http:// / duh /


It never ceases to amaze me, the types of questions people ask me via email. I guess it's not enough to create web pages which explain things- some people need to either start USING the web pages, or maybe they need to have the web pages re-read to them, or they just need to pull their heads out of whatever orifice it may currently lodged into.

As a way to relieve stress, I've decided to start adding the "worst of the worst" to this web page. Think of it as a "hall of shame".

For questions which are "just plain stupid", I will at least remove any personally identifiable information... however, if somebody starts resorting to legal threats, or basically makes an ass of themselves, I have no problem leaving the original names, email addresses, and IP addresses in here.

So if you're thinking about emailing me, think very carefully about what your message says and how you're saying it, BEFORE you hit the SEND button. Because under MY terms of service, any email sent to me becomes MY property- and if I choose to exhibit them on a web page like this, that's MY business. If you don't agree to these terms, DON'T SEND ME EMAIL.

Date: Thu, 28 Feb 2008 15:01:44 +0000 From: "******** *****" To: Subject: Jgreylist ( Dear John, One of my server is using your jgraylist. One of my client didn't have reverse DNS configured - and emails have been rejected with message from jgraylist script. I have only question about whitelist for above problem? For example - is there any way to add IP to whitelist. Is it working the same way which you described in 'Whitelist and Blacklists?' paragraf?. -- Best regards ******** ***** System Administrator (Linux and Unix). tel. 0795*******

As near as I can tell, this guy already FOUND the answer to his question, but he feels the need to ask me whether or not the web page is correct.

The truth, ********, is that I wrote the web pages wrong on purpose, in order to make people fill my mailbox with dumb questions. The real solution to your problem isn't on the web site- it's on the floor, next to your chair. You need to bang your forehead against it, over and over again. Within a few minutes you will either understand the concept of "try it and see what happens", or you will pass out from blood loss. Either way, it's preferable to waiting two days for me to explain what any other intelligent person would understand: the whole reason I wrote the page to begin with, was because the information was correct, and I don't want to have to explain it five million times.

Date: Fri, 4 Apr 2008 10:14:55 +0800 (MYT) Subject: Re: Howto do this ? From: ******@****-**.com To: "John Simpson" <> Hello,bro i dont have the money bro.jus help for opensource communiity > -----BEGIN PGP SIGNED MESSAGE----- > Hash: SHA1 > > On 2008-04-03, at 0820, ******@****-**.com wrote: >> >> Hello Bro, > > do i know you? > > >> Want to know how to block spammer from telnet any mail server with >> port 25 and send >> command like example i send.did qmail can run like this ? > > my consulting rates for new clients are ****** per hour, two hour > minimum, first two hours paid up front. let me know if you're serious > about hiring me to help you.

Where to begin...

First of all, he's calling me "bro" as if he's my brother, or a close friend, or some kind of surfer dude. That irritates me. If you don't know somebody, keep things professional when you talk to them. That's not too complicated an idea, is it?

Second, he's apparently asking how to make his SMTP server, not speak SMTP. Which tells me that he knows absolutly nothing about how his server works, and that if I do try to explain it to him, I can see having to try and teach this joker how a mail server works, plus work around his obvious trouble with the english language, just to make him understand why his question makes no sense. Just thinking about it makes my head hurt.

Then, when he replies, he totally misses the point of "do i know you?", and calls me "bro" two more times. He also puts his reply ABOVE the original message, which is a BIG NO-NO in my book. Plus he wants me to help him for free (of course), and to top it all off, he somehow thinks it's going to help the entire open source community if I do so.


Turns out that calling me "bro" was a cultural thing- apparently, wherever it is he lives (Myanmar? Malaysia? Milwaukee?) they call each other "bro" all the time. To me it feels somewhere betwen "overly familiar" and "kinda stupid", but I guess his heart was in the right place, so I can't really hold that against him.

But trying to claim that it would help the entire open source community if I save him from having to do his own homework... That's what earned his message a place on this web page.

This one started out painful, because I had to translate it from HTML to text before I could even read it.

From: =?us-ascii?Q?Ozkan_S****A?= <ozkan@***.org> To: <> Subject: qmail-local Date: Thu, 5 Mar 2009 15:34:40 +0200 Hello John, I'm working in a hosting company. We use qmail as mta on our servers. Our mail server has 27839 mailbox on it. It's only used for incoming mail and pop3 daemon. We have seperated smtp relaying job to another machine. It's a qmail server too. It must not store mails on it. It has to be send all mails to remote servers. I have linked qmail-local to my bash script. #!/bin/bash # Qmail Wrapper for Remote Connections # /var/qmail/bin/qmail-remote # ---------- --------------- -------- ---------- # 2 8 6 7 # cat | /var/qmail/bin/qmail-remote ${2} ${8} ${6}@${7} sometimes i see these lines in qmail-send logs @4000000049afd3ef19257254 status: local 1/500 remote 17/500 @4000000049afd3ef1925763c delivery 17145: success: DI_(qmail-remote)_was_invoked_improperly._(#5.3.5)/ @4000000049afd3ef19257a24 status: local 0/500 remote 17/500 Do you know any other way to do this ? any patch or another script ? Thanks. Ozkan S****A

THIS, my friends, is what qmailrocks does to your brain.

Going point-by-point...

It sounds like he's trying to take a single server which does everything, and build a second machine to do anti-spam and anti-virus scanning for the messages coming in from the internet (which I call a "mailhub") and ran into an issue where the mailhub machine is storing peoples' messages locally, rather than passing them back to the real mailbox server.

And rather than just configure qmail correctly, he's trying to use scripts to force the machine to do what he wants, after it's already done what he's configured it to do (which is deliver the mail locally.)

I had considered replying with my consulting rates, but the fact that he's writing his own scripts tells me that the first few hours would be spent reading the documentation to him, and then when it's all done, arguing with him because he doesn't think he should pay for the time I spent reading and explaining the documentation to him...

Seriously... if you're not going to even READ the documentation, you have no business running a mail server in the first place.