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BlueWolf's Howl

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July 22, 2002

Blog Brain

I think my coworkers hate me. It's really not my fault. I'm just trying to be as nice and unobtrusive as I can be...

I try my best not to be a smart ass or a know-it-all. I've spent most of my school years being ridiculed for knowing the answers. For some reason (beyond my meager comprehension), it's wrong to know something if everyone else doesn't know it. So, I learned to mind my own business and not be a smart ass.

Last Friday there were problems with a few distribution lists on our email server. Mail to the list was bouncing. The Exchange 5.5 test was one of the electives I took to attain my MCSE. I also have quite a bit of experience with Exchange in some situations that don't normally arise. Again, I also have quite a bit of experience with email lists in general (on many systems). My supervisor also took the Exchange exam and passed it (second try) after taking the course. I've already been told on one occasion that I couldn't possibly be right regarding an Exchange issue because HE took the class and they demonstrated this in the lab. Okay, you're the expert.

So I minded my own business when the email issue arose. After all, there were two MCSEs working on it - one of which was this supervisor. I was busy with another issue and kept working on it. I figured if they needed or wanted help, they would ask me to help them. I remember them cursing a lot and vaguely remember something about building a list over from scratch. I ignored the details, figuring they had it all under control.

Today the same issue arose over another distribution list. I knew it was probably related to Friday's issue, but I worked it fresh by myself. I noticed it was missing an X.400 address. Okay, that's the problem. So I mentioned it to my supervisor and he says that they had that same problem on Friday. So, I tried to add the address using the others as a template. DINK! There went the error alert. It needed an a= part of the address. My supervisor grinned. They ran into that same problem too. According to him, it's added when you create the distribution list. He tells me I'll have to dump the whole list and recreate it - adding the mailboxes for distribution manually (like they did on Friday).

Hmmm. If I remember correctly, you can add any type of address to a mailbox or distribution list. I looked at the other lists... there was an a= field, but no data in that field. Well, why don't I just try using a space in that field? What could happen? Another error message? I already got one of those - so what? I tried it. It worked. I told Mr. Supervisor that putting a space in the field works -- you don't have to recreate the list.

You could have poached an egg on the top of his head.

The most ironic part of all this is that I came up with the idea not because I study, but because I blog. My interest in blogging led me to Movable Type. During the installation (and wrestling with CSS), I went to the Support Forum boards. I happened to notice the tag line on Ben Trott's posts:

"And don't tell me there isn't one bit of difference between null and space, because that's exactly how much difference there is." -- Larry Wall

Thanks Ben and Larry. You saved me about an hour or two of tedious manual labor.

Posted by BlueWolf on July 22, 2002 11:39 PM