Browsing the Mac web: a depressing day

Posted by Pierre Igot in: Macintosh
February 4th, 2004 • 5:17 am

I was getting my daily dose of Mac web reading when I experienced that profoundly discouraging feeling I get whenever things are not looking good… And I am not even talking about Mac marginalization!

First, I see this item on MacFixIt about .Mac mail failures experienced by many users on Monday and apparently acknowledged by Apple. First of all, you need to dig deep into Apple’s Discussion forums to actually find the “acknowledgement”, even though the .Mac service has its own “System / Network Status” section (under “Support”, once you’ve logged in on the web). The System / Network Status just says: “All .Mac services are online and operational.” I don’t think it’s ever said anything else. You’d think that Apple could at least officially acknowledge the email delivery problems by putting a note for users there, right?

Then MacFixIt quotes the Apple guy (someone named “Chris”) as saying: “If you suspect that a message sent to you has not arrived, you may wish to have the originator resend it.

Nice. Very professional. Not even a word of apology, then. It’s like the postman leaving a note in your mailbox saying: “Oops, we burnt a few thousand letters the other day, and some of them might have been for you. If you suspect one of the letters was for you, you may wish to have the originator resend it.

This, of course, assumes that you know who sent you what and when, even though you never received anything. If you’re not an omniscient god, I guess you’re out of luck.

Next up is the February 3 update of the MacInTouch Wireless Guide. The first item is the one. Another case of someone seeing his network connection via AirPort suddenly drop. I spent half an hour yesterday trying to use our PowerBook in the living room, approximately 10 feet from our Base Station, which is set up to work as part of a roaming network. The connection seems to be fine, and works for about 5 seconds, and then it drops. AirPort is still on, the “Status” line in Internet Connect still reads “Maison” (the name of our network), but it can no longer see that the network is connected to the Internet. Then it comes back. Like that. Out of the blue. I am sitting in the sofa, not moving. Nothing is happening in the room or anywhere in the house. There is absolutely no reason for this. Things used to work just fine with the exact same equipment, in the exact same environment, with the PowerBook running Jaguar.

As if that wasn’t enough, I then read about the upcoming Microsoft Office 2004, again on MacInTouch:

One of my students told me today that he had talked to someone at MS and they indicated that Mac Office 04 would *not* support Unicode, but that they had received a very large number of requests for that… Those of a cynical bent might be forgiven for wondering if MS is deliberately undercutting Mac software by crippling it without Unicode support in Mac Office.

Please, someone say it isn’t true. How can they possibly not support Unicode?

I don’t know. This is all very depressing. Maybe I should just shut everything off and read a book.

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