So I have had issues with getting email through to customers of Fusemail. All I get is this relatively useless message from comendosystems.com when I try to send them an email.
<firstname.lastname@example.org>: host xxx-dk.mx1.comendosystems.com[126.96.36.199] said: 550 rejected is temporarily blocked. Contact support  (in reply to RCPT TO command)
Now after some searches on various search engines you find that the domain is owned by comendo.com. So I tried to email email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org. Those emails were returned with the same error as above. So I resorted to my very little used Gmail account and decided to send email@example.com asking them to investigate the issue. I received a confirmation email from Fusemail support (so now comendosystems.com has become comendo.com which is really fusemail.com) that they had received my email. The following day I get a reply from Casper at Fusemail that they will not look into the issue because I am not a customer with them. If I want the issue resolved I need to contact one of their customers to have them raise a ticket with Fusemail. Anyone else see how useless that response is?
- If I could send emails to your customers then I wouldn't be trying to contact you?
- If you customers were technical enough to understand the mail issue then they probably would run their own mail server.
- Do you really want me to inform your customers about how you are preventing their potential customers from sending them emails.
- How many people do you really think go through the hassle of trying to resolve an issue like this. Most will just find somewhere else to do their business.
I did end up trying to email one of Fusemail's customers from my Gmail account. Not surprisingly the technical abilities of this customer was below average and only really resulted in added frustration.
2017-10-23 - edit
Removed comment about not using them.
I was successful in getting my server removed from their blacklist. I contacted them through their website using their contact support form https://www.fusemail.com/contact-support/ and they ended up removing my server's IP address as they could see it was an old entry. This leads to a new rant. We have at this point run out of avaliable IPv4 address space, that means that many new servers are using IP addresses that have previously been in use. So in my opinion you probably should auto expire entries in your blacklist. 6-12 months seems reasonable to me considering how many companies create and tear down VPS instances for customers.
On a different note I think it is rather bad that a company that specializes in email can't put in a proper decline message. That message should have clear instruction on how to contact them for further information and it should not require extensive detective work to find out who actually owns the server. These are things that I think people considering Fusemail should know. Several Fusemail customers lost our business because we couldn't get through to them via email.
So for a couple of years I have had to put up with a 10" Asus netbook. It has served me well but it is far from perfect. The screen is too small, the resolution too low and the keyboard too cramped, not to mention that it is slow. I can't play the movies I would like to watch and overall it is just not good enough but still it has served me well. I have spent countless hours looking at laptops. I even bought a Asus UX31E when I was visiting the US only to have it be defective. I have looked at ultrabooks and real laptops. All have had something wrong with them. Primarily I think the resolution is too low on them. 1366x768 would have been acceptable in the early to mid 90'ies. 1920x1080 would be acceptable but I still would prefer more. When Apple released the retina display Macbook Pros I was finally impressed. What I was not impressed with was the general issues people reported when it came to running Linux on them. I want something that can run Linux. Then recently Google released the Chromebook Pixel. Finally a laptop with a proper display and it runs Linux but there is a catch. The standard version has 32GB storage and the LTE version has 64GB since they are designed for use with Google's cloud storage. I do not believe in the use of cloud storage (another ranting blog post should be dedicated to this subject) but I could probably live with 128GB even if I would prefer 256GB or 512GB.
At least it has arrived in a non-Apple packaging hopefully we will soon see more high end laptops with resolutions of 2560x1600 or 2560x1700 (or even higher?).
So after I moved to the US I could not get my old analog phone adapter (Linksys SPA3000) to work and I just assumed that it had not survived the trip to the US. I never saw any registration attempts on my Asterisk server from the SPA3000 but both my Nokia N9 could register using SIP and so could my wife's Samsung Galaxy S3 using Sipdroid. I finally decided to buy a new phone adapter and since I have been very content with the SPA3000 I decided to go with a Cisco SPA112. Later I have found out that a lot of people really don't like either the SPA112 or SPA122. Well I fought and fought with it for days but the problem was the exact same as with the SPA3000, no registration attempts ever reached the Asterisk server. I thought it was possibly firewall issues or something similar although that made no sense since the mobile phones could register while being on the wireless network. I finally came to the conclusion that it had to be the new Netgear WNDR4500 that we also bought when we moved here. So I found the setting.
Enable WMM (Wi-Fi multimedia) settings
This setting seems to come enabled by default. It can be found under Advanced Tab -> Setup -> QoS Setup. I disabled that and the SPA112 registered right away and I have had no issues since. I guess either Netgear's implementation of WMM is faulty or Cisco's SIP implementation is buggy. No matter which I don't need that setting enabled and I am very happy that everything works now.
About 10 years ago or so I bought a Happy Hacking keyboard. I liked the minimalistic keyboard and it worked well for me but it was expensive and I was constantly force to use regular keyboards so it never got to be the perfect keyboard for me. I then switched to using gaming keyboards and for a long time I was happy with a Razer Lycosa. When I got a new Lycosa Mirror it had many issues and it turns out that Razer unfortunately is notorious for the quality control on the Lycosas. I then looked at the Blackwidow Ultimate and Razer Deathstalker but I didn't really like them enough. My wife likes the Deathstalker and knock on wood has had no issues with it so far. So after many years of using a gaming keyboard or at least a backlit keyboard I have now replaced it with a much more basic keyboard. Das Keyboard Ultimate S tactile soft. Now I can really feel like a proper nerd again. The only problem is that I will want one at work as well. I guess that will have to wait a little while I get completely used to not being able to look at the keyboard for help while typing.
For many years I have been a Nokia fan and user. I have primarily owned Nokia phones since 2000 with only 1 defection when I bought a SonyEricsson T610. I quickly went back to Nokia after that. Last year I finally found the money and bought my dream phone a Nokia N900. Could the world be any better than getting a phone from Nokia running Linux, no not in my opinion. I was originally against it when Nokia joined forces with Intel and created Meego but I tried to see the best in the situation. When Nokia announced the Microsoft venture in February I realized that this was the end. How on Earth the board managed to let Elop destroy the greatest mobile phone manufacturer in the world with the board's blessing will always be a mystery to me but one thing is painfully clear. Nokia as the we all knew it is dead and there is no turning back at this point. I can only hope that they will manage to release a good Meego phone until someone else can can pick up where Nokia left off.
Read SemiAccurate's news posts on it and judge for yourself:
Microsoft gutted Nokia and left them without a chance
Microsoft gutted Nokia and runs off with IP
For a pretty long time I have been running a personal TeamSpeak server on my home server. I don't have it advertised anywhere and since my wife and I haven't played with any of our friends for well over a month it hasn't been used or so I thought. Well yesterday we wanted to talk to a friend and we had plans for all 3 of us to meet up on our TS server. When my wife and I logged in there were 4 strangers using our TS server. It made me kinda cranky and after my wife had played some loud music at them for a few I shut down the server and put on a default password. Now if people had just been nice and asked me if they could use my TS server or something I wouldn't have complained at all. I might even have created a public or private one for them since I have a 100/50 Mbit fiber optic connection and therefore ain't worried about bandwidth problems. For the time being I think my TS server will have a default password.
They cry like children when the data goes "bye bye".
Yesterday I had an aweful scare. I have for the past 3 years had a dedicated server with Netdirekt
and I have had no real complaints. I have had a some minor issues but none of great importance. My server had been up and running for 290+ days without a reboot (which is not uncommon for a Linux server at all) but when I got to work yesterday morning I couldn't access my email or connect to the server via SSH. A quick search on Google told me that I was not the only one having this problem. There was some speculation if this was a network or power problem but in the end people started reporting their servers coming back online but mine was still dead.
I took it easy and assumed that it would come back online when it was ready. Several hours later I was still unable to reach it and I started getting worried. What if something like the harddrive had been fried or something. It is after all an old machine with old hardware. I tried going into my online server administration tool and rebooting it but that did nothing. Then I tried to boot it into rescue mode but that didn't work either.
At this point I was starting to get really worried because all my email from the last several years are in Maildirs on that server and I access it all via IMAP so I have no local copy.
I then wrote a hasty email to Netdirekt technical support and crossed my fingers that it was just because someone forgot to push the start button on my machine. After a little while I could check my email again, access the server via SSH and not long after I received an email that my server was back up and running.
Thank you lord of computer hardware for not punishing this fool for not having backup. You would have thought I would have learned my lesson when a had one drive die on me in my desktop which was running Raid0. Luckily back then it was a new setup so I only really lost a little bit of configuration.
Today I sat down and set up a simple backup system using rsync, SSH, tar and some simple shell scripting. Why on earth I never did that before I don't know. I even have rotating backups in case of corrupted or unintentionally deleted files.
I used http://www.linux.com/archive/feature/113847
as inspiration for most of my scripts. But also the use of pg_dumpall came in handy to make sure I have backup of my Postgresql database.
Now I just need a server out on the Internet somewhere with enough space to backup all the most important stuff from my home computers. All things in due time.
I am hoping to be able to get my hands on a couple of 146GB harddisks for my IBM System p5 505. I have found some on ebay but the shipping and import taxes scare me a little. I want this computer up and running soon though.
After fighting back and forth with Netgear and their service partner ANOVO Nordic I finally got some good customer service from TNT. Even though TNT says their agreement with ANOVO is that ANOVO needs to supply all the papers to include with the package a very nice lady helped me out and sent me an email with a PDF I could print out. I did so, signed the papers and gave package with the papers to the nice TNT lady that came to pick it up.
Netgear: I as the customer do not care if it is you, ANOVO or TNT who is to blame for the issues here. Your customer service was not very helpful at all. I am not going to say I am the best customer you have ever had but I have been a loyal customer since I bought my first network hub in 1997-98. If you had provided me with good service this time around I would have continued buying your products and recommend them to everyone I know but I can not with good conscience do that anymore. I wish your customer service reps had at least been nice, helpful and apologetic for all my problems with this but not even that could I get from them. Sad sad sad.
I have had Netgear products since I swiched from 10BASE2 to 10BASE-T Ethernet with my friends back in 1996 or so. After using the 10Mbit hub we upgraded to a 100Mbit hub and later on a 100Mbit switch. My home network is running on a ProSafe 8 Port Gigabit Switch (GS108) and I have never had problems.
On May 25th I ordered a Netgear WG102 ProSafe access point and I received it the following day. It worked fine for a week and a half but on the morning of June 6th it was dead, no lights, no nothing. I unplugged and tried everything I knew to try to get it working but nothing.
Tuesday June 9th I was off from work and called Netgear support in Denmark and after 2 calls they concluded just like me that the device was dead. The lady I talked to said that usually devices that died within 30 days were considered DOA and should be returned to the store where it was bought. Since I had bought it in an online store she agreed that it was probably easier if we did the standard RMA process instead and she would get their service partner ANOVO to contact me with information on how to return the product. 2 days later (yes you read it correctly) 2 days it took ANOVO to issue an RMA number and send me information on how to return the product.
Friday I found a box to pack the dead unit in and I did so during the weekend. Monday June 15th I called TNT Denmark to arrange for them to pick up my package and it was agreed that they would pick it up from my work place the next day. I took the package to work, labeled according to the email with shipping address and waited. The lady from TNT arrived to pick up my package but refused to take it since it was missing shipping papers or some such thing. I wrote an email to TNT customer service explaining what had happened and received a reply that they would look into the matter and get back to me. Today Thursday June 18th I had not heard back from TNT yet so I called them again and was told that ANOVO usually sent the shipping papers in an email for people to print and include with the package. I have now written an email to ANOVO about the missing shipping papers but have yet to receive a reply from them.
I then went to Netgear and wrote to their support complaining about this poor service to which I get a reply, not saying how sorry they are for all my troubles and they will try to expedite matters but just saying I should return it to the store I bought it from since it was considered DOA. I then contacted the online store who said that their process was the same for them as for me and that they wouldn't send me a new product before they had received a replacement product from ANOVO in Sweden. I then wrote a very sour reply to Netgear asking them if they really think it would be a good solution for me to return the product to the store since I could only see how that would increase the time I had to wait for an access point with at least a week. I have yet to receive a reply from Netgear on this.
Well I guess I have learned an important lesson from all this. Netgear products may work fine if they work but when they fail the process for having the product replaced fails as well. I am strongly considering buying 2 D-Link access points which would set me back less than this Netgear AP did. Then I can duct tape the Netgear AP to a large brick and return it to Netgear through their window in Ballerup!!!
I recently sent an email to "Justitsministeriet" (Ministry of Justice or something) here in Denmark with a very simple question. What my question was is besides the point and so is the answer. It was the way they replied to me that left me kinda baffled. I received an email with the text: "Se venligst vedhæftede fil." (Please see the attached file). And what had the moron working there done..... attached a Microsoft Word document. Why on earth text cannot be included in a standard email is beyond me.
Dear retarded person at Justiministeriet!
I know that it is very common belief that email was designed to transfer Word Documents, Excel Spreadsheets and Power Point Presentations but it is quite capable of including text. Actually the SMTP protocol that transfers email was designed to transfer text and nothing else. I don't want to go into the specifics of 7-bit ASCII and MIME encoding but just know that it wasn't a Microsoft invention to transfer their broken proprietary file formats.
At least if you need to send attached files to people then don't use broken proprietary formats that requires a Microsoft Windows to view. Well if you do need to use something broken then at least use PDF which is more widely supported on different platforms.
A pissed of Linux user
PS. I thought we here in Denmark were supporters of open standards. Why on earth don't you use open standards when communicating with the public.
When I bought hard drives for my server I searched around and decided to buy Western Digital green power disks. I bought 3 750GB disk and set them up in RAID 5 so that I would have some security. I installed smartmontools and added the following lines to /etc/smartd.conf:
/dev/sda -a -d sat -o on -S on -s (S/../.././01|L/../../6/02) -m myemail(at)nospam.dk
/dev/sdb -a -d sat -o on -S on -s (S/../.././01|L/../../6/02) -m myemail(at)nospam.dk
/dev/sdc -a -d sat -o on -S on -s (S/../.././01|L/../../6/02) -m myemail(at)nospam.dk
/dev/sdd -a -d sat -o on -S on -s (S/../.././01|L/../../6/02) -m myemail(at)nospam.dk
sda being my OS disk and sd[abc] being my storage disks.
I thought everything was fine with this until I started pondering the other day why the hard drives never went into standby mode.
server:~# hdparm -C /dev/sd[bcd]
drive state is: active/idle
drive state is: active/idle
drive state is: active/idle
I then started trying to setup hdparm to spin down the drives after 10min of inactivity. But for some reason it did not work. I searched and searched on Google trying to come up with a solution to the problem until I finally stumbled on a post somewhere where a person mentioned that spin down on his/her Western Digital disks didn't work until he had set up smartd and done a short test on the drive. I ran a short test on the drives but this didn't solve the problem but in the process I found that smart tests had never been run on either of the drives. I pondered this for some time and looked into it and finally I realized that if /etc/smartd.conf has a line starting with DEVICESCAN all other device lines are ignored. I commented out the DEVICESCAN line, restarted smartd and waited until next day. Voila, all of a sudden my disks had spun down as I had requested.
I checked up on the specifications of the drives. According to Western Digital the green power disks use 2.8 watts in idle and 0.40 watts in standby. 3 disks * 2.4 watts = 7.2 watts. 7.2 watts * 24 hours/day * 300 days/year = 51840 Wh/year or 51.8 kWh/year. This equals to roughly DKK 100,- per year. This may not be a lot but DKK 100,- saved here and another there will sum up pretty fast, and it didn't really cost me anything except for some time to fix it. Besides I like being a nerd like this. I enjoy it tremendously.