Backup Mail Server Questions

Bill Moran wmoran at
Mon Sep 27 12:38:18 PDT 2004

Nico Meijer <nico.meijer at> wrote:
> Hey Bill,
> Black mode is on, here. ;-)

I'm not familiar with that metaphor.

> > Are you saying that it's better for users not to know that their mail
> > has been delayed?
> Unfortunately, yes. That is what I am saying.
> On a technical level, I totally disagree with myself. On a practical,
> day-to-day operations level I have to admit I'd rather not handle the calls.

Don't know what to tell you there.

My major concern is that:
a) When other servers reply with "could not deliver after x hours" messages,
   they'll still run around like idiots, and you'll have to explain
b) You're punishing educated people by having their mail disappear into
   the ether with no warning.

When I have a choice of punishing idiots or smart people, I punish idiots.


> > If folks run around in a panic, then it's a training issue, not an
> > excuse for you to quell useful informational messages.
> As much as I hate to admit it: regular people don't want their
> mailservers to bitch at them *no matter what happens*, unless they are
> down (in which case they don't bitch either ;-) ). You know, the same 
> people that shut their brain off when turning their computers on.

My point is that we're obligated to force these people to turn their
brains back on, before they ruin the world with their screwed up
politics and other nonsense.

Look at the vehicle situation.  If people would force stupid drivers
to wise up, instead of trying to cover up their stupidity with airbags,
we'd have a lot less deaths due to vehicle accidents.

> Regular folks don't understand how mail works. They have no clue
> whatsoever. They don't _want_ to have a clue either. They are just
> behaving like consumers, again. Do you *really* want to know what's on 
> your plate at dinner? ;-) I do, maybe you too, but most people don't.

I disagree just a _little_.  I don't _want_ to know, but I feel obligated
that I _have_ to know.

Others would rather just have their doctor prescribe something when thier
shitty diet makes them sick.  Then I have to pay the elevated health
insurance costs ... now they want to turn the US into a socialized
medicin country, so every citizen is _forced_ to pay for all the people
who don't take care of themselves.

> If I had a dime for every time I have had to discuss how mail delivery
> actually works to Joe Average or his Windows NT/2000 systems
> administrator... boy.

Write up a web page and point people to it.

Sometimes I think that if people enjoyed answering the same question
over and over, there would be no FreeBSD handbook!

> > Again, I have many _very_ strong opinions on how email should be
> > managed, this is one of them.
> I happen to have a very strong opinion on the grim state of humanity
> in general and regular, everyday, Joe Average computer users in 
> particular. I am therefore strongly biased. ;-)
> I disagree with you on the secondary DNS part (but I'm leaving that, I
> have work to do ;-) ), I technically agree with you on the MX part.
> I'll try to get out of black mode now :-) ... Nico

I still don't know what that means, but I guess _I_ was in rant mode.
I'll turn that off now.

Bill Moran
Potential Technologies

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