This is a difficult post to write.
More often than not, the content of this blog is pro-Apple. I make no apologies for this, and although I do critcise Apple from time to time, I also cut them some slack.
Recently I purchased MobileMe. Now, despite a hiccup in purchasing, which wasn’t Apple’s fault, but the resellers, things went smoothly.
At first, things went smoothly. I have an iBook running Leopard, an iPod Touch and a G5 Tower running Tiger, all syncing to the cloud.
This worked fine for a little while. I kept getting a lot of contact an calendar updates on the G5, which was a bit suspicious, but things worked OK.
That was until last week.
The G5 at work was syncing OK, no problems, the iBook & Touch worked flawlessly. Just to check a configuration, I clicked the .Mac Preference Pane on the G5 (it’s running Tiger remember).
It wouldn’t open. It beachballed and then gave me a ‘Could not open .Mac because of an error.”
I’m a seasoned troubleshooter, so I logged into another account – same result. OK, that points to a system-wide pref file that’s corrupted.
So I moved all the .plist files I could find and restarted.
Oh dear. This time the G5 stalled at the desktop. It couldn’t load the .Mac menubar item. So I did a bit of system-voodoo and removed that menubar item so it wouldn’t have to load.
The system now started ok (sans the menu bar item), but upon launching System Preferences, the .Mac Preference Pane wasn’t there.
Ouch. Never seen that before. At this point I thought about cache corruption. The preference pane was in the system (I checked) but it wasn’t loading.
So I cleaned the local caches and restarted. Now my Keyboard & Mouse Preference Pane is in Chinese. I kid you not.
Anyway, this G5 is a production machine, so I left it there, so I could do some more research.
This research has given me a few pointers, which I will try soon. There’s a couple of files I haven’t trashed yet, so we’ll try that.
If that doesn’t work, then I’ll clean all caches, including system.
If that doesn’t work, I’ll try reinstalling the combo updater.
If that doesn’t work, it’s a install of a new system.
How is it possible that enabling a product on your system can cause so many problems? I have over 20 years Mac experience and I’m grasping for solutions.
How is it possible that a product can simply stop working for no reason?
And, let’s not forget, this is an additional service I’VE PAID FOR.
Which is why this article is difficult to write.
MOBILEME IS NOT READY – AT ALL.
It works for lots of people, but not all. I certainly could not run a business on this. Even the little web-design service I do in my spare time.
I don’t expect this from Apple, I really don’t.
Are we seeing here the limits to what Apple can do reliably? Are we seeing the edges of their competence? Were all those Windows users right in saying that Apple just doesn’t do certain things as good as Microsoft?
Now that Steve’s away, I hope that Tim asks some serious question of MobileMe. It’s damaging the brand severely and they need the courage to fix it properly, or pull it off the market, trash it and partner with Google, rebrand their offerings and give us a service that we can all be proud of.
Will I be renewing in a years time? At this moment, I’d say no.