mail work, or, what Ben does at night

One might ask themselves what excatly I do when I get home from work that keeps me so busy and prevents me from getting things done such as writing that VoIP review or working on my Mac collection or the other dozen projects I have going on at any given time.

Take tonight for example. Several months ago I installed a scaleable SQL based mailserver solution for a client. As part of some regular maintenance I was applying security patches to the server tuesday night. I knew there was a problem with the sasl2-bin package that broke PAM authentication so I had avoided it in the past but for some reason it got included in this update, my suspician was that the newer version was a dependancy for some other package.

In any event the newer version got halfway installed and errored out, at this point you couldn’t fininsh installing it or removing it, I spent some time on it but had to get to bed so I could get to work in the morning. Yesterday I had another committment to go help setup a PPP modem pool for a friend and by the time I got back I could only spend another hour or so on the problem and spent most of that cleaning up the install.

So tonight after dinner I finished cleaning up the old install, removed the package from the dpkg database by hand, reinstalled the package successfully and then made all the changes so that the package would work correctly with the client’s SQL database backend. Of course I then found out that the password crypt style had changed so I had to expire all passwords and change the imap server, pop server, webmail, and backend administration program to use the new crypt style which was as easy as changing some config files for some of the programs but for others I had to hand edit php code. Fun stuff. At least I’m done now, well sort of, I hear there’s a new version of the MTA availible too so a postfix upgrade is in the future as well… I think I’ll save that for another day.

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