Tag Archives: email

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.

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!

Mail server migration date and details

The final date for the email server transition has arrived.  Included below is an email I sent out to all account holders on the server:

As some of you already know, I have been in the process of building a new email server to replace the existing one running your email account.  Well, after much more work than I thought would be necessary, I think I finally have it ready to go.  Assuming no major crises develop between now and then, I plan to switch to the new server this weekend (25-26)!  The actual time is somewhat flexible, but will probably be either late night Saturday or sometime during the day on Sunday.

 

If you happen to use a third party email client such as Thunderbird, Outlook (Express) or Mac Mail, this migration will be essentially transparent.  If, however, you primarily use the webmail client (this would be most of you), you will notice a change in the look and feel of the interface.  Do not worry, however, since the general use of the interface won’t change, and in my personal opinion, is much better designed in the first place, so that it should be more intuitive to use.  You will still log in the same way, use the same username and password, etc.

 

I have tried to anticipate any questions that may come up by writing a “FAQ” (Frequently Asked Questions) page that describes what is changing and how it may affect you.  Please check it out if you so desire:

 

http://www.towerfamily.org/wiki/index.php/Upcoming_Email_Server_Transition_FAQ

 

If there is a question you have that isn’t answered there, please do not hesitate to let me know by writing some email to me, or by even calling me on the phone if you’d prefer “live” contact.  (Phone number removed for online post).

New E-Mail server in the works

As the title indicates, we’re working to get a new mail server configured to replace the current system.  The current system is starting to show it’s age a bit and is no longer maintained by the vendor (Sun), at least not for free.

We toyed with many different options, including the roll-your-own method, but it became apparent rather quickly that the time required to write a custom-built solution with all the features that were desired far exceeded that which was available.

What was finally settled upon was the Zimbra Collaboration Suite.  Now owned by Yahoo!, this open-source-based application meets almost all of the requirements, not the least of which is a very mature web-client for email users.    We are deploying the “Community” edition of the software, which is a fancy way of saying “free”.  The company does make a for-pay edition as well that offers a few more features, but they didn’t add enough to make the cost worthwhile.

While a cutover date hasn’t been decided on, it should be happening within the next month or so.  We already have the new server online and are doing some functionality/use-case testing along with some fine-tuning of the configuration.  However, it’s already “good” enough that we’ve decided to migrate the relatively low-used towernetwork.net domain over to it.

Stay tuned here for further details of the migration, and as always, feel free to leave us some comments using the “Contact Us” link above.