Mac OS X dot.mac

Using Apple's Dot.Mac? system

Before there was Dot.Mac XTNL URL, there was Apple iTools XTNL URL for Mac OS? 9 (which was re-branded Dot.Mac) and before that there was eWorld XTNL URL (that goes back to 1994; 'true' überGeeks will want this eWorld book XTNL URL still available through Amazon - a scary thought!)

(for trip in the way back machine also check out Apple's Cyberdog XTNL URL technology) Cool

Yup, we've used them all Smile but so much for history... you're hear looking for information on Apple's Dot.Mac service and we're building a collection of helpful articles to get you on your way. There is a LOT you can do with a Dot.Mac account besides just sharing pictures with the family and we'll continue to add little gems on the service here.

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Apple Changing to WebDAV only

Heads Up

This is a big one folks! Apple has openly stated they are phasing out AFP? access to iDisk?. This is a big deal for Dot.Mac? users running in Mac OS? 9 as OS 9 ONLY has AFP access built-in. This change does not affect Mac OS X users which use WebDAV? protocol for iDisk connections already.



Description

In an open article to Dot.Mac users, Apple has publicly stated they are phasing out AFP access to iDisk. AFP is the Mac OS 9 native method of connecting to remote / networked volumes such as a file server or shared disk on a local area network. AFP is/was also available as a connection method to your dot mac iDisk. This change will also affect users who wanted to connect to your Public Folder using Mac OS 9 so plan ahead!

Time Line and Options

Read Only Access - December 02, 2003
AFP Access to your iDisk or other Dot.Mac member public folders will be read-only (remember a public folder can have read/write access if the .Mac account member so chooses). On December 02, 2003 you will be able to read information from your iDisk or a members Public Folder but you will not be able to write information to your iDisk or a members Public Folder

No AFP Access at all - January 20, 2004
On January 20th , 2004 access will be by WebDAV only. Your Dot.Mac account will be active but you won't have any access to it. Not a good thing.

What to Do

Mac OS X (Jaguar or Panther or newer) users don't need to worry about this change over at all, WebDAV is an integral component to Mac OS X already- we're lucky - we do nothing (which may be an unfair generalized social statement as to your mind set)

Mac OS 9 users have a few options

  1. upgrade to Mac OS X:
    • Clearly this would be apple's desire but may not be practical for a variety of reasons.
  2. Use Goliath XTNL URL
    • Goliath is a free application which will permit you to connect and fully administer your iDisk under Mac OS 9 and it has been specifically tested to work with iDisk (it specifically lists 'iDisk' in it's File? Menu). In fact Goliath works all the way back to Mac OS 8.1 but that doesn't seem an issue since .mac access was only available to Mac OS 9 users. Still, folks running legacy OS 8.1 systems may want to check out Goliath and see if they can use it to connect to their friends/family or business associates .mac public folders.
  3. Discontinue your dot mac account:
    • Not a pretty option but it might be your only choice if you refuse to install Goliath or another WebDAV client.

    If you'd like to learn more about WedDAV or Goliath visit this link for Goliath XTNL URL or visit the WebDAV Resources website XTNL URL which has a whole host of great information as does their list of FAQ's XTNL URL

    We hope that helps
    caddpower.com

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    If you found this article or the website in general to be helpful, educational or a time and money saver you can show your support by buying us coffee, lunch, or dinner. Thank you ~ Brian (huc) Huculak

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Apple Posts a Quick Start Guide

Topic:

Apple has posted a quick start guide on using the dot.mac suite of services which is available for download.

Discussion:

Apple's PDF? file on Getting Started using the dot.mac suite of services may be downloaded from their .Mac Learning Center XTNL URL The .Mac Learning Center also contains other links to useful help information.

The booklet is clearly targeted at new comers to the dot.mac suite of services as it merely provides a general overview without getting to the details of some important features. For example the booklet describes how to connect to our iDisk? using a mac but doesn't cover information on to connect from a Windows. While the connecting to an iDisk from Windows is covered in various help files, it would have been useful for Apple to include an overview in the booklet verses point people to the online help files which contains readily available information that could have easily been included.

As a first cut, the booklet is worth having if you're a new comer to the Dot.Mac? suite of services but long time users will be disappointed if they're looking for details on various subjects. We're looking forward to seeing how Apple develops this handy little resource in the future.

We hope that helps
caddpower.com

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If you found this article or the website in general to be helpful, educational or a time and money saver you can show your support. Thank you ~ Brian (huc) Huculak

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Folder & File Naming Standards

Question:

I’m having some problems linking to files and web sites on my dot mac iDisk?. Sometimes the links I make work fine, sometimes they don’t. Any idea what might be causing the problem?

Requirements:

Mac OS? X (10.2.8 or newer recommended) and a valid dot mac account

Background:

Welcome to Unix. The rules for naming files and folders are a bit different than they are on your local Macintosh Desktop , be it OS 9 or OS X. While we’re all familiar with naming files on our Macintosh, we need to remember the dot mac iDisk is UNIX based and relies on http and WebDAV? to delivery content and resolve path names. File? naming tricks and short cuts we get away with on our own Macintosh or internal network cause real problems when dealing with iDisk and internet paths.

Everything on the internet is located based on it’s path name. A path name is, in general terms, the address of a particular item. Just as each house on your block has a unique address so people can find it, so too do items you place on your iDisk. The secret is knowing the path name and a few simple naming rules.

The single largest cause of the problem you’re describing is related to an error with the File or Folder Name which describes the path to your file or web site on the internet. The problem usually stems from having spaces in file names or using the wrong case (e.g. Using UPPER case when a name was lower case or a combination thereof).

What To Do:

Here are some key things to remember to help minimize File and Folder Naming errors which result in broken links and errors when working with data on your iDisk.

Case Sensitivity:
All file and folder names are case sensitive in UNIX and as such so are files and folders on your iDisk. Examples: bob, BOB, Bob, BOb, boB, bOb, bOB, are all unique names. Just imagine how many possible combinations there for a word like “Mississippi”and you quickly understand why our following tips become so important.

Special Characters:
Thankfully you should avoid using any special characters in your file and folder names (the case sensitive variations are plenty). In general a special character is something like the & sign, colons :, semi-colons ; , bullets , and so on. Rather than listing all the possibilities, just review our recommended naming conventions for do’s and don’ts, life will be simpler.

Recommended Naming Conventions:
Here’s a simple list of Do’s and Don’ts for naming files and our recommended naming system to keep life simple.

Don’t use empty spaces in File or Folder Names. An empty space on the internet net is delivered as %20. Imagine how hard it is to remember that and get it right ! My File Name would be My%20File%20Name (and we all thought DOS was hard - hah).

Do use a combination of UpperAndLowerCase in long File and Folder Names. This makes it easier to read and reduces the chances of making a case sensitive naming error

Do use the underscore _ character in stead of a space. This will ensure you avoid the dreaded %20 problem noted earlier and makes File Names easier to read. This_Would_Be_An_Example

Do use numbers in your file names, particularly for file prefixes and use them in conjunction with the underscore. Examples: 01_MyFirstFolder, 02_MySecondFolder. Notice the use of a leading ‘zero’ before numbers 1 and 2. This is important because in list view file names are sorted in ASCII? order. That means 10_MyFolderName would be above 1_MyFolderName which just doesn’t make sense. Using the leading zero means you’ll see things in the right order if you have 10 or more items. Trust us, this is a big deal.

Do remember to include a three letter suffix for file names. Example MyFile.jpg or MyFile.gif or MyFile.sit (and don’t forget the ‘dot’ before the suffix)

Hopefully this gives you a general overview of tips to follow and avoid some common traps when working with your iDisk.

We hope that helps
caddpower.com

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If you found this article or the website in general to be helpful, educational or a time and money saver you can show your support. Thank you ~ Brian (huc) Huculak

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Linking to files on your iDisk

Question:

I have a dot mac account with Apple. I have copied stuff onto my iDisk? with no problem but I can’t figure out how to make the link. How do I link to files I put on my iDisk (like jpegs or Stuffit archives) in email messages and in on-line forums like Ebay?

Requirements:

Mac OS? X (10.2.x or newer recommended) and a valid dot mac account





Background:

All data posted on your iDisk has an absolute path or URL? which describes it’s place on the internet. Depending on which folder the information is in, the path is different. There are some minor UNIX related nuances which come into play including the fact File? and Folder Names are case sensitive.

I general, you can put files into folders or sub-folders you create anywhere on your iDisk. However, there some folders which are off limits:

  • the Root Level / first level of the iDisk
  • Software Folder (or any sub-folder therein)
  • Backup Folder (reserved for use by the dot mac backup software)

If you try to put something in any of those places you’ll see an error dialog and the operation will fail.

The Documents Folder is the other unique condition in that you cannot link directly to content inside it. Since the Documents folder contains personal information not intended for public distribution, the information can ONLY be accessed by using the Master DotMacID and password and mounting the iDisk on your Desktop.

What to do:

We’ll give you an example for putting a file in ever folder on your dot.mac iDisk and for a file inside a nested folder. Remember to read the recommended paths carefully, there are nuances which can be easily missed.

Conventions, when we say:

  • DotMacID - we mean your dot mac user name, it’s always lower case
  • FileName.jpg - we mean any file with an appropriate suffix
  • FolderName - we mean a sub-folder you may have created on your iDisk inside one of the standard folders
  • Case Sensitive - don’t forget file and folder names are case sensitive (example: BOB is NOT the same as Bob, BOb, bob, or boB)

Note: In most cases there is a dot before an iDisk folder name (example: Before the 'P’ in Public or 'M' in Movies), it’s a UNIX thing to specify a directory change applying to all folders EXCEPT the Sites folder. That is, the 'dot' before the folder name (e.g. .Public) tells unix to look 'up' one directory from the Sites directory. That's why you need the 'dot' before folder (aka directory) names except for the Sites folder as described in detail below.

Movies Folder:
For a File loose inside the Folder:
http://homepage.mac.com/DotMacID/.Movies/FileName.mov

For a File nested in a Sub Folder:
http://homepage.mac.com/DotMacID/.Movies/FolderName/FileName.mov

Music Folder:
For a File loose inside the Folder:
http://homepage.mac.com/DotMacID/.Music/FileName.mp3

For a File nested in a Sub Folder:
http://homepage.mac.com/DotMacID/.Music/FolderName/FileName.mp3

Pictures Folder:
For a File loose inside the Folder:
http://homepage.mac.com/DotMacID/.Pictures/FileName.jpg

For a File nested in a Sub Folder:
http://homepage.mac.com/DotMacID/.Pictures/FolderName/FileName.jpg

Public Folder:
For a File loose inside the Folder:
http://homepage.mac.com/DotMacID/.Public/FileName.jpg

For a File nested in a Sub Folder:
http://homepage.mac.com/DotMacID/.Public/FolderName/FileName.jpg

Sites Folder:
This one is special, notice there is no need to include the name Sites or .Sites in the path name.

For a File loose inside the Folder:
http://homepage.mac.com/DotMacID/FileName.jpg

For a File nested in a Sub Folder:
http://homepage.mac.com/DotMacID/FolderName/FileName.jpg

With a little bit of planning, you can use these path naming conventions to link to any file, any where on your iDisk when sending an Email or linking to pictures or files on other web sites or on-line disucssion boards.

We hope that helps
caddpower.com

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If you found this article or the website in general to be helpful, educational or a time and money saver you can show your support. Thank you ~ Brian (huc) Huculak

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mounted iDisks have a -1 (or larger number) suffix

Topic:

Sometimes when an iDisk? is mounted, the name as a -1 suffix. For example myidisk-1. This article discusses why that condition occurs.

Requirements:

A valid dot mac account and Mac OS? X or connecting to a dot mac members public folder

Discussion:

It's possible to have more than one simultaneous connection to an iDisk. In those instances, when the iDisk is mounted, it has a suffix appended to it , e.g. it reads myidisk-1 instead of myidisk. For example:

  • the first instance of an iDisk being mounted names the item myidisk
  • the second instance of the same iDisk being mounted names the item myidisk-1
  • the third instance of the same iDisk being mounted names the item myidisk-2

That pattern will repeat with a new number being appended for each simultaneous connection made to the same iDisk. In fact, this same pattern will occur if a Public Folder from an iDisk is mounted in more than one location at the same time.

There are a few situations where this type of condition might be seen:

Condition 1: Logged in from work and from home or from two different computers on the same network. For example, it's not unreasonable for someone to have logged on to their iDisk at the office and then forget to disconnect. When reconnecting from home they would see a -1 added to the end of the iDisk name when connected.

Condition 2: You share an iDisk with someone else either in the same house or across the country. For example, if my associate has our shared iDisk mounted in Canada and I mount the same iDisk in the United States, the first person to mount the iDisk see the original name (no suffix) and the second person sees the name with a -1 appended to the end.

Condition 3: A single computer with multiple user ID's. Given OS X is a multi user environment, it's also easy to recreate this condition locally. On computers with more than one log in/user id , the first person to mount the volume get's the real name, the 2nd user ID will see the realname-1 suffix. Mac OS X Panther in particular, with it's fast user switching scheme makes it so easy to have multiple users and switch between them it's easy to forget who is connected to the iDisk.

What to do:

Generally, there shouldn't be any problem working with the iDisk when you are the second user (i.e. you see myidisk-1 as a name). However, if you're experiencing odd behavior, it's worth making sure all other users have disconnected, then reconnect and try the procedure which was exhibiting the problem again.

We hope that helps
caddpower.com

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If you found this article or the website in general to be helpful, educational or a time and money saver you can show your support. Thank you ~ Brian (huc) Huculak

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