Apple Discussions: Help is only minutes away

Posted on by Mike Evans

One of the great joys of owning any Apple product is the indisputable fact that help from experts is only minutes away, wherever you live in the world. I'm not referring to the Genius Bar or the good telephone support. I'm talking about the Apple Discussions which contain sections for every Apple product, including software and operating systems. These forums are vibrant and informative. You can usually find an answer to a problem simply by searching, but if you are stuck, a message posted in the right section will usually bring a response from an expert within half an hour.

This happened to me this morning. Yesterday MobileMe starting playing up on one of my Macs. It kept asking for the password and then told me there was a keychain problem. Eventually it wouldn't sync again and I tried every trick I knew, from a simple reboot to disconnecting the computer from the server and then attempting to reboot. It's happened before, but I'd forgotten the solution.

So I posted a request for assistance in the synchronisation section of the MobileMe forum. Within 20 minutes I got this expert reply from Roger Wilmut who is just one of the hundreds of unpaid experts out there:

On the affected Mac, stop all syncing. Go to (user)/Library/Preferences/ByHost or just (user)/Library/Preferences (depending on your system) and delete any .plist files beginning with Reboot.

Go to System Preferences>MobileMe, sign out. Enter any old garbage in username and password, get them rejected, then enter the correct ones. Now try turning syncing on again.

Note that if you are using the new MobileMe calendar on this or any other Mac you should turn off calendar syncing as this is no longer relevant.

Simple when you know how, but I'm blown away by the speed of the help. And don't you just like the sage advice to log in with garbage and get it rejected? Who would have thought of this?

Apple Discussions are my first port of call in a storm and if you haven't discovered them, I recommend you pay a visit today (via the local Apple site [Support/Communities]).

LATER.... Mr Wilmit pours some cold water on my effervescent enthusiasm:

You should realise that it's pure chance you got a very quick answer. It just depends on who is online when. You might have to wait hours or even a day or so.

It's a good point and worth making. But my experience over nearly six years is that responses come sooner rather than later. Only on a very few occasions, when nobody could find a solution, have I been disappointed. 

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