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Caravel Forum : Caravel Boards : The Site : Dead Letter Office (Do you have an e-mail address that is unreachable?)
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ErikH2000
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You're used to hating spammers. We all hate having 90% of our incoming mail containing earnest offers to ship us C i a L 1 S. Sure, sure, we hate the spammers.

But there's somebody else you should be hating: lazy mail admins. When faced with the admittedly difficult problem of choosing what mail gets delivered to you, they dump a lot of legitimate letters in the ditch.

It seems the fashion among modern mail administrators to err on the side of non-delivery. I.e. when Grandma e-mails twenty family members to announce her cat died, Hotmail might catch a faint whiff of processed meat product and quietly fail to deliver to half of the recipients. It's collateral damage in the war against spam. And when our Caravel e-mails aren't delivered due to simplistically unfair spam filters, it makes me feel like I got shot by a drunken frat boy. Holding the gun backwards. Blindfolded. On a vaseline-greased pogo stick. There is some combination of stupidity, irresponsibility, and disrespect at work here. I don't know how or when the situation will ever get better.

I can't make every (any?) mail admin do his job right. What I can do is tell you who the good guys and bad guys are. If you're using one of the bad guys as your mail provider, there are some things you could do that will help Caravel get mail to you and perhaps make some small difference in the struggle against braindead mail delivery:

1. Contact the mail provider's support and report that they are failing to deliver legitimate e-mail to you. I don't suggest being huffy about it. For best results, include the name of the sending domain ("caravelgames.com" and "caravelgames3.com"), explain that you expect to receive e-mail from this domain, and that receiving legitimate e-mail is a crucial feature for your mail provider to have. Don't be demoralized when you get a form letter back along the lines of:

quote:
The delivery of e-mail to our customers is of Biblical importance to us. We have meetings and make reports and stuff about it all the time. However, it is difficult to balance the mail-delivery thing with all that crazy, freaky spam out there. Really, it's just insanely difficult to deal with. So you have to forgive us if we got egg on our shoes after striving so admirably to make you an omelet. Mmmmmm, tasty vegetarian (NO SPAM!) omelet. Eat it up, lil netbabies. Papa Admin knows what you need!


I say don't get demoralized, because every tech support minion out there has to throw some sort of noncommittal canned response back at you. But most tech support departments will eventually write a nice little report classifying the different types of support issues they must deal with. If "DID NOT RECEIVE E-MAIL" pops up enough times in that report, somebody has to stop and think hard about how to fix a larger problem.

Still, odds are they won't fix the Caravel-email-thrown-in-ditch problem, so another thing you could do is...

2. Get another e-mail account with a different e-mail provider (see the Good Guys list) and use it to get your DROD-related e-mails. You can edit your "Profile" settings to change the e-mail where CaravelNet e-mails and forum post notifications are sent. For receiving the Illumination, just add the new e-mail address from the main page of the website.

3. You might consider ditching the half-assed mail provider like he's ditching mail that people want to send to you. No pressure from me, here. It's your choice, lil netbaby.

Also, I'll make a list of people we tried to deliver mail to and were unsuccessful. If the contents of the mail aren't too personal, we will post them here as well to avoid annoying catch-22s.

-Erik

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10-12-2007 at 08:30 PM
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ErikH2000
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The Good Guy list below contains mail providers that meet the following criteria:

1. Offer free access to an account which can be used to receive e-mail. Bundling deals ("free email when you sign up for our web hosting plan") and free trials don't count as "free" here.
2. No delivery problems with Caravel e-mails over the last two years that were narrowed down to the mail provider's non-delivery of the mail. Exceptions made for rejections based on mistakes made by Caravel resulting in non-delivery. (Like in 2006 and 2007, we had Hotmail rejections based on bad or missing SPF records combined with bulk e-mailing.)
3. No press reports casting significant doubt on their reliability in delivering e-mail over the last two years.

If you have an eligible mail provider that you think meets the above criteria, let me know, and I'll consider adding it to the list.

Conversely, you can get on the Bad Guy list by failing points 2 or 3 above. It's a grey list, meaning that if a mail provider can refrain from doing stupid crap for a couple of years, I'm willing to recommend that provider by putting him on the Good Guy list. I'll also take nominations for the Bad Guy list.

Good Guy List (Use these guys for mail. We think they're okay.)
* gmail.com
* yahoo.com

Bad Guy List (Consider NOT using these guys for mail, because they don't seem to know how to do it right.)
* cornell.edu - October 2007 non-delivery due to spam-filtering rejection.
* hotmail.com - October 2007 report on silent non-delivery of messages with more than 10 recipients.
* verizon.net - 2006 and 2007 non-delivery due to spam-filtering rejection.

Watch List
* att.net - 2007 one user reporting non-delivery, but not narrowed to server rejection yet
* gibson.org - 2007 non-delivery due to server rejection--unclear if it is based on spam-filtering.

-Erik

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[Last edited by ErikH2000 at 10-13-2007 12:14 AM]
10-12-2007 at 08:53 PM
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ErikH2000
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icon People We Tried (And Failed) to E-Mail (0)  
Yep, e-mail ain't what she used to be. We tried to reach these people, but couldn't. I have an alphabetized list below of recipients to which we failed to send e-mail due to rejection by their server. E-mail addresses in the list are anonymized by using just the first letter of the name part. For example, my e-mail address is "erikh@caravelgames.com"; I would anonymize it here as "e...@caravelgames.com".

quote:
j...@gibson.org
s...@cornell.edu


If you see your e-mail address in the above list, keep looking below for your "Dead Letter". The dead letters below are listed in chronological order.

-Erik

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[Last edited by ErikH2000 at 10-13-2007 12:15 AM]
10-12-2007 at 08:59 PM
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ErikH2000
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quote:

Hello, censored!

I'm not sure if anyone ever got back to you on this. If not, then I'm sorry for the late reply. Sure, you can get the Mac version, too. Here's what to do:

1. Activate your CaravelNet account. There's instructions for this in
an e-mail sent to you after placing your order with subject
"CaravelNet activation", but let me know if you don't have it.
2. Browse to the following URL: http://forum.caravelgames.com
3. At the bottom of the page, log in with your CaravelNet name and
password. Note that your password was selected by you during the
activation step and is different from the generated CaravelNet keys
you may have also received.
4. Browse to the following URL: http://forum.caravelgames.com/downloads.php
5. At the bottom of the page, you should see a "CaravelNet Downloads"
section. Click on the link in this section for the full version of
DROD. A download link will be e-mailed to you.

That should do it, but let me know if you need anything else!

-Erik Hermansen
support@caravelgames.com

-Erik

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10-12-2007 at 09:04 PM
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NoahT
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Erik, you think you could figure out what list "earthlink.net" belongs on? That's what I use, and my spam filter doesn't always do its job right.

-Noah

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10-12-2007 at 11:22 PM
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ErikH2000
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quote:
NoahT wrote:
Erik, you think you could figure out what list "earthlink.net" belongs on? That's what I use, and my spam filter doesn't always do its job right.

Noah, it's hard to say. I'm trying to identify mail providers that reject mail messages from Caravel as spam. I'm not sure if earthlink.net fits that description. If you can receive messages from Caravel (like requesting a CaravelNet key or forum post notifications) at your earthlink.net address, then we should probably not worry about them. If a spam filter that you have control over is filtering emails, then that wouldn't be reason enough for me to put them on the "Bad Guy List" or "Watch List". You can usually fix the spam filter by either setting up a safe list (a.k.a. white list, buddy list) or clicking a "not spam" button for misfiltered messages.

-Erik

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10-12-2007 at 11:59 PM
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ErikH2000
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icon Dead Letter to s...@cornell.edu (0)  
quote:

Hello, censored!

Our mail is getting sent to you, but not delivered, apparently. It might be a spam filter running on your server or locally on your email client. Could you double-check for messages from "caravelgames3.com" in any spam filters you have? If there is nothing to be found, my next recommendation is to set up another e-mail account for DROD-related messages on a free service like Yahoo! Mail or GMail.

If you would like a refund for CaravelNet, we can do that too, but of course, I prefer to have your CaravelNet working for you. Unfortunately, it will be necessary to have working e-mail delivery to you before that is possible.

-Erik Hermansen
support@caravelgames.com


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10-13-2007 at 12:14 AM
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