Monday, May 15, 2006

iStynk and .Mac Stync

Of all the things I love about OS X and Tiger (and the list is great), I can't say I'm very fond of the syncing architecture. It's fairly lame damn it. I recently bought a .Mac membership ($99 annually) to take care of my email, web hosting, and syncing for multiple Macs. The only problem is that the syncing part is stynking. And considering I'm not getting what I paid for, it's really ticking me off!

.Mac Support has been working on my bookmark syncing problems since April 24, 2006--it's now May 15, 2006; their most recent response to my latest inquiry was:

Thank you for your patience as we work to resolve this issue.

.Mac Support engineers are still hard at work seeking a resolution for the issue you have reported. Currently, they are reviewing the logs and your account configuration. We appreciate your patience as we strive to make your experience with .Mac a more enjoyable one. Rest assured we have flagged your request for follow up and will contact you immediately once we have more information for you.

So I've tried some other 'fixits' while I wait for their lightning-fast customer support; You can view the entire procedure here at the Apple Discussion forums. Here's my summary:

1. I unregistered all my computers via Sys Prefs.
2. I turned off sync via the web interface for Address Book and Bookmarks. Then I deleted all the Contacts and Bookmark (the generic Apple bookmarks) entries via the web interface.
3. I deleted all .Mac keychain entries from the Keychain app.
4. Deleted "PendingNotifications.plist" and "conflicts" via my /Library/Application Support/ directory. I left "clientdata" alone this time (I tried deleting it last time and it didn't do anything).
5. I reset my phone and resynced it via iSync. My calendars came across, but for some reason my contacts won't go over now (on the phone).
6. Before syncing with .Mac, I went to my iDisk and checked the Bookmark.xml file. It was still there at 84 KB. I could actually open it with BBEdit and see that it's still the generic Apple URLs. I couldn't delete the file though.
7. I went to Sys Prefs at the Sync tab and turned on just Bookmarks. It was already set to "Manually" sync. When given the option, I selected "Replace data on .Mac". It seemed to sync and gave the green check mark, but then it gave me the "There was a problem with the sync operation. .Mac login failed." message. I went ahead and resynced the bookmarks again without error this time.
8. I went back to and turned on bookmark syncing and selected merge. Now my bookmarks are completely empty again online - at least the generic Apple bookmarks are gone. I went to Sys Prefs and selected reset sync data to try again. The bookmark.xml file on my iDisk is now 1 KB in size.
9. So I went ahead and tried syncing everything else again. My online contacts will not sync now. Don't know why. I'm assuming this means nothing else is syncing.

So I lost my online contacts and my phone contacts--very important--more so than bookmarks on .Mac! So I found this online solution thanks to Josh Blander. I just deleted my entire ~/Library/Application Support/SyncServices directory and restarted. My phone was back and my .Mac contacts synced again after that. My bookmarks, however, were still in the toilet--no syncing permitted. I have no clue why they won't sync. They'll sync if I create a new OS X account and add a trial .Mac account. But not with my PAID account.

Friday, May 05, 2006

Mac mini death

The other day, my Mac Mini beeped three times and refused to start. Following the advice of others on the net, I tried reseating the memory card, but that didn’t do the trick. It’s dead and has to go back to Apple.

This is the first Apple product I’ve had to send back in 13 years of using Apple stuff.

.Mac Woes

I just purchased my first .Mac membership. The marketing all sounds great, but it has some problems.

1. Mail continues to show up in my “Draft” mailbox after I’ve already sent it. Very weird.
2. My bookmarks won’t sync no matter what. I’m stuck with the default Apple bookmarks that come with Safari. Everything else seems to sync okay.
3. Using iDisk through the Finder is impossibly slow. Don’t even try it. Get Transmit instead.

I’m hoping to get most of the functionality I paid for soon.