Apple Mail


Hi- I am using a Powerbook G4, still on OS 10.2.8. I have made no changes to my configuration, haven't installed any new programs, etc. for months.

I collect (download) my email via a POP server from my office, via cable (ethernet) internet. I send email out of my laptop on Apple Mail (1.2.5 v553). My company provides my ".org" e-address- not my internet service provider (Cox Cable).

Problem: Over the past few weeks, emails intermittently fail to send. I get the following message: "The outgoing mail server "my servers name" failed to deliver this message. The server "my servers name" can not be contacted on port 25. If you would like to use a different delivery account for sending messages from this account for the time being, select it below and click 'Try This Account.'"

I then often select Cox cable internet's other recommended server, and sometime it works, sometimes the same problem arises. If it fails, I then take the message left sitting in the Outbox and move it to the Drafts box. From there, I can usually (but not always) send it via the original Cox server that failed initially. I have talked to Apple and to Cox (had me 'ping' them, which went normally), and they had no answers. Cox swears they have not changed anything on their systems. I also tested my same POP email system via a seldom used AOL connection (via a phone line, not ethernet cable), and the same thing happens (and even that way my outgoing emails would still be going through Cox servers, as I understand things?).

The problem is unpredictable (may not happen for hours at a time, and I am on email constantly), but it is annoying, time-consuming and makes me worry about the integrity of my system overall.

Any ideas on troubleshooting this? Thanks!
If your problem is intermittant, then it is likely not your problem. Quality of service is an issue with commercial ISPs. I know nothing about your local Cox franchise, but I do know about mine. For the most part, it is excellent. However, Cox is a collection of numerous cable franchises of smaller regional and local cable operators which have been acquired by Cox over the last few years or so. Sometimes your local franchise's origins will show. The one thing that you can do on your end to improve your service is to get a router (Linksys recommended). My experience is that this improves QoS somewhat, presumeably because it is in 24/7 communication with Cox's servers. Having said that, I have had my connection to wink out during a download. Although it would return in a few minutes, it was annoying.

The takeaway message is that not all problems are created on your end which means that you cannot solve them on your end.