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sendmail.net: SMTP and the Single Administrator

Jan 21, 2000, 21:31 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Greg Knauss)

"System administration tends to be a lot more interesting if you think of the programs you use in terms of the people you've dated. Some are boring, some are wild, some are practical, some are nuts. And one - the one - is all of those things, and more: elegant, powerful, smart ... with a vindictive streak a mile wide...."

"Fast in all the right ways, loyal and willing to go to the ends of the earth to get the job done, sendmail is just the type of SMTP server you could bring home to Mom, the MTA you want to spend the rest of your life with. But get it ticked off - cross any one of a thousand almost invisible lines - and wham! You're in the doghouse. You may not know it at the time, but, man, you're in the doghouse."

"Sendmail, and a lot of the features that have grown up around it, is astonishingly intolerant of error or misconfiguration - especially for such a key element of the Internet's infrastructure. From the way the software itself reports problems to such big-stick punishments as the RBL and ORBS, you can stumble into trouble in a hundred different ways and not even realize it until you're standing out on the sidewalk in your underwear and the software is heaving your messages into /dev/null."

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