It's Time to Think About Your .Mac Account

by Derrick Story

For many of us, renewal time is here for our .Mac accounts. I'm mentioning that because if your account is like mine, it's set up for automatic renewal on Oct. 8. (Of course this depends on when you initiated it up and how you did so. But as you recall, a lot of us converted from the free version to the paying service at the same time.)

I'll be right up front and say that I renewed. The service is valuable to me because it integrates well with my workflow. I like the email account. Backup runs everyday when I go to lunch to protect my morning's work. I use the "iPhoto to .Mac" online system for quickly building photo catalog pages and sharing them with friends. And the tipping point for me was the addition of iBlog, which I use to create "Story Photo Notes" on my photography site,

Whether or not you feel the same way about your .Mac account, you should probably go review your account settings to make sure everything is the way you want it. As we all know, it's very difficult to undo something that's been done with Apple. (For example, weeks after returning them, I'm still waiting for a credit on two linen books that had printing defects.)

Think about the value of .Mac to you, then log on and make sure your account is set up accordingly.


2003-10-03 14:02:04
love .Mac
I only switched back in March so I wasn't around for the change from iTools to .Mac so I can't get ticked off like everyone else seems to regarding .Mac. For me .Mac is a great deal. I've gotten some great software by being a .Mac member, I've got great e-mail independent of my ISP. There are dozens of great things about it. I even made a friend through .Mac.

To top it off, its Apple. No one else is going to create a service this good with this many features that works this well.

2003-10-03 14:06:14
They're currently giving away a copy of iBlog to .MAC folks too - a nice little blogging tool that takes advantage of the .MAC web pages to host your blog - no typepad, blogger, etc. needed. I still prefer MT myself, but I have a host where I can put it - I expect that's uncommon.
2003-10-03 15:54:13
I'll also be continuing with .Mac
Of the following services offered by .Mac, I currently use all of them at least once a day, This includes, in order of importance to me:
e-mail and contacts,
bookmarks anywhere,
and Virex.

The free stuff they offer every once in awhile is just icing on the cake. They even gave me $20 off at the Apple online store for keeping my .Mac membership. I'll now be able to get Panther for $20 less. With Panther's tighter integration with iDisk, I'll then have more free time due to the fact that I'll no longer have to manually sync certain files. Can anyone think of something else Apple could add to .Mac that would make it even more useful? Maybe that could be a blog for another time.

2003-10-04 21:40:26
Not sure to keep using iMac ?
Mainly used it for about 1-2 years, from overseas, in a large Asian country, for:
- retreiving large files from iDisk (such as ppt presentations) from colleagues in other offices which are too big for emails (all colleagues are on Wintel accross the world; it worked well, apart a few glitch for them with the access password ...instructions on .mac are not too clear); but little use in fact;
- main use and also reason why we subscribed to .mac was .mac'smail, as it was difficult to get quickly locally an ISP with mail services in English, with payment online, etc.; there we have a problem; being based in a remote foreign country where US sites are difficult to reach (pipe is at the same time ambiguously small and heavily censored) most of the time the smp.mac doesn't work; but we found out recently that in using Sendmail, and above all Sendmail Enabler* we don't need any smtp.mac (which didn't work well in our case, and lack reliability: some emails get lost in the way, thanks possibly to strong anti-spam filters ...which maybe a double edged sword ? lot of bad comments on the forum Apple Support Discussions)
* see:
I have been looking for years of intensive travelling around the world accessing to internet from hotel rooms for an easy and free smtp... amazing, it was just there in my computer with OSX ! Can't anybody advertise more about that !-
2003-10-04 22:07:34
Not sure to keep using .Mac ?
sorry a glitch in writing the subject of my previous
read ".Mac" and not "iMac" ?

I also am going to investigate the blog thing with iBlog
and if .mac is useful for that ? (but do i need .mac for my blogs ?)

2003-10-06 05:02:37
He mentioned that, by name, in the article.
2003-10-06 21:39:07
Not going to renew
I guess I'm just not the regular user that dot Mac is aimed at. I used iTools and I updated to dot Mac at $50, but at $100 it's simply not worth it to me. I already host a domain at (for less than $100 per year) that gives me full PHP, MySQL, and perl services, over 250 MB of space for backup and webmail (not as good as Apple's, I admit), and secure certificates from Thawte.

I already blog with blosxom so iBlog holds no interest, I'm already a member of Versiontracker, so the free membership doesn't apply to me, Virex is slow and poorly designed compared to the competition, Backup versions 1.3 and 2 beta both fail regularly on my machine, and my idea of playing games is fiddling with Photoshop or figuring out CVS.

iDisk is OK, iPhoto integration would be great if I had a digital still camera, publishing my Address book and iCalendars is OK, but none of it is compelling or worth $100 per year. (I do love syncing Safari bookmarks, but Safari still isn't good enough to displace Mozilla as my primary browser on any of my Macs.) For me, the way I use the 'net, dot Mac is not worth more than $50 per year. At $50 I would upgrade, at $100 I won't.

2003-10-07 07:00:51
". . . free until November 25, 2003 to .Mac members . . ."

This isn't giving it away; it isn't free software; it isn't Free software. It is "Let's market a demo as free and hide the fine print behind a dot mac login instead of letting anyone read the fine print."

Dot Mac is not insanely great but it is kind of handy. It is something marginally more handy and with less dumb marketing than an AOL account. I'll be renewing but more out of inertia than a compelling package of benefits.