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Please, no more mail about mail! (Jim Crammond)
(computer, smirk)

I am leaving IC at the end of this week and my (past) association with mail systems and in particular UK-sendmail will come to an end this week too. [here's hoping!]

So, to finish, a little "mail administrator's memo" that I hope you might find amusing.

[Ed: This is, of course, derived from the famous VMS "see figure one" memo that is seen from time to time in rec.humor and other places]

-Jim Crammond.

Please stop complaining about the mail system. It works for us, and we use it more than you do. If there are some features you think might be missing, if the system isn't as simple to use as you think it should be, TOUGH! Go back to writing letters, we don't need you. See Figure 1.

|               _  
|              { } 
|              | | 
|              | | 
|           .-.! !.-. 
|         .-!  ! !  !.-. 
|         ! !       !  ; 
|         \           ; 
|          \         ; 
|           !       : 
|           !       | 
|           |       | 
           Figure 1. 

Forget about your silly problem, let's take a look at some of the features of our mail system:

1) Address Syntax.

We can understand lots of address formats. We take them in and turn them around a few times until we have something suitable for sending out. Mixed syntax addresses get unmixed. We think it's great. So, you don't want your addresses turned around? You actually want to use mixed addresses? Too bad. You shouldn't need to anyway. See Figure 1.

2) NRS addresses.

In the UK our domain addresses are the "other way round" (like the way we drive on the left). But our mailer will take your address in either order and figure out which way round it should be. So mail to your Computer Science Dept. sometimes goes to Czechoslovakia instead. Tough. Get Czechoslovakia to change its name. Anyway, we told the JNT about the domain ordering problem a long time ago. They said, "See Figure 1."

3) Host Hiding.

Works just fine. All these machines look like one mail host, and we have tables set up so mail coming in from anywhere is sent to the machine with your mailbox on it. You can't access that machine? Too bad. You can even try redirecting mail to another machine. Of course, if it's a machine we control we'll probably send it right back again. Tough. See Figure 1.

4) Tailored Delivery.

We can do it. You can get a vacation program to automatically reply to people who send you mail when you are away. Then their vacation programs can reply to your vacation program. And your vacation program can reply to their replies. But don't think you can get away with all this junk mail for long, because we can hit you with ...

5) Authorisation.

We can stop sites sending mail or receiving mail through our system. We can even pick on individual users. Oh, you mean you can't send mail to us any more. Tough, we didn't want your complaints anyway. See Figure 1.

6) Error messages.

If you don't understand them, ignore them. Why give yourself an ulcer? Try sending your message again, or else use the phone instead. Don't waste time mailing us about it, we're not interested. See Figure 1.

7) Performance.

Who needs it? If the machine is too slow for you, buy another one. We'll keep this as the mail machine. Anyway, you wait until X.400 arrives. We spoke to the OSI developers about performance, they think a lot like we do, they said, "See Figure 1."

In conclusion, love the mail system or leave it, but don't complain.

[JAC - adapted from VMS]

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