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PC Magazine reviews Apple\'s updated .Mac services

updated 06:10 pm EDT, Wed October 5, 2005

PC Magazine reviews .Mac

Apple has updated its .Mac suite of online tools, and PC Magazine has covered the pros and cons in , covering the yearly fees, increased storage capacity, a new "groups" service, the simplified backup tool, the complete removal of Virex antivirus software, and support for French and German languages. PC Magazine points to the new Groups addition, noting that "Apple has hit on something truly useful with Groups [...] each group includes a shared calendar (which members can subscribe to with iCal or software that supports the Webcal protocol, even on Windows PCs), plus space for messages, links, and files." In summary, ".Mac has always been good, but Apple has never committed the resources to make it great. More storage and top-notch backup and antivirus tools would seem essential. We'd also like to see Apple create a free plan for people who only want e-mail."

by MacNN Staff




  1. cebritt

    Joined: Dec 1969


    No Free Email

    The world does not need any more free email. What .Mac badly needs is a decent SPAM filter! I'm getting more and more SPAM to my .mac address so I'm gladly paying $3 per month to to keep the offshore pharmacies out of my life...

  1. beeble

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Can't say I disagree

    A free plan for people who only want email with a address would be a great idea. Since that was the main thing those who left after the iTools transition lost (and hence the cause of most of the complaining) it would put iTools into the dim past forever.

    I do think Apple need a comprehensive anti virus solution, not because the platform needs it technically at the moment, but it's a great marketing thing. Perhaps Apple could put a few engineers in a closet for a few hours and have them come up with a decent cocoa front end for the command line virex tools. That would not only show McAfee up but give a clear demonstration of Apple's claims on how easy it is to do things like that in Cocoa.

    Of course php, .htaccess, etc would be nice to have on their web services for those who know how to use them. However maybe they don't have or don't want to have enough CPU power to drive all those server side scripts.

    I don't think we've seen the last of the improvements to .Mac though.

  1. pottymouth

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Free email!

    They could call it iTools! To little too late. I was a member since day 1 but I let my account expire yesterday. I can get way more for a lot less money and the only thing I lose is the noob-friendly interface. There's an AOL correlation in here somewhere...

  1. drbones666

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Free Email


    Remember that old lie? Never forgiven Jobs for going back on his word when he found he could make a little money.

  1. jrome

    Joined: Dec 1969



    That's an urban legend. Neither Jobs nor Apple ever promised free email for life. They promised:

    1) Yours for life 2) Free for now

    This has been debunked long ago, when .Mac first came along. If you're never going to forgive someone for something, make sure you're right!

  1. MichaelNH

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Get over it already

    If you want free email go get MSN or Yahoo... full of spam, c*** interface... if you read the fine print on everything, nothing is free for life... When I bought Photoshop 2, did I have the right to complain that it won't work on OS 10.4... if you truly liked the email so much, have a friend that pays for .mac give you a cheapo email account... doesn't cost much... like $10 a year I believe....

  1. Xiaopangzi

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Letting it expire soon!!

    My .Mac subscription will run out next week, and I'm not going to renew it. Virex is not available for Tiger. The Web space doesn't have PHP, Perl, or MySQL support, so it's basically useless to me. My .Mac email account is getting an increasing amount of spam, but I haven't had a single unwanted message on my free Gmail account. 1 GB of space is not even enough to backup the Library in my home directory let alone the home directory itself, or just Documents. Most of all, it is far too expensive in Canada, especially because federal and provincial sales tax gets added, which is a shock.

    I do like the new Backup, but I can't believe that Apple has crippled it for anyone who does not maintain an active .Mac subscription. It's understandable that we wouldn't be able to backup to our iDisk after a subscription is lapsed, but to cripple it so that it won't backup more than a 100 MB to an external hard disk or DVD is a ridiculously unreasonable restriction. I assume that it must "phone home" each time that it is launched in order to put the restriction into effect.

    Someone should suggest to Sophos that their sales department approach Apple as a replacement for Virex, since they're probably about the same size as Virex (as a company) and wouldn't make unreasonable demands like Symantec would for Norton Anti-Virus as a potential replacement.

  1. arajara

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Groups is no good for me!

    I made a .Mac group for my band, but then found that anyone who is invited to the group would have to sign up for a "free" trial of .Mac.... No way, I would feel sleazy to ask that of my band. So I went with Google Groups instead. We can still use the .Mac calendar I have published.

  1. dru

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Virex works with Tiger

    I'm not sure I understand the complaint about Virex. It's working for me on Tiger. I'm not using it automated but checking files or running virus checks manually. I use McAfee Virex version 7.2 (1.1) with the latest virus definitions.

  1. JEB

    Joined: Dec 1969



    What's the point of a virus program, on a Mac?




    So, yes a cool gimmick.

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