Devon Island Expedition

Devon Island Expedition
This blog features educational updates on my Devon Island Expedition of July 14-20, 2007. Other sites:,

Friday, July 11, 2008

Mobile Me and Other Improvements?

Mac users who used dot Mac got "upgraded" to Mobile Me a few days ago. To date, the dot Mac page, which was supposed to seamlessly connect one to the Mobile Me page, doesn't work and hasn't for almost three days now. I can get to my email, since I figured out that I can go directly to the "me" page. However, the mail is SO SLOW that it is almost unusable. Also, there are issues with trying to print. This and the site was quite unstable today, locking up and crashing several times. I finally reverted to doing Email on my iPhone, which was a LOT faster and worked. That's quite a statement.

What happened to Apple? Usually, their releases are relatively well-tested and stable. This is strange. Couple this with the fact that a friend of mine bought one of the very first iPhone 3G's, lining up outside the local Apple Store. As employees tried to port over her phone number from her old iPhone to the new, the process froze. She was caught in transition. Now, neither phone works and the Apple Store had no answer. The same happened to several customers and the store suspended sales of the new iPhone.

When is better the enemy of good enough? What is the right balance of moving forward and staying with the tried and true? Some time ago, I wrote about getting Microsoft Word 2008 for the Mac. It is terrible and I make all efforts not to use it. I only use it when I receive a file that requires 2008 to open. It is much slower and cumbersome, in addition to being A LOT slower to start and to do other operations.

This is why software on spacecraft are only upgraded after extensive testing. Also, modifications are only made when really necessary. This is prudent because lives are literally on the line. The same standards should not be applied to commercial software, but I can't help but observe that Apple dropped the ball on this one. Clearly, the product was not adequately tested and/or is simply too cumbersome. I hope they get their act together, as I am a long-time Apple supporter.

Leroy Chiao

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