One Reason .Mac Stinks

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Matthew Russell
Jan. 24, 2006 08:54 PM
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URL: http://www.mac.com...

Like many of you, I too am a paid .Mac user, and I have been for a couple of years now. But if it weren't for all of the pain involved in transitioning from one e-mail address to another, I wouldn't renew it. Heck, I might just chock up the loss of time and people I may never get back into contact with again and still not renew it -- but I'll just be totally honest here and tell you that I haven't decided yet.

As a Mac enthusiast who has renewed at least for one term and shelled out about $200, I feel like I have a genuine right to complain about my prestigious $100/yr @.mac address (what most of you all also get for your Benjamin too), and so I'll go ahead and get to my point: iCal support stinks. It's plain and simple. No, I'm not the busiest man in the world, but I would like to be able to do more than view my calendar online. Rather, I'd like to be able to edit it too. Sounds simple doesn't it? Well, to tell you the truth, I think that for $100/yr, it is a pretty simple request, because Backup, Virex, and my quirky iDisk sure aren't worth it -- at least not to me.

So what's better? Well, I think we all know of at least one web-based e-mail client that does a pretty darn good job of integrating calendar support. Yep, the notorious Outlook Web Access. Although (thank God) I personally don't own any MS machines/licenses myself, one of my employers owns plenty of them -- more than any other single organization in the world to be exact (any guessers?) -- and you know what, I'll go ahead and tip my hat to them. By gosh, MS doesn't do many things well by my standard, but they sure do have a snazzy web-based e-mail client with calendar integration. And it even works pretty well in Firefox. Imagine that. I don't even want all sort of bells and whistles though -- I just want a few basic features that allow me to add and edit events on my calendar without having to tote metal around with me all day long. Honestly, what good is a read-only calendar in this day and age for anything except birthdays or football game schedules?

But before going, I'll leave you with a thought provoking blurb from a quasi-flame war I had the pleasure of partaking in a little while ago with some folks much smarter than I am:

[With the whole Disney/Pixar thing going on] Steve's calendar is bound to get more complex and, hence, iCal [will] get better...Seriously, though, since nobody at Apple is probably allowed to publish their calendar, I believe nobody there ever feels a need for that feature to work reliably.

Or since they never leave the Cupertino campus (apparently), perhaps they haven't cared to add in editing either? Hmmm, an interesting thought in any event.

At least I can be thankful that they haven't adjusted the cost of .Mac for inflation yet.

Matthew Russell is a computer scientist from middle Tennessee; and serves Digital Reasoning Systems as the Director of Advanced Technology. Hacking and writing are two activities essential to his renaissance man regimen.