Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Dot Mac (.Mac)

I've never liked subscription services. I always try to find an alternative that is either free or only has a once off fee. Some examples...

Subscription - Cable Television
Alternative - Joost!

Subscription - World of Warcraft
Alternative - Guild Wars

I was hoping to think of three examples before I had to get to the point, but that's all I've got.

Anyhoo, with our new Mac ordered I've been looking at this .Mac service. It's an annual individual membership fee of $99.00 and includes all kinds of complementary services that work with your Mac as follows...
  1. Web Gallery
  2. Website Hosting
  3. IMAP Mail
  4. Back to my Mac
  5. Sync
  6. iDisk
  7. Groups
  8. Backup
  9. 10Gb Storage
Seeing as how I like to avoid subscription-based services where I can, I'll be looking for alternatives.

1. Web Gallery - Photos and videos. (View Sample)

Google's Picasaweb and Google Video or YouTube.

2. Website Hosting.

Google Page Creator or any web hosting service.

3. IMAP Mail.


4. Back to my Mac - essentially this is Remote Desktop access via VPN. Remote Desktop access is built into OS X and .Mac is just supplying the VPN.


5. Sync - syncronize address books, bookmarks and many preferences accross all your Macs.

Google Toolbar for Firefox takes care of bookmarks and Gmail has my address book. As for preferences accross all my Macs? Well I'd have to have more than one Mac for that to be an issue.

6. iDisk - 10GB of online storage is what you get in total to store all your photos, videos, backups and anything you want to put on your iDisk.

Your free Google account has less than half of this...
but they are adding to it all the time.

7. Groups - A place to create a community website.


8. Backup - now with the release of Time Machine in Leopard this feature isn't as attractive as it once was.

9. 10GB Storage - thats a fair bit of space for an online storage account and they give you 20GB with a Family Account.

When I first opened my Google account
I had about 2GB of storage space for my account.
Now it's over four and a half gig
and counting.

The advantage of .Mac is that all these services are in one place. If you don't mind the $100.00 yearly membership fee then you can get all this in one place plus a cool @mac.com email address. For me, I will stand by Google's services and make them work.

December '06 saw the "NotMac Challenge" for someone to come up with a free alternative to .Mac and involved a $10, 000 prize for the first to do so. The challenge was met and the prize money was collected. The NotMac software emulates most of the .Mac features but on your own server. If you have another machine that you can turn into a server and keep it online with a static IP address, just download the NotMac software and off you go!

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