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Mail Server Upgraded

The e-mail server was upgraded tonight to the latest version of Zimbra — version 6.1.  Even though this upgrade is considered a “major” revision (from 5.x to 6.x), the resulting change to you, the user, should be fairly minimal.  The web interface is mostly the same, with some minor UI improvements and changes.  Hopefully nothing is too confusing.

The most annoying thing I’ve found thus far is the inability to change from the “advanced” version of the web client to the “simple” (and vice versa) while in mid-flight.  There used to be a link to swap back and forth on the main page, but that link is no longer there.  So if you prefer the “simple” client, be sure to choose it when you first log in.

Also, in case you were wondering, this would have been why you wouldn’t have been able to access your email sporadically between 6PM and about 10:30PM PDT today.

Web Server Transition

We are in the process of migrating this website (www.towerfamily.org) from the old FreeBSD server to a new Ubuntu server.  Consequently, there may be periods of time where certain services (Gallery, wiki, media library, etc.) will be unavailable as it is migrated from old to new.  If you run into this, check back in a couple of hours, and hopefully it’ll be back up.

Email spam processing change

I’ve just made a change to how the Tower Family email server processes spam. Since the back-end will already automatically redirect spam emails into the “Junk” folder, there is no longer a need to tag the subject with “***SPAM***”, so that feature has been removed. Additionally, I have added a setting that tells the server to simply drop emails it is 99% certain is spam (in Spamassassin parlance, anything with a score of 19.8 or higher). Hopefully, both of these changes are things you won’t even notice!

New Site

Well, what do you think?

I got to thinking that the old front page for towerfamily.org was starting to get a bit dated, and I’ve been meaning to try something new.  Things may change a bit as I experiment with different options, so stay tuned.

All Services Down

(Editor’s Note: This is an import from the old outages site and has been backdated appropriately.)

Jan 7, 2008 10:00PM – Jan 8, 2008 4:45PM: A routine kernel update to the main VMware server London caused the machine to refuse to boot properly, preventing services from restarting. As of 16:45PM, all services are online. A review will be performed to ensure that an outage like this will not be as likely to occur, and if it does, prevent it from being so service affecting.

Email Delivery Down

(Editor’s Note: This is an import from the old outages site and has been backdated appropriately.)

Approx 10:00PM Aug 6, 2007 – 09:45AM Aug 7, 2007: An OS-patch update on the anti-spam/anti-virus scanning host caused Amavisd-new to not function properly. The root cause appears to be an inability for Amavisd-new to handle IPv6 correctly. A workaround is in place and mail is flowing once again.

Ongoing Known Webmail Timeout Issue

(Editor’s Note: This is an import from the old outages site and has been backdated appropriately.)

Patched/fixed Jan 07: There is a known issue where the webmail client will show a “timeout” error after only a few minutes of being idle (usually when the user is composing a new message). This issue is believed to be corrected in a patch from the vendor, which we are working on applying to the system. Until then, it is recommended that users compose their messages in a text editor and then paste them into the compose window, or use a full-featured IMAP client.

All Services Down

(Editor’s Note: This is an import from the old outages site and has been backdated appropriately.)

Dec 14, 2006 – 17:15PST Dec 17, 2006An extensive power outage in the Puget Sound region caused by a wind storm has taken out our network connection to the world. The DSL circuit is still up, but it would appear that Avvanta, our upstream provider, has dropped off the face of the earth. They are located in Bellevue, which is in the affected area of the power outage.

Update: Shortly after 17:05 today, Avvanta seems to have regained power and is routing our traffic again. All services appear to be back up.