Benad's Web Site

Wow. The MobileMe control panel says "Member Since: 2000-07-30". 10 years...

Well, it all started with iTools. It was free since Apple used some IP-compatible version of AFP to mount your 40MB iDisk. Latency to Canada was crap, but it was free.

More interestingly though was the email address. This was my third-ever email address, my first being and my second some free-for-all-students, both with abysimal quotas (5MB if I remember correctly).

Being part of that wave of first users, I used my nickname "benad" as the account name, and like on Slashdot surprisingly it was still available.

The transition to the paid service "dotMac" was painfully expensive, but in context at the time (2002) there weren't all those free web services for email, images, file storage, backup and web site creation we now have. There were cheaper paid services though, but not even as nearly well integrated.

Over the years I felt that "dotMac" was just forgotten as an annoying side-service at Apple. The upgrades didn't keep up at all with, well, mostly Google, but also some services from Yahoo! and even Microsoft. Some things like offline iDisk were interesting, but incredibly glitchy. The move to webDAV was a good idea too. Replacing the free HomePage with the paid iWeb annoyed me. Adding bandwidth quotas on top of the disk quotas made it useless to store videos and photos compared to YouTube and Flickr.

"MobileMe" made a big difference when combined with those iDevices and syncing your data. The "push" feature took quite a while (until 2009) to become stable, but it felt more seamless than iDisk ever were. Uploading photos and videos to the iDisk is OK, and the iOS apps for MobileMe are nice. I still prefer by far "syncing" services like DropBox though. "Locate my iPhone" may be very useful one day, but I'll try to avoid having to use it ever.

Still, that's well over $1000 for keeping an absurdly short email address for 10 years. If an Apple employee is reading this, please mark this anniversary with a new feature so cool it would, for once, make the price feel justified. Come on, you had 8 years to think about it.

Published on July 30, 2010 at 14:08 EDT

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