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  • dtoub 11:52 pm on Sunday, April 10, 2016, 11:52 pm Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Crapple   

    wither Apple 

    Please excuse me but I’m going to rant a bit and in a pretty technical and boring fashion.

    I noticed today that my personal iCloud email account only went back as far as 2/23/16. That was odd, since I had emails dating from 2002 and much as I wish I only had 336 emails to my name, that’s not reality.

    I know I hadn’t deleted nearly 20,000 emails en masse. I’m not even sure my mail client would let me without a warning. And looking at my Time Machine backups, everything from 2/23 on had only a small inbox file (technically a .mbox file) of several MB; my inbox file before that date on my backups had 3.7 GB. So clearly, something happened on Apple’s backend on or around 2/23/16 to cause 14 years of emails to just vanish.

    I contacted Apple, in part to let them know that this happened, since looking on the Web, this has been reported by others dating back several years, and nothing was every done to help them recover their emails. The first senior support person with whom I spoke tried to recover the old emails on the server side, but as I expected, all that did was restore 117 emails I had recently deleted, so that didn’t help. And when he went to consult someone else, placing me on hold, he accidentally disconnected me.

    I called back and got another senior support person, and I’ve not had a more frustrating tech support experience with Apple in many years. I happened to know where the relevant backup files were and copied them to my Desktop and per his suggestion, tried to import them as an .mbox file. It failed. He told me to have Time Machine import it instead of my dragging it from a TM backup (like there’s a difference?) and the same thing happened. I then replaced the (5 MB) INBOX.mbox folder with the old one (3.7 GB), and even after restarting my Macbook Pro, nothing had changed. At that point, the IT guy started blaming the fact that I had installed, as part of the Appleseed program, the latest 10.11.5 update (pretty minor, and nothing with Mail changed). I explained that I hadn’t updated to 10.11.5 until four days ago at the urging of another Apple support person when I had an issue with iTunes (didn’t fix the issue, BTW), and that clearly doesn’t explain why my email disappeared two months ago.

    At that point, I was pretty frustrated, and while he was going on about how I shouldn’t have even called tech support for this as it’s clearly an OS X beta issue (which it isn’t), I tried a different way of importing the old inbox and that easily went into Mail, but as a folder on my computer. Oh, and the IT guy had to have me explain where it was located in the Mail sidebar.

    So right now I’m dragging emails to my iCloud Inbox folder (it wouldn’t take 16,000 emails at once) and should be restored at some point. But it shouldn’t be this painful. I told the guy that Apple’s products used to “just work,” and now, they just don’t. I shouldn’t have to replace Mail with a third-party email client because Mail stopped working well with my company’s Exchange server. I shouldn’t have to purchase a third-party calendar app because Calendar stopped working with Exchange. The innovation and reliability, at least in terms of services and software, are no longer at Apple. Instead of trying to make things thinner, how about making them more reliable, or actually work?

    The reality is that the first IT guy, who I sensed knew something, accidentally hung up on me and did not call me back. The second IT person was well-meaning, but largely clueless as to how Mail works and how email folders can be restored. Even worse, he admitted to me that he knew little about how iCloud works. Wow.


    Just glad I have backups. I also have every incoming email get resent to a Gmail account I only use for such backups, so that would have been a clunky but potential fallback.

    • James Katt 9:29 pm on Monday, April 11, 2016, 9:29 pm Permalink

      So you had 20,000 emails in your inbox.
      That is a recipe for disaster. I wouldn’t rely on a cloud database holding the emails.
      I usually download the email and place them in folders on my Mac.
      Then I backup the emails externally when I do clone backups – of which I do nine.
      And I backup the emails to other apps which can extract the emails from Apple Mail.

    • dtoub 9:47 pm on Monday, April 11, 2016, 9:47 pm Permalink

      I don’t know that this is a “recipe for disaster.” Hell, Gmail was touted as a repository for email so one never has to delete anything. Indeed, all my iCloud mail is copied to Gmail at the server level as a backup.

      Archiving email on one’s computer is hardly a recipe for stability. Hard drives die. Disasters happen. I keep redundant backups and that’s what helped me fix this issue, but I’ve never heard that storing email in the cloud per sé is bad. Using iCloud might be, but using a cloud in theory is a good idea (but of course does not obviate making backups).

  • dtoub 10:47 am on Friday, October 7, 2011, 10:47 am Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Crapple   

    I want my applecare+ 

    I’m an idiot. Seriously.

    I got up at 3 AM EST to preorder the new iPhone 4s. My 3GS is long in the tooth and the new camera alone makes it a worthwhile upgrade. Plus at this point, I can get a reasonable amount for my 3GS on the market, so why not.

    3AM: Apple Store down. Twitter is going nuts

    3:45 AM: Store is now up. Great. I use the Apple Store iPhone app to preorder, and get all the way to checkout when the process freezes. The page essentially refreshed and nothing ever would go through. So I go downstairs to my wife’s iMac to try again.

    4:30 AM: All attempts via the online Apple Store fail, as it times out when trying to verify my account with AT&T. As a final attempt, I go to att.com, and sure enough, it’s smooth sailing. Before hitting Submit, I give the Apple Store one last try, but no luck. I note that AT&T is not offering AppleCare+ as an option, but is offering their own warranty plan for $9.95.

    4:45 AM: I go to the online Apple Store and there is no way to purchase AppleCare+ except when as part of the iPhone order process. I check online forums, and many others are in the same boat.

    I get an e-mail confirmation from AT&T, and it makes it clear that no changes or cancellation are possible, as expected.

    This morning, I call Apple to see what can be done. After about 90 minutes of going through various people (the first person, incidentally, wanted the phone’s serial number and order number. He didn’t get that I preordered via AT&T I suppose), First I was told I would have to cancel my AT&T preorder and reorder via Apple, just too get AppleCare+. The Apple Support rep, who was truly helpful, called AT&T himself, but the preorder stands. I would have to return it unopened to AT&T and get a refund and then order anew via Apple. Why?

    What happened to Apple? It was never perfect. But details like this usually didn’t end up getting ignored. I get that the Apple Store crimped under a ton of traffic, although it’s not like Apple didn’t know it was going to have a massive load at 3 AM EST. Why not stagger it by time zone then?  And if you’re going to offer the iPhone on multiple carriers and offer a new warranty product that is required to be purchased along with the covered device, why not make sure your carriers have it in their systems?

    So yes, I’m an idiot.

    UPDATE: I sent an e-mail to Tim Cook and also via Apple’s Feedback page. Got a response from an executive at Apple and we just spoke on the phone. They’re trying to work on a fix. We’ll see.

    • Justin 12:25 pm on Friday, October 7, 2011, 12:25 pm Permalink

      I’ll be curious to see if you are able to add it after the fact. I was not given the option during my pre-order through the Apple online store, but even I was I’m sure I would have been too afraid to attempt it given the fragile nature of the pre-order process. It took me over two hours to just reserve mine!

    • Bruce 2:13 pm on Friday, October 7, 2011, 2:13 pm Permalink

      I pre-ordered through the Verizon website which also doesn’t allow you to purchase Applecare+. Called the Apple Store number this morning and spoke to a representative that said I could go to the retail store with my phone and they would sell it to me there. Needed the phone to make sure there wasn’t already damage that would be covered. Then he said with a pre-order I might be able to go in now and get it without the phone.

    • dtoub 2:17 pm on Friday, October 7, 2011, 2:17 pm Permalink

      What I’m hearing now from the executive at Apple is that at minimum, they will allow folks who preordered to go to an Apple Store and purchase AC+. I’m hearing similar things on the Apple Discussions. But I asked that this also be possible over the phone with Apple, since not everyone is that close to an Apple Store (mine is a hike either way) nor is it efficient for their sales people to be inundated with this nonsense. He agreed and will get back to me next week, hopefully with more than one solution. Sounds like AC+ was launched in a fog, with not a lot of good communication and much confusion. Not good, Apple.

    • Justin 10:06 pm on Friday, October 7, 2011, 10:06 pm Permalink

      I was looking at Squaretrade and at first glance AppleCare+ seems like the better deal. You get tech support for 2 years plus the 2 year accident protection for the same price as the SquareTrade, which doesn’t offer the extended phone support. Thoughts?

    • dtoub 10:56 pm on Friday, October 7, 2011, 10:56 pm Permalink

      My my thoughts exactly. It’s preferable to be able to take the phone to an Apple Store for evaluation. I think the new plan from Apple is better.

    • Justin 12:27 pm on Tuesday, October 11, 2011, 12:27 pm Permalink

      Did you hear any more from Apple? I guess after I receive my iPhone 4S on Friday I’ll be heading to the Apple Store to add the Applecare+. Macrumors reported that you could only take in your unopened iPhone 4S, is that what you heard?

    • dtoub 2:39 pm on Tuesday, October 11, 2011, 2:39 pm Permalink

      An Apple exec today told me one could go to either an Apple Store or AT&T Store before November 14 to purchase AC+. Nothing was said that it had to be unopened. Other folks on Apple’s forums say they were told they could call Apple Care until 11/14 to order over the phone. We will see which is the case.

    • Justin 9:09 pm on Tuesday, October 11, 2011, 9:09 pm Permalink

      Cool, thanks!

    • Justin 5:36 pm on Wednesday, October 12, 2011, 5:36 pm Permalink

      Wanted to pass along this tidbit I spotted on the Apple Store’s Applecare+ page:

      Note: AppleCare+ will be available through November 14, 2011, to customers who pre-ordered iPhone 4 (8GB) and iPhone 4S. After you receive your new iPhone, contact us at 1-800-275-2273 to purchase AppleCare+.

  • dtoub 2:57 pm on Tuesday, September 16, 2008, 2:57 pm Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Crapple,   

    what’s up with this? 

    I’m starting to feel as if Apple’s banked a lot of unreliability hours, due to its general reliability over the years, and they’re spending these hours all at once since the iPhone 2.0/MobileMe debacle a few weeks ago. The good news is iPhone 2.1 is working great for me, as is OS 10.5.5. On the other hand, I have not re-enabled MobileMe push synchronization except for e-mail (and push e-mail was down for a bit a few days ago), and when I downloaded iTunes 8, it kept freezing from the get go due to some issues with processing my album art. I finally turned off the processing of art and it works well, except that the main new feature, Genius playlists, just doesn’t work with my collection.

    Anyway, hoping Apple is done spending its unreliability hours and gets back to the reliability I’m used to. Or are they confusing themselves with HP or Dell all of a sudden?

  • dtoub 12:11 am on Saturday, August 2, 2008, 12:11 am Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Crapple, , oy vey is mir   

    mobileme SMTP down: a fix 

    Like many folks, I’ve had it up to here with Apple’s new MobileMe service, which is really the long-time .mac on anti-steroids. At this point, I use it to serve my Web site (but not this blog), and my music site, and I do have a .mac e-mail address (sorry, but the thought of a ‘me.com’ e-mail domain is untenable; I’m keeping it as .mac). Anyway, I don’t use push for contacts or calendar entries, and it seems that others feel the same way. The service is just too unreliable. After a ton of work and literally two hours on the phone with Apple last week, my contacts and calendar entries sync again pretty quickly with my iPhone via USB, and that’s fine with me (no need for the cloud, IMHO).

    But now I’m having issues with sending e-mail. It just started this evening, both for me and Debbie (we both have .mac accounts). I ended up sending out my personal e-mail using my work domain, since that functioned just fine. In any case, looking at Apple’s Discussion Forums, lots of people are having the same issue. But there’s an easy fix: change the SMTP port from 25 to 587, and if one hasn’t done so already, require authentication for SMTP (which is what I use by default). That works. Of course, it’s ridiculous that this should suddenly happen on a Friday night, and that I had to find this out by combing through the Web. I kinda doubt it’s an ISP issue. I’m somewhat locked into MobileMe(ss) for now, since beside changing e-mail, it would be cumbersome to download all my iDisk files and dump them onto a dedicated domain. But it’s also very tempting (and probably much cheaper). When I’m hearing people write of Apple as “Crapple” or of MobileMe as “MobileMess,” Apple would seem to have a pretty significant PR problem that they need to address faster and better than they have with just blogging about it and offering a one-month extension of service (which amounts to just over $8 in credit—thanks very much!).

    • Jeff B 11:39 am on Saturday, August 2, 2008, 11:39 am Permalink

      I agree wholeheartedly, the issues Apple has had all along, even since .mac was incarnated has been laughable at best. I wouldn’t pay 99 bucks a month for this craptacular service so when my current subscription expires I will NOT be renewing, as I imagine a lot of other folks will not either. Too bad, really, since this could have been a turnaround event for Apple. No wonder they are not an enterprise level computer company, when they can’t offer a reliable email service to their customers it is just sad… Pretty computers, pretty good “it just works” analogy, but, in this instance it definitely doesn’t “just work”. However, that being said, I would rather be a mac user instead of suffer the issues with the competitor Microsoft. I will however NOT be a Apple mail user, I can find much cheaper and more competitive and much more reliable service elsewhere… Heck, even Comcast doesn’t have as many outages and issues with their email service and they are known for their crappy service. What does that say about Apple when their outages and email issues are repetitive and consistently horrible… A new meaning to the term “laughing stock of the neighborhood”???

    • Scott Rose 6:57 pm on Saturday, August 2, 2008, 6:57 pm Permalink

      It’s actually good you’re NOT using “the cloud”, because guess what? You can’t turn on push services on the iPhone without being forced to also use your me.com email address on your iPhone! That’s right — as soon as you turn on push services on your iPhone, the iPhone AUTOMATICALLY adds the me.com email account into your iPhone’s mail program. Therefore, if you still want to exclusively use your mac.com email address on your iPhone instead of changing your email address to me.com (which many people still do), you’ll end up receiving DOUBLE INCOMING EMAIL MESSAGES on the iPhone — one email message into your mac.com email account, and one email message into your me.com email account. There is NO WAY to turn OFF the me.com email account while still receiving push services on your iPhone.

      Yes, just ANOTHER major flaw in the MobileMe service… amongst dozens & dozens more that I could name.

    • David Toub 11:24 pm on Saturday, August 2, 2008, 11:24 pm Permalink

      that’s interesting that it’s happening to you, because that’s not my experience with push e-mail via the cloud on my iPhone at all. I don’t get dupes and I use push e-mail all the time. This sounds like an individial quirk to me.

    • Bob Forsberg 6:28 pm on Sunday, August 3, 2008, 6:28 pm Permalink

      A much greater unexplored and obvious problem has been presented with this bumbling of MobileMe.

      I don’t believe Steve was in charge of this. I think it was a delegated project, lacking the Jobs double/triple check to perfection before it was released. Therein the problem!

      If Steve isn’t doing it, or will not be doing it in the future for health reasons, who at Apple can get things done? Show me some depth of accomplished management before I sell all my Apple stock.

      Its like a political party. Republicans were lost after Reagan left office, the same with Democrats when Bill Clinton left. Everyone before and after is defined as a wannabe with nothing to offer.

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