My Mac won't let anything but Safari connect to the internet. Help. Might pull out hair.
April 30, 2007 7:26 PM   Subscribe

My Mac won't let anything but Safari connect to the internet. Help. Might pull out hair.

I got an iMac about 1 1/2 months ago. Everything connected fine until a week ago. But the honeymoon's over, there's enough problems now to write a list:

-The Apple Mail program will not connect with my IMAP account, saying "The connection to the server (w/ my proper domain address) on port 993 failed (error 1: Operation not permitted). I cannot receive e-mails and sometime I can send them if I fiddle with the port numbers, but this hasn't worked. I also tried purging my mailbox on the server itself, deleted the account and added it in again.
It works just fine with my other Gmail account. I have already called Apple tech support and the support line for my IMAP e-mail provider, both couldn't figure out what's causing the problem. I have also scoured Apple's message board and Ask MeFi for the last week trying anything, nothing has worked so far.

-Other applications that aren't Safari won't connect.
Everytime I've loaded Firefox I get "Unable to Connect." You won't believe how many times uninstalled and re-installed this to get it to work, and failed. Ditto with Camino.

AOL Instant Messenger also doesn't wish to connect "An unknown socket error occurred: 504, 1"

Included non-connecting programs are Solarseek and Adobe downloader.

I'm beginning to wonder if it's a program I installed and then (thought) I deleted completely called GlowWorm, a firewall/internet traffic monitor program, that is playing a role. It's no longer in my apps folder, but when I hit search in finder the files are still there and they won't let me trash them properly.

I hope this all makes sense, since these issues are slowly driving me into madness. Please excuse any gaps in spelling, grammar or sheer incoherence.
posted by deinemutti to Computers & Internet (7 answers total)
Go to System Preferences, Network, Whatever interface you are using, Proxies and see if you have any proxies set up.

How is the iMac connected to the internet?
posted by AaRdVarK at 7:31 PM on April 30, 2007

I know very little about Macs, but I have seen exactly this kind of thing happen on Windows boxes when people still had firewalls running that they hadn't uninstalled properly or successfully. It seems likely to me that the GlowWorm technical support people will have seen the identical issue before, and that contacting them will probably help you resolve it.
posted by flabdablet at 7:54 PM on April 30, 2007

Yeah, it has to be the GlowWorm thing. I've never heard of it, but I did just download it, and poked around. I see that the installer has a .kext and a daemon, I'm sure they're still there doing their thing.

Do this: go to your GlowWorm installer. Right-click and select "show package contents". Inside Installer:Contents:Resources is an Uninstaller app. I'd expect that to rip it out properly.
posted by Steve3 at 8:24 PM on April 30, 2007

In general: Stop treating your machine like it's running Windows. You almost certainly don't need a firewall. In System Preferences / Sharing, make sure few or no services are running, and you're great. OS X isn't broken and needing fixing out of the box, unlike some others.

Also, open a Terminal shell and try "telnet (hostname) (portnumber)" for immediate no-nonsense (TCP-) network testing. That's about as close to the low level as you can get, and it won't be fooled or fool you with extraneous geegaws bewteen your eyeballs and the network.
posted by cmiller at 8:10 AM on May 1, 2007

Response by poster: Thanks everybody, especially Steve 3, it was the bastard GlowWorm.
I couldn't find the uninstaller, but I found the extra files you described and the deleted them. Now everything is back to normal. Yay!

And I learned my lesson about firewalls on Macs.
posted by deinemutti at 3:34 PM on May 1, 2007

deinemutti, I've learned the exact same lesson about firewalls on Windows.

If the user is naive, then an application-controlling firewall will cause them mysterious troubles of exactly the kind you've just had to deal with. In general, these will be more of a nuisance than the spyware etc. that the firewall is supposed to block.

On the other hand, if the user is knowledgeable enough to understand what an application-controlling firewall does and maintain its blocking rules, they're also knowledgeable enough not to do the silly things (like surfing porn and warez sites with Internet Explorer while logged on with a Computer Administrator user account, or installing random "optimizers" and "registry fixers") that expose their machine to the kinds of threats that such a firewall is designed to mitigate.

Which is why I no longer recommend application-controlling firewalls on any OS. Even on Windows, the stateful packet filter built into XP SP2 is plenty good enough.
posted by flabdablet at 6:13 PM on May 1, 2007

I've had good luck with Appzapper to remove pesky things I've installed. Heck, in some cases, it even deletes the .dmg file I downloaded in the first place!!
posted by kuppajava at 6:32 PM on May 1, 2007

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