Discoveries in Mac OS X Snow Leopard: MobileMe

MMe iDisk

Next up in my discovery series on Snow Leopard is MobileMe. Apple didn’t talk about it much for this upgrade, but I’m writing about it because I ran into a frustrating snag, and found a great new option.

Bad News First

I keep a local iDisk on both my Macs. I use the data on whichever machine I want, and never worry about it being current because MMe keeps it all in sync. The beauty of this approach to Cloud computing is that I’m not at the whim of the Cloud in terms of whether performance is slow, or if I can even log in at all. Further, since I’m using local data I get great performance, and can use desktop apps with capabilities that exceed Cloud alternatives.

Since I launch some apps via documents, I kept a handful of document aliases in the iDisk’s Documents folder. These aliases would point to the correct local file no matter which Mac I opened them from. Not any more.

On Snow Leopard, if I used an alias on one machine, the other would balk when it tried to sync it. I could override it, but the resulting synced file was garbage text instead of a functioning alias for that machine. It took some experimentation with three different aliases to confirm this was the problem. I could no longer get a good alias for one machine if it worked on the other.

To get around this, I deleted the aliases from iDisk and created them locally on each machine. They don’t sync, of course, but they don’t need to.

This really isn’t a big deal, but it was frustrating today as I tried to figure out what was going on. Anyway, since I deleted the aliases iDisk syncs have been fine. No more errors and all seems well.

And Now For The Good News

Personally, I think Apple should have shouted from the rooftops that MobileMe iDisk syncing has a new option:

MMe Sync Option

This is great. I don’t get a lot of sync errors, but when I do I can’t think of a single time that I didn’t take the most recent version of the file. From now on, if the sync issue is due to a time discrepancy I won’t even be bothered.

I understand the idea behind any discrepancy stopping the process and prompting the user, but I also believe that some of the prompts are overkill. In my opinion, having the option to always use the most recent file is a great addition.

8 thoughts on “Discoveries in Mac OS X Snow Leopard: MobileMe

  1. Third party softwares giving problems are understandable. That is always expected to happen. The reason is very simple,in a new OS several packages get rewritten and features simplified or added. When this happens third parties should work harder to update their softwares. An example is Apple rewrote their PDFkit in Leopard and as a result some third party softwares started giving problems, but they were soon fixed. Adobe is one of the worst to update their softwares for Macs. I don’t even think they try to make their products for Macs, they just tweak it so it works on a Mac.

    However, what really sucks is that when Apple messes up its own products on new OS release. That’s a killer, that is indeed Vista soul entering Mac OS X. Mobile Me used to be a ton of fun and now it no fun at all.

  2. Pingback: clayboy » A Snow Leopard syncing glitch – Apple’s Vista?

  3. I’ve installed SL and now my MobileMe is unreachable. When I want to reach System Preference/Mobile Me the tab synchronisation and log off are grey. When I pull the button the ball is turning around and I have to make a forced stop. When I look on my XP computer I see that my MacBook isn’t there anymore. Synchronisation with my XP-computer is perfect. My MacBook doesn’t synchronise anything. Not my iCal and not my iDisk !!!!!

    I have a chat with the helpdesk MobileMe and they say it is a apple-problem.

    I have done a clean install. The same problem.

    Does anyone have a solution for my problem? I thought the helpdesk can help me. But not

  4. I have another problem with MobileMe after installing Snow Leopard. This was extremely frustrating because this was causing data loss. MobileMe synch has not been syncing Extended File Attributes properly after Snow Leopard upgrade. I was creating notes on some pdf files using app called Skim on my Macbook. These notes were saved as metadata/extended file attributes, which used to sync well in 10.5, but not anymore. When I checked the same files on my iMac I saw that the notes I created were missing. Using xattr command in terminal I crosschecked that they existed on my Macbook but weren’t present on my iMac. Sync had already taken place because new pdf files that were downloaded on my macbook were present on my iMac. Finally to make things worse I started losing them on my macbook too. Apple has changed some things about synching and as a result dot-files, extended attributes and links are not synching properly.

  5. Jared,

    Everything I’ve read about Dropbox has been positive. If all I needed was file syncing I would have looked into it. But I use a ton of MobileMe features in addition to the file sync.

  6. This may be off topic, but for synching and backing up recent (small) projects, I use Dropbox ( and I love it. The free account type may not provide as much space (2GB) as iDisk/MMe but it’s great to sync even that much data between two or three computers (Windows too).

    • I agree. dropbox is a terrible product. works very more reliably and quickly than mobileme, which remains a dog in my opinion. Mobileme is the dumb blonde of cloud computing. Pretty to look at but not very functional.

      • oops..i might dropbox is a TERRIFIC product. my apologies

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