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Thread: Forum Email Fixed

  1. #1
    Administrator ad4mg's Avatar
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    Forum Email Fixed

    The email server for the site stopped working somewhere around early April. The credentials on the SMTP server that we were pointing to had expired, and it was one of Jeff's accounts. I thought it would be a simple matter of switching back to the internal php mailer, but that also failed.

    I asked Michael (KD8TUT) for assistance, but I couldn't get him access to the administrator control panel. My ability to edit staff (administrator/moderator) permissions was borked as well. Not wanting to make matters any worse, and because the both of us have been busy, we proceeded slowly. I pondered that it may have been caused by a configuration file that was replaced by a default version when we re-installed vBulletin during the migration. Michael made the necessary edits to this file, and we were back on track... he now had access to the control panel!

    So, the site email seems to be working well again! Michael has us set up to use the gold standard of Linux mailers, "sendmail". Simple and fast, sendmail just works. So, the list of email functions that were previously affected are:

    * member to member email (when the recipient allows it)
    * site registration notifications to the staff
    * the "Contact us" link
    * The "Happy Birthday" emails sent by the board
    * reported post notifications to the staff
    * notifications to new members that their registration is complete
    * notifications to new applicants that they were not approved (invalid email, username issues, etc)
    * email confirmation messages to registered members who changed their email address listed here

    Regarding member to member emails... you can initiate an email to another member through the board by clicking their user name and clicking "send email". If that member has chosen to not receive emails in this manner, you will not see this link. Be aware that your email listed with the site will be sent to the recipient.

    Microsoft email accounts (hotmail, msn, etc) are probably not going to allow you to receive emails sent from the forum. This will be addressed soon. Microsoft is anal about this because they have never figured out how to control SPAM like, for example, Gmail has.

    Thanks to Michael for the repair job! He will remain an Administrator to allow him access to the control panel for reasons just like this, so we also officially welcome Michael to the staff!

    Please note any issues encountered with the forum's email feature here. I'll make this thread 'sticky' for a while.

    Thanks!
    Luke

  2. #2
    "Island Bartender" KG4CGC's Avatar
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    Who's Michael?
    RIP Albi
    When do you tell a woman you're a ham?
    Be blessed by the "Skip-Gods" and, be reflected back down into "DX-Land".
    -Mel

  3. #3
    Administrator ad4mg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KG4CGC View Post
    Who's Michael?
    KD8TUT, our server genius and administrator. He's not interested in moderating, but requires access to the Administrator control panel to fix stuff that I'm too stupid to fix...
    'Murica - Government of the Rich, by the Rich, and for the Rich; Thanks to our supreme court of traitors, Citizens United v. FEC, and now McCutcheon v. FEC.

  4. #4
    Lord of the Flies VE7DCW's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KG4CGC View Post
    Who's Michael?
    He's one of those 8 land hams ....... a little bit better than those 6 lander's but whatever you do,don't mention the war to him! I did it,but I think I got away with it!
    Why,driving into a brick wall at 60 miles per hour, would I expect it not to hurt! :roll:

    Walk and Talk like a Canajun!!




  5. #5
    Administrator KD8TUT's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by VE7DCW View Post
    He's one of those 8 land hams ....... a little bit better than those 6 lander's but whatever you do,don't mention the war to him! I did it,but I think I got away with it!
    --
    So there I was, totally naked. With only a rubber hose and a stuffed animal...

  6. #6
    Administrator KD8TUT's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ad4mg View Post

    So, the site email seems to be working well again! Michael has us set up to use the gold standard of Linux mailers, "sendmail". Simple and fast, sendmail just works. So, the list of email functions that were previously affected are:
    Um... err.... well there's some disagreement about that among admins.

    Sendmail is not fast (but it's not slow).... it's not simple (but it's very powerful).... It just works (assuming you understand it's language)

    The other competitors in open source SMTP servers are qmail and postfix. Qmail is fast and a pain in the ass. Postfix is slow (relatively) and easy to work with.

    But sendmail can be secured against spam and viruses very well.... scanning for their presence on the fly (these features cost nothing). And since sendmail is *everywhere* almost all the outboard software you would use can talk to it.

    So in a sense it is a "gold standard". It's been around since 1993. And more importantly... it can be configured into a pretzel if needed.
    --
    So there I was, totally naked. With only a rubber hose and a stuffed animal...

  7. #7
    Administrator KD8TUT's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ad4mg View Post
    KD8TUT, our server genius and administrator. He's not interested in moderating, but requires access to the Administrator control panel to fix stuff that I'm too stupid to fix...
    Better drop that genius stuff. When I screw up you guys will be calling me "remember that admin we used to have who we thought was a genius?".

    And it will happen.... (me screwing up)
    --
    So there I was, totally naked. With only a rubber hose and a stuffed animal...

  8. #8
    Whacker Knot WTKX's Avatar
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    Bartender, special order for the genius...

    "Weve got this perverse situation in which the vast analytic powers of the entire world are being spent trying to understand
    a guy whose thoughts are often just six fireflies beeping randomly in a jar. - David Brooks, regarding Trump




  9. #9
    Administrator KD8TUT's Avatar
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    As a note...

    Outlook related e-mail addresses are still problematic. Microsoft has some really screwed up rules associated with outlook related mail exchangers.

    I'm navigating that problem. We'll see how successful I am.

    In the meantime- switching to another non Micropenis e-mail account is a good work around.

    In the near future we'll have a support e-mail address that can be used to contact admins in the case of a problem. Though I'd like to let the server settle in with all the changes before I let it actually accept mail.
    --
    So there I was, totally naked. With only a rubber hose and a stuffed animal...

  10. #10
    Administrator ad4mg's Avatar
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    I've used sendmail to handle email from JNOS BBS systems to/from the internet back 'in the day'. I don't recall that it was particularly user friendly, but if you could get a JNOS BBS going, sendmail was a piece of cake!

    I used to be one of the sysops for an emergency communication system for 12 hospitals. Voice and data... the latter via JNOS running on Slackware Linux. I still have all of the configuration files somewhere, but I doubt that I'd remember half of the stuff I used to know so well!

    Quote Originally Posted by KD8TUT View Post
    Um... err.... well there's some disagreement about that among admins.

    Sendmail is not fast (but it's not slow).... it's not simple (but it's very powerful).... It just works (assuming you understand it's language)

    The other competitors in open source SMTP servers are qmail and postfix. Qmail is fast and a pain in the ass. Postfix is slow (relatively) and easy to work with.

    But sendmail can be secured against spam and viruses very well.... scanning for their presence on the fly (these features cost nothing). And since sendmail is *everywhere* almost all the outboard software you would use can talk to it.

    So in a sense it is a "gold standard". It's been around since 1993. And more importantly... it can be configured into a pretzel if needed.
    'Murica - Government of the Rich, by the Rich, and for the Rich; Thanks to our supreme court of traitors, Citizens United v. FEC, and now McCutcheon v. FEC.

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