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December 8, 2002

"We can't send mail farther than 500 miles from here..."

Posted by Mike on December 8, 2002 11:31 PM

From Sean MacLennan's Gopher archive, we have Trey Harris' account of a curious geographic limit to sendmail's range:

"I was working in a job running the campus email system some years ago when I got a call from the chairman of the statistics department.

"We're having a problem sending email out of the department."

"What's the problem?" I asked.

"We can't send mail more than 500 miles," the chairman explained. I choked on my latte. "Come again?"

"We can't send mail farther than 500 miles from here," he repeated. "A little bit more, actually. Call it 520 miles. But no farther."

Via DayPop


Wow. I mean wow.. That is too cool.

Reminds me of the client I had whose computer would suddenly and unexpectatly crash on her. She kept claiming that she had a 'bad computer aura' and could make anything electronic crash by looking at it wrong. Of course I did not believe her so I took her laptop and put it through every test I knew of. In my office the laptop worked great, once it was back in her hands kablooie. I stood in her office looking around for any magnets, power sources, anything.. She must have thought I was off, she kept doing her work as I stood there staring at every detail of her office looking for the hidden variable. I then noticed a can of anti-static spray on a low shelf (the kind you spray on a skirt that keeps buching up). I smiled and asked her about it. 'Oh I build up static electricity real easilly' she replied.
I went right to work researching ways to decrease static electrictiy. A week later I got a hold of 3 nice ceramic pots that I filled with water and put around her office. The pots raised the humidity just enough to make the static die down and keep her laptop alive.

Posted by: Leopoldo at December 8, 2002 11:53 PM