Checking for mail and DNS problems

Dave’s recent arcicle about problems with Mail.app reminded me that sometimes mail (and DNS) problems occure on the sending end, and some time on the receiving.

So I’ld like to take this opportunity to plug DNS Report, which is a really handy tool for rooting out problems with DNS and mail configs (or at least checking if DNS and mail are configured properly).

Here are a couple of examples:

DNS and mail config for theconsultant.net
DNS and mail config for sherman.ca

I am not linking to my own domain, as it shows so much red, that I am embarrassed.

P.S. Dave, you might want to at least fix mail to postmaster. Thankfully stoopid folks from rfcignorant.org picked up their toys and left the sandbox. I hope so did the sheeple that used rfcignorant.org RBL.

Ok, rant time…

RBLs are a great idea in theory, folks. Sure, I know Dave, we have similar ideas about what e-mail is useless, so if he doesn’t like e-mail from Sonya Abacha, most likely I’d not want to read it either. However, what happened to every bloody RBL out there is that the moment it got sufficiently big, folks who created it (and they tend to be loudmouthed, obnoxious and highly opinionated folks, kind of like me) decide that they need to force their opinions on to others.

They tell the rest of the world that no, they are not forcing their opinion onto others, and that people are free not to use their RBL system. Vaild opinion. But how many e-mail systems come with RBLs enabled by default, and how many people heard that “Gee, RBLs are great, they stop spam cold!”, an d enabled it, only to start losing valid mail?

In particular I had an axe to grind with rfcignorant.org. I had a /27 sub-allocated and routed to me from achilles.net. At one point Achilles had a problem with spam to postmaster (that by RFC must exist and must be read by humans), that Andrew Hutton started replying to all postmaster mails with auto-reply with a phone number and e-mail address that was read.

Some dumbass reported achilles.net to rfcignorant because this was “against the internet rules”.

Another dumbass at RFCignorant promptly added entire Achilless netblock to their RBL.

And for the next 2 years chaos ensued – Andrew Hutton instead of giving out an e-mail addy that was actually read promptly started to /dev/null all spam coming to postmaster, generating illusion of postmaster being a valid e-mail address, I had problems with my own e-mail (that I hosted on DSL link from achilless, under a different domain name, and which was technically a totally separate organization just buying inet access from achilless) because entire Achilless IP space was blacklisted, attempts to get de-listed from the RBL proved to be futile, because dumbass at rfcignorant would add, but never remove entries, etc.

I learned about it when some of my e-mails replying to a mailing list question (“I am not subscribed, so please CC me on any replies”) got bounced with apropriate reply.

People that really got screwed on the deal were the rest of the interweb, I feel, as those who used rfcignorant RBL missed out on my insightful, witty e-mail commentary. Or something like that.

Oh well. That’s all water over the bridge now….

On the other hand, I have no moral qualms about bouncing all mail from Korea, or all mail from hotmail.com… Talk about double standards….

One thought on “Checking for mail and DNS problems

Comments are closed.