Sep. 6, 2006:

:-P No rest for the wicked. Updated a CPAN module and Open Webmail switch gears on me as to they type of database access it was using. The problem is now fixed. My apologies for the interruption in service.

Sep. 5, 2006: Yes, the public site has been down for a long time, though the webmail services have operational days after the original crash. I still have hardware issues, but we're limping along. Once I get my RAID array out of degraded mode I'll re-open the site for new accounts. Please stay tuned.

Mar. 4, 2005: Due to the number of accounts being used for fraud I've changed the ability to change the "from" e-mail address to be available *only* for level 2 paying customers. I apologise for the need to do so, but I cannot have people sending mail from this server pretending to be from Amazon, E-bay, or any other commercial entity that has its own facilities. I will not allow my resources to be used for identity theft or fraud.

This will not affect the bulk of you, but for those that it does you have my apologies.

Jan. 25, 2005: I'm sure you've all noticed another spate of outtages. The power problem (pending an install of a dedicated 30A circuit) has yet to be resolved at the co-lo, and this aging hardware is not what it used to be. However, even with these inconveniences I hope you'll appreciate some of the improvements I have made.

I've been in the process of doing a number of software upgrades on the server. Some are just recompiles meant to provide performance optimizations, some are application upgrades meant to provide better functionality. I've completed upgrades to a newer version of Open Webmail (those guys are doing some tremendous work), Spam Assassin, Clamav (antivirus), and others.

Once all the upgrades are complete I'll start introducting new functionality, like personalized control over spam and virus filtering, and so on. Stay tuned as I resolve the remaining configuration and software issues.

Obviously, there's a lot of work to be done. At some point I really need to scrape the parts together to replace this box, and given the difficulties I've had resolving power problems at my current co-lo, a new facility may be necessary altogether. But I'll have to play that by ear. Paying subscribers remain in the single digits but, truth be told, time is my most lacking resource.

As always, I hope you're enjoying this service, and I appreciate your patience as we work through these issues.

Nov. 6, 2004: Once again, we've had a bad bout of power outtages which, coupled with my limited access to the co-lo facility, created some extended downtime. You all have my deepest apologies for this, and be assured that I'm exploring better hosting options now, along with some (hopefully) upgrades to more tolerant hardware.

For those who have friends that have been wanting to sign up for an account I'll be opening that up in a few days, once I've completed pruning the last batch of abandoned accounts.

In addition to that, I've a whole batch of software upgrades to do, including a long overdue upgrade to the beta site. Starting next week, please try it out and let me know how it works for you. :-)

Sep. 15, 2004: I'd like to apologise for the recent string of interruptions. We've had some power problems in the co-lo facility where the server is housed. This aging server simply does not like having the power cut, and for whatever reason, it won't boot automatically when power is restored. I have to manually hard boot when this happens.

The good news is that a new 30A circuit should be installed soon that will allow me to use a much more powerful UPS system to minimize these interruptions. Thank you for your patience as I try to resolve these issues.

Jul. 19, 2004: Okay, I've hit 4,000 accounts, so account creation is temporarily disabled while I do some account cleanup, and see how the performance goes. As always, I will create new accounts for anyone wanting to subscribe to a higher service level, seeing as the odds are against anyone actually taking me up on it. ;-) To date I'm still in the single digits for paid subscribers. This site is aeons from being self supporting, but the contributions are greatly appreciated.

Jun. 30, 2004: A few minor site changes to note: the FAQ and Tech pages linked at the left have been updated. Perhaps more importantly, though, I've fixed the sign-up script to keep your "secret" comments from appearring as your name attached to your e-mail (which was overridable via Open Webmail, of course).

I'll be closing down the new account creation temporarily to fix everyone's comment entries to date.

May. 18, 2004: I finally got some more RAM installed so I can get back to some more aggressive spam and virus filtering. I'll be tweaking the configuration as I go, so please be patient, but definitely let me know if problems occur.

Before, I was filtering out any spam that accumlated an aggregate score of 5 or greater. While I'm testing this new framework I'll be rejecting spam of 10 or higher, and passing the lower scoring stuff on to you (it will be marked up appropriately and accompanied by a filter report). Please review the potential spam for false positives and so I can make adjustments to improve the accuracy of the system.

Please note that I will be going back to the old days of banning dangerous attachments (this is in addition to the virus filtering that's now in effect) in order to stem the outbreak of exploits. Any e-mail you send with such an attachment (this should not affect normal office documents, images, etc., only executable formats) will have that attachment replaced with some generic warning text.

As always, please give me your feedback, good or bad. This is a service that's very much an evolving entity. Your feedback is important in making it the best possible service I can provide.

Thank you.

May. 8, 2004 (Part 2): :-P Well, while I under-estimated how much of a load the box could take with the previous application set, I've also under estimated how much of an impact adding better mail/virus scanning would be as well. This box is now swapping deeper into virtual memory than it has RAM, and the starvation has killed off my buffer and caching space, making disk I/O horrible.

What this means is that I will need to be more discriminating about what I provide for all users. Virus scanning, for one, is too processor & RAM intensive to do for everyone. In any event, until I figure out how all this is going to be managed with my meager resources I'm once again disabling new accounts. I have over 3,000 users currently, and adding more is only going to degrade service for everyone.

May. 8, 2004: :-P We had an extended outtage due to some power problems (this aging server doesn't like to come back up automatically when it loses power or reboots). I apologise for the interruption.

I also want to warn you all that things are going to be a little hairy spam-wise for the near future. I've changed how mail is being filtered, and so will need to spend some time tweaking to bring things back to a level we're all comfortable with.

One good piece of news, though, I have taken the time to implement virus-scanning, and infected attachments will be deleted before it reaches your inbox. Hope that helps, given the recent onslaught of virus activity in the Windows word.

There's more changes coming, and I'll keep you informed as I go along.

Apri. 5, 2004: I've compiled a list of 705 accounts that will be terminated today. Looking at the list, however, I feel I need to clarify a few things:

  • For those of you forwarding mail to other accounts *and* leaving a copy in the local account: I use your "mail unread since" timestamp to determine if your account has been abandoned. Anyone who intends to handle their mail only through the account mail is forwarded to should not leave a copy in your inbox. I apologise if anyone's account is deleted because that was not understood. You'll simply have to recreate your account and not leave the local copy, or, you'll have to log in and read some/all of your mail at least once every three months.
  • Anyone who puts the word "test", "testing", or other reasonable facsimilies in their comments field will have their account deleted whenever I do housecleaning, regardless of when you last read your mail. I have far too many of these accounts to try to figure out who's just testing and who's actively using a "test" account for real mail.

Now, for the good news: disk activity and bandwidth consumption has been reasonable. I think I can support another 2,000 accounts, so I'll re-enable the sign-up script for approximately that many new accounts. If you have friends who wanted an account on Postman.net, now's the time to do it. :-)

Finally, expect an outtage this weekend (April 10th - April 11th) while I update some software on the system. This should not be an extended outtage, but it will likely last a few hours, at minimum.

Thank you for using this software, as always, and I hope this site proves itself useful. If it does, please considering supporting it via one of the subscription levels. I greatly appreciate the four subscribers I have now, but it will certainly take more before the site can be made available to even more users.

Feb. 26, 2004: I just passed 2,500 e-mails accounts on Postman.net. It's good to see so many people getting some use from the system. In any event, it's also time to put the brakes on new accounts until I get some kind of metrics on resource consumption by the regular users.

Out of the 2,500+ accounts I have precisely three paying subscribers. As you can imagine, that's not enough to pay for more bandwidth, etc. Disk space hasn't been as much of an issue as I had originally estimated, so the immediate danger is bandwidth. If we take on too many users without adequate bandwidth then service will suck for everyone.

The good news is that there are probably a few hundred accounts that were created to test OpenWebMail, instead of just using the demo account like they should have. I expect to be able to delete a large number of such accounts after a reasonable period of inactivity. If I recover as many as I think we will, reopening new accounts for a period will be possible.

The bottom line is that new accounts will be disabled until early April. At that time I should have enough usage statistics to be able to determine how much more I can take. New paying users are always welcome, though, so if you'd like an account and are willing to support the system drop me a line via the Contact Form.

Jan. 13, 2004: Here's a few items of interest:

New Test Site Available: http://beta.postman.net/ -- If you feel like living life on the edge you can try the latest version of Open WebMail here. I'll try to update it on a monthly basis, so you can experiment with the latest features. If you do try it, please send me your impressions. If these newer revs appear to be stable enough for regular use I'll update the main mail site as we go.

One word of caution, however: if you do try the new interface and then log in again with the older interface, you may find that you'll have to reset your preferences.

Site Configuration Changes: I'm continuing to refine the default settings for Postman.net, and some changes have just been made. Most notably, in order to keep processor usage I've modified a few things, like increasing the minimum e-mail refresh interval, limited out-going attachments to 500KB, and other bits. Most of it will likely be transparent to most of you. Larger attachments can be enabled as a paid-for feature.

One change that some of you will notice is that I've disabled POP3 polling of outside accounts. This will now be a paid-for feature.

New Accounts to be Disabled: At the rate that new accounts are being created I will run out of disk space and bandwidth in a few weeks. At that point I will disable new account creation. Not one user has opted to take advantage of the paid-for services, so I have nothing to put forward for more drives, etc. I may put a poll on the site, though, to see if most of you would vote for smaller disk quotas. If the majority of you would accept that I could squeeze more accounts out of the existing disk space.

Just a heads up, of course, we'll cross that bridge when we get there.

Jan. 12, 2004: Well, that took almost no time at all, but as of today I've surpassed the 1,000th webmail account mark! Of course, out of all those accounts, not one is a paying account, which means that I'll probably have to stop allowing new accounts within a matter of weeks. I simply don't have the diskspace or bandwidth to host much more than that.

Get them while they're hot!

Dec. 22, 2003: I've added a contact form for those of you needing support but having trouble logging into your mail account. It can also be used by anyone with miscellaenous questions about Postman.net.

Dec. 17, 2003: Yikes! Since opening the doors for business I've gotten an influx of new accounts. With any luck, some of these accounts will become paid users before I run out of disk space.

New changes: Postman.net now offers personal web hosting (http://home.postman.net/{login}) as part of the paid-use services. In a related move, Web Disks are also part of the paid-use services.

Dec. 10, 2003: Postman.net now has a new look and is fully operational. Sign up for free Internet WebMail now!

Dec. 5, 2003: Postman.net has been transferred to a new co-lo provider on new hardware. I apologise for the interruption of service, but that was unavoidable given the extent of the migration needed.

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