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A communications gap

March 22, 2015

abandoned mailbox

Photo: Creative Ignition (CC)

I spent the better part of an otherwise relaxing weekend cleaning up a mess.

A digital mess. One 10 years in the making.

I become frustrated when I don’t receive replies to my emails. Not frustrated after 60 seconds, but sometimes after a few days, or weeks or even months. I’m sure a few of my emails end up in the Spam folders of the world, but then again, I check my Spam folder daily.

Or so I thought.

I had my hosting service move one of my sites from one shared server to another this weekend. I put it off for weeks, because I dreaded the possibility of site outages or other unforeseen problems. It actually went smoothly, until I checked my email. No go.

I fixed the problem, but then discovered a slip-up on my part. A huge slip-up.

A couple of my sites with a handful of email accounts had been accumulating emails on the server for close to 10 years. I had no idea.

Fortunately, most (like 99.9999 percent) were actual spam. But wow, to miss more than 200,000 emails was shocking to me.

I set up the new server so these emails wouldn’t disappear on me again. I deleted the old emails in a painfully slow process, 1,000 at a time.

And I finally solved the Mystery of the Grossly Inflated Site Backups™.

The good news is that I won’t miss any more emails (knock on wood). The better news is that my site backups are much smaller now, since I finally chunked all the junk mail just taking up gigabytes of server space. That will make everything run a little faster from here on out.

And if you tried to reach me at one of those addresses and never heard back from me, I apologize. Even if you were just trying to save me money on auto insurance, mortgages or Canadian sex pills.

• • •

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