too little, too late

October 19th, 2006

gmail .Mac

I’ve been a .Mac user for years now, but it is time to say goodbye. Even with this promised revamp “coming soon”, paying $99 a year for webmail just doesn’t make sense anymore. But you say, “Tucker, what about IMAP?” I too will miss IMAP. But using with Gmail’s POP3, and judicious use of filters to move incoming mail from myself to the Sent box, and this script to secretly Bcc yourself on everything, you can effectively mimic IMAP.

What else does .Mac provide?

  • Webspace. Awkward webspace to be sure, but I will miss that. But an alternative shouldn’t be hard to find.
  • Contact syncing across machines. I can export my Gmail contact list periodically to achieve the same end. Besides, how often does my contact list really change?
  • Free software. Yeah, no. It used to, back in the day, but it hasn’t included anything but crummy demos in years.
  • Backup. Minimal backup space across the net. For $99, I can get an 80 gig drive and do it myself.
  • So will I miss it? Nope. Too little too late.

    7 Responses to “too little, too late”

    1. Aaron Lewis says:

      “Hello, my name’s Aaron, and I’m a .mac user”.
      “Hi Aaron” (.mac anonymous group meeting)

      I admit, it’s not worth $99. But it is worth something, and I don’t want to arrange all the workarounds. I sync address book, calendar and keychains across 5 machines in 2 houses.

      I want to videochat with my family in 3 states who also have .mac accounts, and I like iChatAV (can you recommend an alternative video chat service for mac of course that is free?)

    2. tucker says:

      You don’t have to have a .Mac account to use the AV part of iChat AV, I don’t believe. I think a plain ol’ AIM account will do the trick.

      The address book would be included in Gmail, and the calendar synching can be replaced by using Google’s Calendar. Check out if you want an app to use with it.

      As for the keychain, you got me there. How often do you find yourself adding items to one that are difficult to add to another?

      The more one uses .Mac for different tasks, the more change it will take to move away from it, and the less likely one is to do it. I was down to just IMAP, so the switch was comparatively painless

    3. Cliff Cheney says:

      I just gave up my .Mac account as well. Yours is the 4th blog I have seen doing the same. Apple has really lost the early adopters.

      My solution for iSync like syncing of multiple machines is MySync from Mild Mannered.

      The program was just aquired by Mark Space and is still a free dev beta. It is a very powerful server/client structure. I have been very impressed with it for the month or so I have been using it.


    4. Nick says:

      They keep offering these $30 rebates for .Mac. Don’t they know that rebates chap my hide?! I’ll be flushing my subscription when it comes due unless the revamp is totally-super-cool.

    5. Jeff says:

      Don’t miss Google’s Browser Sync Firefox extension which allows you to sync bookmarks with all the copies of Firefox you might have on whatever computers you own. It’s sweet.

    6. Brando says:


      “(Jobs) hinted that ‘.mac’ — the company’s package of online services like e-mail and Web storage for Mac users — is about to undergo a big overhaul,” Hillis reports. “After a questioner suggested .mac had failed to live up to lofty expectations, Jobs said: ‘I couldn’t agree with you more. We’ll make up for lost time in the near future.'”