Trouble getting connected

networkComputers are not perfect.  Not even macs.  Where am I going with this?  I beseech thee, kind reader, to listen to my tale.

So here’s the story.  I get to our MacBook one Wednesday afternoon after my brother had been using it for a while.  I open up the cover, and I start checking my email, RSS feeds, and whatnot and well, unfortunately, our connection to the web is not what it should be.  Nothing is loading.  So, I run through my troubleshooting list.  Connected to network?  Check.  Router OK? (after a reboot, yes) Check.  Run through “Network Diagnostics”?  Check.  Computer completely rebooted?  Check.  And yet when I try to load up a webpage, nothing goes.  I keep getting “Page not found” due to kCFErrorDomainCFNetwork error 302.  (Or something very similar to that)  To make matters worse, all my email comes in just fine.  OK, maybe this is a problem with Safari, my web browser.  I then switch over to Firefox.  Firefox opens, and immediately loads up our bank website at USAA.com.  This perplexed me, as I was very fond of Safari, and I hated to see it outclassed by another browser.  But, as soon as I tried to load up Google, it wouldn’t load.  Now why would a browser load up our banking page and not any other?  And why would my email come in?  Just hold on, I’m getting there.

It finally dawned on me that our banking site (like any other) uses HTTPS, or a secure HTTP protocol to connect to the web.  I also realized that our email was sucked in using SSL or “Secure Sockets Layer”, which is a secure method for email access.  So why would all the secure encrypted data make the cut, but not the regular HTML?

After a couple hours of email with a friend of mine, he mentioned that HTTPS uses a different port than HTTP.  This all makes plenty of sense, but after several “telnet” pings to one of his servers, we were still no closer to a solution.

I might also mention that I had basically tried everything I could think of to rectify the situation.  I reinstalled Safari, I scoured every possible network pane I could find, and I reinstalled the Mac OS 10.5.5 update Combined on our machine.  But to no avail.

My only real option left was to reinstall the Mac OS X Leopard.  This took a little preparation as I really didn’t have the ten free Gigabytes of space to do the installation.  4 DVDs later, however, I was set.  I popped the disk in and left it to do it’s job for a couple hours.  I came back, and lo and behold, it was done!

What I found most impressive about the job, was how well done it was.  Everything worked fine.  All the settings, documents, apps, etc. were right where I left them.  Most importantly, the web loaded up just fine!

Now, there were a few little hitches.  first of all, one of the accounts had it’s password somehow misplaced, so that I couldn’t log in.  But, that was easily fixed by overwriting the password on one of the administrative accounts.  Also, the installation wiped our Brother Printer Services and drivers, which I will have to reinstall.  All and all, though, this is a big tribute to how well Apple has their act together.  I was pleasantly surprised that an OS that had it’s guts completely replaced would have so few differences from it’s predecessor.

Moving Into High Gear…

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About Jamie

Computers - Macs FIRST Robotics Engineering
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3 Responses to Trouble getting connected

  1. Vincent says:

    I hate doing OS re-installs.
    Mac OS X has 4 installation dvds! Geez…

  2. Jamie says:

    Vincent, Mac OS X only has one installation disc. The 4 DVDs I referred to are to back up data that I needed to delete to have enough space to do the installation.

  3. Vincent says:

    OH, well i feel stupid, i didn’t think of that as i put my backup data on a separate partition.

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