OSX on iBook mail issues
March 9, 2004 3:17 PM   Subscribe

Mail question: I recently got a new iBook and Mail for OS X has been behaving oddly. [more inside]

It started as a spate of consistently getting the same message, or block of messages, on successive mail retrievals. Then there seemed to be a problem connecting to my POP mail server, which is run by Intelligent Hosting, which would result in the yield sign icon popping up next to my Inbox and Mail program going offline. Now, it semi-hangs when downloading mail: Let's say that I just downloaded two e-mails. If I check again, it might say that it's downloading 5 of 5 messages, but then just grind away at it and never deliver anything to the Inbox or Junk Mail folders ... but it also won't take the account offline. It'll just give up. If I go to the webmail back-end for the account, two of the three messages will be the two it just downloaded, the third will be a piece of spam, and the last two will be good mail. (I leave mail on the server for a week after I download it, so the two e-mails it's already downloaded should still "be there," although they shouldn't be queued up for delivery. The offending spam almost always has some sort of .pif or .zip attachment, but it's never seemingly the same kind of spam (in the sense that a sudden spate of spam from the same foreign domain is the same kind of spam, or that so.big virus spam is the same kind of spam). If I delete the message from the webmail back-end, Mail works cleanly and downloads the backlogged messages. I have a cable connection, and the attachments aren't large, so it's not about trying to squeeze these e-mails through the pipe. But I just don't even know where to look. Is Mail discriminating against what it thinks is a virus? If so, that's brand new behavior to me. I can see that Intelligent Hosting might be trying to protect me, but wouldn't that happen further upstream in the process than my webmail?
posted by blueshammer to Computers & Internet (6 answers total)
You might have better luck posting this to the Apple support forums. You could also try downloading Eudora and seeing if it behaves similarly. Good luck.
posted by stonerose at 5:05 PM on March 9, 2004

it could be the settings for Mail that are screwy (maybe it's looking for permission to download mail or something or in the wrong place?). I second the call for Eudora (i like it better than Mail anyway, even with the little ad)
posted by amberglow at 5:11 PM on March 9, 2004

You might also check to see if your provider supports IMAP connections for email as well. That may be less dodgy than POP.
posted by machaus at 6:58 PM on March 9, 2004

I second the IMAP suggestion. I've had worse things happen with Mail.app -- last December it completely deleted 5 months of email when I told it to compact one of my POP mailboxes. It is wicked and tricksy, but at least with IMAP your email is just a bit safer because it can be mirrored in more than once place.
posted by weston at 7:05 PM on March 9, 2004

Mail.app is wicked and tricksy, that is. IMAP rocks.
posted by weston at 7:05 PM on March 9, 2004

Response by poster: I posted the question here instead of an Apple forum just because I wasn't sure that the problem was necessarily with Mail.app. But it sounds like it is.

Anyone have a good resource for the POP/IMAP question, or should I just go with the first Google result?
posted by blueshammer at 10:38 AM on March 10, 2004

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