Week 4, part 1
Thursday, November 2, 2001
We are starting to see a pattern developing here.

Each week we go through hell getting the weekly update sent out, and our technical adventures end up being the first thing we talk about in the next update. Unfortunately, these stories have not yet reached a happy ending. We wish to spare the gory details from our readers who are not techies; but many of our readers who ARE techies may find this compelling and amusing (and most importantly, they may have a helpful suggestion). So if you don't want to hear the sordid details of our technical nightmare, skip ahead to the next page.

Last week's update was ready to send the day after we got off the ferry in France. The host of our guest house in Cherbourg let us plug his phone cable into our modem port, but our modem did not see a dial tone. Sigh. A few days later we were in Germany, where our hosts had an ISDN connection ... the hardware still would not mate. So off we went to the local university, where we copied all the settings (IP addr, router addr, DNS, etc) from one of the networked computers there into our laptop. Voila! Just as last week, the web updates and incoming mail sailed through the wires. In fact, this connection was nice and fast.

But just as last week, outgoing mail came back marked "relay denied." A noteable exception was a few pieces sent to earthlink addresses ... they went through fine. Time to jump through hoops. We went into earthlink's webmail service (works similar to hotmail, yahoo, etc. for earthlink subscribers) and pasted the outgoing messages into the appropriate form. We sent two pieces of mail to Bobber ... one with the address list (now with 88 names), and the update itself. The address list was not accepted in the Bcc field of hotmail's composition screen ... we had to strip some extraneous returns in the list. Still no go ... time to strip out the "real" names that are floating around. That wasn't enough to satisfy snotmail, as the list was still just plain too long. So Bobber went into his snotmail address book and created a group out of our list of names. But snotmail would only accept 50 addresses in a group, so we had to break the group in two and send the update twice. Somewhere in the middle of this we had to go through the entire text of the update and strip out the extra line feeds that either earthlink or snotmail put at the end of every line.

So after over an hour of fighting with earthstink and then snotmail, the week 3 update finally got dispatched, and most of you are hopefully finished reading it by now.

Part 2 ... Cherbourg, France
Part 3 ... arrival in Paris
Part 4 ... Le Tour Eiffel
Part 5 ... honeymooning down by the Seine
Part 6 ... Freiburg, Germany

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