I’ve had a number of calls over the past few days from clients with MobileMe accounts who are having trouble sending otherwise innocuous mail. No settings have changed, the address is correct, there are no attachments (or they are small), and the e-mail should just go out. But it doesn’t. Instead, Mail spins for a few minutes, then displays an error window.

If this describes your experience over the past week, rest assured, it’s not you, it’s them.

Computer issues are an unfortunate fact of life and nobody is immune, not even a multi-billion dollar corporation with armies of IT guys working around the clock to make sure problems just like this don’t arise. When they do crop up, often all you can do is wait it out until the faceless minions working behind the scenes finally fix the widget that’s out of whack. The trouble is, you never know if that wait will be minutes or, as seems to be in this case, days.

If you can’t, or won’t, wait until the inevitable fix comes, you have a couple of options, and they both involve switching your outgoing mail server (the “SMTP” server) from “smtp.me.com” to something else. You can change it to your Internet provider’s SMTP server using whatever settings they provide, but that’s only if your computer doesn’t move outside of its current location (from home to work, for example).

The second option is to subscribe to a third-party SMTP server that you can use from anywhere. For example, DynDNS provides their standard SMTP service for around $20 per year. If you decide to go this route, they give you all the settings that you need here, including alternate ports. I recommend using SSL over port 10025.

If you need help with this, feel free to ask. Or just wait until Apple fixes its MobileMe issue.

[Written by Kem Tekinay]