In January 2000, Apple CEO Steve Jobs explained to the Macworld Expo crowds that he and his team had had a mighty brainstorm: Apple controls both ends of the connection between a Mac and the Apple Web site. As a result, Apple should be able to create some pretty clever Internet-based features as a reward to loyal Mac fans. Later that same day, the Apple Web site offered a suite of free services called iTools.
Then the technology bubble burst.
These days, .Mac subscriptions (as they’re now called) cost $100 per year. For a full description, see Figure 18-10.
Figure 18-10. The .Mac features appear as buttons down the left side of the .Mac Web site. For example, the iCards feature lets you send attractively designed electronic greeting cards by email to anyone on the Internet. The Backup feature works in conjunction with a basic backup program that you can download from this site. Webmail, HomePage, a virus program, and features that synchronize your iCal and iSync data with other computers are the other second-tier features. The best feature, however, is iDisk.
Open System Preferences and click the .Mac icon. Click Sign Up.
You now go online, where your Web browser has opened up to the .Mac sign-up screen. Fill in your name and address, make up an account name and password, turn off the checkbox that invites you to get junk mail, and so on.
The final step ...