Thursday, December 2, 2021

The Ongoing Email Saga


Quick update on the email situation. Thanks to GoDaddy’s unilateral decision to move us to Microsoft Exchange, a product that deserves to burn in Hell, and to force us to use Microsoft Outlook 365, a product so vile it warrants having everyone associated with creating it consigned to the foulest depths of some place even worse—probably the Garfield Park neighborhood in Chicago—the behavior of all and email addresses is now erratic at best and goes downhill from there.

If you need to contact me, use the email address and no other.* This one seems to be the most reliable, or at least to have the best understood weaknesses and malfunctions. We can work around its known problems for now.

[* Unless you are one of the very few people who knows my personal email address. Guy, Pete, Ray, Eric; you know which one I mean. Please don’t share it without asking me first.] 

Most aggravating to me until yesterday was that has become wildly unreliable. For some idiotic reason Microsoft cheerfully passes through every vapid message from Twitter but blocks all the important business-related email from Amazon, Ingram, and the bank where we have the RLP accounts! Fortunately it doesn’t auto-delete any messages—at least, so far as we know—but it does consign important messages to the spam or trash folders seemingly at random, and fishing out a message and tagging it as not spam does not seem to make any difference when the next message comes in from the same sender. 

Microsoft also exhibits the same behavior with messages sent to—I just had to fish a contract from a UK publisher out of the trash—but as I said, this was only the most aggravating thing until yesterday, which was when I discovered that GoDaddy unilaterally disabled several email accounts associated with my personal PayPal account. Apparently they did this about six months ago, but as they did this when my wife’s medical crisis was approaching its dramatic peak, I was preoccupied and didn’t notice. 

One particularly irksome aspect of this is that they disabled the PayPal email account specifically associated with the shareware version of Cyberpunk I put out about twenty years ago, that has been floating around the Internet ever since. It’s never generated much income; perhaps one in a hundred readers reads the book and then actually bothers to send in the suggested shareware license fee. But about six months ago the slow and feeble trickle of PayPal deposits to that account stopped completely… and now I know why.

As of this morning, the account is semi-reactivated. PayPal payments sent to get through now. But that’s the only functionality I’ve able to restore: all other email sent to any email account simply vanishes into /dev/null, never to be seen again.

A damn pity a email address in the one printed on the back cover of every U.S. mass-market copy of Headcrash