11 March 2010
"Server not found." Firefox can't find the server...
For the past several weeks my blogging has been hampered by recurrent appearances of the error screen shown above. It shows up when my computer (2-year-old iMac) suddenly and inexplicably seems to be unable to access the internet, and the "try again" button does nothing. If I quit and restart Firefox (I'm using 3.5.8), the problem still persists; I have to restart the computer in order to get online again (and from force of habit I usually zap the PRAM on a reboot, but don't know if that's necessary).
The problem is apparently not in our cable access or the household router; other computers in the house work fine when this problem appears. And it's not just Firefox, because when it happens I can't solve it by switching to Safari or other browsers, which show their own "server not found" error messsages. The computer itself is not frozen; I can switch to other tasks. And I can even scroll and bookmark the pages I have open - I just can't go anywhere else.
When I searched this message I found some forums suggesting it happened because of conflicts with plugins, so I've temporarily disabled by Adblock Plus, my Flashblock, and my NoScript - but that hasn't solved the problem.
I think this has something to do with my websurfing style. I use tabbed browsing, and typically open 15 tabs at a time looking for TYWKIWDBI material. If I leave them open a long time (while checking sublinks etc), or if I walk away to have lunch and then come back, that's when the problem most often occurs. This kind of response reminds me of the old days when the RAM used to get "used up", but my iMac has a gigabyte of RAM, and I'd be surprised if that per se is the problem. But maybe.
If anyone else has experienced this and knows a good workaround (or a way to prevent it), I'd love to hear from you.