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Nuclear reset for .Mac syncing
Merlin Mann | Feb 26 2008
How-To: Truly reset your .Mac sync data [Ars Technica]
I never have trouble finding company when it comes to whining about the reliability of .Mac syncing. It's surely not fair to lay all of this at the feet of the .Mac developers -- sync is, we are often reminded, "hard." But if you want to rely on syncing your Calendars, Contacts, Preferences, snippets, Yojimbo, and what have you via .Mac in a battlefield environment, you're going to need a strong stomach, a lot of patience, and reliable backups. Plus, friends, you will regularly have to _reset frickin' everything_.
Entirely overfamiliar with that particular reality, I was pleased to get pointed toward David Chartier's tutorial on saving your .Mac's village by burning it to the ground. It's a handy, illustrated companion piece to Apple's own advice on scorching earth. Very handy, and, yeah, you will eventually need it. So print it out. Maybe even have it laminated.
FWIW, here's a few other things I do (as a raving .Mac paranoiac):
Also -- and I loathe admitting this -- I have accepted that one of our household's Macs is "the master" (i.e., the "the first Mac you re-register" mentioned in David's piece). This means one Mac in the house gets extra-special backup attention as well as being the "winner" whenever I have to do the (increasingly weekly) nuclear reset David describes in this tutorial.
In an ideal world, you should have so much redundant reliability that you can reset from any recently updated machine -- I mean, isn't that the point of syncing? But, as you quickly learn, that's simply not feasible when things suddenly go kerplooey on multiple Macs over a short interval. But, by always knowing where to restart your electronic Marshall Plan -- which box is the true "original" in the .Mac chicken-waving ritual -- you'll have quicker recoveries and a less frustrating experience in general.
There's no pride to be found in being a .Mac whiner. As I've said before, I believe the .Mac offering is the vorpal blade that Apple's hiding under its cape. Done well -- fixed well -- .Mac has the potential to reliably unify every Apple user's digital world. But for now? Yeah, it's more like owning a Fiat where your toolbox always gets to ride shotgun.
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