Discussion:
[lopsa-tech] Email naming convention
(too old to reply)
Edward Ned Harvey
2009-10-24 01:41:46 UTC
Permalink
You know what I really wish existed?

***@eharvey.company.com

***@jsmith.company.com

***@anotherusername.company.com

and so on.

(No, this does not address the multiple-users-with-same-name problem.) This
is something completely separate.



I do magnificently well with ***@nedharvey.com . I never give out the
same email address twice. (Note, ***@nedharvey.com, and
***@nedharvey.com, etc) and when I start receiving spam on some
address . I know who let my address "leak" to spammers, and I simply throw
away that address (or filter it).



Yes, I recognize, if something like the above were popular, then spammers
would send mail to ***@your.domain.com, but I think the next step
would be really obvious . Whenever I send mail to some email address, my
d***@lang.hm
2009-10-24 01:55:36 UTC
Permalink
you could do most of this today with plus addressing like
david+***@lang.hm

you can do all the normal filtering on the + part (on a per-user basis),
can be used to auto-sort your inbound mail into different folders and
leave unqualified stuff in your main folder

David Lang
Date: Fri, 23 Oct 2009 21:41:46 -0400
Subject: [lopsa-tech] Email naming convention
You know what I really wish existed?
and so on.
(No, this does not address the multiple-users-with-same-name problem.) This
is something completely separate.
address . I know who let my address "leak" to spammers, and I simply throw
away that address (or filter it).
Yes, I recognize, if something like the above were popular, then spammers
would be really obvious . Whenever I send mail to some email address, my
Edward Ned Harvey
2009-10-24 02:00:02 UTC
Permalink
Post by d***@lang.hm
you could do most of this today with plus addressing like
How? I don't know of any option in exchange or gmail to enable such a
feature.
Jan L. Peterson
2009-10-24 02:12:00 UTC
Permalink
Post by Edward Ned Harvey
Post by d***@lang.hm
you could do most of this today with plus addressing like
How? I don't know of any option in exchange or gmail to enable such a
feature.
Actually, Gmail supports this out of the box:
http://gmailblog.blogspot.com/2008/03/2-hidden-ways-to-get-more-from-your.html

I think you're out of luck with Exchange, though.

-jan-
--
Jan L. Peterson
http://www.peterson-tech.com/~jlp/
Phil Pennock
2009-10-24 02:58:53 UTC
Permalink
Post by Jan L. Peterson
Post by Edward Ned Harvey
Post by d***@lang.hm
you could do most of this today with plus addressing like
How? I don't know of any option in exchange or gmail to enable such a
feature.
http://gmailblog.blogspot.com/2008/03/2-hidden-ways-to-get-more-from-your.html
Disclaimer: speaking in a personal capacity

Also, Gmail canonicalises away any dots, so ***@gmail.com ==
***@gmail.com == ***@gmail.com. So you can use
plus sub-addressing where supported and if not supported you can insert
some extra dots in the address. Not so convenient, but you're working
around buggy code elsewhere and I know some people who like having the
option away.

Also, Google Apps for your Domain supports catch-all addresses. Go to
manage the domain, Email settings, main config page under "Email
routing" -- you can choose what to do with "Unknown account messages"
and the default is "Discard" but you can choose to route them to a
catch-all address. I just checked this on the family domain account.
It might be a premium feature, I don't recall.

For large domains, enabling a catch-all is almost certainly a mistake.
The volumes are prohibitive, even after spam-filtering. For small
domains, *shrug*.

On my personal email which goes to my colo-box, I used to have a
catchall address. When I transitioned mail to my colo-box from a
friend's machine who'd helped me out for a while, I enabled catchall on
the older domain. That lasted not-very-many minutes and proved to be
unwise. For a newer domain like spodhuis.org, I could get away with it
for a little while.

However, there are harvesters which don't understand the different
between an email address and a message-id, or which break at the hyphen
in "lopsa-tech". And then I got the joe-jobs from random
left-hand-sides, resulting in bounces. So after a while, I gave in and
demoted the catchall to "kinda works in a pinch" status -- I configured
my MTA so that the catchall address only exists if the SMTP Envelope
Sender is not empty. Since I never send from a catchall, this works,
but it does break some sign-up.

I could get away with this because I had configured my system so that if
a Shared Folder in Cyrus was created, then that left-hand-side springs
into existence. Ie, by creating "Shared Folders/spodhuis/bert", the
address ***@spodhuis.org becomes valid and is delivered to the shared
folder with no further configuration. With that, my wife could just
create a new folder for a new LHS and things would work.

But these days, she mostly just uses Gmail anyway. She finds it much
easier to use than Thunderbird.

Regards,
-Phil
Edward Ned Harvey
2009-10-24 03:20:18 UTC
Permalink
Post by Jan L. Peterson
http://gmailblog.blogspot.com/2008/03/2-hidden-ways-to-get-more-from-
your.html
Good to know. :-) Thanks.
Edward Ned Harvey
2009-10-24 03:31:33 UTC
Permalink
Post by Jan L. Peterson
http://gmailblog.blogspot.com/2008/03/2-hidden-ways-to-get-more-from-
your.html
Too bad gmail doesn't support *sending* with such an address. Although you
may add various aliases for yourself, the outbound message always says your
main email address. Recipients who aren't on gmail will see "on behalf of"
Edward Ned Harvey
2009-10-24 04:02:34 UTC
Permalink
Post by Edward Ned Harvey
Post by Jan L. Peterson
http://gmailblog.blogspot.com/2008/03/2-hidden-ways-to-get-more-from-
your.html
Too bad gmail doesn't support *sending* with such an address. Although you
may add various aliases for yourself, the outbound message always says your
main email address. Recipients who aren't on gmail will see "on behalf of"
The Eudora mail client allows this. I believe Thunderbird does, too.
Possibly the Zimbra Web client. Hmmm. Zimbra allows different
personae, but I'm not sure about the catchall accounts on the back-end.

Mutt, of course, allows you complete control over the header lines up to
the moment you send the message. See who this is from?
--
/*********************************************************************\
**
** Joe Yao ***@tux.org - Joseph S. D. Yao
**
\*********************************************************************/
Edward Ned Harvey
2009-10-24 04:26:08 UTC
Permalink
Post by Edward Ned Harvey
The Eudora mail client allows this. I believe Thunderbird does, too.
Possibly the Zimbra Web client. Hmmm. Zimbra allows different
personae, but I'm not sure about the catchall accounts on the back-end.
Mutt, of course, allows you complete control over the header lines up to
the moment you send the message. See who this is from?
Dude, every mail client can send "from" any address, as long as the smtp
server allows it. Don't spoof my address again, that's really annoying, and
any child age 8 or over knows how to do it. Not impressive, but very
annoying.
Tracy Reed
2009-10-24 02:16:54 UTC
Permalink
Post by Edward Ned Harvey
How? I don't know of any option in exchange or gmail to enable such a
feature.
Gmail and especially Exchange are not exactly platforms for those who
are serious about managing their email so your options are limited in
these cases.

I have used this feature quite extensively for over 10 years since I
first discovered qmail. I now use it with postfix. I pipe all of my
email through a program which filters out email addresses known to be
getting spam. These days that is a LOT of addresses. That unique email
address also gives my bayes filter something nice to cue off of.
--
Tracy Reed
http://tracyreed.org
Edward Ned Harvey
2009-10-24 03:20:18 UTC
Permalink
Post by Tracy Reed
Gmail and especially Exchange are not exactly platforms for those who
are serious about managing their email so your options are limited in
these cases.
LOL. Unfortunately, exchange is the only thing anywhere that has a reliable
calendar.
Joseph S D Yao
2009-10-24 03:29:03 UTC
Permalink
Post by Edward Ned Harvey
Post by Tracy Reed
Gmail and especially Exchange are not exactly platforms for those who
are serious about managing their email so your options are limited in
these cases.
LOL. Unfortunately, exchange is the only thing anywhere that has a reliable
calendar.
Not so. Try Zimbra.

Or get a separate calendar. I mean, who first thought to put a calendar
into a MAIL program, of all things?

Excuse me, mutt and postfix, where am I supposed to be today? ;-?
--
/*********************************************************************\
**
** Joe Yao ***@tux.org - Joseph S. D. Yao
**
\*********************************************************************/
Brandon S. Allbery KF8NH
2009-10-24 03:40:22 UTC
Permalink
Post by Joseph S D Yao
Or get a separate calendar. I mean, who first thought to put a calendar
into a MAIL program, of all things?
Anyone who schedules meetings via email.
--
brandon s. allbery [solaris,freebsd,perl,pugs,haskell] ***@kf8nh.com
system administrator [openafs,heimdal,too many hats] ***@ece.cmu.edu
electrical and computer engineering, carnegie mellon university KF8NH
Mark McCullough
2009-10-24 04:29:41 UTC
Permalink
Post by Brandon S. Allbery KF8NH
Or get a separate calendar. I mean, who first thought to put a calendar
into a MAIL program, of all things?
Anyone who schedules meetings via email.
Following the Unix approach of do one thing and do it well, I prefer
that these be separate tools that integrate well. Just because an
invite might show up as a message in my inbox doesn't mean that the mail
program should be responsible for maintaining the calendar. Maybe I've
drunk too much Apple kool-aid, but I find I like the way iCal, Mail, and
Addressbook are three separate programs that seem to talk to each other
well. This has the added benefit of I could replace the front end of
one of these programs (say calendar) and still use the same backend to
hold the calendar.
--
"The speed of communications is wondrous to behold. It is also true that
speed can multiply the distribution of information that we know to be
untrue." Edward R Murrow (1964)

Mark McCullough
***@earthink.net
Edward Ned Harvey
2009-10-24 04:34:49 UTC
Permalink
Post by Mark McCullough
I find I like the way iCal, Mail,
and
Addressbook are three separate programs that seem to talk to each other
well.
What are you using for the backend to iCal?
I find iCal is reliable as long as you're just using it on the local laptop
with no server. Every time I use iCal with google apps in the backend, it's
a disaster. Details if you want 'em.
Richard Chycoski
2009-10-25 18:33:28 UTC
Permalink
Post by Mark McCullough
Post by Brandon S. Allbery KF8NH
Or get a separate calendar. I mean, who first thought to put a calendar
into a MAIL program, of all things?
Anyone who schedules meetings via email.
Following the Unix approach of do one thing and do it well, I prefer
that these be separate tools that integrate well. Just because an
invite might show up as a message in my inbox doesn't mean that the mail
program should be responsible for maintaining the calendar. Maybe I've
drunk too much Apple kool-aid, but I find I like the way iCal, Mail, and
Addressbook are three separate programs that seem to talk to each other
well. This has the added benefit of I could replace the front end of
one of these programs (say calendar) and still use the same backend to
hold the calendar.
I'm sorry but the analogy doesn't quite hold up if you consider
'transport' mechanisms versus 'consumers of transport mechanisms'.

You can certainly have separate email and calendar client programs and
still use RFC-821/822/etc messages as a transport mechanism, in the same
way that you can use ssh as a terminal service, a file transfer
transport, and even a filesystem access transport (sshfs rocks! Works to
Windows boxes too!!! :-).

There's nothing inherently wrong with using the mail system as a
calendaring transport, and there are actually some reasons why it made
some sense.

Not everyone has a calendaring program, or they may use a calendaring
system with a different (and possibly also proprietary) protocol. By
using email as the transport medium, and putting the calendaring
messages into mostly-human-decipherable form, people can use Exchange
calendars to invite non-Outlook/Exchange users to their meetings. It
would even be possible for foreign calendaring systems to accept the
email message and translate them into their own native form.

Now, do I think that Microsoft did a good job of using email transport
for calendaring? Not really, as the delivery and acceptance mechanisms
are nondeterministic at the calendaring level, but I've learned how to
tame the beast. With a few server-side Exchange rules, calendaring
rarely gets in the way of my email - with a side effect (intentional) of
keeping a copy of the calendaring messages in my inbox so that I know
that I have meeting invites to deal with in my calendar.

I prefer Thunderbird over Outlook for email, so I use Thunderbird with
IMAP for my email. However, for full calendaring functionality only
Outlook will do, so I keep a copy of Outlook fired up in a Windows VM
for those calendaring duties that can't be done (yet) via the web or
other non-Microsoft-proprietary interfaces. I need Windows for certain
other programs that don't have an equivalent in the *nix world, e.g..,
Visio and Powerpoint (I use Open Office for most things, but it mangles
complex PowerPoint docs -and even some Word docs - that I have to work
with) so I don't have problem with having an Outlook client running
there for calendaring.

I'm an 'OS gourmand' anyway - I aim to use the best tool for job, and
that means that I typically need both Linux and Windows desktops
available. I do this at work and at home to cover the full range of
tools. I'll be adding Mac back into the mix soon. I haven't had a Mac
since the OS 9.x days, but I'm looking forward to one as my next work
laptop - and I will have VMs for Linux and Windows on it as well -
again, to get the full range of tools at my fingertips.

My point - this shouldn't be about using either/or, but instead -
*every* OS. And as highly intelligent tool users and builders we should
be the ones who help people make the most use of whatever tools are
available, including finding ways to make Linux users happy when they
are required to use an Exchange mail server in a way that looks 'Linux
native', and to make Linux resources fully available to Windows users -
in a way that appears to be 'Windows native'.

And this goes double for smartphone interfaces. Discuss. :-)

- Richard
Joseph S D Yao
2009-10-24 13:01:12 UTC
Permalink
Post by Brandon S. Allbery KF8NH
Post by Joseph S D Yao
Or get a separate calendar. I mean, who first thought to put a calendar
into a MAIL program, of all things?
Anyone who schedules meetings via email.
I s'pose MSW users can't do anything as useful as pipe an invite into a
calendar feeder program. Instead, MS Outlook automatically ingests and
processes everything - a virus hacker's dream.
--
/*********************************************************************\
**
** Joe Yao ***@tux.org - Joseph S. D. Yao
**
\*********************************************************************/
Jesse Trucks
2009-10-24 23:10:36 UTC
Permalink
I find it rather sad and quite unprofessional to make these types of
negative and prejudicial statements about a platform. The Microsoft
product and company bashing is in horrid taste, often rather
inaccurate, and paints a picture of non-technical people who use the
products (often not by their choice) as uncivilized neanderthals who
don't deserve access to technology.

This is the League of PROFESSIONAL System Administrators.

If we want the respect professionals deserve, we must act
professionally. Microsoft creates some of the world's most widely used
and popular software ever. It is a reality of our profession that we
must deal with the popular and interesting at the same time. Linux and
it's big brother Unix flavors are technically too complicated, still
yet, for the average computer user, and a vast majority of the system
administrators in the world manage systems that run some flavor of
Microsoft's products, not open source or commercial Unix/Linux packages.

This attitude disenfranchises our largest audience: the system
administrators working with Microsoft products. This has to stop, or
the world will never see system administrators of any type as
professionals worthy of respect.
--
Jesse Trucks, GCUX
***@lopsa.org
Director, LOPSA
http://lopsa.org
Post by Joseph S D Yao
Post by Brandon S. Allbery KF8NH
Post by Joseph S D Yao
Or get a separate calendar. I mean, who first thought to put a calendar
into a MAIL program, of all things?
Anyone who schedules meetings via email.
I s'pose MSW users can't do anything as useful as pipe an invite into a
calendar feeder program. Instead, MS Outlook automatically ingests and
processes everything - a virus hacker's dream.
--
/
*********************************************************************\
**
**
\*********************************************************************/
_______________________________________________
Tech mailing list
http://lopsa.org/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/tech
This list provided by the League of Professional System Administrators
http://lopsa.org/
Tracy Reed
2009-10-24 23:31:48 UTC
Permalink
Post by Jesse Trucks
I find it rather sad and quite unprofessional to make these types of
negative and prejudicial statements about a platform.
Modular software (not having your calendar unseparable from your
email), least priv and other security practices, etc. are all to be
expected from a platform. And they don't provide these things. I would
think it more unprofessional to sugar coat the inadequacies of the
platform so as not to appear overly harsh. That kind of thing only
hurts clients/customers/users.
Post by Jesse Trucks
product and company bashing is in horrid taste, often rather
inaccurate, and paints a picture of non-technical people who use the
products (often not by their choice) as uncivilized neanderthals who
don't deserve access to technology.
It is more a matter of the non-technical people not being qualified to
make such decisions thus the decisions are made badly.
Post by Jesse Trucks
Microsoft creates some of the world's most widely used and popular
software ever.
This says nothing about the quality of their software or whether the
above criticism is deserved.
--
Tracy Reed
http://tracyreed.org
Adam Levin
2009-10-24 23:47:20 UTC
Permalink
Post by Tracy Reed
Post by Jesse Trucks
I find it rather sad and quite unprofessional to make these types of
negative and prejudicial statements about a platform.
Modular software (not having your calendar unseparable from your
email), least priv and other security practices, etc. are all to be
expected from a platform. And they don't provide these things. I would
think it more unprofessional to sugar coat the inadequacies of the
platform so as not to appear overly harsh. That kind of thing only
hurts clients/customers/users.
I'm as much a unix bigot as the next guy, and I've bashed Microsoft and
their products plenty in my lifetime, but I understand and agree with
Jesse's point, to a degree.

I think ad hominem attacks against Microsoft are petty and base, and we
should strive for better (I'm not accusing the above of that -- just
making a general statement). As professionals, surely we can come up with
cogent, technical objections to the platform with well-thought-out
criticisms and suggestions for what they could have done to make it
better. I think if anything, it at least says more about us when we do
that.

-Adam
Edward Ned Harvey
2009-10-25 00:14:06 UTC
Permalink
I often encounter people who are religiously apple, linux, or google. (In
the opensolaris and zfs mailing lists, people take it to the next extreme,
and are evangelically solaris). I don't encounter many people who are
religiously Microsoft, but I know they're out there.

I think the right thing to do, in all of these situations, is to acknowledge
that there are good and bad parts of every company, and every product and
platform. The right thing to do, imho, is to make an attempt to understand
the differences, and recommend the better one for a given situation.

In all the previous emails, sure there was a little bit of religious
platform slander, but nothing that bothered me very much.
Lamont Granquist
2009-10-25 18:56:11 UTC
Permalink
Linux and it's big brother Unix flavors are
technically too complicated, still yet, for the average computer user
MacOSX
Esther Filderman
2009-10-25 19:47:44 UTC
Permalink
BethLynn Eicher and I wrote an article about elitism hurting the Open
Source universe but it's applicable here.

Sticking your nose in the air at something you don't approve of
doesn't create converts to your thinking, it makes you look like a
stuck-up jerk. You don't convince people your way is better with a
baseball bat, you do it by showing them the way to doing things
differently.

Not everyone has the luxury of what operating system they run, whether
at work or even at home. Especially at work the decision of what
platform(s) is used is usually made waaaay above our pay-grades, and
for one or more of a number of reasons, among them: politics, bidding,
preferences (whether appropriate to the situation), pricing, the need
to run an OS-specific software package.

The Code of Ethics says that bias is to be avoided. You may not think
a mailing list is a "professional setting" - but the CoE also says
that we, as professionals, should be setting the standards for the
rest of the system administrators out there.

No matter what your opinion on the way a company or organization is
run, you need to leave that opinion in your head and not let it color
your judgment of the systems you may administer or the people who may
be using them.

Moose
a 20+ yr system administrator using her laptop running Windows

p.s. the article mentioned above:
http://www.linux-magazine.com/Online/Blogs/ROSE-Blog-Rikki-s-Open-Source-Exchange/Open-Source-Should-Be-Open-To-All
Tracy Reed
2009-10-25 21:42:08 UTC
Permalink
Post by Esther Filderman
The Code of Ethics says that bias is to be avoided.
Does this mean I shouldn't speak up when they deploy SOHO Linksys
switches in the datacenter instead of Cisco, HP, or the like? They
appear to work, at first, and cost FAR less. Where does one draw the
line here? This reminds of those who say that nobody is better than
anyone else and that we are not to make judgements about anyone. So I
should let my daughter date the meth head? Ugh.
--
Tracy Reed
http://tracyreed.org
Esther Filderman
2009-10-25 22:45:38 UTC
Permalink
Post by Tracy Reed
Post by Esther Filderman
The Code of Ethics says that bias is to be avoided.
Does this mean I shouldn't speak up when they deploy SOHO Linksys
switches in the datacenter instead of Cisco, HP, or the like? They
appear to work, at first, and cost FAR less. Where does one draw the
line here? This reminds of those who say that nobody is better than
Well, you could start by reading the Code of Ethics.

Then you could go with facts. If you can show that SOHO Linksys
switches dont' save money in the long run you should of course (in my
unhumble opinion) bring this up.

Where one draws the line is subjective. However I would point out
that there is a MILE of difference between, "Don't use $PRODUCT
products they all suck and everyone who uses them is a moron" and "I
can see why you might want to use $PRODUCT but I think $ALTERNATIVE is
better, and here's why."
Post by Tracy Reed
anyone else and that we are not to make judgements about anyone. So I
should let my daughter date the meth head? Ugh.
Nobody is discussing your personal life here.
Elizabeth Schwartz
2009-10-25 23:24:40 UTC
Permalink
Esther phrases it very well, and this is a good example. Just saying
"oh, anybody smart goes with Cisco" isn't going to win any converts.
As professionals, we should be able to justify a bias with facts that
explain why a choice contributes to the organization's goals. What's
the MTBF, is there 24x7 technical support, do we know of satisfied
corporate customers at our level...

I note that while *techie* snobbery is not a good selling point, most
managers will take notice of what their competitors are doing, and
what other similarly sized organizations are doing. If you can find
some numbers showing what other businesses are doing, that'll go a
long way. How does NameBrand's market penetration compare to el
cheapo? Does El Cheapo even *have* a support line? Does El Cheapo have
any satisfied corporate customers our size and are they willing to
share the names as references? Will they put support guarantees in
writing with a clause that costs them money if we experience downtime?

Just asking for a satisfied large corporate customer will knock a lot
of cheapo's out of the water...
Luke S Crawford
2009-10-26 04:02:49 UTC
Permalink
Post by Elizabeth Schwartz
Just asking for a satisfied large corporate customer will knock a lot
of cheapo's out of the water...
Yes, and that is a great strategy if you want to spend more money.

You are essentially putting a 'marketing acumin' test in there.
not only does the provider need a large customer, they need to negotiate
a deal with them whereby they can say they are a customer.

Now, there are reasons to ask about capacity, if you need a lot,
If you need 100 racks, realistically, I'm not goint to be very good
for you. I could probably do it, but it'd be a struggle for me,
there'd be delays, etc... so capacity does matter.

But the logo on the page doesn't really tell you anything about capacity.
It just means that they know someone or are good enough at negotiation to
get permission to use the logo. in my case, I bet if I worked at it, I
could get some large company to use me as SysAdmin training, or off-site
monitoring or something else that didn't require much iron; and
maybe even get a logo; but that still wouldn't mean I could field
100 racks in any reasonable period of time.

I would argue that bashing cheap providers for being cheap is worse
(that is, more self-destructive) than bashing microsoft for being
microsoft. If you take price as an indicator of quality, you will
find that there are many low-quality providers who are perfectly
happy to charge you premium prices.

--
Luke S. Crawford
http://prgmr.com/xen/ - Hosting for the technically adept
http://nostarch.com/xen.htm - We don't assume you are stupid.
Ski Kacoroski
2009-10-26 16:47:52 UTC
Permalink
Post by Elizabeth Schwartz
Esther phrases it very well, and this is a good example. Just saying
"oh, anybody smart goes with Cisco" isn't going to win any converts.
As professionals, we should be able to justify a bias with facts that
explain why a choice contributes to the organization's goals. What's
the MTBF, is there 24x7 technical support, do we know of satisfied
corporate customers at our level...
I am a bit late to this thread, but if you are asked to implement what
you think is not the best solution (which I am sure most of have
experienced), I find that it helps if you can be clear of the
consequences of the decision. Many moons ago I was asked to migrate a
smaller company to an Exchange infrastructure and, while it was not my
recommendation, I was very clear with the CEO of what I would need
(several layers of antivirus which actually cost more than Exchange) and
I estimated downtime from virus events. Because I was able to clearly
explain of the impact of his decision, we were probably the only IT team
that was taken out to dinner when we only had 1.5 days of downtime
during the course of a year instead of having unhappy management :).

cheers,

ski
--
"When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it
connected to the entire universe" John Muir

Chris "Ski" Kacoroski, ***@gmail.com, 206-501-9803
or ski98033 on most IM services
Edward Ned Harvey
2009-10-27 00:49:49 UTC
Permalink
Post by Ski Kacoroski
I am a bit late to this thread, but if you are asked to implement what
you think is not the best solution (which I am sure most of have
experienced), I find that it helps if you can be clear of the
consequences of the decision. Many moons ago I was asked to migrate a
smaller company to an Exchange infrastructure and, while it was not my
recommendation, I was very clear with the CEO of what I would need
(several layers of antivirus which actually cost more than Exchange) and
I estimated downtime from virus events. Because I was able to clearly
explain of the impact of his decision, we were probably the only IT team
that was taken out to dinner when we only had 1.5 days of downtime
during the course of a year instead of having unhappy management :).
This is funny to me, because I have the exact opposite situation. ;-)

Before going on - Ski - Why do you think exchange requires more layers of
antivirus than another solution? Are you concerned about viruses
infiltrating the server? And you believe an exchange server is more
susceptible to viruses than something else?
... Back to my story ...

I don't think 1.5 days of email downtime in a year is a very good track
record ... I consult for many companies, and I've used Exchange at several
companies now, and for the last 4-5 years, have had exactly one day of
downtime at one company (caused by a catastrophic datacenter failure). At
my most recent client, my CEO insisted against Exchange, while I advised him
it would be our best solution. His decision was to use google, and my
advice to him was that if we use google, we will have big problems with PDA
sync, and big problems with calendaring.

It's been 1.5 years on google now, and while the PDA sync hasn't been much
of an issue (most of the interested parties use iPhone, which syncs fine to
google) the calendar is basically a disaster. Checkboxes for settings that
just have no effect ... reminders that don't occur ... or occur on the wrong
day or at the wrong time ... invitations don't get delivered ... And a
severe lack of a viable offline client, particularly for mac users. (Such
as the CEO.) ;-)

Ironically, just a few days ago, the CEO invited me to a meeting, and the
invitation never came in, but the item was created silently on my calendar.
There is radio-button selector under calendar preferences: "Automatically
add invitations to my calendar" I have selected "No, only show invitations
to which I have responded." I didn't know any such meeting existed until he
called me and asked where I was. Sure enough, it's on my calendar, but I
never knew about it.

And a bunch of other complaints about google calendar, if anyone wants to
hear them.
Ski Kacoroski
2009-10-27 04:57:53 UTC
Permalink
Post by Edward Ned Harvey
Post by Ski Kacoroski
I am a bit late to this thread, but if you are asked to implement what
you think is not the best solution (which I am sure most of have
experienced), I find that it helps if you can be clear of the
consequences of the decision. Many moons ago I was asked to migrate a
smaller company to an Exchange infrastructure and, while it was not my
recommendation, I was very clear with the CEO of what I would need
(several layers of antivirus which actually cost more than Exchange) and
I estimated downtime from virus events. Because I was able to clearly
explain of the impact of his decision, we were probably the only IT team
that was taken out to dinner when we only had 1.5 days of downtime
during the course of a year instead of having unhappy management :).
This is funny to me, because I have the exact opposite situation. ;-)
Before going on - Ski - Why do you think exchange requires more layers of
antivirus than another solution? Are you concerned about viruses
infiltrating the server? And you believe an exchange server is more
susceptible to viruses than something else?
This was back in the early 90's and we were very concerned about email
borne viruses. Several other companies that the CEO knew of had much
more downtime than we did (he was very happy when he could tell other
CEO's that his mail server was still up while their server was down). I
do agree that today, that much downtime is unacceptable, but back then I
knew of several places that were essentially down for up to a week+ in a
year. Today viruses are not nearly the problem as we have much better
tools for dealing with them.

As for gmail, we keep getting pushed to use it (and google docs) in my
current job (K-12 school district) and we are very cautious about it.
There are several areas in terms of regulatory compliance, legal
compliance, and just the idea of not having control of the data on local
servers that we are very wary of (of course many other school districts
find that it does meet their needs so it really depends on how the
school district interprets the rules :) ).

cheers,

ski
--
"When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it
connected to the entire universe" John Muir

Chris "Ski" Kacoroski, ***@gmail.com, 206-501-9803
or ski98033 on most IM services
Lamont Granquist
2009-10-26 19:20:36 UTC
Permalink
Why is the goal to "knock a lot of cheapo's out of the water"?

I've worked at one company where the guiding principal was to make the
cheapo work and to save money by having smart people do the integration
and support work -- and another company which is paralyzed by its
inability to hire anyone decent and which constantly makes the decision to
throw 6-figure and 7-figure sums at the non-cheapos with the 24x7 support
contracts (and usually where what happens is 6-figures gets dropped on
something to get 10%, then finance balks on the 7-figures necessary to
deploy to the other 90%)....

Based on my experience, I'll take the smart people + El Cheapo approach...

All I see around here is people making the IT decisions based on
enterprise-class issues and producing more and more mega-FAILs...

For example, we've blown 6-figures on DNS appliances which have never
worked correctly -- when all I'd really like to see is NICtool and bind
run competently so that we have split-horizon and reverses all work.
Throwing money at the appliance didn't solve any of our problems for us --
the same people who couldn't run bind can't run the appliances either,
even with support from the vendor.
Post by Elizabeth Schwartz
Esther phrases it very well, and this is a good example. Just saying
"oh, anybody smart goes with Cisco" isn't going to win any converts.
As professionals, we should be able to justify a bias with facts that
explain why a choice contributes to the organization's goals. What's
the MTBF, is there 24x7 technical support, do we know of satisfied
corporate customers at our level...
I note that while *techie* snobbery is not a good selling point, most
managers will take notice of what their competitors are doing, and
what other similarly sized organizations are doing. If you can find
some numbers showing what other businesses are doing, that'll go a
long way. How does NameBrand's market penetration compare to el
cheapo? Does El Cheapo even *have* a support line? Does El Cheapo have
any satisfied corporate customers our size and are they willing to
share the names as references? Will they put support guarantees in
writing with a clause that costs them money if we experience downtime?
Just asking for a satisfied large corporate customer will knock a lot
of cheapo's out of the water...
_______________________________________________
Tech mailing list
http://lopsa.org/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/tech
This list provided by the League of Professional System Administrators
http://lopsa.org/
Edward Ned Harvey
2009-10-27 00:53:54 UTC
Permalink
Post by Lamont Granquist
For example, we've blown 6-figures on DNS appliances which have never
worked correctly -- when all I'd really like to see is NICtool and bind
run competently so that we have split-horizon and reverses all work.
Throwing money at the appliance didn't solve any of our problems for us
How can you blow 6 figures on DNS appliances? How can DNS not work? I have
only ever seen Bind and AD DNS servers, and I've never seen any complaints
about any of them ... And I'd be *hard* pressed to spend 6 figures ... I
could spend 6 figures to buy 20 servers I suppose.
Robert Hajime Lanning
2009-10-27 02:41:45 UTC
Permalink
Post by Edward Ned Harvey
Post by Lamont Granquist
For example, we've blown 6-figures on DNS appliances which have never
worked correctly -- when all I'd really like to see is NICtool and bind
run competently so that we have split-horizon and reverses all work.
Throwing money at the appliance didn't solve any of our problems for us
How can you blow 6 figures on DNS appliances? How can DNS not work? I have
only ever seen Bind and AD DNS servers, and I've never seen any complaints
about any of them ... And I'd be *hard* pressed to spend 6 figures ... I
could spend 6 figures to buy 20 servers I suppose.
How about 65?

$EX_WORK has 9 internet connections, with two DNS relays per connection.
Then a minimum of two internal nameservers per site. Some had four (two
HA clusters)... hmm... the wonderfull world of 24hr factories...

DNS can very easily not work. You just need every site managing their
own, while not listening to the "One Who Knows DNS" TM.

You should see the horrible mess some zone files are.
--
END OF LINE
--MCP
Phil Pennock
2009-10-27 03:17:53 UTC
Permalink
Post by Robert Hajime Lanning
DNS can very easily not work. You just need every site managing their
own, while not listening to the "One Who Knows DNS" TM.
You should see the horrible mess some zone files are.
Wait, you mean those people actually updated DNS? Oh frabjous joy!

I still recall the admin at $previous_employer who thought that if he
ran out of IPs for the DHCP pool, the appropriate action was to ping
some IPs and if there was no response, grab that IP.

Look in DNS zonefiles for allocations, or update DNS? Who bothers with
that?

Fortunately, one of the IPs which he grabbed was for the laptop of the
General Manager. Never had an easier time reverting stupidity ...

-Phil
Robert Hajime Lanning
2009-10-27 03:38:59 UTC
Permalink
Post by Phil Pennock
Post by Robert Hajime Lanning
DNS can very easily not work. You just need every site managing their
own, while not listening to the "One Who Knows DNS" TM.
You should see the horrible mess some zone files are.
Wait, you mean those people actually updated DNS? Oh frabjous joy!
I still recall the admin at $previous_employer who thought that if he
ran out of IPs for the DHCP pool, the appropriate action was to ping
some IPs and if there was no response, grab that IP.
Look in DNS zonefiles for allocations, or update DNS? Who bothers with
that?
Fortunately, one of the IPs which he grabbed was for the laptop of the
General Manager. Never had an easier time reverting stupidity ...
-Phil
Problem wasn't modifying standard A records. It all falls apart when
they start messing with NS and glue records.

And then there is the liberal use of $ORIGIN... which should be dragged
out to the street and shot... I can keep it straight, but every time I
have seen someone else in that company use it, they forget that it is
still in effect further down the zone file. (even 3 lines down from
$ORIGIN)

"Where did you get that dress, it's awful, and those shoes and that
coat, jeeeeez!"
--
END OF LINE
--MCP
Chris Hoogendyk
2009-10-27 11:19:43 UTC
Permalink
Post by Robert Hajime Lanning
Post by Edward Ned Harvey
Post by Lamont Granquist
For example, we've blown 6-figures on DNS appliances which have never
worked correctly -- when all I'd really like to see is NICtool and bind
run competently so that we have split-horizon and reverses all work.
Throwing money at the appliance didn't solve any of our problems for us
How can you blow 6 figures on DNS appliances? How can DNS not work? I have
only ever seen Bind and AD DNS servers, and I've never seen any complaints
about any of them ... And I'd be *hard* pressed to spend 6 figures ... I
could spend 6 figures to buy 20 servers I suppose.
How about 65?
$EX_WORK has 9 internet connections, with two DNS relays per connection.
Then a minimum of two internal nameservers per site. Some had four (two
HA clusters)... hmm... the wonderfull world of 24hr factories...
DNS can very easily not work. You just need every site managing their
own, while not listening to the "One Who Knows DNS" TM.
You should see the horrible mess some zone files are.
Or just turn on paranoid mode on tcp_wrappers and see how many of your
faculty/staff complain that they can't get in from their Verizon
connection at home.
--
---------------

Chris Hoogendyk

-
O__ ---- Systems Administrator
c/ /'_ --- Biology & Geology Departments
(*) \(*) -- 140 Morrill Science Center
~~~~~~~~~~ - University of Massachusetts, Amherst

<***@bio.umass.edu>

---------------

Erdös 4
Lamont Granquist
2009-10-28 18:14:39 UTC
Permalink
I'm not sure about the exact number of $$$, but at least 10 servers in 5
failover H/A clusters -- at least $50k to $100k of appliances (probably
also with uber-platinum support contracts, under the theory that if
you're going to throw money at a problem you can't throw too much).

The big problem that we have though is not a technical problem but a
problem in pushing IT projects to completion. So even though we have the
DNS appliances, we have never done the work to fix all the reverse zones
(and the appliances that we have do not make it easier to enter paired
A+PTR records and make it harder to forget to add the PTR record, so they
FAIL on that particular requirement), and nobody has gone through and
deprecated all the old DNS servers -- so we have edge servers doing
domains that have not been migrated due to the people who had the logins
to the DNS registrar (not our primary DNS registrar) having left the
company, plus corporate zones which are served out of their own set of DNS
servers, plus at least 2 or 3 other master DNS servers which have only had
'most' of their zone records transferred to the appliances. And then the
H/A failover on the appliance has failed to work -- it would be more
reliable to simply put bind behind a load balancer.

So, my general point is that if you have incompetent SAs and PMs in
charge of a system it doesn't matter how much money you throw at
Enterprise-class solutions to the problem -- it isn't going to work. On
the other hand, if you have competent SAs and PMs in charge, you should be
able to build a workable solution on the back of something like bind9 and
NICtool -- for free -- with just some scripting work around the NICtool
API to setup a padded-room where tier1 people can't break too much.

And this solution isn't really "cheap" since it requires a time and salary
investment to hire decent people, but it requires a different focus onto
people instead of tools.
Post by Edward Ned Harvey
Post by Lamont Granquist
For example, we've blown 6-figures on DNS appliances which have never
worked correctly -- when all I'd really like to see is NICtool and bind
run competently so that we have split-horizon and reverses all work.
Throwing money at the appliance didn't solve any of our problems for us
How can you blow 6 figures on DNS appliances? How can DNS not work? I have
only ever seen Bind and AD DNS servers, and I've never seen any complaints
about any of them ... And I'd be *hard* pressed to spend 6 figures ... I
could spend 6 figures to buy 20 servers I suppose.
Dave Close
2009-10-26 04:41:55 UTC
Permalink
Post by Esther Filderman
Where one draws the line is subjective. However I would point out
that there is a MILE of difference between, "Don't use $PRODUCT
products they all suck and everyone who uses them is a moron" and "I
can see why you might want to use $PRODUCT but I think $ALTERNATIVE is
better, and here's why."
Just don't slam a vendor or technology because you find it distasteful -
tell me what does and does not work. Be specific about technologies, the
foibles, and the 'great stuff' that you find.
I don't disagree with what either of you wrote (and others as well).
But I'm confused about how we got to this point in the discussion. As
Post by Esther Filderman
I s'pose MSW users can't do anything as useful as pipe an invite into a
calendar feeder program. Instead, MS Outlook automatically ingests and
processes everything - a virus hacker's dream.
While Joe may not have stated his points very diplomatically, they were
about the relative technical merits of the MS platform. He didn't say
anyone was a moron, except perhaps by implication, and he didn't tell
you not to use MS. He stated /why/ he doesn't like MS, which is exactly
what I hear you both asking for. So why this digression? I've yet to
hear anyone say Joe's points are incorrect.
--
Dave Close, Compata, Irvine CA "Genius may have its limitations,
***@compata.com, +1 714 434 7359 but stupidity is not thus
***@alumni.caltech.edu handicapped." --Elbert Hubbard
Brandon S. Allbery KF8NH
2009-10-26 16:12:34 UTC
Permalink
Post by Dave Close
Post by Joseph S D Yao
I s'pose MSW users can't do anything as useful as pipe an invite into a
calendar feeder program. Instead, MS Outlook automatically ingests and
processes everything - a virus hacker's dream.
While Joe may not have stated his points very diplomatically, they were
about the relative technical merits of the MS platform. He didn't say
anyone was a moron, except perhaps by implication, and he didn't tell
you not to use MS. He stated /why/ he doesn't like MS, which is exactly
what I hear you both asking for. So why this digression? I've yet to
hear anyone say Joe's points are incorrect.
Because most people don't want to **** around with external programs,
they want it to Just Work.
--
brandon s. allbery [solaris,freebsd,perl,pugs,haskell] ***@kf8nh.com
system administrator [openafs,heimdal,too many hats] ***@ece.cmu.edu
electrical and computer engineering, carnegie mellon university KF8NH
Edward Ned Harvey
2009-10-26 02:59:16 UTC
Permalink
Post by Tracy Reed
This reminds of those who say that nobody is better than
anyone else and that we are not to make judgements about anyone. So I
should let my daughter date the meth head? Ugh.
I don't think anyone said you're not allowed to have opinions.

As a professional, you're encouraged to express opinions based on substance,
and not prejudice, generalization, or personal bias.
'Tracy Reed'
2009-10-26 03:23:13 UTC
Permalink
Post by Edward Ned Harvey
I don't think anyone said you're not allowed to have opinions.
As a professional, you're encouraged to express opinions based on substance,
and not prejudice, generalization, or personal bias.
That all sounds fair enough. Especially basing opinions on
substance. What about when the facts (as the sysadmin in question has
seen/experienced them) tend to bias one towards a particular side?

I'm just concerned that sometimes people too easily throw their own
values out the window (when they have any at all) in favor of whatever
most serves their immediate interests knowing it won't be their
problem for long. On more than one occasion I've heard someone say
"I'm in favor of whatever gets the job done the best" because they
know the boss really wants $product yet I had heard them railing
against how inappropriate that solution is in different company
previously.
--
Tracy Reed
http://tracyreed.org
Richard Chycoski
2009-10-26 03:51:30 UTC
Permalink
Post by Edward Ned Harvey
Post by Tracy Reed
This reminds of those who say that nobody is better than
anyone else and that we are not to make judgements about anyone. So I
should let my daughter date the meth head? Ugh.
I don't think anyone said you're not allowed to have opinions.
As a professional, you're encouraged to express opinions based on substance,
and not prejudice, generalization, or personal bias.
My $WORK happens to have been listed in this thread - and I am perfectly
happy when I hear substantive kudos *or* complaints about our products.
(I'll admit that I'm happier when I hear complaints about other vendors'
products, but there it is... :-)

I value the honest, expert opinions about all tech.nology discussed on
this list. Please keep it coming!

Just don't slam a vendor or technology because you find it distasteful -
tell me what does and does not work. Be specific about technologies, the
foibles, and the 'great stuff' that you find. I really don't want to
hear 'I hate brand X' from an obvious someone who has a stated stance of
'I love brand Y'. Such exhortations will be immediately ignored by most
of the people here, and will only put off the rest. Also, repeatedly
bringing up a particular up- or down- side of any given product will not
enamour you of the list members.

Having said that, I've complained about this particular topic enough
this week, so I'll shut up from here on in. G'night.

- Richard
Adam Levin
2009-10-25 22:35:53 UTC
Permalink
Post by Esther Filderman
at work or even at home. Especially at work the decision of what
platform(s) is used is usually made waaaay above our pay-grades, and
for one or more of a number of reasons, among them: politics, bidding,
preferences (whether appropriate to the situation), pricing, the need
to run an OS-specific software package.
My friend Gary Donahue[0] many years ago told me about "politics, money,
and the right way to do it -- in that order." I've never forgotten the
lesson. :)
Post by Esther Filderman
No matter what your opinion on the way a company or organization is
run, you need to leave that opinion in your head and not let it color
your judgment of the systems you may administer or the people who may
be using them.
By the same token, as a professional I think you should be striving to
solve the problem in the "best" way possible. "Best", of course, is
subject to a lot of interpretation. I don't think you should just keep
your opinion to yourself, but when you suggest alternatives, you should
do it in as constructive a manner as possible.


-Adam
Adam Levin
2009-10-25 22:39:46 UTC
Permalink
Post by Adam Levin
My friend Gary Donahue[0] many years ago told me about "politics, money,
and the right way to do it -- in that order." I've never forgotten the
lesson. :)
Heh, and I accidentally left a dangling footnote! Sorry.

-Adam
[0] Yeah, the same Gary Donahue who wrote the Network Warrior O'Reilly
book. I know somebody famous! :)
Derek J. Balling
2009-10-24 03:56:58 UTC
Permalink
Post by Edward Ned Harvey
Post by Tracy Reed
Gmail and especially Exchange are not exactly platforms for those who
are serious about managing their email so your options are limited in
these cases.
LOL. Unfortunately, exchange is the only thing anywhere that has a reliable
calendar.
Zimbra FTW.

Especially in 6.0, it's exactly the same as Exchange (in fact, in
Apple Mail, I told it that my Zimbra server was an Exchange server,
and now it happily keeps my iCal and Zimbra calendar in sync
automagically).

Cheers,
D
Edward Ned Harvey
2009-10-24 04:21:55 UTC
Permalink
Post by Derek J. Balling
Zimbra FTW.
Especially in 6.0, it's exactly the same as Exchange (in fact, in
Apple Mail, I told it that my Zimbra server was an Exchange server,
and now it happily keeps my iCal and Zimbra calendar in sync
automagically).
Do you use zimbra as your main email server, for all your day to day mail,
and collaboration with colleagues?

Do you work for another company, and also use exchange for all your day to
day mail and collaboration with colleagues? So that way, you could say you
have a true solid grounds for comparison...

Do you never find that either of them behaves strange or buggy?

I tried Kerio for a few months, which I naively assumed to be equal but
different from zimbra. I found where people said it was "just like
exchange," there were some important differences. Kerio uses an outlook
connector plugin. This is meant to emulate all the exchange functionality,
but as in any emulator, nobody's perfect, and there will be some subtle
differences. When I search my mail in Kerio, outlook locks up until the
search is complete and all the results are displayed. When I search my mail
in exchange, the spyglass spins around and I can do other things while it's
working, and if I see the results I want, I can stop the search before it's
complete. Also, items in my calendar ... If I enter notes into the body of
a calendar event ... with Kerio, a reminder comes up, and I double click it,
and it asks "open this occurrence, or the series?" If I open the series,
everything's fine. If I open the occurrence, the notes are blank. Long
story short, there were a lot of little bugs like that. Good enough to use.
Good enough to say it's the same, only if you don't use both and have a good
measure for comparison.

So then ... Kerio says it supports activesync, and blackberry via notifylink
and astrasync, which is supposed to be just as good as BES. But I never
have any problems with BES, and yet, activesync constantly disconnects when
on wifi, and with either notifylink or astrasync, I had problems with my
reminders not occurring.

And then when you login to the web interface ... Kerio could search only
based on to/from/subject fields, and maybe some other fields. But it
couldn't search message body.

So I've grown very skeptical of "it's just like exchange."

I have seen bugs in exchange 2003 and outlook 2003. But ever since exchange
2007 and outlook 2007 ... it's simply awesome. I never encounter any weird
bugs at all, and it's much faster than any other mail system I use,
particularly gmail and Kerio.

Admittedly, I haven't tried zimbra. Maybe it is truly better than Kerio?
Derek J. Balling
2009-10-24 04:45:44 UTC
Permalink
Post by Edward Ned Harvey
Do you use zimbra as your main email server, for all your day to day mail,
and collaboration with colleagues?
Do you work for another company, and also use exchange for all your day to
day mail and collaboration with colleagues? So that way, you could say you
have a true solid grounds for comparison...
I have both, actually, so yes. My Zimbra server is all my day to day
personal e-mail, including but not limited to calendar collaboration
with family members. In addition, $DAY_JOB has me on an Exchange
server. :-)
Post by Edward Ned Harvey
Do you never find that either of them behaves strange or buggy?
I find that they are about equal in terms of their "occasions to quirk".
Post by Edward Ned Harvey
So I've grown very skeptical of "it's just like exchange."
Zimbra will never be accused of being exchange-like in its GUI or
anything like that, but it appears for all intents and purposes to
support EAS just fine, and - like I said - I just told Apple Mail that
"zimbra.megacity.org" was an Exchange server and it happily said "OK,
great! I got it"... same with my Palm Pre (which is happily syncing
mail, contacts, and calendar).
Post by Edward Ned Harvey
I have seen bugs in exchange 2003 and outlook 2003. But ever since exchange
2007 and outlook 2007 ... it's simply awesome.
We're also using 2k7 at work, and I'll admit it's better than previous
iterations.
Post by Edward Ned Harvey
Admittedly, I haven't tried zimbra. Maybe it is truly better than Kerio?
Of that, it would sound, I have little doubt.

D
Joseph S D Yao
2009-10-24 13:05:49 UTC
Permalink
On Sat, Oct 24, 2009 at 12:21:55AM -0400, Edward Ned Harvey wrote:
...
Post by Edward Ned Harvey
Do you use zimbra as your main email server, for all your day to day mail,
and collaboration with colleagues?
Do you work for another company, and also use exchange for all your day to
day mail and collaboration with colleagues? So that way, you could say you
have a true solid grounds for comparison...
Do you never find that either of them behaves strange or buggy?
...


Some people with whom I work do. They were reluctant to switch over,
but rejoiced when the incidence of bugs and strange behavior dropped to
well below those with MSXCHG. Some insisted on the MS Outlook plugin,
after which they had no complaints. Years later, when much higher
management got fed a report with a number of mistruths in it, and
mandated a switch back, there was enough of an uproar that they had to
reconsider.
--
/*********************************************************************\
**
** Joe Yao ***@tux.org - Joseph S. D. Yao
**
\*********************************************************************/
Jan L. Peterson
2009-10-24 02:09:29 UTC
Permalink
Post by d***@lang.hm
you could do most of this today with plus addressing like
you can do all the normal filtering on the + part (on a per-user basis),
can be used to auto-sort your inbound mail into different folders and
leave unqualified stuff in your main folder
Sadly, many many web sites (where you might want to use such an address
so you can tell if (or to whom) they've sold your e-mail address) use
stupid e-mail address validation code that thinks that's an invalid
e-mail address.

I have a special "***@peterson.ath.cx" e-mail address for
such cases, but it's still a pain.

-jan-
--
Jan L. Peterson
http://www.peterson-tech.com/~jlp/
Josh Smift
2009-10-24 02:24:27 UTC
Permalink
JLP == Jan L Peterson <***@gmail.com>

JLP> Sadly, many many web sites (where you might want to use such an
JLP> address so you can tell if (or to whom) they've sold your e-mail
JLP> address) use stupid e-mail address validation code that thinks that's
JLP> an invalid e-mail address.

I hate this a lot. :^( But if you run your own domain, you can use a
different delimiter, such as a dash character, and do
irilyth-***@infersys.com, if you're so inclined. (I haven't, but a
friend has; I might at some point, but am lazy.

-Josh (***@infersys.com)
Atom Powers
2009-10-24 18:56:42 UTC
Permalink
Post by Josh Smift
JLP> Sadly, many many web sites (where you might want to use such an
JLP> address so you can tell if (or to whom) they've sold your e-mail
JLP> address) use stupid e-mail address validation code that thinks that's
JLP> an invalid e-mail address.
I hate this a lot. :^(  But if you run your own domain, you can use a
different delimiter, such as a dash character, and do
friend has; I might at some point, but am lazy.
In postfix, at least, you can change the delimiter. The default is '+'
but theoretically it could be any character.
--
Perfection is just a word I use occasionally with mustard.
--Atom Powers--
Randal L. Schwartz
2009-10-24 19:36:15 UTC
Permalink
Atom> In postfix, at least, you can change the delimiter. The default is '+'
Atom> but theoretically it could be any character.

I've been using '.' for a long time: '***@stonehenge.com'
where MUMBLE is related to the site. Sadly, I've seen broken web
forms that won't even accept "." on the left side. Insane people
should not be allowed to code for the web. :)
--
Randal L. Schwartz - Stonehenge Consulting Services, Inc. - +1 503 777 0095
<***@stonehenge.com> <URL:http://www.stonehenge.com/merlyn/>
Smalltalk/Perl/Unix consulting, Technical writing, Comedy, etc. etc.
See http://methodsandmessages.vox.com/ for Smalltalk and Seaside discussion
Christophe Kalt
2009-10-24 22:13:13 UTC
Permalink
address … I know who let my address “leak” to spammers, and I simply throw
away that address (or filter it).
I used to use and love this as well, until I started getting spam to $
***@domain.com, then I just gave up. (And as you mentioned, it can be
pain to manage from the sending perspective.)
Edward Ned Harvey
2009-10-24 23:54:31 UTC
Permalink
Yeah, see, that's exactly what I mean - It can't be too difficult to design
a smtp server (or just a plugin or milter) that manages the aliases for you.
I know with gmail, regardless of what I specify as "my address" in my mail
client, when I authenticate to smtp.gmail.com for an outbound message, gmail
Christophe Kalt [mailto:]
1970-01-01 00:00:00 UTC
Permalink
In exchange 07, they got rid of the ability (for all intents and purposes)
to have a catchall. But it's really easy to have infinite aliases. So now
I have something like 300 aliases; I just create one whenever I'm about to
give it out. If I'm not in front of my computer at the time, such as giving
my email to some person I just met, I just reuse one that I know already
exists. Not quite as awesome as having a managed catchall, but it's as
close as I can get for now.



I receive absolutely no junkmail (unless you count email from my relatives
who want to rant on political or religious issues), and I have absolutely no
junkmail filter. I've been using "nedharvey.com" this way for . I guess
10-12 years. It's so effective, I wish it would catch on better, and have
better online identity management tools come along with it.









From: Christophe Kalt [mailto:***@taranis.org]
Sent: Saturday, October 24, 2009 6:13 PM
To: Edward Ned Harvey
Cc: tech
Subject: Re: [lopsa-tech] Email naming convention



On 2009-10-23, Edward Ned Harvey wrote:

I do magnificently well with ***@nedharvey.com . I never give out the
same email address twice. (Note, ***@nedharvey.com, and
***@nedharvey.com, etc) and when I start receiving spam on some
address . I know who let my address "leak" to spammers, and I simply throw
away that address (or filter it).


I used to use and love this as well, until I started getting spam to
$***@domain.com, then I just gave up. (And as you mentioned, it can be
pain to manage from the sending perspective.)




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<p class=MsoNormal><span style='font-size:11.0pt;font-family:"Calibri","sans-serif";
color:#1F497D'>Yeah, see, that&#8217;s exactly what I mean &#8211; It can&#8217;t
be too difficult to design a smtp server (or just a plugin or milter) that
manages the aliases for you.&nbsp; I know with gmail, regardless of what I
specify as &#8220;my address&#8221; in my mail client, when I authenticate to smtp.gmail.com
for an outbound message, gmail will rewrite the
Jo Rhett
2009-10-28 19:41:03 UTC
Permalink
, etc) and when I start receiving spam on some address … I know who
let my address “leak” to spammers, and I simply throw away that
address (or filter it).
Yes, I recognize, if something like the above were popular, then
the next step would be really obvious … Whenever I send mail to some
Trust me, they already do. Try watching spam bots deliver mail to
domains.

And every time I find someone with a significant spam problem, I solve
it for them by disabling the catch-all on their domain.

Yeah, it's convenient for you. Convenient for spammers too. It's
much easier to solve spam from a known sender to your known address,
then to solve for all random attacks against anything in your domain.
--
Jo Rhett
Net Consonance : consonant endings by net philanthropy, open source
and other randomness
Edward Ned Harvey
2009-10-28 23:14:08 UTC
Permalink
Post by Jo Rhett
And every time I find someone with a significant spam problem, I solve
it for them by disabling the catch-all on their domain.
Yeah, it's convenient for you. Convenient for spammers too. It's
much easier to solve spam from a known sender to your known address,
then to solve for all random attacks against anything in your domain.
I disagree 100%. I think it should be easy for your personal mail host or
client to know which addresses (even random characters) in your catchall you
actually use. If somebody is addressing something to random junk at your
domain, and your domain truly has no knowledge of that, then it's
quarantined.

Spammers sending things to random junk addresses at your domain aren't going
to know your actual aliases that you actually use. Any alias that you
actually use is whitelisted, and all others quarantined.

I've been exceptionally happy with this setup for years. I only wish there
were better tools available to manage my email identity and aliases.
Atom Powers
2009-10-29 01:08:58 UTC
Permalink
Post by Edward Ned Harvey
I think it should be easy for your personal mail host or
client to know which addresses (even random characters) in your catchall you
actually use.  If somebody is addressing something to random junk at your
domain, and your domain truly has no knowledge of that, then it's
quarantined.
Spammers sending things to random junk addresses at your domain aren't going
to know your actual aliases that you actually use.  Any alias that you
actually use is whitelisted, and all others quarantined.
They why have a catch-all at all? Isn't this the same as having
multiple email addresses that deliver to the same account? i.e.
aliases.
Post by Edward Ned Harvey
I've been exceptionally happy with this setup for years.  I only wish there
were better tools available to manage my email identity and aliases.
They don't exist because everybody else uses aliases, forwarders,
plus-addressing, etc. for an account. This has the added benefit that
it scales for multiple accounts in the same domain.

Seems to me that if you really want to change the way email behaves,
then you should think about writing an RFC.
--
Perfection is just a word I use occasionally with mustard.
--Atom Powers--
Edward Ned Harvey
2009-10-29 04:16:17 UTC
Permalink
Post by Atom Powers
They why have a catch-all at all? Isn't this the same as having
multiple email addresses that deliver to the same account? i.e.
aliases.
Not the same.



If I have a bunch of aliases, I must create those aliases in advance, else the mail gets bounced.



If I have a catchall that goes to quarantine, and a whitelist which skips quarantine, I can dish-out random addresses to people/robots willy nilly. I prefer to never give out the same email address twice. Then I can look through the quarantine to selectively whitelist anything that was truly intentional. If a spammer floods me with random character addresses ... the worst he can do is flood my quarantine.



In fact, since practical implementations of exchange don't support catchall, I am currently using a few hundred aliases. It's the 2nd best available alternative to having a catchall.
Post by Atom Powers
Post by Edward Ned Harvey
I've been exceptionally happy with this setup for years. I only wish
there
Post by Edward Ned Harvey
were better tools available to manage my email identity and aliases.
They don't exist because everybody else uses aliases, forwarders,
plus-addressing, etc. for an account. This has the added benefit that
it scales for multiple accounts in the same domain.
Agreed, but aliases & forwarders & plus-addressing are not as good. (Well, plus addressing could be ideal if only it didn’t have some problems, just as the catchall could be ideal if it didn’t have an equal set of problems.) The main obstacle to the catchall idea is the assumption that the domain boundary delimits the organization boundary. In an organization, if all they do is email, then there's no problem having more than one domain, or even having a separate subdomain for every user in the organization. The place where the problem arises for personal subdomains is when a you create a new user, there is no facility to instantly and automatically create a new dns MX entry for every new user, and when your exchange server (or whatever) distributes the corporate addressbook & shared calendar only to a single domain. Stuff like that.



There's no technical boundary; they could implement these things differently if they wanted to. It's just not the way things are built now.
Post by Atom Powers
Seems to me that if you really want to change the way email behaves,
then you should think about writing an RFC.
Agreed again. This is why I refer to myself as "blowing steam" on this subject. I know it will never be. I just think it's a good idea, and I like talking about it, however hopeless it may be. Anything which makes you think about a subject more makes you smarter. I would not have known of plus addressing, if it weren’t for the responses to my original post. Never heard of plus addressing until a few days ago.



The main reasons why I don't bother writing an RFC about this are:

· I can’t spare the time to complete the project. Even in the simple case of just a milter in sendmail or whatever. I have a job and a career, and I need to focus on things that I get paid for.

· Best case scenario, people get free and permanent antispam. It hurts the antispam industry and spammers alike. So I’ve created enemies, and no friends. When “having no problems” becomes standard, people generally take it for granted, and give no thanks.

· Whoever wants to join the cause ... aid in development ... they’ll have the same obstacles as me. A promise of hard work, no pay, and no glory. You might become a target for damaging attacks. Nobody wants to do work like this.
Tracy Reed
2009-10-29 05:52:32 UTC
Permalink
Only problem is the widespread incompatibility of plus addressing in
general. Websites and people who refuse to take that address, mail
systems that can’t support it, either sending or receiving, etc.
I have used qmail-style hyphen addressing such as
treed-***@ultraviolet.org for many years and have *never* had it
rejected by a form on a website. Not once. I now always run postfix
configured for hyphen addressing. I think it is more commonly accepted
than plus.
--
Tracy Reed
http://tracyreed.org
Edward Ned Harvey
2009-10-30 03:58:46 UTC
Permalink
I have used qmail-style hyphen addressing such as treed-
a form on a website. Not once. I now always run postfix configured for
hyphen addressing. I think it is more commonly accepted than plus.
Do you know if it would be easy to configure (or where to start thinking about it) one of the aforementioned mailers to accept mail for a given domain, and then modify and forward it? That is ...



Option 1:

· Accept mail for a plus-addressed (or hyphen or whatever) account, such as user-***@somedomain.com, strip out the part after the plus or hyphen, and perhaps stick a new header in there “Header was:” or something like that?

· And then redirect the mail to ***@somedomain.com or whatever address you like ... and probably have to find a way to override the DNS lookup for MX at this point too ... smart relay?



Option 2:

· Accept mail for a catchall domain, ***@eharvey.nedharvey.com, strip out the part before the @, store that info in a new header, and then redirect, as in Option 1
Richard Chycoski
2009-10-30 05:18:48 UTC
Permalink
Sorry, but in the spirit of the season, can I just say:

Ewwwwwwwwww!!!

Hyphens work. They are allowed. Period. (Sorry, I mean: hyphen!) $WORK
has hundreds of thousands of mailing lists (internal and external) with
hyphens in the name. They work.

Now - do all web site programmers get it? Maybe not. That's no reason to
exclude hyphens. If the web programmers stopped allowing the letter 'M',
would you program around that? :-)

Pluses - welllll, maybe not. Periods and underscores are also perfectly
normal in email addresses, and are the two most common delimiters for
firstname/lastname.

With sendmail, you can rewrite *ANYTHING*. That doesn't mean that you
*should*. I can't think of a reason why you couldn't do Option 2.

I do this more manually by just adding the appropriate entries to
/etc/aliases as I use them. This has the advantage that there is no
'global pattern' of forwards, so 'abcd-arbitrarystring' does not go to
abcd, and I do not accept mail from just any abcd-* address. I have
considered doing this, though - with the opportunity to exclude any
'naughty' senders - but haven't found that it has caused me enough
trouble to do this.

Amazingly enough, the only address that I've given to commercial
entities that I've really trouble with was the one that I gave to
Borders Books. That one gets *LOTS* of spam, and I started receiving it
about a month after I gave Borders a particular address. I don't know if
they gave out the magic address, or if it was just a coincidence, but I
get almost no spam from the addresses that I give out to other vendors -
except from the vendors themselves, which is what I expect.

- Richard
Post by Edward Ned Harvey
I have used qmail-style hyphen addressing such as tr
a form on a website. Not once. I now always run postfix configured for
hyphen addressing. I think it is more commonly accepted than plus.
Do you know if it would be easy to configure (or where to start
thinking about it) one of the aforementioned mailers to accept mail
for a given domain, and then modify and forward it? That is ...
· Accept mail for a plus-addressed (or hyphen or whatever)
after the plus or hyphen, and perhaps stick a new header in there
“Header was:” or something like that?
whatever address you like ... and probably have to find a way to
override the DNS lookup for MX at this point too ... smart relay?
· Accept mail for a catchall domain,
store that info in a new header, and then redirect, as in Option 1
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Aleksandar Ivanisevic
2009-10-29 08:49:26 UTC
Permalink
Post by Edward Ned Harvey
· Whoever wants to join the cause ... aid in development ...
they’ll have the same obstacles as me. A promise of hard work, no pay,
and no glory. You might become a target for damaging attacks. Nobody
wants to do work like this.
What are you doing in this field then? A healthy dose of masochism is
almost a requirement for being an SA ;)

Sometimes I think that the ultimate praise for a sysadmin must be when
he gets fired because everything works and the management thinks he is
redundant :)
Yves Dorfsman
2009-10-29 13:48:08 UTC
Permalink
Post by Aleksandar Ivanisevic
Sometimes I think that the ultimate praise for a sysadmin must be when
he gets fired because everything works and the management thinks he is
redundant :)
A few years back, IT management at a company I was contracting at, asked all
the contractors to make a business case for why they should renew the contracts.

I was ready to let it go, but decided to write a paragraph about the fact
that they had no idea who I was, and had never heard of me. It helped that a
sister company just had a few two and three days down time of major systems
when OS upgrades went wrong ; we had gone through those same OS upgrades,
and they just had not realised it, it was business as usual. I was the first
contractor to be renewed !
--
Yves.
http://www.sollers.ca/
Chris Hoogendyk
2009-10-29 15:23:18 UTC
Permalink
Post by Aleksandar Ivanisevic
Sometimes I think that the ultimate praise for a sysadmin must be when
he gets fired because everything works and the management thinks he is
redundant :)
That's actually how I became a Unix Sysadmin. ;-)

In the late 90's, when it wasn't so hard to get a job, the IT Manager
(who was a business manager and not a computer person) at this unnamed
place was so bad that all the IT staff quit en masse (they all found new
jobs easily). People who were not familiar with the IT systems then had
to hire new staff. I was hired as a network specialist, someone else was
hired as a Windows admin, and so on. It was six months before they had
us hired and in place, and they didn't know that most of their operating
systems were Unix (both Digital and Sun). The systems just kept running
without any admin. Then they finally hired a Manager who knew something.
At that point, we all looked around and said, gee, we don't have anyone
who knows Unix. Who wants to go to training? They paid for me to go to 7
week long courses over the span of 2 years. Cool. Fun. I got through
about 3 of them before anything critical came up that really tested me
on our Unix systems.
--
---------------

Chris Hoogendyk

-
O__ ---- Systems Administrator
c/ /'_ --- Biology & Geology Departments
(*) \(*) -- 140 Morrill Science Center
~~~~~~~~~~ - University of Massachusetts, Amherst

<***@bio.umass.edu>

---------------

Erdös 4
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