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Summary:

Like countless other mac addicts, I am patiently waiting for Apple to release their Tiger OS-X on April 29, 2005. Going through the publicly available information on their website, the feature that has me most excited about is the enhanced iSync feature. Thus far we have […]

Like countless other mac addicts, I am patiently waiting for Apple to release their Tiger OS-X on April 29, 2005. Going through the publicly available information on their website, the feature that has me most excited about is the enhanced iSync feature. Thus far we have been able to synchronize our Bookmarks, Calendars and Address Book with a certain limited set of phones and between Macs using the dotMac service. (I have in the past criticized Apple for being slow in supporting the newer phones and basically making phones like my lovely Nokia 6620 redundant for most part.) However the new upgrade will allow us now to sync Mail, Mail folders and Password Key Chains. This is a fantastic idea – and basically makes answering and syncing emails easy.

dot mac syncThere is a hidden cost to this. I pay around $100 a year for the dotMac service, which gets me a puny 250 MB of storage, for email and iDisk. For most of us heavy email users, the syncing and all is going to need a lot more storage that currently being offered. I get about a gigabyte worth of email in a week, and this includes PDF files, photos, and of course the all important “tips.” If I have to sync these between my two PowerBooks, well I would need four times the storage, just for email alone. In other words, another $50 a year (according to current Mac prices!) In recent days, Apple has been pushing its dot Mac service hard, and is trying to sign-up as many as possible … perhaps in preparation of the Tiger launch. Storage should not cost this much, as Yahoo and Google have shown us.

Stephen Castellano in his post about the Moore’s Law and Storage points out that with Google trying to replace our hard drives with online storage, there will be disruptive implications far “beyond the technology sector.” $129 for the OS, $150 for this … well no wonder Steve’s company is in dollars! Atleast this will ensure that I don’t have to use Windows!

  1. I was thinking of getting a Treo 650 but I think is a pain that I need to download the ancient and crappy Palm Desktop on my Powerbook. I wonder if iSync will allow us who have some programming skills to sync calendar and address book data to other locations and sources besides that Apple dictates? For example, I may want to sync my calendar data to a repository that the *open source* Sunbird calendar can use (I think Apple’s iCal sucks).

  2. interesting questions though I am not sure about this, and might have to consult some of my friends on this one

  3. apple lists the palmOne Treo family on the iSync supported devices web site. iSync Devices site

  4. I use Treo 650 and iSync does indeed work. Only cavet is you need to install the palm desktop and when you hit the sync button it will launch the palm sync and then iSync takes over.

  5. RSNanak and iSynd Devices site: If you read my comments, I am fully aware that iSync requires the Palm Desktop. Its a piece of junk. If you think about it, Palm is just not in the Desktop applications business (they are in the PDA business). I don’t want to be required to install (nor use) the Palm Desktop on my Mac. I want to sync and install to other PIMs such as Sunbird (calendar) and Thunderbird (mail) and maybe down the line Chandler (Mitch Kapor’s new project).

  6. Syncing e-mail can be done in another way. You can have both your Powerbooks get e-mail from your ISP (I have that setup) and then you only need to sync outgoing e-mail. I do not know will Tiger support this but there should be a workaround that makes this possible.

  7. sasha – can you elaborate how you do it?

    thanks

  8. If you use the regular iTools email account settings for your .mac account in Mail, the contents of your inbox, sent-mail and other folders will be synchronized automatically. (See the Mail account settings.) This is through the IMAP protocol. See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Imap. All computers configured with the same (IMAP) .mac account synchronize automatically. If you move mails to a local mail folder on your computer, those mails are only availble on that one computer. You could copy the mails on both computers before you delete them from the server but that is not exactly nice and automated. Hey, maybe you can use the new Automator to create your own copy-and-delete script to take care of it :) It looks like Tiger will Sync mail settings and local mail folders across computers as well. (See: http://www.apple.com/macosx/features/dotmacsync/ ) For those local folders to be Synchronized through iSync you would indeed need the storage.

  9. From what I gather Apple are opening up iSync to allow developers to write syncing plug-ins in a similar documented way as iTunes visualisers. The M$ developers of word are already promising a plug in to make isync work with office rather than the iApps. This means that Apple don’t have to write for every single model of PDA or whatever because somebody who knows what they’re doing will write it for them. So rather than having to write a whole program for the mac platfrom Nokia techs could just write a small plugin. This also alllows for new uses (eg. how about a script/plugin that would take notes after lectures from word, use the inbuilt text reading to turn it into an audio file and then put it onto an iPod for badly dyslexic students ?)

  10. i read somewhere that they are opening up isync but not sure how it is going to happen. i think this is going to be an interesting one to see and hopefully a lot of innovation happens around isync. anyone find more information about this, i would be glad to include that in the top piece

  11. Eric Goldberg Thursday, May 12, 2005

    I think paying for .Mac service is a bad idea.

  12. I have panther installed on my G5..and now i need to install the Tiger..Do I need to purchase the cd again?
    well i searched on apple site it seems one has to..True? well seems to be as you have written but is there any other way?? (like using the kernel of tiger on Panther??)
    Waiting for your input.
    Thanks,
    Priti

  13. yes you have to purchase tiger. and there is no other way

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