This Space for Rent

Oh, Apple, how you vex me

I’ve been using an ancient Macbook that my mother gave me about 6(?) years ago for all of my computer needs from building new RUSA permanents to developing discount to reading the web to doing the occasional hopefully renumerative sometime in the future odd job. Just the other day, though, the poor macbook apparently decided that it was getting kind of old and the case started to spontaneously fall apart.

Macbook Pro (klunky new software not visible in this photo)

So it had to be replaced,and what it was replaced with was a “new” (apple refurb) Macbook Pro that came with last years OS bundled onto it instead of upgraded piecewise from 10.4 to 10.5 to 10.6. That computer arrived today, and I spent the necessary 4 hours migrating everything but the system from the now disintegrating poison apple to the new apple pie.

And then I attempted to log in and play with it. Everything seemed to work, up to and including receiving mail, but then I needed to send mail to a friend about getting a cuesheet for a last-minute preride of a populaire I’m volunteering on.

Pop open, pick out a message from my friend, and hit the [reply] button.

Nothing happened.

Hit it again.


[reply all] ?

Still nothing.

Okay, I’ll send a new message – the [new message] button worked and gave me a compose-this-mail window, which I then populated with a mail message. But pressing the [send] button did nothing.

Press it again? Nothing.

Quit out of and restart?

Nope, [send] still doesn’t work.

So I checked online. Quite a few hits for why isn't Mail sending my mail but none of them come with any solution (except delete your mail account and recreate it! which has the unfortunate side-effect of deleting all your mail and making attempt to reload them on the new thing.)

I even went far enough to delete ~/Library/Mail and the preferences plists in ~/Library/Preferences without any luck.

And then I ssh'ed into my mail server, started a tail -f /var/log/messages to see what sort of traffic was happening, and discovered that g-dd-mn wasn’t even bothering to talk to the effing mail server, it was just silently not doing anything.

So my first software update on the new machine ended up being a few simple commands:

orc@pie(orc)> cd /Applications
orc@pie(Applications)> echo DIE YOU PIECE OF GARBAGE, DIE!
orc@pie(Applications)> rm -rf

And then I replaced it with Mozilla Thunderbolt, which is a typically horribly byzantinian piece of open source (it doesn’t seem to automatically check for mail? How, um, useful) but at least it lets me send mail. Ugh. Lets see how it works.