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View Full Version : dot mac: what's it really good for?


john forester
Jul 30, 2003, 12:02 PM
i'm wondering about signing up for dot mac, but wonder what it's really good for if I can burn CDs myself and post photos at places like ofoto...

what do users say about real experience?

thanks, jf

whawho
Jul 30, 2003, 01:54 PM
Originally posted by john forester
i'm wondering about signing up for dot mac, but wonder what it's really good for if I can burn CDs myself and post photos at places like ofoto...

what do users say about real experience?

thanks, jf

For me it's cool for a couple of reasons. I like the mac.com email address I have. I like being about to stream movies off it and there's nothing like a drive you can have anywhere. I use a Mac at work and Home and I find that having an iDisk is very cool and useful.

My 2 cents.

Billicus
Jul 30, 2003, 02:22 PM
Originally posted by john forester
i'm wondering about signing up for dot mac, but wonder what it's really good for if I can burn CDs myself and post photos at places like ofoto...

what do users say about real experience?

thanks, jf

I don't have it, so naturally I think it is useless. However, it has it's advantages, the main one being the disk space accessable from everywhere. If you're on a lot of different computers, this could be a plus, instead of carrying disks or burned cd's around with you everywhere. The e-mail address isn't that great, I get a free one from my ISP, so that isn't a big deal. In the end, you have to decide for yourself so all my rambling will be for naught. :p

Jerry Spoon
Jul 30, 2003, 02:29 PM
Originally posted by Billicus
However, it has it's advantages, the main one being the disk space accessable from everywhere. If you're on a lot of different computers, this could be a plus, instead of carrying disks or burned cd's around with you everywhere.
That's mainly what I'm using it for. I can move files between my macs and home and work easily. I use their email and web space also, but the disk space accessability is the main reason I'm keeping it.

zim
Jul 30, 2003, 02:36 PM
My primary use for it is iSync. I have 3 macs and all their bookmarks, address, and iCals are synced together. Plus my address-book and bookmarks are accessible anywhere, even on windows.

I also find that the .mac mail is very reliable, I know that some have had problems. The web space is nice too. I think overall just having the ease of using .mac along with my apple accounts, signing in checking on orders mail whatever i may be doing.

I know it is not of value to all but I love it and have been more productive due to the little features.

iJon
Jul 30, 2003, 03:15 PM
man i could go on and on about how cool .mac is. so instead of sounding like a salesman online just pm me if you want to know more.

iJon

e-coli
Jul 30, 2003, 03:16 PM
It used to be truly worthless, but now it's great. Email you can check from anywhere, along with disk space accesible from anywhere is SUPER nice.

And the Address book and bookmarks accesible from anywhere is also really a nice feature.

iSync works really nicely with .Mac. I sync everything between my tower and my laptop.

Well worth the $100 IMHO.

Mblazened
Jul 30, 2003, 04:42 PM
i keep critical pieces of software and serial numbers on my idisk, comes in handy.

simX
Jul 30, 2003, 05:28 PM
While the worth of .mac may have been dubious when it was first introduced (I still think $100 was worth it when it was introduced, but that's my opinion), .mac has steadily become more and more useful.

First off, iSync. OMG this is *SO* useful. I have used this so often through .mac that it isn't even funny. While iSync is marginally useful on one computer, it's really nice with .mac. That's because it syncs your contacts in Address Book, events in iCal, and bookmarks from Safari across multiple computers. I sync regularly so that I can have the latest information available everywhere. If I add a bookmark here at work (where I'm typing on an old B&W G3 tower), I simply iSync at the end of the day, and I get the bookmark back at home when I iSync there. If it's the school year, and I come home and need to use a comp, I can grab my mom's iBook or my dad's PowerBook, fire up iSync, click the Sync button, and in a few minutes all my calendars, contacts, and bookmarks will be there. I never need to worry about if my contact has the wrong info, or if I'm missing a bookmark. I can't stress enough how SO USEFUL this is. If there's one thing to sell you on .mac, it's this.

Second, the iDisk is indispensable. Being able to access my files from any Mac in one keystroke (Command-Shift-I in the Finder), and even through Windows machines is excellent. I have used it many times to shuttle things to different Macs, where it would've been annoying and/or wasteful to burn a CD (I don't have a floppy drive) or e-mail it.

Third, mac.com e-mail. Yes, you can probably get free e-mail elsewhere, but I signed up with iTools when Apple first introduced it, and didn't want to have to deal with changing e-mail addresses. This point is moot if you're just getting .mac, but I for one find mac.com e-mail very reliable. Contrary to all the user reports on MacNN that I've seen in the past year or two, I can only remember one brief outage with my mac.com e-mail in the history of my (what is it, now?) 3 years of use of mac.com/iTools e-mail. .mac's web e-mail is also very polished, and it's the one and only one web-based e-mail that's actually NOT annoying to use.

Fourth, .mac Bookmarks. This is the least useful to me at this point because everywhere I go I have access to a Mac. But I might not in the future. Originally when I started here at work this summer, they didn't have a Mac for me to use, and .mac Bookmarks weren't available either. I was never able to transfer over my bookmarks from my Mac to the Windows machine, despite my own program that converts Safari bookmarks to other formats. .mac Bookmarks would have been very useful in this regard.

The other features of .mac are marginally useful. Backup seems cool, but I've never actually used it that much... it just wasted my iDisk space, and I didn't feel like wasting a few CDs. Free anti-virus software is always nice, but I also get free anti-virus software through Stanford, and I'm actually careful enough that I would be comfortable not installing any anti-virus software at all; I haven't gotten a virus on my personal machine since 1986 when I started using a Mac. All the free games and special offers are nice, but I rarely use them that often. I download them just so I can play them if I ever really wanted to, but I usually never do. iCards are very cool for the very few times I do use them; it's a shame that they're limited to .mac users now.

Despite the multitude of almost useless features to me, the first four reasons that I've detailed to get .mac practically sell it. I would buy it if that's all they offered, since those features are that good. I'm sure some people will appreciate the features that are useless to me, but I just wanted to give you my experience.

I think you should really consider getting .mac; it's been very useful for me. Note that if you're thinking about getting a new comp, I think you can get your first year of .mac for $69 instead of the usual $99, provided you buy it with a new Mac.

QCassidy352
Jul 30, 2003, 06:12 PM
I have only one computer and another e mail address that I can check from anywhere... .mac is totally useless for me. I signed up for the free 3 month trial and haven't used it since the first day. I wouldn't pay $1 a year for the service, let alone $100. Seriously, for me, it is *completely* useless.

janey
Jul 30, 2003, 09:17 PM
wow...everyone basically said everything i wanted to say :p
i love everything about .mac, the only thing i'm really not happy about is the iDisk.

billyboy
Aug 1, 2003, 01:57 PM
I believed the weight of argument on most forums against .mac and when I had it on trial I sort of went along with the overpriced under featured sentiment. But when I said stuff it and signed up so as to avoid re-applying for a temporary account, I actually started using it more fully and it suddenly became worth every penny. As usual with any Apple software, my productivity has shot up literally overnight.

Homepage is great for a klutz like me especially with its direct upload link from iPhoto albums. My brother is pretty switched on with Windows and has all sorts of free this that and the other web page software. He watched me import from my camera, create an album and then create a slideshow on the web, and the one click system blew him away. It has also made emailing photos redundant.

The email works well, you can transfer mail from hotmail with a little add-on, its good and easy to use. For $99 I think you get at least the same as what is free everywhere else but integrated and free of ads and that sort of scrud. I opened a hotmail account and didnt write to any companies, and guess what, the junk is arriving. I use .mac for all my mail and there is nothing I dont want coming through. Go for it.

zim
Aug 1, 2003, 02:07 PM
I also love the fact that they are offering other perks, such as the free games. I know that they might not be that glamours but they are good enough to keep me from doing my work. The newest game is a marble madness type of game, last one was a solitaire game.

Abstract
Aug 1, 2003, 04:21 PM
You can get online disk space, web pages, and email for free at lots of different places. And you can "check it anywhere". Its nice to have if you don't mind spending the money, or you have the money to spend, but its not really worth $100 for the average guy such as myself.

For people who have lots of computers and stuff to sync, I guess they can justify the expense if they try. ;)

minimecpy
Aug 1, 2003, 11:12 PM
I agree with the other people, when I ordered my mac, I got .Mac, and right now I'm just using a trial (2 months free, then I can really activate my account). As a student, iDisk is almost indispensible, and HomePage is great. I'm starting to learn more about building web pages, so it's a start, and then I can just use the space later. I can see instances where it would save me in group projects (like my iPod, but that's a different story). Overall, the simplicity and other features are going to be worth it to me, once I get my machine (Apple!:mad: ).

tjwett
Aug 2, 2003, 02:23 PM
at first I was hesitant to start paying since i already had webspace but i'm glad now that i did. my iDisk has got me out of more than a few binds and i like syncing up my Pod with my machines. the webspace is kind of worthless for any commercial use but it's great for a blog or a place to post your resume and portfolio. i think i'll probably keep it. however i would really like to see some new features added. mainly a blogging tool and some better homepage templates.

mangoman
Aug 2, 2003, 10:39 PM
So, can you use iSync even if you know your other machine is in Sleep mode?

IF this works, I'm tempted to use .Mac, just for iDisk and the iSync feature....

zim
Aug 2, 2003, 10:46 PM
The other computer does not even have to be turned on. iSync sends the information to your iDisk and the second computer retrieves it, making it so that you could sync any computers together, work, home, school... whatever it may be.

mangoman
Aug 2, 2003, 10:51 PM
OK. I'm in. Thanks for the quick response!

-mangoman

simX
Aug 2, 2003, 10:58 PM
Originally posted by Abstract
You can get online disk space, web pages, and email for free at lots of different places. And you can "check it anywhere". Its nice to have if you don't mind spending the money, or you have the money to spend, but its not really worth $100 for the average guy such as myself.

For people who have lots of computers and stuff to sync, I guess they can justify the expense if they try. ;)

When you use multiple Macs, you won't believe how you survived without iSync's .mac capabilities -- at least I can't.

The paying for .mac thing is kinda moot for me, though. :D

WannabeSQ
Aug 3, 2003, 01:33 AM
I love it for the email and sebspace. Sure i have an email address from my ISP, but sometimes it is necessary to switch ISPs, and you cant take your email address with you (stupid AOL...) The Web space is perfect for someone who doesn't need a website. What I mean by that is, I don't have the time or skill to make a "real" web page, but with the iDisk, and iPhoto, i can make quick pages of the pictures I took the night before, and all my friends know my address, and check it often.