It's Not You. MobileMe Mail Delayed.

Hopefully, this is isolated and soon to be resolved and not a return to rocky times at MobileMe, the personal productivity service from Apple.

Hopefully, this is isolated and soon to be resolved and not a return to rocky times at MobileMe, the personal productivity service from Apple.

Having spent the first hour of the morning trying to resolve the sending of 2 megabytes worth of attachments to an Earthlink customer, then the second hour with a Cablevision service rep, then a third hour with two Apple reps, my inability to send out email with attachments and my inability to receive email through Mac servers seemed to be headed into a deadend. The problem was not at Earthlink's end. The problem was not with Cablevision's outgoing mail servers. And Apple was ready to declare: Not us, either. The application checked out, its reps said.

Until I was about to hang up the phone. Then, the Apple rep confirmed Apple mail is being delayed and the causes are being determined. So, if this is happening to you, note this, now up on the MobileMe support page:

What I found so interesting in this case is how I had to stand fast on the issue with the second Apple rep, to whom the issue had been kicked. If you as a customer are going to test whether your mail service works, you tend to ... send mail to yourself.

But each time I sent email with attachments to myself, the mail did not arrive in my mailbox. It would arrive in the Apple fellow's mailbox, but not mine.

The explanation: Apple sets its servers so that you don't necessarily get copied on mail you send that has attachments, to lessen congestion.

There are two problems with that:

1. You often need to send attachments to oneself. It's as simple a means of backing up files and moving them between machines as, say, an iDisk. Easier and easier to find again.

2. How do you ever prove the negative? If Earthlink, which has escalated its original query as to what the problem is, calls back and says it's not on its end -- which it now looks like it's not -- I can't prove to the contrary. If I can't send myself attachments, then I can't prove it's not Apple's problem that attachments aren't showing up.