Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Social Pain Processed Like Physical Pain

Taking two Tylenol turns teens' tortures tolerable? New research into the similarity of the processing of social injury and physical injury may explain why some victims of bullying and social isolation react (that is, overreact) with high-level violence. Do they feel they must act in self-defense in the same way as if in physical jeopardy?

Interesting stuff.

Friday, December 18, 2009

iPhone Clobbers Competition in Japan

Apple's bid for global smartphone domination (sorry, Mr. Ballmer) has some support in the iPhone's success with the notoriously picky Japanese gadget consumers, garnering nearly half (46%) of all smartphone sales.

Interestingly, this follows a trend of Japanese warming to cheaper foreign gadgets during the economic downturn. The high-end iPhone isn't exactly the sort of inferior goods one would expect to blossom when folks are short of cash, though. Brand-conscious Japanese consumers remain picky about quality even as they pay more attention to price, and that the iPhone should benefit from this trend says good things about the case in favor of the iPhone's price/performance ratio. The increased share in handsets should also give Apple a chance to build international software sales -- the apps really make the phone sing, and Japanese will want them as much as anyone else. Given Apple's platform's technical advantages in international competition, this promises to offer some durable advantage if established.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

WinMo Installed Base Lags iPhone's

Ballmer, who has been quite public in his assertions about the limits of Apple's potential as a competitor, can eat his hat. The installed base (not just current sales, but all phones in use) of iPhones in current use now exceeds that of Windows Mobile smartphones. Thus, despite years of pre-iPhone sales to build its user base, Microsoft has lost not just sales but the installed base battle to a competitor it once derided as too expensive to buy and as useless to business users due to its user interface.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Apple's Delayed iMac: Demand or Defect?

Although NPD claims delays are the product of outsized demand and not defects, first-hand retailer reports of defects make the issue seem muddier than NPD (or likely Apple) would have us believe. Having myself been bitten by a faulty board on a G5 iMac, I'm perfectly willing to believe the new iMac has some parts with an unexpectedly high fail rate.

On the other hand, my i7 iMac rocks the casbah.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Dell's Supply Chain Broken?

Dell, a commodity vendor that once led the field in supply chain management, now seems to be having trouble fulfilling orders this holiday season.

How the mighty have fallen.

Meanwhile, Apple -- once described as "indifferent" to selling iPhones in Korea -- opened iPhone sales to strong demand and presently can't supply Korea with enough of them; moreover, Apple has apparently taken control of AT&T's subscribers through its network-backed applications that deliver applications and music to the iPhone.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Dell Suffers Budget Box Blues

Dell, a commodity box maker lacking durable competitive advantage, has suffered what Jaded Consumer predicted: price competition leading to crushed margins. As Dell has scaled down its component expenses, though, it's suffered a quality problem: warranty costs have blossomed even as retail prices collapsed. Apple, by contrast, is using its high ASP to support highly-reliable product shipment. Thus, even though Apple's historically stable and relatively high average sales price has declined, it's profit has increased.

The lesson? First, it's an illustration of the price paradox: cheap things often aren't. Second, it's an illustration of the value of product differentiation. There are doubtless other lessons to learn, among them not to count Apple out.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

On Comercial Apple POS Systems

Earlier mentioned here previously, Apple's internally-developed, intended-only-for-itself POS system (to replace the handheld POS system running atop Windows Mobile, from which the Apple Store is migrating) has some external demand. Also addressing this demand is a company started by Twitter's founder, who offers a card-swiping dongle and payment support systems, on which it presumably would make a cut as a transaction middleman.

Should Apple buy the dongle-maker? I think not.

The dongle may work, but I think Apple's shell-cum-reader is slicker, easier to get in and out of holsters, and capable of being expanded better (ie, Apple could release a holster that's also a barcode scanner, or simply adapt Wil Shipley-like tech (e.g., Delicious Library) to use the camera as a bar code scanner. The choice of WiFi vs G3 connection (and iPhone v iPod Touch) in Apple's solution is nice, as it allows folks to distribute POS devices that aren't necessarily also the users' phones -- or to allow salespeople to attach the shell (while at work) to their own phone to do work -- or to deploy LAN-only iPod Touch devices.

I highly suspect that Apple's billions in credit card transactions place it in a position not only to process third parties' transactions alongside its own, but to BECOME a major transaction processor if it wants. Hmm. Transaction processors need big datacenters, don't they? Didn't Apple buy a big datacenter location?

Apple: King of PC Retail?

In addition to winning nearly half the nation's retail PC expenditure to Macs, Apple has set a high bar for unit sales with its leading models. Those who predicted the era of the iMac was over should take note: Apple took both the #1 and #3 PC sales positions by volume with two different models of iMac in October, a 21" and a 27" preconfigured offering (and on the top-end 27", there's this to say: whoah!).

While I haven't seen those exact volume estimates, I'm mostly interested in whether the high consumer interest persists. The fact that the models weren't available during the whole of October should be tempered with the understanding that the iMac was due for a refresh and that pent-up demand likely accounts for much of the sales volume. On the other hand, anyone looking at those screens and watching the machines chew through work has to appreciate what they do.

This should be an interesting holiday quarter for Apple.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Apple Product Rumors Converge?

The rumor that Apple will release a surprisingly affordable tablet device aligns nicely with the claim that the device will be based on low-power non-Intel hardware and will involve custom chips designed by the team Apple gained in its PA Semi acquisition. Since Apple's NeXT-derived Unix platform has been developed and maintained as an architecture-independent platform (having already shipped so far on numerous PowerPC-based systems, the iPhone's ARM, and the last several years of Intel hardware), Apple has created an environment in which its developers can easily target whatever hardware Apple chooses to sell, and Apple users can expect their software to work just fine on whatever they buy from Apple. This means that Apple's software platform affords Apple a degree of hardware flexibility utterly lacking in any other major computer manufacturer.

If non-Intel tech (say, an MP ARM system with custom, low-power graphics and communications signal coprocessors) enables theoretical manufacturing cost, energy consumption, and product weight advantages, Apple will be able to leverage this as an advantage until Microsoft supports the new platform (cue laugh track) or Intel catches up (much more plausible, but notice Intel not soon shipping nVidia-defeating GPU hardware despite prior claims of timeliness; Intel's unquestioned skill in wringing performance from hardware intended to execute x86 instructions and their derivatives may not transfer into similarly crushing dominance in the design or manufacture of other computation hardware).

Considering the apparent consumer interest in an Apple tablet even before a prototype or demonstration or even a draft of any marketing copy has been released, leaked, or stolen from Apple, one could be forgiven for wondering just how much hay Apple might be able to make with a few years' headstart in a market segment built around general-purpose multitouch tablets that don't use Intel hardware.

Could be an interesting product release.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Immobilized for a morning by MobileMe

Those of you who've read the Jaded Consumer's less-than-enthusiastic coverage of Apple's online services (here, here, here, here, here, here . . .) may be surprised to learn I've signed up for MobileMe. I confess: I wanted live-over-the-air updating of contacts and calendar events regardless whether made out in the field (on the phone) or at my desk (on a Mac) or while using a portable (also a Mac). In my defense, I did it primarily because I was seduced by the service discount obtained by bundling it with a new Mac, the delicious Intel Core i7 4-core iMac, which is a dream. (The 27" screen is beautiful, by the way.)

After subscribing to MobileMe, however, and following the advice I received on how to set it and my phone up to work together, I ended up with duplicated events, duplicated contacts, events that seemed to appear at the wrong times depending how I viewed them (web vs client application), and so on. Adding events to the phone didn't initially push them to the cloud or to my Mac, and once I set that up it wasn't consistent until I figured out that there were both local versions of calendars and contacts, and cloud versions, and since my calendars and contacts (naturally) had the same name, it was virtually impossible for me to easily work out which I was editing, so I never knew whether I was making an edit that would synch over the air, or not. And the phone, previously mostly quiet unless ringing in earnest, began shedding alarms like it was going out of style -- apparently, every time there was a push update to the phone. (Push email is a huge boon, as without it one needed to open the email app and wait for the app to connect and download email, which was a serious drag: the delay was long enough the phone would often sleep. Checking email on the phone is now frankly a pleasure.)

When I received an email about online MobileMe support, I thought I'd give the support a spin. I offer you the transcript for your consideration. This chat followed my filling out a form asking for my problem, my name, etc. You can give up anytime you like; the whole conversation took over three hours, including time I was asked to hold on while the MobileMe support rep did research. Here it is:
  • info: Hi, my name is Dierk M.. Welcome to Apple!

    Jaded Consumer: This is Jay, like I typed in the form

    Dierk M.: Hello Jay.

    Jaded Consumer: hi

    Dierk M.: Welcome to MobileMe chat support. I'm reading your information now. While I'm doing that, can you let me know if you've chatted MobileMe support about this particular issue before now?

    Dierk M.: Just to let you know in advance, if I stop typing for a few minutes while we are chatting, I am still here, but I may have to repeatedly look into your account and use other tools to help troubleshoot the issue.

    Jaded Consumer: never contact ed anyone about it, other than to ask an Apple Store guy why I had duplicates of everything.

    Jaded Consumer: Now that I've figured out why I have duplicates, I still don't know how to stop the phone's buzzing or the incesant offer to make local copies that will result in duplicates

    Dierk M.: Ok, it sounds like you have two issues listed here.

    Jaded Consumer: I want the phone to stop offering my ways to make local versions that won't push to my computer.

    Dierk M.: Give me about 4 minutes to read through this.

    Jaded Consumer: Thx

    Dierk M.: ...

    Dierk M.: Ok, regarding the first issue, turning the vibrate switch on should turn off all sounds on the iphone except alarms. For more information on the phone itself, I'd recommend contacting iphone support. They are more familiar with the iphone itself and making it silent.

    Jaded Consumer: The iPhone will still buzz audibly when in silent mode.

    Jaded Consumer: BUT ...

    Dierk M.: Ok, regarding teh 2nd issue, you are getting duplicate contacts and calendar events on the iphone. Is that right?

    Jaded Consumer: ... how can I get it to stop making even buzzes when it just gets a push notification or an email?

    Jaded Consumer: I don't want ANY alarm on just emails.

    Jaded Consumer: an IM or phone call, I can see why I might want to know -- but nonstop buzzes keep me from ever wanting to look at the damn thing

    Jaded Consumer: Phone was more useful before MobileMe!

    Jaded Consumer: now it just buzzes all day and I never know when to look

    Jaded Consumer: and all night

    Jaded Consumer: ALL night

    Jaded Consumer: I figured out how to stop duplicate events, it's got to do with NEVER making a local event, only a MobileMe event

    Dierk M.: One moment please.

    Jaded Consumer: now that it's obvious I never want a local event, just an event synched to the cloud, I want to stop being offered the "opportunity" to make local-only events

    Jaded Consumer: None of this was a problem before MobileMe

    Jaded Consumer: (also, I don't use MobileMe email because it's been horrifically slow for years; why is that and when will it be fixed?)

    Dierk M.: I don't know about the iphone itself. I believe that if you turn on the silent switch on the side of the iphone, it stops all sounds from occurring except for alarms. I am only familiar with the MobileME suite of services. If you need more help with the iphone itself, I would recommend contacting iPhone support.

    Dierk M.: One momentp lease

    Jaded Consumer: OK, why in heck will it alarm every time it gets an email or push update? How do you stop this crazy behavior?

    Dierk M.: It shouldn't.

    Dierk M.: Unless you have so many alarms that it's buzzing or ringing for each one of those.

    Jaded Consumer: Well, for some reason even when I"m not getting a call or IM, it buzzes. I can only assume it's gotten an email ... and I can't find a control to stop these "alarms" for all this silly stuff I don't want to hear about

    Dierk M.: The duplicated alarms could be caused by syncing the iphone using iTunes and Mobileme at the same time.

    Dierk M.: You can fix that by simply following the steps in this article:

    Dierk M.: iPhone/iPod touch: Resolving duplicates and removing all contacts/calendars/bookmarks with MobileMe or Microsoft Exchange ActiveSync

    Jaded Consumer: I no longer have duplicated events, I solved that by ceasing making local events and only making MobileMe events

    Dierk M.: One moment please. Y ou are going too fast.

    Jaded Consumer: BUT I still get alarms 24/7

    Jaded Consumer: Look, the link you gave me says to select Merge. That's WHY I was getting duplicates!

    Jaded Consumer: At the bottom of the link you sent, it says "Completely deleting Contacts, Calendars, and Bookmarks from an iPhone or iPod touch requires an active MobileMe account." How do I delete the offer to make local events that aren't MobileMe events?

    Dierk M.: One moment please.

    Dierk M.: You are typing too fast.

    Dierk M.: I'm 5 minutes behind.

    Dierk M.: One moment.

    Jaded Consumer: ha

    Dierk M.: ...

    Dierk M.: Ok, I don't know about the slow email. I would recommend testing that without using the iphone as a test. See if that works without the sluggishness.

    Dierk M.: Sign into your account and see if you can send yourself a test email without issue.

    Jaded Consumer: I never used the iPhone as a test

    Dierk M.: Ok, regarding teh next question, I don't know why your iphone is buzzing every email or push update. It shouldn't do that.

    Jaded Consumer: I only discovered the MobileMe mail was glacially slow by trying to email someone in the same room repeatedly and giving up and using Earthlink, Gmail, Hotmail, etc. to get the attachment to them.

    Dierk M.: I would have to troubleshoot that.

    Jaded Consumer: The MobileMe versions showed up, but like hours later

    Dierk M.: One moment please.

    Dierk M.: I am still answering yourq uestions in order.

    Jaded Consumer: I was emailing [removed]@mac.com to get an attachment to her

    Dierk M.: One momen t plase.

    Dierk M.: I am still catching up

    Jaded Consumer: my questions have been (1) how do I stop getting offers to make non-MobileMe versions of events and contacts (which is the source of annoying duplicates) and (2) how do I stop the phone from buzzing every time there's MobileMe activity like an email or contact push? (3) is: is anyone trying to fix email latency, or should I give up forever?

    Dierk M.: Ok, if your iphone is vibrating even when not receiving an email or an alarm occurring, I would recommend contacting iphone support to see if there is anything wrong with the iphone itself.

    Dierk M.: One moment please. I am still reading through your many questions.

    Jaded Consumer: I assume it's vibrating because it alarms on all push activities

    Dierk M.: One momen tplease.

    Jaded Consumer: If it's not silent, it chimes

    Dierk M.: ...

    Jaded Consumer: Is there a way to disable the offer to make local, non-MobileMe versions of events?

    Dierk M.: One moment please.

    Dierk M.: I am still catching up on yoru many questions.

    Jaded Consumer: (2) is the most irritating, and (3) I've worked around by never using MobileMe for email

    Dierk M.: One moment pelase.

    Dierk M.: Please go to the main menu on the iPhone. Then tap "Settings" and tap on "Mail, Contacts, Calendars". Then tap on your MobileMe account and tell me which switches are on and which are off.

    Dierk M.: I apologize for any aggravation Jay. We will work through the issue and see if we can find a solution.

    Jaded Consumer: There's a list of accounts, and there's switches for "Show to/cc label" (on), "ask before deleting" (off), "load remote images (on), and "always bcc myself" (off)

    Dierk M.: tap on your MobileME account.

    Jaded Consumer: Under "Sounds" (not Mail/Contact/Calendars) there are switches for killing email alarms

    Dierk M.: tap on your MobileME account.

    Jaded Consumer: Under Settings, I don't see MobileMe

    Dierk M.: Ok, then your iphone will not communicate with your MobileMe account.

    Dierk M.: So the iphone must not be part of the issue.

    Jaded Consumer: Ahh, the account, not the label "mobileme"

    Dierk M.: Wait.

    Dierk M.: Not not Settings.

    Dierk M.: Under Mail, Contacts, Calendar.

    Jaded Consumer: If I pick the [JadedConsumer]@me.com address in mail/contacts/calendar, it says every option is "on"

    Jaded Consumer: Eliminating alarms for all this may be under Sounds

    Jaded Consumer: I may have got it now

    Jaded Consumer: a third of the batter, maybe :-)

    Dierk M.: One moment pelase.

    Dierk M.: Please go to the main menu on the iPhone. Then tap "Settings" and tap on "Mail, Contacts, Calendars".

    Dierk M.: Then list all accounts please.

    Jaded Consumer: Earthlink, GMail, a bunch of others, and [JadedConsumer]@me.com -- that one has all its options checked

    Jaded Consumer: The options are Mail, Contacts, Calendars, Bookmarks -- but no sounds

    Jaded Consumer: However, under Settings/Sounds are alarm options for email and calendar alerts

    Jaded Consumer: The email was probably my culprit

    Jaded Consumer: Let's assume the alarm buzzes are fixed.

    Dierk M.: Please ignore all accounts except MobileMe.

    Jaded Consumer: How do we stop the Calendar app from offering me (at least as my first choice) non-MobileMe calendar flags that will not automatically synch over the air?

    Dierk M.: Ok, now tap on your MobileMe account nplease.

    Dierk M.: Then tell me which switches are on and which are off.

    Jaded Consumer: The account isn't called MobileMe. It's called "[JadedConsumer]@me.com" and I've already told you what's there and how the settings are set.

    Dierk M.: If it's @me.com, it's MobileMe.

    Jaded Consumer: All the switches are on, but none of them are for sounds

    Dierk M.: Ok, there are no swithces for sounds on that screen.

    Dierk M.: Only 5 switches.

    Jaded Consumer: exactly. they're all on.

    Dierk M.: For contacts, calendars, bookmarks, mail, and find my iphone.

    Jaded Consumer: yes.

    Dierk M.: ok

    Dierk M.: Ok, I don't know any thing about the sounds the iphone produces. For that, I'd recommend contacting the iPHone support advisors at 800-MY-IPHONE (800-694-7466). They're available seven days a week.

    Dierk M.: are you having any issues with your MobileMe account or syncing the iphone to MobileMe at this point?

    Jaded Consumer: How about (2) and (3)?

    Dierk M.: I thought issue #2 was the duplicated events on the iphone?

    Jaded Consumer: Yes, email latency is so bad when I send to my sister that I don't dare use the service. Any planned fixes?

    Dierk M.: Which I th ought you said you fixed.

    Dierk M.: Sure.

    Dierk M.: Let's test that.

    Dierk M.: Log into the MobileMe mail interface at http://www.me.com/mail. Try sending yourself a test email to see if that works. If you haven't done this, please try now and let me know what happens, including any error messages.

    Dierk M.: See if there are any delays.

    Jaded Consumer: when should it arrive?

    Dierk M.: Immediately.

    Dierk M.: SEnd the test email from [JadedConsumer]@me.com to [JadedConsumer]@me.com

    Jaded Consumer: very funny

    Dierk M.: Don't use any other email addresses at this point.

    Jaded Consumer: I sent something to it from a known-working account

    Dierk M.: No.

    Dierk M.: Don't do that.

    Jaded Consumer: OK it worked

    Dierk M.: Send the test email from [JadedConsumer]@me.com to [JadedConsumer]@me.com within MobileME email interface at www.me.com.

    Dierk M.: Ok. Good.

    Jaded Consumer: Are the mac.com addresses still working, or are they dead?

    Dierk M.: Now we know that both sending and receiving are working.

    Dierk M.: [JadedConsumer]@mac.com is not valid for your account because your account was begun after the transition from .Mac to MObileMe.

    Dierk M.: Only those customers who had an account on July 9, 2008 were grandfathered in.

    Jaded Consumer: [JadedConsumer] has been an active name for much longer than that

    Jaded Consumer: it was cancelled for a while because backup didn't work and email was unreliable

    Dierk M.: Your account began on November 2, 2009.

    Jaded Consumer: in short, the mac.com service wasn't worth using

    Dierk M.: If it was canceled prior to July 9, 2008, the name was probably recycled during the transition.

    Jaded Consumer: nope

    Dierk M.: One momen tplesae.

    Jaded Consumer: continuously active as iTunes account

    Jaded Consumer: was cancelled before Jul 9 '08 but not recycled

    Dierk M.: That's iTunes though.

    Dierk M.: Very different than MobileMe accounts.

    Jaded Consumer: but no name recycling

    Jaded Consumer: nobody else was [JadedConsumer]

    Dierk M.: That's probably another Apple ID called [JadedConsumer]

    Dierk M.: Ok, let's return to the email issue

    Jaded Consumer: my mac.com mailbox picked up the email to the me.com account, incidentally

    Dierk M.: Now, send a test email from [JadedConsumer]@me.com to [JadedConsumer]@earthlink.net. Then tell me if it arrives within 60 seconds.

    Jaded Consumer: attachment upload to me.com is taking a while

    Jaded Consumer: sent ...

    Dierk M.: Don't send an attachemtn.

    Dierk M.: Just send an email.

    Jaded Consumer: empty test away

    Jaded Consumer: rec'd

    Jaded Consumer: so me.com delay isn't particularly plaguing today. Are there any stats on performance?

    Dierk M.: No.

    Dierk M.: Now, send a test email from [JadedConsumer]@me.com to [JadedConsumer]@earthlink.net. Then tell me if it arrives within 60 seconds.

    Jaded Consumer: Sounds like getting iPhone to stop asking me to make non-synching contacts is someone else's department than yours.

    Dierk M.: Or is that what you just did?

    Jaded Consumer: what?

    Dierk M.: What email did you just send?

    Jaded Consumer: Phone asks me to make non-synching contacts and events every time I make one.

    Jaded Consumer: I just sent an email that worked and wasn't particularly delayed.

    Jaded Consumer: Is there a way to check iPhone voicemail from MobileMe?

    Dierk M.: One momen tpelase.

    Dierk M.: Ok, sorry for the delay. Ok, let's stay with one issue at a time.

    Dierk M.: Is email working both to and from your Mobileme email address without delay?

    Jaded Consumer: email latency is not obviously bad, but after prior experience I'll not use it without further assurance about its reliability

    Jaded Consumer: Is there a way to check iPhone voicemail from MobileMe?

    Dierk M.: Ok, if MobileMe email is working normally without issue, we'll assume for the moment that it's working oK.

    Dierk M.: Regarding your other question, there is no way to check voicemail via MobileMe. That is only possible through the iphone itself or through your carrier service perhaps.

    Jaded Consumer: thx

    Jaded Consumer: Am I correct that getting iPhone to stop asking me to make non-synching contacts is someone else's department than yours?

    Dierk M.: To make sure I understand exactly what you mean, please elaborate on that. Please give me the exact message you are seeing on the iphone.

    Jaded Consumer: go to Calendars. Click the "+" to make a new event. Choose from the Calendar selector to select which calendar the event will go on. The screen is full of "on my iPhone" alternatives that look like what I want, but will not automatically update MobileMe and will generate duplicates if MobileMe is ever made aware of the event. I have to scroll to another page to get options for calendars of which MobileMe is aware.

    Dierk M.: Ok, it sounds as if you synced your iphone to the computer via iTunes and via MobileME, thus creating two sets of calendars on the iphone.

    Dierk M.: That's probably why you are getting prompted like that.

    Jaded Consumer: How do I kill the local-only, MobileMe-unaware calendars?

    Dierk M.: are you looking at calendars on the iphone now?

    Jaded Consumer: also, having killed them, how can I put MobileMe content on a local machine if I unsubscribe to MobileMe? I don't want a one-way trip!

    Jaded Consumer: I'm at the phone

    Dierk M.: Do you see the "Calendars" button at top left of the screen?

    Jaded Consumer: Yes

    Dierk M.: tap that

    Dierk M.: Then describe exactly what you see

    Jaded Consumer: Clicking it, I can choose between "all my calendars", "On my iPhone" calendars, and MobileMe calendars

    Jaded Consumer: The last two have a list of all my calendars: home, school, etc.

    Dierk M.: Ok, let's combine them. That will create one set of calendars on the iphone that will sync to the cloud and to your Mac via MobileMe.

    Dierk M.: Is that ok?

    Jaded Consumer: I avoid duplicates by looking only at the MobileMe set

    Dierk M.: Correct.

    Jaded Consumer: sure, how do we do it?

    Dierk M.: That's one way of doing it.

    Dierk M.: Do this.

    Jaded Consumer: I can't see what you're doing :-)

    Dierk M.: Do this.

    Dierk M.: Please go to the main menu on the iPhone. Then tap "Settings" and tap on "Mail, Contacts, Calendars". Then tap on your MobileMe account.

    Dierk M.: Then tap "Delete account"

    Jaded Consumer: sounds scary

    Jaded Consumer: it's the account with all my content

    Jaded Consumer: can we get it back if this goes south?

    Dierk M.: When you tap "delete account", tell me what you see on the iphone.

    Jaded Consumer: Three buttons: "Keep on my iPhone", "Delete from my iPhone", and "Cancel"

    Dierk M.: Choose "keep on my iphone"

    Jaded Consumer: done

    Dierk M.: Now tap on add account.

    Jaded Consumer: ok

    Dierk M.: tap MobileMe.

    Dierk M.: fill in your information.

    Dierk M.: Then add it back again.

    Dierk M.: Then when prompted, turn on the sync switch for contacts. Then choose "merge with MobileMe"

    Jaded Consumer: It says, select info to synchronize using MobileMe

    Jaded Consumer: select everything?

    Dierk M.: you see the 5 switches again?

    Jaded Consumer: yes

    Jaded Consumer: click "done"?

    Dierk M.: Turn on switch for contacts.

    Dierk M.: Then tell me what happens.

    Jaded Consumer: it asks if I want to merge, I click yes per your instructions

    Dierk M.: Ok.

    Dierk M.: Now turn on calendars.

    Dierk M.: Then tap "merge" again if you are prompted.

    Jaded Consumer: yes, it says server-based calendars will be removed

    Dierk M.: Whoah

    Dierk M.: I don't know how you are getting that.

    Dierk M.: Do you have Exchange set up on that iphone?

    Jaded Consumer: "There are existing calendars on your iPhone. Would you like to merge them with your MobileMe account? (Server-based calendars on your iPhone will be removed.)"

    Jaded Consumer: I do not have exchange set up on the phone

    Dierk M.: ok

    Dierk M.: Tap "merge"

    Jaded Consumer: ok

    Jaded Consumer: click "done"?

    Dierk M.: You can turn on the other switches if you want.

    Dierk M.: such as bookmarks and find my iphone.

    Jaded Consumer: right

    Jaded Consumer: then "done"?

    Dierk M.: Yes.

    Dierk M.: Then go back to calendars.

    Dierk M.: Then see if you still have duplicates.

    Jaded Consumer: ok, configuring synch for mobile me

    Jaded Consumer: Well, yes: I have duplicates in this way

    Jaded Consumer: When I look at "all calendars" and try to add an event, I see two "Personal" and two "School" options, and I can't tell from looking which is MobileMe-aware and which is not

    Dierk M.: Please log into your account at www.me.com.

    Dierk M.: Then tell me if you see duplicated calendars there too.

    Jaded Consumer: so I have a 50/50 change makign any new event that it will/won't synch with MobileMe and will/won't also be on a computer

    Jaded Consumer: nope

    Dierk M.: ok

    Dierk M.: Let's continue troubleshooting.

    Jaded Consumer: mobileme has one flag for choosing each calendar

    Dierk M.: Do you have all calendars backed up on your Mac?

    Jaded Consumer: how do I know? I think they're all on MobileMe.

    Dierk M.: Open iCal on the Mac.

    Dierk M.: Then see if your calendars are all up to date there.

    Jaded Consumer: yes

    Dierk M.: What Mac OS version are you using (such as Mac OS X v10.5.1, Mac OS X v10.4.10 or Mac OS X v10.3.9)?

    Jaded Consumer: the computer's version shows one flag per calendar, too, not two

    Jaded Consumer: Snow Leopard

    Dierk M.: Ok, choose File > export > ical archive.

    Jaded Consumer: 10.6.2 according to About

    Jaded Consumer: ok

    Jaded Consumer: doe

    Jaded Consumer: done

    Jaded Consumer: Umm

    Dierk M.: Ok, so ical contains all calendars. Good

    Jaded Consumer: my Mac and MobileMe have the events at different times

    Dierk M.: That's because you have different time zones set up.

    Dierk M.: That's another issue

    Jaded Consumer: phone, computer have a 5:30PM event shown on MobileMe as 3:30

    Jaded Consumer: MobileMe thinks I'm in Cupertino?

    Dierk M.: That's because you have different time zones set up.

    Jaded Consumer: How to fix?

    Dierk M.: correct.

    Dierk M.: Click this

    Jaded Consumer: this?

    Dierk M.: http://www.me.com/account

    Dierk M.: Then log in

    Jaded Consumer: I'm there already

    Dierk M.: Then go to Personal Info

    Jaded Consumer: at Summary

    Dierk M.: Then verify and edit the time zone if needed.

    Jaded Consumer: What's the difference between Chicago and Central?

    Jaded Consumer: Does one have DST and the other not?

    Dierk M.: Put the closest city to you within the same time zone.

    Dierk M.: Houston should be on the list.

    Jaded Consumer: My choices are Central Time (US & Canada), Chicago, Mexico City, and Galapagos. No Houston

    Jaded Consumer: well, and Winnepeg

    Jaded Consumer: Houston is closer to Chicago, but ...

    Dierk M.: Use Central Time

    Dierk M.: I'm in Austin and that's what I use.

    Jaded Consumer: Apple used to have Austin as an option on the computers ... OK, chose Central

    Dierk M.: That's different.

    Jaded Consumer: will that know about Daylight Savings Time?

    Dierk M.: MobileMe settings are different.

    Jaded Consumer: so I see

    Dierk M.: The DST is not set on MObileMe.

    Dierk M.: That's all done on your computer itself.

    Jaded Consumer: but if I make an event on MobileMe, what will happen to event times on my computer when the change comes?

    Dierk M.: I guess it changes.

    Dierk M.: No one's complained about it before so it must sense the change.

    Jaded Consumer: I've had this problem already, making events on MobileMe at the "right" time that show up as wrong on the phone because the time zone is off ...

    Jaded Consumer: Ha!

    Jaded Consumer: ok

    Dierk M.: Was the time zone wrong?

    Jaded Consumer: It thought I was in Cupertino

    Dierk M.: Good

    Jaded Consumer: the times haven't fixed yet on the calendar, though

    Dierk M.: Now verify time zone on the iphone.

    Dierk M.: See if it's set to CST

    Dierk M.: it takes awhile to adjust.

    Dierk M.: Make sure that the time zone is set correctly within the MobileMe account itself by doing the following:

    Jaded Consumer: Phone's date/time is set to set automatically

    Dierk M.: oops

    Dierk M.: Ignore that.

    Jaded Consumer: it may be getting date/time locally from cell towers

    Dierk M.: To check time zone on the iPhone, please go to the main menu on your iPhone. Then tap "Settings" and tap on "Mail, Contacts, Calendars". Then scroll all the way to the bottom of that screen and tap on "Time Zone Support". Then verify your time zone set there.

    Jaded Consumer: Says Houston

    Jaded Consumer: The phone knows :-)

    Dierk M.: Good

    Dierk M.: Now let's continue with our original issue.

    Jaded Consumer: so, why does the phone offer me two different "personal" and two different "school" calendars?

    Dierk M.: You see no duplicated events on MobileMe, but you do see duplicated events on the iphone. Is that right?

    Dierk M.: because you duplicated them. That's why

    Jaded Consumer: I can't tell you about events, because I've avoided making duplicate events, but there are two sets of calendars.

    Jaded Consumer: how do I kill the set that is unaware of MobileMe?

    Dierk M.: Let's fix that.

    Dierk M.: Please tell me if all calendars are accurate and up to date in ical.

    Jaded Consumer: seems so

    Dierk M.: Good

    Dierk M.: And they're backed up.

    Jaded Consumer: that's what we did a minute ago, I think

    Dierk M.: Please go to the main menu on the iPhone. Then tap "Settings" and tap on "Mail, Contacts, Calendars". Then tap on your MobileMe account and turn off the switch for calendars.

    Dierk M.: Then choose "Delete from iPhone"

    Jaded Consumer: um, I want them to synch over the air, not to depend on synch by wire ...

    Dierk M.: correct.

    Jaded Consumer: if I delete the MobileMe versions, I'll be left with wire-only, right?

    Dierk M.: No.

    Dierk M.: We're only going to be left with calendars synced over the air via MobileMe.

    Dierk M.: The other set will be deleted.

    Jaded Consumer: deleting from calendars

    Dierk M.: Ok, please tell me exactly what you do and what button you push

    Jaded Consumer: Settings/Mail-contacts-calendars/[JadedConsumer]@me.com/ then pulled Calendars switch to "off" and selected "delete from phone" like you suggested

    Jaded Consumer: I got the message it was deleting

    Jaded Consumer: now my events are gone from my phone's calendars

    Jaded Consumer: next step

    Dierk M.: Ok. Good

    Jaded Consumer: ?

    Dierk M.: Now turn on the switch again.

    Dierk M.: Then tell me what you see.

    Jaded Consumer: pulled switch on

    Jaded Consumer: saw nothing

    Dierk M.: You should get prompted.

    Jaded Consumer: nope

    Dierk M.: Someting is wrong then

    Dierk M.: Please turn it off.

    Dierk M.: Then delete the account from the iphone.

    Jaded Consumer: phione?

    Dierk M.: Who knows.

    Jaded Consumer: turning off calendars...

    Jaded Consumer: still says turning off calendars

    Dierk M.: Ok.

    Dierk M.: It should say that for 10 seconds max.

    Jaded Consumer: now I see my scren full of icons, settings is closed

    Dierk M.: That should not have happened

    Dierk M.: tap "Settings" and tap on "Mail, Contacts, Calendars". Then tap on your MobileMe account

    Dierk M.: Then delete the account from the iphone.

    Jaded Consumer: done

    Dierk M.: Ok, so your MobileME account is no longer on the iPhone. good.

    Jaded Consumer: Deleting

    Jaded Consumer: ok

    Jaded Consumer: next?

    Dierk M.: Once it's deleted from the iphone, turn the iphone completely off for 30 seconds.

    Dierk M.: The power the iphone back on again.

    Jaded Consumer: shutting down

    Jaded Consumer: off now

    Jaded Consumer: shall I turn it back on?

    Dierk M.: Yes

    Jaded Consumer: on

    Dierk M.: .

    Jaded Consumer: it's on

    Jaded Consumer: next step?

    Dierk M.: .

    Dierk M.: Moment please

    Jaded Consumer: ok?

    Dierk M.: .

    Dierk M.: Please go to the main menu on the iPhone. Then tap "Settings" and tap on "Mail, Contacts, Calendars". Then add your MobileMe account back again.

    Dierk M.: Then turn on the switches for mail, contacts, calendars, bookmarks, and find my iphone. If prompted, tell me exactly what the prompt message is.

    Jaded Consumer: ok, added, and it ways all the choices are "on"

    Jaded Consumer: except "find my iphone"

    Jaded Consumer: turning it on, too

    Dierk M.: What?

    Dierk M.: What do you mean by "and it ways all the choices are "on""

    Jaded Consumer: the five sliders

    Dierk M.: Yes.

    Dierk M.: What do you mean.

    Jaded Consumer: they are all set to "on"

    Dierk M.: They were already on?

    Jaded Consumer: yes

    Dierk M.: That doesn't make sens.

    Dierk M.: sense.

    Dierk M.: If you add the account back again, they should all be off.

    Dierk M.: Something is wrong.

    Dierk M.: Please delete your mobielMe account from the iphone again.

    Jaded Consumer: It's not the first time we set them to "on" ... is that it?

    Jaded Consumer: ok

    Jaded Consumer: deleted

    Jaded Consumer: next move?

    Dierk M.: When you deleted the account, you should be prompted what you want to do with the data already on the iphone.

    Dierk M.: Were you?

    Jaded Consumer: yes

    Dierk M.: What did you choose?

    Jaded Consumer: I think, anyway

    Jaded Consumer: it didn't take much time, as it didn't seem to have synched anything, which was odd

    Jaded Consumer: I chose delete from local phone, as before.

    Jaded Consumer: re-add?

    Dierk M.: Ok, add the account back again. Then turn on all switches when you see them.

    Jaded Consumer: I mistyped the mobileme account name and it's taking a long time

    Dierk M.: ok

    Jaded Consumer: OK, I turned it on, and everything but Find my Phone is already set to "ON"

    Dierk M.: Ok. One moment please.

    Jaded Consumer: click "Done"?

    Dierk M.: One momen tplease.

    Dierk M.: You don't have any duplicated calendars in iCal either, right?

    Dierk M.: They only show up on the iphone, correct?

    Jaded Consumer: I would have to leave Settings to find out. Click "Done"?

    Dierk M.: No, just put the iphone down.

    Dierk M.: on the desk.

    Jaded Consumer: done

    Dierk M.: Then open iCal on the Mac.

    Dierk M.: Then see if you have any dupes on there.

    Jaded Consumer: nope

    Dierk M.: Ok. Good.

    Dierk M.: And no dupes on MobileMe cloud either.

    Jaded Consumer: nope, just all the wrong time

    Dierk M.: Ok, that should have been fixed with theh time zone issue earlier.

    Jaded Consumer: you said 5 min ..

    Jaded Consumer: ... was still waiting

    Dierk M.: We'll come back to that later.

    Jaded Consumer: sure

    Dierk M.: One moment please. Still researching

    Dierk M.: Let's reset your calendars up to MobileMe. That will erase all calendars on the MobileMe cloud at www.me.com and on any iPhones that you are syncing to MobileMe, and replace them with the calendars currently in iCal. Is that ok?

    Jaded Consumer: does iCal have anything but its synched calendars from MobileMe?

    Dierk M.: I'm not sure I understand that sentence.

    Dierk M.: Please elaborate.

    Jaded Consumer: if iCal has nothing but its synched copy of MobileMe's content and we obliterate the MobileMe content, might we be left with nothing?

    Jaded Consumer: MobileMe is not turning out to be a simple experience

    Dierk M.: No, ical calendars are within iCal. They cannot be erased unless you reset downwards, but we're going to reset upwards.

    Dierk M.: That will erase calendars on the cloud, not the other way around.

    Dierk M.: I apologize for any inconvenience and aggravation Jay.

    Jaded Consumer: many events were created on MobileMe and synched down to the iCal app; I just want to be sure we don't lose stuff

    Dierk M.: 99% of the time, syncing issues are not caused by MobileMe, but rather the data itself, in my experience.

    Dierk M.: Ah I see.

    Dierk M.: No, those things are IN ical.

    Jaded Consumer: ok

    Jaded Consumer: instructions?

    Dierk M.: and if you backed up what's currently in iCal, you should have a copy of all data currently in ical.

    Dierk M.: So even if something goes wrong, we can restore and start over again.

    Jaded Consumer: ok. instructions?

    Dierk M.: Please open ical for me.

    Dierk M.: Then tell me how many calendars you see in the left margin.

    Dierk M.: excluding any subscription calendars.

    Jaded Consumer: on computer?

    Jaded Consumer: iCal app?

    Dierk M.: yes

    Jaded Consumer: six under "Calendars" and one under "Kay", then several subscriptions

    Dierk M.: tell me the size of each of them. You can ignore any subscription calendars if you have any.

    Dierk M.: Here's how you can determine the calendar’s file size:

    Dierk M.: 1. in iCal, click once on a calendar in the left margin to select it.

    Dierk M.: 2. Choose Export from the File menu, navigate to your desktop, and click the Export button. This will place the one selected calendar on the desktop. The exported calendar will show the name of the calendar with .ics afterwards.

    Dierk M.: 3. Find the exported calendar file on your desktop, click to select it, and choose "Get Info" from the File menu.

    Jaded Consumer: I think we exported only the "home" calendar, then. How do you export ALL calendars

    Jaded Consumer: ?

    Dierk M.: 1. in iCal, click once on a calendar in the left margin to select it.

    Dierk M.: 2. Choose Export from the File menu, navigate to your desktop, and click the Export button. This will place the one selected calendar on the desktop.

    Dierk M.: That's it.

    Dierk M.: export each one.

    Jaded Consumer: Home and Work are both 4.5MB, which seems bogus: there's nothing in Home

    Jaded Consumer: is Home everything combined?

    Jaded Consumer: OK, I was archiving

    Jaded Consumer: choosing export gives ics and not icbu

    Jaded Consumer: Home is 4KB

    Dierk M.: No, I need you to export them one at a time.

    Jaded Consumer: Personal is 201KB

    Jaded Consumer: Work is 119KB

    Dierk M.: Yes, exporting a calendar in iCal gives you Home.ics

    Dierk M.: no, Home is just Home.

    Jaded Consumer: OK, all are separately exported

    Dierk M.: Ok, I need sizes on all calendars please.

    Dierk M.: all regular calendars that is.

    Dierk M.: Ignore all the subscription calendars.

    Jaded Consumer: Deeptrek 8KB, Home 4KB, Nicole 8KB, Personal 201KB, School 12KB, Work 119KB

    Dierk M.: Ok, so 4, 201, 119, 8, 8, and 12.

    Dierk M.: KB.

    Dierk M.: Those all look ok except for the 201 KB one. That is a bit big, but it should be ok for now.

    Dierk M.: Now close iCal.

    Dierk M.: Well, actually leave it open.

    Jaded Consumer: OK

    Jaded Consumer: opening

    Jaded Consumer: open

    Dierk M.: Then add a test event to Work.

    Dierk M.: just some test event.

    Jaded Consumer: OK

    Jaded Consumer: Dec 2 1PM event called "Test"

    Dierk M.: Now I want you do to this. I want you to reset the MobileMe System Preferences. To do this, click on the menu at the top left corner of the screen. Then choose "System Preferences". Then open MobileMe. Then sign out of your MobileMe account by clicking the "Sign Out" button. Then attempt to sign into a fake account. You can enter a random set of letters and numbers for the MobileMe member name and password, then click the "Sign In" button. After you receive notice that the name or password is invalid, sign back into your MobileMe account.

    Jaded Consumer: got invalid notice ...

    Dierk M.: Good

    Dierk M.: Now sign back into your own account.

    Dierk M.: Then choose "use same name"

    Jaded Consumer: Signed it

    Dierk M.: Now click on sync tab.

    Jaded Consumer: OK

    Dierk M.: select the "Sync with MobileMe" checkbox, and then select calendars only.

    Dierk M.: Then click "Sync now"

    Dierk M.: Then see if the test event shows up on the cloud at www.me.com.

    Jaded Consumer: It's set to synch automatically, but I've deselected everything but Calendars. It says "You are synching Calendars with MobileMe for the first time"

    Jaded Consumer: merge, or ...?

    Dierk M.: No, turn auto syncing off.

    Dierk M.: That just intereferes with things.

    Jaded Consumer: synch manually.

    Dierk M.: Set it to manual.

    Dierk M.: Then choose "Replace data on MobileMe

    Dierk M.: Then click sync.

    Jaded Consumer: ok manual and "synch now" ...

    Jaded Consumer: clicked to replace MobileMe

    Jaded Consumer: MobileMe now has the test item, and everythign 2h off still

    Dierk M.: Ok. Good

    Dierk M.: So syncing is working.

    Dierk M.: Now let's reset upwards.

    Dierk M.: Please follow these steps:

    Dierk M.: - Click the Advanced button and select the computer that has the most current and most accurate data on it, which should be the Mac you're on now.

    Dierk M.: - Click the "Reset Sync Data" button.

    Dierk M.: - Choose calendars from the "Replace" pop-up menu.

    Dierk M.: Make sure to only choose calendars and not "all sync data"

    Dierk M.: - Click the right arrow. The screen should say "On MobileMe with sync info from this computer."

    Jaded Consumer: which direction? left or right?

    Dierk M.: - Click Replace. Then click "Ok". This will replace the information on MobileMe with sync info from your computer.

    Jaded Consumer: right

    Dierk M.: Yes, click the right arrow.

    Dierk M.: You want data to "flow" from Mac to cloud.

    Jaded Consumer: done

    Dierk M.: Ok. Good.

    Dierk M.: Our records show the reset was completed.

    Dierk M.: Now go to the iphone again.

    Jaded Consumer: OK, at the phone, I do what?

    Dierk M.: Now you earlier added the wrong account to the iphone.

    Jaded Consumer: Hey, I did what the guy at the Apple Store told me ;-)

    Dierk M.: Go ahead and re-add your MobileMe account to the iphone.

    Dierk M.: No, I mean you said that you had a typo in its name.

    Jaded Consumer: no, it didn't; it just made me try login again and it wasted time

    Jaded Consumer: 1PM test in today's Calendar

    Dierk M.: You said, " I mistyped the mobileme account name and it's taking a long time"

    Dierk M.: Ignore that please for now.

    Dierk M.: I mean the time zone issue.

    Jaded Consumer: yes, it eventually gave me an error and I did it with the correct spelling

    Dierk M.: We'll come back to it.

    Dierk M.: Oh ok.

    Dierk M.: Good

    Jaded Consumer: OK when I try to add an even tin the phone I get only one set of caendars, yay

    Dierk M.: Tap the calendars button at top left on the iphone.

    Dierk M.: Then tell me what you see on the iphone.

    Dierk M.: Tel me what you see below "All calendars"

    Jaded Consumer: All, and 8 calendars (some are subscriptions to holiday lists)

    Dierk M.: Ok, please list what you see.

    Dierk M.: All calendars. Then what.

    Jaded Consumer: All, Deeptrek, German Holidays, Home, Nicole, Personal, School, US Holidays, Work

    Dierk M.: No, what do you see for groups?

    Dierk M.: Do you see From My Mac?

    Dierk M.: Or From MobileMe?

    Jaded Consumer: none

    Jaded Consumer: neither

    Jaded Consumer: just All and the various calendars I listed

    Jaded Consumer: one copy each

    Dierk M.: Please tell me the iPhone version number on your iPhone. To find out the OS version installed on the iPhone, please go to the main menu on your iPhone. Then tap "Settings", then "General", then "About". The version is listed under "Version".

    Jaded Consumer: I made a test event on the phone and it's synched to .me's list

    Jaded Consumer: 3.1.2 (7D11)

    Dierk M.: ok

    Dierk M.: So you made a test calendar event on the iphone and it showed up on the cloud. Good.

    Dierk M.: That means that syncing is occurring between iphone and cloud.

    Jaded Consumer: right

    Dierk M.: Let's try contacts.

    Dierk M.: add John Doe to the contacts on the ipone.

    Jaded Consumer: how do I restore contacts synching with cloud? do I need to ... right.

    Jaded Consumer: instructions?

    Dierk M.: iphone.

    Dierk M.: Then see if John Doe shows up on the cloud.

    Jaded Consumer: just did

    Dierk M.: Did it work?

    Jaded Consumer: yes, it appeared

    Dierk M.: Good

    Jaded Consumer: I've added a phone no, let's see if it goes, too...

    Dierk M.: Do you still see duplicated contacts on the iphone?

    Jaded Consumer: no, but we turned off synch from computer to cloud and selected calendars only and manual synch

    Dierk M.: That should not matter for syncing between iphone and cloud.

    Jaded Consumer: right, but when the dust settles I want the computer to synch too :-)

    Dierk M.: Yes, right.

    Dierk M.: We have to work in steps

    Jaded Consumer: ok

    Jaded Consumer: instructions?

    Dierk M.: Did it work?

    Dierk M.: Did john doe and the phone number shows up on MobileMe contacts?

    Jaded Consumer: did what work?

    Jaded Consumer: oh, yes

    Dierk M.: Good

    Dierk M.: So not only do calendars sync between MobileMe and iphone, but contacts are as well.

    Dierk M.: So far so good

    Dierk M.: Now sync calendars and contacts on your Mac, in the sync tab of the MobileME system preferences and see if the test event and John Doe show up in iCal and address book applications, respectively.

    Jaded Consumer: merge, or replace ...?

    Dierk M.: Where are you seeing this?

    Jaded Consumer: after clicking to also synch contacts in the System PReferences for MobileMe

    Dierk M.: Choose merge

    Jaded Consumer: ok

    Jaded Consumer: John doe is there

    Jaded Consumer: on computer now

    Dierk M.: Good

    Dierk M.: and the test calendar event?

    Jaded Consumer: oh, yes

    Dierk M.: Good. Sounds like both calendars and contacts are working like this now: Mac <--> cloud <--> iPHone.

    Dierk M.: Which is the way it should work.

    Dierk M.: Now we can come back to the time zone issue.

    Jaded Consumer: the test events are too early on Safari/cloud, but right time on Mac/phone

    Dierk M.: Ok, so the events show correctly on iphone, but are 2 hours early on the cloud.

    Jaded Consumer: right

    Jaded Consumer: btu it mow says Pacific

    Dierk M.: Log into your your account at www.me.com/account.

    Dierk M.: Then click on "Personal Info" on the left margin.

    Dierk M.: Then tell me what the time zone says.

    Jaded Consumer: it says Central

    Jaded Consumer: (UTC-6:00) Central Time

    Dierk M.: Ok. Good

    Jaded Consumer: but I didn't change it

    Jaded Consumer: the calendar page had Pacific as it stitle bar

    Jaded Consumer: its title bar

    Dierk M.: Normally that fixes things.

    Jaded Consumer: I click the calendar tab and it says Pacific

    Dierk M.: What?

    Dierk M.: What do you mean "title bar"/

    Jaded Consumer: When I click Personal Info it says Central in the time zone drop-down tab, but when I click the Calendar tab the title bar of the Safari window says Pacific

    Dierk M.: Oh you mean at the very top of the Safari window

    Jaded Consumer: yes

    Dierk M.: I see it now.

    Dierk M.: Please go to calendars.

    Dierk M.: In MobileMe.

    Dierk M.: Then click on the actions menu at top center. It looks like a tiny gear. Then choose "Preferences".

    Dierk M.: Then click on ADvanced.

    Dierk M.: Then turn on Time Zone support and tell me the time zone listed.

    Jaded Consumer: time zone support is clicked off

    Jaded Consumer: and it says PAcific, though it's clouded over

    Dierk M.: Time zone should not be grayed out.

    Dierk M.: Oh sorry

    Jaded Consumer: should I click time zone support on?

    Dierk M.: It will be if Time zone support is turned off.

    Jaded Consumer: should I turn it on?

    Dierk M.: Yes.

    Jaded Consumer: change to Central here, too?

    Dierk M.: Yes

    Jaded Consumer: ok. click "save"?

    Dierk M.: Yes.

    Dierk M.: What version of Safari are you using to do this?

    Jaded Consumer: 4.04

    Jaded Consumer: Now title bar says Central and times are right

    Dierk M.: ok

    Dierk M.: Good

    Dierk M.: When you change one time zone setting, it should change in theh other place too.

    Dierk M.: I've tested that myself.

    Dierk M.: So the times match between iPHone and MobileMe now?

    Jaded Consumer: yes

    Dierk M.: They should all match among Mac, MobileMe, and iPHone.

    Jaded Consumer: right

    Dierk M.: excellent.

    Dierk M.: Sounds like that issue is also resolved now.

    Jaded Consumer: yes

    Dierk M.: Does that take care of everything Jay?

    Jaded Consumer: can I safely turn on synch between computer and cloud for everything else -- keychains, etc.?

    Jaded Consumer: and tunr on auto synch?

    Dierk M.: Sure, you can select any other data classes, e.g. keychains, dock items, that you wish to sync between your Mac computers. YOu can also turn on auto syncing if you want changes on one location to automatically trigger a sync. You can read more about the sync schedule for auto syncing on this web page:

    Dierk M.: MobileMe: Sync intervals in Mac OS X and Microsoft Windows

    Dierk M.: Any thing else at this point Jay?

    Jaded Consumer: I think I've got it

    Jaded Consumer: who knows what I'll run into next :-)

    Jaded Consumer: Thanks

    Dierk M.: Ok. I'm glad we were able to get those issues repaired.

    Dierk M.: You are most welcome Jay.

    Dierk M.: Have a great day.

    Dierk M.: Thank you for chatting with us. We value your feedback. Please click the blue "Close" button at top left to answer a few questions about your experience with us today.

    Jaded Consumer: Take care and have a great day

    Dierk M.: Thanks.

On the bright side, my issues that seemed to stem from MobileMe were addressed, and addressed in a single support incident. On the other hand, this isn't as simple as I'd hoped ....