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It's not You, it's MobileMe

Cloudscout's Avatar Picture Cloudscout – July 09, 2008 11:50PM Reply Quote
With the memory of iTools well-faded, .Mac heads to the history books as well.


Cloudscout – July 09, 2008 11:57PM Reply Quote
Det finnes ikke dårlig vær, bare dårlige klær!
A visit to www.mac.com yields the following message (©Copyright 2007?)


Cloudscout – July 10, 2008 01:15AM Reply Quote
Det finnes ikke dårlig vær, bare dårlige klær!
Jason Chen over at Gizmodo made note of Apple's choice of languages for that maintenance message with a comment on WWII.

Cloudscout – July 10, 2008 08:31AM Reply Quote
Det finnes ikke dårlig vær, bare dårlige klær!
I guess their "maintenance window" broke.

I was able to log into MobileMe a few minutes ago but now it's gone again.

Cloudscout – July 10, 2008 12:26PM Reply Quote
Det finnes ikke dårlig vær, bare dårlige klær!
Wow. This is an amazing failure. They were originally supposed to perform the conversion between 6pm and midnight PT last night. Instead, they didn't start until around 9pm PT and over 13 hours later, it's still not fully functional.

Dr Phred (Moderator) – July 10, 2008 12:31PM Reply Quote
owned by the mothership.
.mac fail? unpossible!

no surprises there. It's always been one of the most unstable on-line services around.
It's no twitter or pownce, but its bad for a paid service.

Cloudscout – July 10, 2008 01:50PM Reply Quote
Det finnes ikke dårlig vær, bare dårlige klær!
Apple's MobileMe Support Page has the green 'everything's working' icon under System Status. Um.

Cloudscout – July 10, 2008 02:12PM Reply Quote
Det finnes ikke dårlig vær, bare dårlige klær!
This is ridiculous. Absolutely unacceptable. Why did they think it was a good idea to do a complete overhaul on a complicated web service on the day that their new phones become available (in some countries)? Seriously. Wouldn't it have made sense to do this like a week in advance?

Mighty Mouse – July 10, 2008 02:24PM Reply Quote
So, everything on MobileMe is working for er, um, me except for the web mail. I am getting mail through my clients, however.

At this point, the only thing I can see that is not working is webmail.

Cloudscout – July 10, 2008 02:40PM Reply Quote
Det finnes ikke dårlig vær, bare dårlige klær!
A lot of unhappy people on Apple's support forums... and rightfully so. Apple's biggest (and I mean BIG) failure in this was a complete failure to notify their customers of the impending outage.

They didn't send ANY emails to .Mac users warning them of downtime. They only sent two emails regarding the conversion to MobileMe. One was just marketing fluff about the new features and the other warned users to sync their bookmarks by July 6th because the .Mac bookmars service was going away.

The only way customers would have known that the entire .Mac web site was going to be unavailable is if they had gone to the .Mac support site and read about it there... even then, if they had read about it yesterday afternoon they would have assumed that the whole ordeal would be over by midnight PT.

I'm sure they'll apologize for the botched transition but how are they going to explain away their inexcusable lack of communication?

John Willoughby – July 10, 2008 02:42PM Reply Quote
Cyberdyne Systems Customer Support
That's the great thing about a lack of communication. You don't have to communicate any apologies.

Cloudscout – July 10, 2008 03:09PM Reply Quote
Det finnes ikke dårlig vær, bare dårlige klær!
Here's the feedback I just sent to Apple:


I understand that large scale technology projects can go awry, however, the problems with the .Mac to MobileMe transition existed before the conversion even started.

I received precisely two emails from Apple regarding the change from .Mac to MobileMe. Neither of those messages mentioned anything about the website being inaccessible. Users who checked the fine print on Apple's support site would have learned that there was an impending outage from 6pm to 12am PT. If they had thought to keep checking that page regularly, they would have learned that the schedule changed at the last minute to reflect a two hour delay. There certainly wasn't any hint that the outage would last over 17 hours.

To make matters worse, there has been a complete lack of communication with your customers during this extended downtime. Only a vague promise that, "the MobileMe web apps will be available as soon as possible." And that promise is in microscopic text on a support page that users need to search for. If someone just visited the www.mac.com site, they see a multilingual message stating that the service is unavailable due to scheduled maintenance. At the very least, that page should include a link to the support page. Even better would be a detailed explanation of the problems along with an apology for the shameless lack of anything even remotely resembling decent customer service.

I've been a subscriber for over 8 years when this was called iTools and I have endured the all-to-frequent outages during that time, but this is absolutely unacceptable and I can't think of any reason why I should renew my subscription when it comes up this October.

Cloudscout – July 10, 2008 04:04PM Reply Quote
Det finnes ikke dårlig vær, bare dårlige klær!
This is, supposedly, a chat transcript with an Apple rep this afternoon (posted on Apple's support forums):


Chat with mobileme support represntative....
me: Thanks. I'm concerned. Except for email via a desktop client, I cannot use any me.com services
me: I can't log into the web interface at all.

him: Our engineers are currently performing maintenance on .Mac while they complete the transfer of service over to MobileMe. MobileMe will not actually completely live until tomorrow.
him: They were supposed to have the maintenance completed this morning, but they had to extend it. They have not given us an estimated time for completion. All they tell us is that it will be up and running ASAP.
him: I know it's frustrating, and I am sorry for any problems this is causing for you.

me: Thanks. I noticed the me.com status page indicates are services are ok and "green". The dotMac status page indicates only a couple services down. I think communication is the most bedviling issue right now.

him: I understand that. As I said, they aren't exactly keeping us in the loop on what the hold up is.
him: Which makes hard for us for us to keep you and other customers informed.

Cloudscout – July 10, 2008 07:13PM Reply Quote
Det finnes ikke dårlig vær, bare dårlige klær!
The MobileMe support page URL now redirects to the .Mac support page URL.

And that page now says:


MobileMe Status Update
The MobileMe transition is underway but is taking longer than expected. Please refer to the official System Status to the right for current information on the availability of MobileMe services. We apologize for any inconvenience.

The System Status info has this "helpful" blurb:


With the exception of the MobileMe web apps, all of the following services are now available: Mail, iDisk, Sync, iChat, Back to My Mac, and all published pages including Galleries and iWeb sites. The MobileMe web apps will be available as soon as possible. In the meantime, if you need to send and receive mail, please use the desktop email application on your Mac, PC, iPhone or iPod touch.
We apologize for any inconvenience.

Cloudscout – July 10, 2008 08:07PM Reply Quote
Det finnes ikke dårlig vær, bare dårlige klær!
A little Expect script to check if MobileMe is up yet:

log_user 0
spawn telnet www.me.com 80
expect "Escape character is \'\^\]\'."
send "GET / HTTP/1.1\r"
send "Host: www.me.com\r"
send "Connection: close\r"
send "\r"
expect {
	"Location: http://www.apple.com/mobileme" {send_user "Not yet.\n"}
	eof {send_user "It's up!\n"}

Dr Phred (Moderator) – July 10, 2008 10:01PM Reply Quote
owned by the mothership.
I think you're obsessed.

Cloudscout – July 10, 2008 10:22PM Reply Quote
Det finnes ikke dårlig vær, bare dårlige klær!

It's up now, though.

Cloudscout – July 10, 2008 10:31PM Reply Quote
Det finnes ikke dårlig vær, bare dårlige klær!
The mac.com site still has the "scheduled maintenance" message but the MobileMe site seems fully functional. When it would pop up earlier, I could get into Calendar and Address Book but could never get Mail to load. Now everything seems to work.

Cloudscout – July 10, 2008 10:46PM Reply Quote
Det finnes ikke dårlig vær, bare dårlige klær!
It was up for almost 22 whole minutes.

I decided to start tracking it with that expect script. I'm logging Up/Down messages along with times.

Dr Phred (Moderator) – July 11, 2008 08:38AM Reply Quote
owned by the mothership.
A little change in behavior. the Back to my Mac tab in the MoblieME system preference now says "Bac to My Mac isn't working properly because it requires a router that supports NAT Port Mapping Protocol (NAT-PMP) or Universal Plug and Play"

Of course with typical microsoft like programming that the apple networking guys are displaying, it doesn't tell me what does work. Or why my Apple airport extreme G base station doesn't.

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