Blog : Posts tagged with 'server'



In which Exchange causes problems

Microsoft, everyone’s favourite evil behemoth, have been getting as much press as they can in the past few days to push their new operating system. At the same time, though, their software has been making my life a drag. And there’s nothing at all I can do about it.

The problem is their email server “messaging solution”, the horrible and nightmarish Microsoft Exchange. I know it’s a horrid system to babysit, but fortunately I don’t have to do any of that. Worse, though, it can make life bad for people like me who shouldn’t have to have anything to do with it.

Like most things Microsoft produces, it has a showstopper of a bug. It’s triggered by an innocent salesman* who decides to send an email to a long, long list of people at once. His (or her) own system has nothing to do with this; the problem is when one of the people in the recipient list uses a buggy Exchange. Their server will read the email, and send it out again. To all of the recipients. Thousands and thousands and thousands of times. Each copy looking like it’s coming from the original sender.

Moreover, some of those people will then reply, saying things like “why are you sending me thousands of emails, you fuckwit?” They don’t really help, though, because inevitably they push the “reply to all” button. Meaning they then generate a second email which triggers the same bug, so that email, too, gets duplicated thousands and thousands and thousands of times, until the administrator of the buggy server wakes up and takes their server offline to recover for a while.

Bugs in software are unavoidable. Most of them, though, don’t cause problems for more than one person at once. Bugs like that, though, that can block up internet connections and mail servers for hours at a time, should never have been released. Releasing software that disrupts the rest of the world, in that way, is unforgivable.

* Well, it’s not salesman-specific. But for some reason, it seems to be salesmen that set it off most of the time

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Friday Feeling

In which FP has nothing to do, so does something productive instead

I was rather glad when I got up this morning and saw Diamond Geezer‘s Friday Puzzle. I was worried there wasn’t going to be much to do today, and here was something to keep me occupied. In the event, though, not only did I have plenty to do, but the puzzle wasn’t that hard to solve after all.*

When I did have spare time in the office, I kept myself busy by geeking out a bit: taking retired Windows servers out of the spares cupboard and installing Gentoo Linux on them instead. When they’re ready and hatched, I can put them back on the network, carrying out small-but-vital jobs, slowly making the network more reliable** and easier – for me, at least – to look after.

* and I was annoyed that I didn’t manage to think of a cunning trick to solve it; I just brute-forced it, trying potential solutions until I found a complete one.

** It doesn’t sound like old about-to-collapse computers would make the network more reliable; the reliability comes from having lots of them, doing different jobs, to minimise your points of failure. It would be nice to have a similar number of top-of-the-range machines, but there’s no reason not to use the free ones in your store cupboard too if you’ve got them.

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