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OT - Attack of the As? Mail is showing As instead of E-mail content?

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Dan Brockett
OT - Attack of the As? Mail is showing As instead of E-mail content?
on Nov 3, 2010 at 2:57:38 pm

Hi all:

Apologies for the off topic subject but there doesn't seem to be an Apple Mail board here. Just in the past few days, most of the e-mails I am receiving are showing up as full of little As, some inside boxes, some just lines of As. It seems that they are mostly showing up instead of signatures, graphics, etc. Very strange. I use Mail and I can send and receive my own e-mails with graphics attached and they show up fine. I mailed myself an e-mail with a graphic attached.

Tired deleting Mail prefs (com.apple.mail.plist) but unfortunately that is where Apple also keeps your mailboxes so I couldn't delete the .plist.

Has anyone experienced this weirdness and if so, how did you fix it? It is really obnoxious not being able to see half of the content of your e-mails. Some logos show up but most seem to be getting turned into As as well as a lot of content.

Thanks,

Dan Brockett


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Scott Sheriff
Re: OT - Attack of the As? Mail is showing As instead of E-mail content?
on Nov 3, 2010 at 5:35:22 pm

I haven't had this exact problem, but I have had other Mail app weirdness, that I found frustrating. I fixed it by switching to Mozilla Thunderbird. I like it a lot better, and it isn't as twitchy.

You might try it, it's free and Open Source, and a seamless switchover.
http://www.mozillamessaging.com/en-US/thunderbird/

Scott Sheriff
Director
SST Digital Media
http://www.sstdigitalmedia.com


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Dan Brockett
Re: OT - Attack of the As? Mail is showing As instead of E-mail content?
on Nov 3, 2010 at 8:15:29 pm

I'll keep this solution in mind Scott, but I am pretty stubborn when it comes to fixing issues like this. I want to know why it happened, how it happened, the root cause and how to solve it.

Think I may have to make an appointment with a genius at an Apple store and grill them on what is going on. It is their program.

I have a feeling it is a corrupted font possibly, I am trying some ideas out and have found some correlation between switching the prefs>fonts and colors to other fonts. It doesn't stop the issue but when I highlight Arial, it switches once fine. Then I tried Arial bold and it worked fine. Switch back to Arial and in the prefs dialog, the sample where it should say Arial goes to all small boxes with As in them. I tried removing Arial and another more recently installed new font from the font folder but that didn't solve it.

Thanks for the recommendation.

Dan

A Producer Who Is Also A DP? Yep, that's Me.

http://www.danbrockett.com


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BJ Ahlen
Re: OT - Attack of the As? Mail is showing As instead of E-mail content?
on Nov 3, 2010 at 8:40:59 pm

That is not likely to be an Apple Mail problem (if so, it would be an issue of the character encoding of incoming e-mails being interpreted incorrectly, very unlikely).

The first thing to check is whether you have a corrupted font cache.

OnyX is a free OS X utility that can fix this and more. You can download it from Apple.


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Dan Brockett
Re: OT - Attack of the As? Mail is showing As instead of E-mail content?
on Nov 3, 2010 at 9:00:38 pm

Hi BJ:

I am open to trying anything to get this resolved. I will check out OnyX and will report back on what it tells me or does.

Thanks,

Dan

A Producer Who Is Also A DP? Yep, that's Me.

http://www.danbrockett.com


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Dan Brockett
Re: OT - Attack of the As? Mail is showing As instead of E-mail content?
on Nov 4, 2010 at 2:01:50 am

BJ:

You get the Gold Star for the day and free Apple Juice at recess. First I downloaded Font Nuke on the advice of another board, the person had the same idea, corrupted font cache. But I ran Font Nuke twice and it didn't seem to do anything.

Then I downloaded OnyX as you suggested, ran it (all of the operations pretty much) and included the delete font cache. That seemed to fix things, at least so far, all of those A filled e-mails now display correctly. Safari is displaying correctly. But FireFox is still giving me huge areas of white blank space all over the same http://www.nytimes.com page that Safari displays perfectly, so that must be a FireFox issue, not a font issue?

Thank you for your advice, I very much appreciate it. I am on an editing deadline, not a good time for my laptop to melt down with font issues.

Thank you and have a good night.

Dan

A Producer Who Is Also A DP? Yep, that's Me.

http://www.danbrockett.com


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BJ Ahlen
Re: OT - Attack of the As? Mail is showing As instead of E-mail content?
on Nov 4, 2010 at 2:49:35 am

Glad to be of help, you became my hero after you did that microphone comparison a few years ago, it saved me a lot of time!

Firefox has had its share of problems lately, so make sure you have the latest 3.6.12 version.


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Dan Brockett
Re: OT - Attack of the As? Mail is showing As instead of E-mail content?
on Nov 4, 2010 at 5:16:52 am

Hi:

Glad the article was helpful.

Yes, I am running 3.6.12, it is just not liking the NY Times site anymore, everything else looks fine, even other articles on other pages of the same site, it is just the main page displays with huge gaps between sections and all of the small type stuff on the right hand side is just not there in FireFox.

Cheers,

Dan

A Producer Who Is Also A DP? Yep, that's Me.

http://www.danbrockett.com


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Mark Petereit
Re: OT - Attack of the As? Mail is showing As instead of E-mail content?
on Nov 4, 2010 at 12:02:33 pm

Firefox has an extension that allows you to essentially run other browsers right inside a tab based on URLs of specific sites. I know at one time I had it configured to run Internet Explorer for one particularly pesky site and it worked like a charm. Perhaps you could find it and tell it to use Safari to render nytimes.com.


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Dan Brockett
Re: OT - Attack of the As? Mail is showing As instead of E-mail content?
on Nov 4, 2010 at 2:16:01 pm

Wow, very interesting, I have never heard of this feature. That would take care of this pesky problem if I can figure that out. Thanks for the heads up on that.

Dan

A Producer Who Is Also A DP? Yep, that's Me.

http://www.danbrockett.com


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Mark Petereit
Re: OT - Attack of the As? Mail is showing As instead of E-mail content?
on Nov 3, 2010 at 6:45:23 pm

Well, I don't think it's a problem with Apple Mail. I've been using it for years and have never seen your symptoms.

Try Apple's Mail support forum.


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Dan Brockett
Re: OT - Attack of the As? Mail is showing As instead of E-mail content?
on Nov 3, 2010 at 8:16:46 pm

Me too, I have never seen or experienced this issue either.

I posted on the Apple forum this morning, will let you all know if I discover a fix.

Thanks!

Dan

A Producer Who Is Also A DP? Yep, that's Me.

http://www.danbrockett.com


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Rafael Amador
Re: OT - Attack of the As? Mail is showing As instead of E-mail content?
on Nov 3, 2010 at 8:19:10 pm

No problems here.
Rafael

http://www.nagavideo.com


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John Christie
Re: OT - Attack of the As? Mail is showing As instead of E-mail content?
on Nov 3, 2010 at 9:01:46 pm

Strangely enough, I just saw this today in Safari. Never seen it before and my Mail is fine.

Only new thing I've done is install Office Mac 2011.

A restart of Safari made it go away.


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Dan Brockett
Re: OT - Attack of the As? Mail is showing As instead of E-mail content?
on Nov 3, 2010 at 11:02:48 pm

I wish a restart of Mail would make this go away, but it doesn't. Very obnoxious. Is it possible this could be a result of that rarest of species, an actual OSX virus?

Dan

A Producer Who Is Also A DP? Yep, that's Me.

http://www.danbrockett.com


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Mark Petereit
Re: OT - Attack of the As? Mail is showing As instead of E-mail content?
on Nov 3, 2010 at 11:27:54 pm

I seriously doubt it's a virus.

Do you do any routine maintenance tasks? (repair permissions, etc?)


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Dan Brockett
Re: OT - Attack of the As? Mail is showing As instead of E-mail content?
on Nov 3, 2010 at 11:33:39 pm

Hi:

I know it is probably not a virus but so far, nobody on four boards and the Apple Forum has ever heard of this happening. Weird.

For maintenance, I run Mac Janitor once a week, repair permissions once a week and do a full backup to two separate drives once a week using SuperDuper.

I guess I could go back to one of the backups I did over the weekend but yeesh, that will take about 5 hours to restore and it may develop again

Thanks,

Dan

A Producer Who Is Also A DP? Yep, that's Me.

http://www.danbrockett.com


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BJ Ahlen
Re: OT - Attack of the As? Mail is showing As instead of E-mail content?
on Nov 3, 2010 at 11:31:15 pm

A virus wouldn't bother messing with character encodings unless there was a specific vulnerability in them.

The font cache is your best bet.

You did do a complete OS restart after cleaning out the cache also, right? That's necessary.


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Dan Brockett
Re: OT - Attack of the As? Mail is showing As instead of E-mail content?
on Nov 3, 2010 at 11:35:56 pm

Couldn't delete the Mail prefs because Mail keeps all of your mailboxes folders (I have about fifty of them) and e-mails within the Mail.plist file. Some apps do this and some don't. Unfortunately for me, Mail does.

Dan

A Producer Who Is Also A DP? Yep, that's Me.

http://www.danbrockett.com


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Dan Brockett
Re: OT - Attack of the As? Mail is showing As instead of E-mail content?
on Nov 3, 2010 at 11:40:20 pm

If it helps, here is what a good majority of my e-mails have looked like for the past couple of days. http://gallery.me.com/blfilms/100139

Thanks,

Dan

A Producer Who Is Also A DP? Yep, that's Me.

http://www.danbrockett.com


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: OT - Attack of the As? Mail is showing As instead of E-mail content?
on Nov 4, 2010 at 6:24:55 am

That's is odd. I'd agree with the Font Cache clearing.

I moved away from Mail some time ago as it was doing a pretty bad job of keeping IMAP accounts in sync and managing more than two accounts with a decent amount of emails.

I've switched to Postbox which is built on the Mozilla platform. I like it a lot. It keeps the ever growing mountains of emails organized and taggable for easy future findings. It has also done very well with my IMAP accounts. It's what I thought Mail should be.

Thought I'd throw it out there.


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Dan Brockett
Re: OT - Attack of the As? Mail is showing As instead of E-mail content?
on Nov 4, 2010 at 2:14:56 pm

That is some good advice Jeremy, it is just a matter of laziness on my part in transferring everything over, configuring new accounts, etc.

I will check that out.

Dan

A Producer Who Is Also A DP? Yep, that's Me.

http://www.danbrockett.com


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: OT - Attack of the As? Mail is showing As instead of E-mail content?
on Nov 4, 2010 at 2:28:04 pm

I hear you. It takes a little setting up, but Mail was failing so bad for me that I had to do it. No better motivation when something is busted!

Also, another feature I forgot to mention was Postbox has an excellent archiving tool, something that Mail is lacking.


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