Everyone knows that I’m a big fan of Apple, and …

Everyone knows that I’m a big fan of Apple, and up until recently, I was a heavy user of .mac, the service offered by Apple that allows you to sync more than one computer — so that all of your information is always up-to-date, regardless of the machine on which you make the changes. Well, all that convenience doesn’t come cheap, and in fact, .mac is over US$100 a year, so I decided that this year, it’s getting the ax. It turns out you can do everything that .mac does with just a little bit of extra effort.

Sometimes, you run into something on the web — for free — that’s just amazing. Plaxo is one of those things. My friend Matt (who happens to be quite a computer guru) claims it’s spyware, but I don’t think so. I’ve been watching it for a few days, and it doesn’t seem to invoke any more network traffic than necessary — and even better, it keeps contact information up to date for nearly 1,000 of my closest friends. Check it out at Plaxo

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