As most of you know, some changes were made around here about a week
ago, and a new computer is now installed in place of the old machine
which served us well for a few years. The trouble is, the new one
required lots of minor, somewhat obscure, long-forgotten scripts to
be slightly re-written. A few such scripts were those used by telecom
for filtering and sorting incoming mail, issuing the autoreply message
and similar matters.
Well, nothing goes right the first time. The only thing you can count
on for sure in conversions like this is trouble, and I have seen my
share. It became obvious several days ago that I was losing a certain
amount of incoming mail due to the way the new machine 'thinks' about
certain instructions pertaining to 'awk' and other things in the
scripts used. On a daily basis, the sysadmin here has been working with
me to debug things and it appears the mailer is just about back to
normal in terms of volume of mail received. Last week I suspect I was
getting only 15-25 percent of the mail (based on historical data as
to what I usually receive) with the remainder vanishing in the stream
as it made its way through the incoming filters and into the files
where it belongs. As bugs were exterminated, that percentage increased
but new bugs took the place of the old ones, etc ... now this morning
when I woke up and connected to the site, the incoming queue was
stuffed once again.
If you did not get the usual autoreply message to something you sent
last week, it is quite likely your mail was not received *by me* even
though it may well have (and probably did) reach the site. Please bear
in mind the volume of mail has become so heavy (I am not complaining;
I am actually very gratified) that there is *no way* I can tell what
got here and what did not unless I actually read it and see it myself.
If it were not for the filters in place to handle daemons, subscription
requests and other stuff, the mail would be even slower getting into
print than it is already some days. Had we removed the filters for
several days while the debugging was underway, then I would have gotten
all the mail, but the mistakes would have taken much longer to find.
So it is the old 'rock and hard place' analogy. I am certain dozens
of letters were lost in transit over a period of a few days and extend
my apologies, but there was (and still is, as the work goes on) no
other way to correct the problems than to watch them as they occur.
Gradually things are getting back to normal here.