Dot Mac Info (.Mac)

This page has all the info I have collected on using Apples Dot Mac service. This service originally went under the name iTools and you can read old info on iTools here. I left the old info on this page as it may still be useful even with Dot Mac since some of the features such as WebDAV access are still the same.

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8/5/2002 Dot Mac!: Well I hope you have all heard about Apples new Dot Mac (.Mac) plan. iTools was replaced by this. It's Apples version of Microsofts .Net plan. Apple will no longer be giving out free email and web space to people :( it will now cost $99 a year! This has many Mac users very angry with Apple at the moment. It was assumed that the mac.com email address and iDisk services would be free for life? Apple never actually said that but you sure thought they meant it. iTools is even listed as a feature on the OSX retail box! Doesn't that mean I paid for it already?

I have read much backlash towards Apple due to this and it's going to take some time for things to settle down :( It's to bad Apple didn't at least offer a reduced plan for email only accounts.


iTools Info

I just tried Apples new iTools and it seems pretty cool. I only played with the iDisk and it works fine but is very slow! many people have noted this also and I hope Apple can speed things up. I think it has to do with how many other users are on it at the time your using it. It seems to take a long time just to mount the image on your desktop! I would recommend removing it as soon as your done to keep the rest of your system speeding along.

One thing I did notice is that it states in the ReadMe that you will be disconnected in 60min which I guess is to help alleviate the traffic.

1/16/2000 iTools for older OS's: Here is a page I found that has info on how to get Apples iTools to work in older OS's. Not all the features will work but iDisk and maybe some others will.

Info on using iTools with non OS 9 systems from MacFixIt: I found this info on MacFixIt's web site. It also includes info on getting access thru firewalls.

Info on using iTools from MacsOnly: Here is some info I got from MacsOnly web site.

[iTools' iDisk Firewall/NAT & Mac OS 7x/8x Solutions: Many readers provided a solution to using iDisk on a LAN that has a firewall. First, install AppleShare Client v3.8.5 or v3.8.6 if using an older version. Then, open the "Chooser," select "AppleShare," select "Server IP Address," type in "idisk.mac.com" and click the "Connect" button. Finally, enter your ID and password in the ensuing dialog box. It worked for me but iDisk is still very slow today. I confirmed that this procedure also works with my Macs on a network using IPNetRouter and AirPort. Using the Network Browser in Mac OS 9 also worked but was much slower.]

Apple TIL on AppleShare 3.8.6: Here is an Apple TIL where you can download AS 3.8.6 which will let you access the iDisk from non OS 9 systems. You only need the Apple Share system extension so do not run the installer. Just drag the AS extension to your extensions folder.

http://asu.info.apple.com/swupdates.nsf/artnum/n11544

2/26/2000 iTools info page for non OS 9 users: I found this page, which is using one of Apples new iTools home pages, that describes how to sign up and use most of the features from Apples iTools without the need for OS 9.

9/2/2001 Accessing iDisk from a PC or any WebDAV browser: Apple promised that it would allow users to connect to their iDisks without it timing out and logging off. To do this they configured their iDisk service to allow users to connect via WebDAV. What is WebDAV? Well I don't really know other then it works like a web browser but for shared disks and not web sites. Web browsers only communicate with the sever you linked to until it has all the info to display in your browser window and then its disconnected, but you don't see that. To the end user it is like you are connected to that sever until you click on a link to visit another server (website). This is how WebDAV works with shared disks such as iDisk. It logs in and downloads the file names and folder names and then is logged off but it appears to still be connected since the window does not vanish from your desktop as it would when you disconnect from iDisk when its connected the normal way which is using AppleTalk over TCP/IP. AppleTalk must maintain communication with the shared disk or it assumes the connection is lost and removes the window from your desktop so you no longer have access to it. WebDAV browsers are disconnected as soon as they retrieve all the info just like a web browser works. If you need to copy a file to or from the shared disk, the WebDAV browser will reconnect in the background and do whatever task it was told to do and then disconnect again, still leaving the window on the users desktop all the time. WebDAV is also faster then AppleTalk over TCP/IP so all this connecting and disconnecting is seemless.

I am glad Apple has implemented this feature. So you ask how can you access it now this way? OSX is suppose to support WebDAV natively in 10.1 but for now you can access it with a free where called Goliath and even from any PC running Windows ME or 2000. Here is where you can get Goliath from and below are instructions for PC users.

[You can access WebDAV servers, including iDisk, with Win ME and 2000 without third party software.

1.Go into my Network Places and double click Add Network Place.
2.Enter the URL for your iDisk for the location, example http://idisk.mac.com/username.
3.When prompted, enter your username and password.
4.Your iDisk should appear as a "Web Folder" within My Network Places.]

So not only is accessing iDisk faster now, but it won't remove the window from you or complain about not being used in 10min and you can now access it from a PC. I even got to my iDisk through my companies proxy server/firewall! I could never do that before, from my Mac at work let alone a PC.

Let me warn you that the interface of Goliath may look similar to a Finder window but there are some extra files that get displayed that have the same names as the files you upload but start with "._"? Not sure why these files with the ._ are there but the author of Goliath thinks that they may be the resources forks in Mac files? I see these from Windows 2000 also so its not a bug in Goliath.

6/7/2002 iTools web site bandwidth, an answer from Apple: Here is the official response from Apple on the bandwidth limitations they imposed on their user web sites such as mine.

[Tom and others,

Apple has recently implemented bandwidth limitations on iTools HomePages. If an iTools user’s website receives more than 500 hits in a six-hour period, the user is limited to roughly two times their iDisk capacity of data throughput in that six-hour period.

iTools users who have upgraded their iDisk capacity will have additional bandwidth. If an upgraded user’s website receives FEWER than 500 hits in a six-hour period, the user is limited to roughly 14 times their iDisk capacity in that six-hour period. If an upgraded user’s website receives MORE than 500 hits in a six-hour period, the user is limited to 2.5 times their iDisk capacity in that 6 hour period.

When these limitations are exceeded, that iTools user’s websites will be disabled for a period of up to, but not greater than, 12 hours. The limits stated here are subject to change without notice.

We apologize for any inconvenience that this may have caused.

Adam
Apple Support Discussions ]

Well that's it. I know why I was shut down. From reading the site statistics that Don has given me, I am surprised they did not shut me down before :) But for the other users that are completely within normal usage guidelines to also be shut down seems very unreasonable! I think their limits are way to strict and Apple should rethink the limitations. I won't be going back but I would hate to see a mass exodus just because of to strict bandwidth limitations :(


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This page last updated 8/18/2002