything for the application. The information for where iSync syncs is in those files.

This type of thing is an area that one has to be careful of with Apple or any other companies software. Don't want any one to think that their software is being altered thus causing conflict with the end-user agreement.
Interesting. Are you saying that somewhere in the isync Resource folder there's a setting for what server to point to for syncing? As you may have guessed, I have webdav running (apache 2/freebsd) and already access my iTunes folder that way. That lets me access my music with my ibook anywhere I've got a decent internet connection, and I don't have to open AFP, NFS or anything nasty like that to the outside world; just good old port 80/443.

I've gone as far as setting up my internal dns server to point to my webdav server for the .mac stuff, but the idisk stuff asks for a config file before it will consider "mounting" the remote share. You can sign up for a trial and capture the traffic, but it all goes over https, so it's encrypted. Blocking 443 outbound just breaks it; it won't fall back to simple http. If it did, it would be less of a challenge to reverse engineer...

I'm sure someone has figured this out, but I'm not up on where the uber-gurus of os-x hang out.

As for the software license, I'd feel OK about doing it as long as I wasn't altering any software on my client machine. I'd only be altering my own nameserver and perhaps writing a little perl or php app to spit back whatever xml-based config info it wants to mount my server's share...
--
just a minute

bored_in_nh

join:2003-01-04
Stamping Ground, KY
reply to MadDog3057

Stuff that makes it worth it for me:

- permanent email address
I keep switching broadband providers here lately. Either they go out of business on me, or they pi__ me off enough to leave. Having a steady email addy is nice, and it's not a tacky one like @yahoo.com or something.

- the Synching thing
We have 4 Macs in the house, one of which is an old 9500 stuffed with drives. It has copies of all of what's on the other 3 Macs and is used for backup and retrieval. It runs OX X via this thing: »eshop.macsales.com/OSXCenter/XPostFacto/

- Backup
I would have paid $100.00 for that application alone.

- Free games
Yippeeeee

- discounts at the Apple Store
Always a good thing
--
amazing stuff, this internet



shavano
Even in America -- I long for America

join:2003-06-08
Dallas, TX
reply to MadDog3057

I'll add my two cents worth into this....okay, a half-cent...

You'll need a "real" broadband connection to take advantage of most of the features. Despite living in a nice section of a major city, I can't get DSL nor cable Internet so I am stuck with DirecWay satellite. Upload speeds range from 25k to 60k so I can't use the .Mac backup feature.

And the satellite latency wreaks havoc on chatty applications. There's a proxy feature for normal HTTP that helps on browsing, but this WebDAV/iDisk stuff is awful over satellite.

I will say that iSync is really cool and works reasonably well for me.

The permanent IMAP email could be a good thing but my AT&T email accound has better built-in server-based spam filtering. I suppose Apple leaves that to Mail.app but it isn't as good as what AT&T has, despite much training.

I like the personal WebPage feature, but again, I'm hampered by the upload speed and latency.

In summary, if you have real broadband and an extra $100/year it's not bad, but I think the $8/month it costs is extravagant for iSync - the major feature in my view.

jet
--
Draft Clark 2004 -- West Point, Oxford ... Purple Heart, Silver Star, Bronze Star ...
4-Star General, Commander of NATO, Rhodes Scholar from Arkansas



mgilliland
Premium
join:2001-07-28
Joplin, MO
reply to sporkme

Sporkme,

It seems that iSync does use port 443 and goes to the URL of syncmgmt.mac.com. So you have to somehow get it to recognize a different URL to use for this service.

I do remember reading somewhere on the net about some people trying this but can not seem to find the bookmark.

Michael