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Tech: Comcast E-Mail Problems

Joe Offer 05 Nov 08 - 08:33 PM
JohnInKansas 06 Nov 08 - 12:28 PM
oldhippie 06 Nov 08 - 06:49 PM
Bill D 06 Nov 08 - 06:58 PM
Joe Offer 07 Nov 08 - 12:37 AM
JohnInKansas 07 Nov 08 - 01:38 AM
Bill D 07 Nov 08 - 11:19 AM
Joe Offer 08 Nov 08 - 02:47 AM
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Subject: Tech: Comcast E-Mail Problems
From: Joe Offer
Date: 05 Nov 08 - 08:33 PM

The women's center where I do volunteer work has Internet service from Comcast, and they're always having problems with e-mail. Usually, the settings on Internet Explorer appear to be stopping them from logging in, and there's also some error message today about Zimbra Mail and SmartZone. The nuns are all frustrated, and I'm 50 miles away and don't want to make the drive to figure out their problem.

Google tells me that Comcast has some sort of deal with Zimbra and SmartZone, but I can't find any solutions.

Can anybody suggest Internet Explorer and McAfee settings that will make Comcast e-mail work reliably, and can anybody tell me more about Zimbra and SmartZone?


*hey!!! No smart-ass comments about frustrated nuns, hey? These nuns are my friends, and they do amazing work with down-and-out women.

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Subject: RE: Tech: Comcast E-Mail Problems
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 06 Nov 08 - 12:28 PM

Joe -

The only thing I can suggest is that should perhaps be entered into IEs "trusted sites" list.

Tools | Internet Options | Privacy Tab. Click the "Sites" button and type, Click Allow, and the site should be entered as "always allow."

A check at Comcast - "help" link at the home page - leads to the typical "just log in and it works" sort of stuff. I can't seem to get to anything more detailed from them without a login.

While pondering, maybe you'd appreciate a link that turned up when I went Google for Compost Comcast:

Comcast Service (YouTube)


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Subject: RE: Tech: Comcast E-Mail Problems
From: oldhippie
Date: 06 Nov 08 - 06:49 PM

I have a coworker who has Comcast. She had been having problems with e-mail. Comcast told her they were switching to a new program and the glitches were in the transition. Hers is now working again. Comcast actually called her when they were complete to let her know and to see if her problems had disappeared. I suggesst you contact your local Comcast rep to find out the status in your area.

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Subject: RE: Tech: Comcast E-Mail Problems
From: Bill D
Date: 06 Nov 08 - 06:58 PM

I have Comcast, and I have also had problems with email the last few days...I can receive, but had problems sending....sometimes it works, and sometimes not. I thought is was settings in a different program, but it seems it is "out there". There are enormously complex settings and protocols for the server which we never see.
   Too bad Comcast can't warn us to be aware of this.

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Subject: RE: Tech: Comcast E-Mail Problems
From: Joe Offer
Date: 07 Nov 08 - 12:37 AM

We apparently have problems with two new Comcast-provided programs, Zimbra and SmartZone - - but not on all of our computers. I wonder why the programs are installing on some of our computers, but not all. I'm going to try to fix it tomorrow night, after I go to song circle in Sacramento. I hope I'm not up until all hours. It's a spooky area of town - the boss got mugged in the parking lot, during the day.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Comcast E-Mail Problems
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 07 Nov 08 - 01:38 AM

Zimbra - the most cited version - is a desktop email application.

Since it lets you read your email while offline, it quite obviously downloads the mail to your own local machine (and keeps it there), which should contribute to solving the difficulty of saving/archiving any messages you might want to keep.

It's an open-source program, and ads I've seen indicate it's free.

Earlier ads touted ease of installing on Ubuntu, and it may have originated in the 'Nix world. Yahoo made offers to distribute a couple of beta versions, and according to reports there were some troubles with those. I don't know if it's out of beta now, but assume it probably is since the Yahoo offers I've seen were a year or two ago.

It advertises that it can "collect all your email from all your email programs" so you can view them all in one place. This implies:

1. Each program you use to access an email account must log in correctly to that account.

2. Each program you view using Zimbra must be "registered" in Zimbra to let Zimbra open the email for that account and display it on your machine.

If your old program (your browser, Outlook, Safari, Outlook Express, etc. ) is set up to retrieve the mail, but Zimbra is set up to be the default viewer, and if Zimbra hasn't been told to include email accessed by the program that owns the mailbox, I guess I can see some problems.

Zimbra may be able to take over the login for accounts you previously used, so that you can eliminate the "other programs;" but chatter on the web implies that you have to set it up to tell it what accounts (from which email programs? and accounts) to show.

Quite likely, the reason it's on some of the nunnery machines and not on others is that a link to "something free" appeared at the comcast email site, and some (ab)users clicked and others didn't(?).

(Lectures about clicking on "free stuff" may be in order, although they can be gently tempered ones?)

Browser email does present real problems if you want to archive messages on your own machine. I'd have been quite interested in Zimbra for my hotmail account if I'd seen it before we went AT&T and can use other programs that let you save (everything but the inbox) on your own hardware. My first recognition of it came while we were in the process of setting up our new DSL accounts, so I'm sorry to say I didn't really look at it except superficially - and then had forgotten it.

IF - a) you can get it set up so it works and b) any of your users have a "need" to have local archiving of some email messages, it may be an improvement over plain old browser mail. (?)


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Subject: RE: Tech: Comcast E-Mail Problems
From: Bill D
Date: 07 Nov 08 - 11:19 AM

To follow up on John's clear summation...there is something to be said for 'classic' stand-alone programs designed to do one thing, and do it well.
   Not every whiz-bang clever notion designed by young programmers is appropriate for just everyone, and these applications which tout "doing it all" can end up not doing 'some' of it like YOU might prefer. At the very least, I try to wait till the "canaries" (like in the coal mines) test it.

The only keep-it-all-on-your-machine, but do almost everything you might want Email program I know of is Pegasus, free, powerful, but has a bit of a learning curve.

Comcast has a way of 'pushing' stuff at you, and insinuating that things won't work right if you don't use their stuff. Piffle!

( 'should' be able to go to the menus of whatever Email they HAD been using, and make it the default again until you figure out what is happening.)

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Subject: RE: Tech: Comcast E-Mail Problems
From: Joe Offer
Date: 08 Nov 08 - 02:47 AM

Well, I spent a couple of hours at the Women's Center tonight, sacrificing the chance to sing with some really nice people. Here's the error message I get when I try to log onto Comcast e-mail with Internet Explorer:

    HTTP ERROR: 400
    invalid request: server does not have zimbraMailMode set, maybe it is not a store server?
    Powered by Jetty://

I googled the error message and found that over 100,000 Comcast clients have had the same problem - but the only solution posted was to contact Comcast Customer support, which was closed. Zimbra says they are providing e-mail services to Comcast (and SmartZone is involved somehow) - but that Comcast is the concern that's handling support.

So, I downloaded Firefox 3 to two computers at work, and everything works just fine.

But then Sister Jane has problems with her Comcast e-mail at home. Apparently, the Zimbra/SmartZone e-mail is now her Comcast e-mail, but I can't tell for certain whether it is Web-based, or if it resides on her computer. Jane's problem is that she couldn't figure out how to use the new e-mail, and she wanted her old service back. I had her switch to Firefox, but her Comcast e-mail login still redirected her to the Smartzone/zimbra server for e-mail. So, I found a screen shot of Zimbra's e-mail product, and used that to talk her through use of the new e-mail. So, she's relatively calmed down now....

But I'm guessing that Comcast is in the process of switching everybody over to Zimbra/SmartZone, so maybe I'll be dealing with this some more.

Grrr. Thanks for all the help, folks - it helped make my evening at the Women's Center very productive. I almost finished before the cat started inspecting my keyboard.


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