27 July 2008

.mac Rant

One of the philosophies of good software is to change very little. When you do change things, it needs to be for a darned good reason. This was one of the major problems that Microsoft faced when they switched over to Vista/Office 2007. You were talking about software and tasks that people had been used to using since 1995. That's a long time to have been using (essentially) the same interface.

Mind you, with .mac, you had a fair bit less history. From around the early 2000s, people could use the service to have fully integrated mail, backups, bookmarks, whatever. However, when you think of what's come out since then, some of these features become obsolete. For one thing, gmail is free, and provides me with this free blog space, as well as both imap and web mail that are in sync, without having to TELL it to sync. The mailbox is so large that you need not delete anything at all.

Want a website? There are hundreds of hosting options out there, with and without web interfaces available to make changes on the fly. Suffice it to say that using proprietary software (iWeb) to make changes to your site sort of limits you to what you want to do. Nope. Not worth it.

If you want to sync calendars and the like, Google has you covered, for free. Bookmarks? http://del.icio.us has a pretty useful service. Best part is that you can share your list if you want to. Web image galleries? Photobucket does a good job. Picasa does a really good job too. Both offer free hosting.

What am I stabbing at? I don't see the point of paying $90+ a year for services that aren't even all that useful. If you're getting a new mac, ignore the "Free trial" of .mac. You can do so much more without shelling out so much money.