Mangled Mail? That’ll Be the New Cat

Mail icon

Ooops. Seems I spoke too soon. TidBITS reports that some users who upgraded to Snow Leopard, Apple’s latest incarnation of its Mac OS X operating system, have been experiencing problems sending email using the native email client,

When trying to send mail, hapless users have been getting an error message that reads “Error 54: Connection Reset By Peer.”

Of course, I know what you’re thinking. “Error 54?” you’re saying, as you stroke your Tech Guy Beard of Truth, “Sounds like an issue with port rotation. I probably need to update my SMTP settings.”

A quick look at the newly added Article TS2998 over on Apple’s Support Knowledge Base confirms your Oracle-like insight. According to Apple:

In Mac OS X v10.6, Mail sends messages through a different port rotation for the “Default ports” setting. Your authentication settings for your Mail account (for outgoing messages) may need to be updated.

Just follow step-by-step instructions for updating the offending account’s SMTP server settings.

Several days ago, during Gmail’s recent hiccup, I had just upgraded my machines to Snow Leopard and found I couldn’t send mail from my Gmail account. At the time, I assumed it was caused by the server difficulties Google was having and, seeking a quick and easy fix, I removed the account from Mail and have been using Safari to check my Gmail ever since. It seems, perhaps, I was wrong to assume it was Google’s problem. Perhaps I was experiencing exactly the problem described above.

I don’t feel too foolish for failing to suspect my new big cat was the culprit; after all, everything else works perfectly. Following such a major upgrade, all my hardware and software work exactly as they did on the old feline. I’d like to extend the metaphor a little further — probably something about cats toying with their prey — but I’m gonna stop before it gets outta hand.

Have you experienced the same problem with Mail? Did the fix Apple recommend work for you? Is this a bug in Snow Leopard, or the result of Mail becoming a more secure email client? Share your thoughts with me in the comments, and I promise I won’t use the cat metaphor again.


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