.Mac Replacements?

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Date: Thursday, September 16th, 2004, 23:47
Category: Archive

It’s time to renew my .Mac account, and the first question that comes to mind is: is it worth it? Read on…

Apple recently sent me an email kindly reminding me that my .Mac membership is up for it’s annual renewal (and that I need to update the expiration date on my credit card file). After a couple of years of using .Mac, mainly for the email, I find myself asking, is it worth it?
The email address and IMAP/webmail functionality is worth something, though for $99 I can get a lot of email storage elsewhere. The ability to sync bookmarks is kind of nice, and the ability to sync my address book would be really cool, if address book was a more robust system. My iDisk? Rarely used. Downloading freebies from .Mac? Never done it.
What will I really lose if I don’t renew, other than an email address I’ve grown accustomed to? Not much. So here’s part two of the question – what’s the best email provider out there? Yahoo mail plus? Gmail, if you can get it? I tried Spymac’s Wheel service, but found it to be painfully slow. What’s the feeling on .Mac – after a couple of years, is it worth it, or are there better alternatives out there?
Although it is far from perfect and takes some tweaking to get right I would have to vouch for .Mac for the ability to sync contacts, calendar events and Safari bookmarks between computers. Like Mike, I rarely use my iDisk or the free downloads but being able seamlessly sync my data between multiple Macs is a godsend. When combined with the upcoming improvements to sync in Mac OS 10.4 “Tiger,” I find .Mac to be a worthwhile investment. -Ed

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