Monthly Archives: September 2004


The other day, while upgrading SpamAssassin, I was watching the maillog scroll past.

I noticed that AOL rejected some of my mail … indicating a URL that I should visit for information.

Turns out some AOL subscriber had reported mail from my server for TOS violations.

Obviously in the mail log there is not useful information about who did the reporting … so I visited the URL. There was information available on how to sign up to be whitelisted by the AOL mail servers and participate in the TOS ‘feedback’ loop. This is where AOL will send a specific email address (an abuse address, generally) messages that are reported as TOS violations.

So I signed up for this and got confirmation that my servers were accepted.

I figure that the person who is reporting the list messages to TOS just wants to get unsubscribed from the list (and can’t read enough english to notice that unsubscribe instructions are at the bottom of every list message).

So today I got my first feedback loop message.

Unfortunately, there’s no indication in the reported message as to WHO reported it to TOS.
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Fall at the Botanic Gardens

Ginny and I went out to the Chicago Botanic Gardens today. It was a perfect day for it. Sunny, cool, slight breeze.

Of course we had our cameras … took a bunch of pictures, some came out well, others … well, you know.

Ginny made some rumblings about wanting a better camera … and how much she liked the way my pictures came out with my Canon Digital Rebel.

I’m thinking there might be a rather expesnive holiday present in her future 🙂

Cannot stop device right now

Whenever I try to use the “Safely remove hardware” option in windows to remove the hard drive installed in the modular bay of my laptop, I get the following message:

As far as I could tell, nothing was actually using the drive. I’m only using it to backup files on at the present time.

I disabled Windows indexing, thinking that a system process had the device in use, but that didn’t make a difference.

So I downloaded Filemon for Windows from hoping I would be able to see what file was open on the device.

Well wadda ya know … turns out Norton Utilities “Protected Recycle Bin” had the doggone thing open.

When I turned OFF the Norton extensions on the recycle bin for drive D:, I was able to stop the device and safely eject it.

Please send me the log file

Last week I had an experience with a customer that took me aback.

I was trying to help them diagnose a problem … in order to diagnose this problem I needed to see the log file from a server.

This log file is plain text. It’s readable using notepad, or any other editor that can handle plain text files.

Here’s what the customer did …

  1. Opened the log file with notepad
  2. Did a screen capture (using ALT-PrtScr)
  3. Pasted the screen capture into a word document
  4. Emailed us the word document

Now I understand a certian lack of familiarity with PC’s … but this is kind of silly. Doing a simple file attachment is NOT rocket science.

GMail Invites

I have a bunch of GMail invites available.

If anyone actually reads this, and would like an invite, post a comment with your name & email address and I’ll send you one.

The way Google is giving them out now … I suspect they are just ramping up their rollout.