I like Macs. I really do. And I need a .Mac account for syncing my calendar and Yojimbo. But .Mac stinks. I try to keep three computers synced, and it always seems that one or more of them doesn’t sync properly. All the machines are up to date, all software on the same version, but I regularly have to delete my sync data or perform some other magic trick to get syncing to work.
I have some workarounds for that. I’ve started using Sandy (UPDATE: Sandy’s now gone. )to track my calendar entries, and I just have all my iCals subscribe to her syndicated version of my calendar. I try to make sure that I massage my .Mac periodically so my Yojimbo entries sync. I don’t worry about bookmarks, and Address Book contacts seem to sync eventually, so I’m usually OK.
But files. OH FILES. I hate carrying a thumb drive. I fear losing them. I worry I’ll forget them. But whenever I am connected to my iDisk and try to save something on my MacBookPro, the machine hangs. DotMac is just not my friend.
Enter Jungle Disk. On the one hand, it’s so simple, I shouldn’t have to pay for it. On the other hand, $20 for a lifetime of software support and upgrades as an interface to the gignormous Amazon S3 servers is kind of a no-brainer. I could spend a few hours figuring out how to tap into S3 myself, sure. I know I’d be able to do it eventually. But my time is worth more than $20 an hour, so why not outsource that? I did. I bought a Jungle Disk client license.
I used the service for a month. I took everything off of my .Mac account and moved it onto my Jungle Disk. At 10-cents-per-gig download and 18-cents-per-gig upload, it wasn’t a budget breaker. My first month’s bill from Amazon was 21 cents. I can work on Mechanical Turk for about five minutes and make that back.
Jungle Disk works just like a regular WebDav connection. It’s a bit slower than write-to-disk, but not so much so that it is annoying or anything. And today, Jungle Disk 1.5 was released. For $1 a month (first 12 months free), you can have web access to your files, encrypted or not (you decide).
If only there were a way to sync my Yojimbo data reliably, I’d be dumping that $99 annual .Mac fee.