The curse of Apple MobileMe's "Connection Failed"

I have been suffering at the cruel hand of Apple's MobileMe without even knowing it.

While flying from SFO to Newark last weekend, I repeatedly ran into a Mac OS X system pop-up telling me that the "Connection Failed." The cursed box repeatedly interrupted applications, including the QuickTime movies we were using to distract our toddler from flipping out on the six-hour flight.

After five days of punishment, I finally found the root cause: MobileMe.

If you are not a MobileMe user (I'm not), then you may/may not know that your credentials are stored in two different places: the MobileMe control panel and your user account.

During my trouble-shooting process, I fixed permissions, deleted old server connections, and deleted libraries. But nothing fixed the problem. Then I finally noticed that I had an iDisk icon on my sidebar (but nowhere else). When I tried to drag it to the trash, my laptop went into an endless loop and I had to finally reboot.

Having never used the iDisk and not having any applications that I was aware of using an iDisk, I started searching and figured out that it might be part of MobileMe. But when I checked the MobileMe control panel, the information was blank. Back to square one.

I started going through every control panel item, and in my user account, I somehow had a username/password combo in my Account profile. Now, this username/password combo was neither correct nor active but somehow it was attempting to connect to the service without my permission AND without leaving a trace in the console. A very Windows-like behavior I would say.

After removing the MobileMe username and password from my user accounts the "Connection Failed" dialog box has finally stopped interrupting me. My biggest grievances?

1. That the system would attempt to connect to a service without my permission.
2. That the error message didn't provide a single detail as to what it was trying to connect to.
3. That Apple has the audacity to put that damned iDisk icon on my sidebar.

It's totally possible that I am the only person who has experienced this issue, but I highly doubt it.

About the author

Dave Rosenberg has more than 15 years of technology and marketing experience that spans from Bell Labs to startup IPOs to open-source and cloud software companies. He is CEO and founder of Nodeable, co-founder of MuleSoft, and managing director for Hardy Way. He is an adviser to DataStax, IT Database, and Puppet Labs.


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