Saturday, September 23, 2006

Migrated mailbox

Yesterday, when I opened my mailbox, I noticed that it seemed to be corrupted. All folders I use to organise the vast flow of mails I receive every day had disappeared. After checking the university helpdesk, I learned the IT-department had started migrating the current student's mailboxes to the new server that evening. After further investigation of my 'corrupted' mailbox I found a mail (with no subject) which stated that my mailbox was migrated and provided the new settings to be used in my E-mail application.
I was a little relieved when I changed the settings and after connecting to the new server, I noticed that my folders appeared again. But not all. Two of them where still missing. When trying to create the folders in the new mailbox, I found out why they where missing: the folders contained a '@' in the foldername, and apparently this character was refused for foldernames in the new mailbox. This explains why these two folders weren't copied when my mailbox was migrated.
But one of those folders contained over a hundred E-mails I still needed. After copying the original mailfolder, which wasn't yet deleted from the old server, using another server I managed to restore them.

So now I have a new mailbox on a new server, which has a lot of advantages. The old server was getting slow, as it is quite some years of age and has to serve the mailboxes of over 27,000 students at my university. During last semester one had to be very patient when checking E-mail arround lunchtime.
Checking E-mails should be much faster now with the new server.
My mailbox is a lot bigger too and doesn't consume space in my networkdrive.

I'm very pleased to already have been migrated to the new server. But I'm wondering what criteria where used to select which student's accounts where to be migrated first.

Friday, September 01, 2006

Phishing IQ

Phishing (in Dutch) is a technique used by fraudsters, to obtain personal information like addresses, usernames, passwords, credit card information, bank details, social security numbers and the like.
You probably have received several of this type of messages by E-mail, asking you to provide some personal information. A typical phishing E-mail pretends to originate from your bank or credit card supplier, but is not. With clever tricks these kind of mails fool the recipient to believe it is a genuine mail.

Today I came across a phishing IQ test which presents you some real mails, some of which are scams and some are legitimate. You have to decide which are fraudulent and which are not. In the end you get a score on how well you did. If you got something wrong you can look at the explanation why some mail was legitimate or fraudulent.
Doing this test lets you check how good you are at recognising phishing scams. And hopefully you can learn how to see when a mail is genuine or not.

Power failure

Yesterday, a power failure caused that there was no electricity in my block for a few hours.
In the afternoon, lights went out, the radio stopped playing, but what was worse, the refrigerator stopped too, as did my computers.
Having no radio is slightly discomforting, having no lights can be inconvenient, but as long as it's still bright enough outside, not very troublesome. The refrigerator having no power is not a problem at first, but if the power outage lasts too long, it will start to warm up. When this happens the food inside can be spoiled.
The computers are a different story. When a computers halts during a power failure, without proper shutdown can cause several problems like damage to the hardware or contents of the harddrive if they weren't yet written to the disk. It is possible that the computer won't boot after power is restored, or that important data is lost.

Luckily, power was restored after a few hours. Nothing was damaged and the refrigerator was still cool enough when it was restarted, so no food had to be thrown away.
All computers rebooted without problems and only a slight problem with a partition on a harddrive was detected. Fortunately this could be resolved easily.

I don't like it when power failures emerge, but taking into account that the outage lasted only 3 hours and that the previous power failure was more than a year ago, I can't realy complain.
But maybe I should invest in a UPS, to make sure my computers are protected when the next power failure happens.