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24 hours of restores, and then some

Tom Christiansen
July 18, 2011 11:20
24 hours of restores, and then some
Message ID:
Summary:  I've been offline for around 2 days now, and mail send to me during
          that time was lost.  And because it's I have six weeks of work to get
          done in as many days, I've instituted a draconian priority scheme for
          paying attention to incoming mail.  See below.  I'm very sorry if this
          causes anyone else any hardship.

I regret to report that my home and area took a really rather bad power hit
this weekend.  I don't have my UPS units set to gracefully shut down,
since it's usually just dips or a few minutes at most.  So they finally
died, most ungracefully.

That means that mail that tried to come through over the last 2-3 days,
didn't.  No new data showed up during that time.  The good news is that 
*I THINK* no data of my own was lost.  The bad news is that much long-ago
deleted data seems to have been spuriously resurrected.  This is something 
of the opposite problem, but clearly the better of two to have.

Running fsck was *not* kind to me.  My mail partition somehow filled itself
up with things that were never there--or rather, hadn't been there since
time immemorial.  So even once my servers were both up again, the
lost+found bogons didn't let anything new in.  It has taken me all morning 
just to sort through those to figure out which ones I wanted to keep and 
which were just bogus.  

I'm not done with that yet.  I've spent most of the last 24 hours getting
stuff put back together.  I need to nap but can't do so with the sun up;
just not made that way.

My email was therefore totally down for a couple of days, and
then even when back up, it was probably bouncing with either [ENOSPC]
or [ENFILE] errnos (I hope no [EIO]!!), and/or [ECANTCREAT] sysexits.  

I'm very sorry for the inconvenience.  If you sent something that was
legitimately *urgent* to me over that time, please try resending,
preferably with a magic tag as detailed below.

This is hell-week, so because of that only the following items alone count
as urgent, and nothing else.  Please mark subject lines as shown:

  1.  Life-and-death situations -- why are you using email for that?  
        (e.g.) Subject: [1=DYING]       blah blah blah

  2.  Personal family matters of my own relations -- again, try the phone. 
        (e.g.) Subject: [2=FAMILY]      blah blah blah

  3.  Issues @work w/my University textmining job *INVOLVING ME PERSONALLY*.  
        (e.g.) Subject: [3=WORK]        blah blah blah

  4.  Prepping my 4.5h of Unicode talks for next week's conference in Portland. 
        (e.g.) Subject: [4=OSCON]       blah blah blah

  5.  Prepping a kilopage of the Camel Book's 4th ed. for Production by mid-August. 
        (e.g.) Subject: [5=BOOK]        blah blah blah

Please please please do not bother me about anything outside those 5 categories.

I *will* pay better attention to mail with subject lines marked with what
of the five annotations above.  If you have something else that you
*really* believe urgent, then you *may* use [6#RUSH], but understand that
it comes below the other five, and that I may still ignore you as though it
weren't there.

I may live to regret this, but I encourage the use of the phone over email
FOR THOSE FIVE CATEGORIES.  I say this because if Karl Williamson hadn't
been so kind as to ring me up this morning at home (it's a local call for
him), I might not even have noticed anything was awry.  Understand I get
35,000-65,000 pieces of spam per day (which I almost never see, but
false-positives do happen) and between 100-1,000 pieces of other mail, 
most of it mailing list stuff.  As you can imagine, things are easily
missed, especially stuff that scrolls past my screen, which happens a lot.

I shall be answering mail twice a day only: once cheerfully between 5-7am
MDT and then once again albeit perhaps more grumpily between 6-8pm MDT.  
I expect to answer no mail outside those five special categories listed above 
until well into August.  It **might** happen, but never count on it.  

Thank you for your forebearance.

--tom Perl Programming lists via nntp and http.
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