Monthly Archives: April 2010

Disk problem

We’re having a disk problem on the main system, resulting in an
apparent heavy load. This results in 400-class errors reported
(451, etc) meaning “temporary error; please try again”.

As a temporary measure, reconfiguring your mail client to send
outbound via will help. Unfortunately we
can’t do the same for accessing inbound mail.

More details when we have them.

We’re going for a reboot – but the disk is being recalcitrant.

We seem to be back.  Inbound mail has stacked up in the queue on our secondary server; it will be passed to the primary shortly.

Rejects search facility

We’re rolling out to Tidymail the facility for users to search for items for them which were rejected.  Most of these should be spam, but if you’ve been expecting a particular item which has not arrived, or if you just want to get a general flavour of the spam we’re rejecting on your behalf, the information is there.  It’s pretty raw, being just lines selected from our logs.

This is only a beta service; we might change it or withdraw it once we have some experience of how well (or not) it works.  One thing it will not show is rejects where we decided we didn’t like the sending system even before it got as far as telling us the item recipient.  It doesn’t handle aliases or catchalls either.

To use the service you must have your mail client configured to authenticate, so that we know what name to search the logs for.   Once that is set up, send a mail to – the subject and content will be ignored and can be blank.  You should get sent a mail with selected lines from our logs.  The last couple of log files are searched, so there should be at least one full week’s coverage backward from the time of the request.

Each line should include a date & time, an IP address in square brackets (of the sending system) and a sender name in the form F=<user@domain> (NB: this is the envelope from, not the header from).  There should also be a reason for rejection.

We’ll be interested in your comments on this facility.   Mail to

Downtime completed

Our scheduled reboot of machines has been completed without incident.

All dependent services are running correctly.

Please contact us at should you notice any problems.

Notice of Downtime – 2010/04/03

We will be taking about an hour’s downtime on each of our major machines this coming Sunday 3rd April 2010 to allow us to install security updates.

During this time various portions of the service may be unavailable i.e. fetching/reading email, sending email.  But due to the fact that we are doing these updates in sequence there will always be at least one machine which will accept incoming email so there will be no issue receiving.

We will start the outages from around 14:00 BST (13:00 GMT) though exact timings as things progress will be determined by how long it takes to verify each step.