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Note: Background images in February 2003 are selected from the analyticalQ photo gallery.
Photo: MacIntosh 1991, West Hampstead, London.

Bon Journal

Delivery risk

Everything goes haywire when the one thing you rely upon to work doesn't. We've come to depend on e-mails like telephone calls. If you send an e-mail, you expect it to be delivered.

Today e-mails to got sent to a blackhole. Have I not specified my e-mail accounts correctly? Does my ADSL server not work? Is my web site not forwarding the e-mails?

I just need to use trial and error to test until I isolate the source of the problem.

Here are the vital advice from the Hungry Poet, also a computer guru, regarding troubleshooting the situation. Skip this if you don't have delivery risk. But I'm logging it on this journal in case I need to refer to it again. Somehow, reading it for the second time and doing various configurations in my e-mail programme and the various web sites have fixed the problem. But I still don't know where those missing e-mails went!!

Advice from the Hungry Poet:
I'm assuming you are trying to retrieve emails stored in the postoffice that is hosting your site and you have correctly set up Microsoft Outlook Express (MSOE) to access that postoffice with the right passwords, etc. Please verify the account setup is correct.

When you click on "Tools" and "Send & Receive", and "Receive All" you will either receive incoming messages if any, or an error message will appear. You can click on the "Error" tab.

What does the error message say?

You can also try clicking on "Tools", "Send & Receive" and click on the account setup for this particular e-mail address. If this works and the previous paragraph does not work then it is simply because you did not enable "Include this account..." in the Account set up for it.

If there is no error message, and you have not received any incoming mail from that e-mail address, it could be caused by an empty postbox at that e-mail address. This is not a problem within MSOE, but the fact that mail is not arriving there.

There is another remote possibility that the ADSL service provider does not offer an open POP service to other postoffices, but that possibility is ruled out if you have been able to access incoming mails from that e-mail address.
You can setup MSOE to retrieve from multiple postoffcies simultaneously into one central MSOE mail client by setting up several retrieving mail accounts inside MSOE.
Firstly, in view of the persistent problems, it is better not to do any forwarding for the time being so that you can isolate individually whenever problems arise. That means you need one account setup for each of the email addresses you are using.. Keep these separate until the problems are resolved and the situation is stable, otherwise it'll be difficult to isolate the problems.
Using SMTP servers for sending outgoing emails may require slightly different approach compared with using POP3 servers for incoming messages if you want to make sending emails more efficient and better controlled. If you are not concerned with efficiency and control, then you can treat SMTP the same way as POP3 and configure to send via different SMTP servers depending on which sender email address you are using to identify yourself.
I would recommend you use only one common SMTP for all outgoing emails regardless of your sender email address, for better control, and also more efficient if you use the SMTP server of your ADSL provider when connected to ADSL. However, when you are on the road using dial-up accesss you should be using the SMTP server provided by your dial-up ISP instead because the SMTP of your ADSL provider may not be accessible to you because you would not be connected via ADSL when on the road.
There is only one catch when using one common SMTP for sending all outgoing emails under different sender email address. Some SMTP servers require that your sender email address bears the same domain name of the service provider. If this is the case with the SMTP server at your ADSL service provider, then it rules out using that SMTP server for sending emails bearing sender email address of your other web sites. You need "plan B" but I wont talk about "plan B" yet.
Please verify with your ADSL service provider whether you can use their SMTP server for sending emails with sender email address bearing a domain name other than theirs. If the answer is Yes, refer to "plan A". If the answer is No, refer to "plan B".
Assuming the answer is "Yes", let's talk about "plan A" where you use the SMTP server of your ADSL provider as the common SMTP server for sending all your emails. This is the optimized approach.
Each of your web hosting service provider with email services provides an SMTP server for you to send emails from. It is not normally efficient to use web hosting SMTP servers, and possibly less secure too since it exposes your web hosting servers to possible hack-attacks.
When you configure the individual account of each of your email address inside MSOE, you normally specify the respective POP3 servers for "incoming mail". For the "outgoing mail" you can specify the common SMTP you want to use, i.e. the SMTP server of your ADSL provider.
This way, every time you send a message, the outgoing mail is routed through your ADSL network which is direct, and more secured. You just have to make sure you have set up the correct "My server requires authentication" settings under the "Outging Mail Server" section of the "Server" tab inside each of the email account in your MSOE, and you need to ensure "Logon using..." userid and password is the one used for accessing the SMTP server of your ADSL provider.
That is "plan A".
Now, for "plan B". This is the old-fashioned approach with no optimisation. Since you are not able to use one single SMTP server for all emails, you should then use the individual SMTP server provided for each respective email address and configure these accordingly when setting up the email account of each email address inside your MSOE.

7 February 2003 Friday

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Anne Ku
writes about her travels, conversations, thoughts, events, music, and anything else that is interesting enough to fill a web page.