I write a monthly column over atÂ AlliOSNews. Itâ€™s a techie site â€“ extolling all the goodies and gunpowder on the Apple OS. (SHINY TOY!) Iâ€™m TechMom. And these are my stories on how technology is really used. This month I my corporate mail stopped functioning. I had a tantrum. Â
(Iâ€™m well aware itâ€™s Wednesday. If you want TechMom Tuesday on Tuesdays, head on over toÂ AlliOSNewsÂ for all things Apple. TechMom Tuesday is typically published the first Tuesday of every month. I reserve the right to rant more or less as the technical goings-on, wellâ€¦go on. Also, don’t miss the AlliOS editor-in-chief’s addendum to this month’s piece.)Â
Sing with me, wonâ€™t you, to the tune ofÂ Don McCleanâ€™s American Pie.
A long long time ago
I can still remember how
The email used to sail on through
And I knew if I said my piece
That I could get those projects done
And maybe thereâ€™d be me-time to accrue
But last week made me shiver
With every email non-deliver
Bad news the sever smote
I couldnâ€™t send one more note
I canâ€™t remember if I cried
When my productivity ceased to thrive
But no technical taps could revive
**The day my email died**
I was clicking away at my keyboard, making impressive progress on my ever-expanding to-do list. I finished a fabulously professional missive and hit â€œSend.â€ Just a typical day in Corporate America. Do your thingÂ AppleÂ Mail!
After over a year on my trusty Air, suddenly Microsoft Exchange had decided it was no longer going to play nice. â€œCannot send message using the server.â€ So, I followed technical protocol â€“ I hit refresh in rapid succession about 78 times.
It was time to escalate matters.
- Click â€œTry With Selected Serverâ€ one more time. Just in case.
- Quit out of Apple Mail completely. Make Finder â€œForce Quit.â€ Just in case.
- Reboot computer.
- Relaunch Mail. Click â€œTry Againâ€ another 24 times.
Still nothing. Now itâ€™s personal. I have notes to send!
I eyed the delete key. I was not afraid to use it. That entire corporate account was getting eliminated, swimming with the screensaver fishies. (Shiny object tangent: Any time you are struck with the thought, â€œIt seems like a good ideaâ€¦â€ it is decidedly not.)
With a decidedly sullen expression, I stalked over to our IT department. Our company now supports the BYOD trend, so I had high hopes my communication lifeline could be fixed.
But no. Error after error resulted. Even (the exceedingly competent) IT guy couldnâ€™t figure it out. He asked if I wanted to leave myÂ computerÂ with him overnight. When I finished laughing (work/personal computer are one and the same), I scooped up my non-functioning partner-in-crime and marched over to another colleague to bitch and moan about my current communication crisis.
Of course it immediately began working. This was a merely a trap, luring me into a sense of false security. Because at 11:08 a.m the next morning, my Apple Mail ceased communicating with the Microsoft Exchange server. The brewing tantrum within me boiled over. THIS MACHINE WAS GETTING FIXED! With a deep breath to calm myself, I pushed through the door to tech support.
â€œHi Friend! Hope you didnâ€™t have anything important planned today. Because youâ€™re about to spend your entire morning analyzing what I am *sincerely* hoping is not an ID-10-T error. (Look at that for a moment longer if youâ€™re not familiar. Iâ€™ll wait. Yeah. User error.)
I proved knowledge of my password. Yes, Iâ€™d rebooted. I did indeed delete and reenter. Of course I slammed the lid and swore at the robot within. No good sir, nary a password remains in my computer keychain. No, of course I havenâ€™t edited the SMTP server â€“ Exchange isnâ€™t based on SMTP. See,Â emailÂ works on my iPhone. I know it looks like Mail is working â€“ I have a POP and IMAP account each set up for personal interaction.
IT was impressed. â€œWow, you actually sound like you know what youâ€™re talking about.â€
I was pleased. As I am well-versed in pushing buttons until things work or stuff blows up. Unfortunately, we were rapidly approaching the conclusion that I had blown up the server connection. <Insert curse word of your choice here.> (I have toddlers. So I went with an icy calm, â€œWellâ€¦poop.â€)
It was time to call in the big guns. We asked the Google.
My fears were confirmed. It was a bug.Â Forum upon discussion boardÂ bemoaned the sudden cessation of an Apple/Exchange ceasefire within Mountain Lion. Yet there were no definitive solutions. (â€œWrite to Apple so they fix thisâ€ does not count as a resolutionÂ forumÂ commenters!) This is a known issue. Please know, even if you are the only one in the office climbing the cube walls in frustration, you are not alone. We are out there tooâ€¦
It appeared the only workaround was some sort of convoluted amalgamation of tomfoolerly on the back-end. My new bestest IT friend returned the Air to my clutches with a smirk proudly smeared across his face. Heâ€™d futzed with the directiveÂ IP addressÂ as it appears the issue results from a miscommunication as the software attempts to decipher the serverâ€™s dits and dots of coding.
â€œYou rock!â€ I exclaimed. â€œBut um, one last question. What happened to all my archives.â€ Weâ€™d reached the final frontier.
They put me on OUTLOOK!
Iâ€™m on Outlook for Mac now. Truth be told it doesnâ€™t suck nearly as much as Iâ€™d feared. It works. Which is something. Mostly Iâ€™m cranky because itâ€™s not the program of my choice. (Please donâ€™t email me hate mail over this.)
So go ahead â€“ email me. Iâ€™ll be with them good ole boys (from Microsoft) drinking whiskey in rye.