Gmail or Thunderbird problem?

CLIFFORD ILKAY clifford_ilkay at
Fri Dec 5 06:40:52 UTC 2008

Bart Silverstrim wrote:
> Karl F. Larsen wrote:
>>     Yes that may be correct. I am still learning how IMAP works. There 
>> is not very much information on IMAP that I can find.
> What about IMAP is confusing?
> Primarily IMAP is a way of keeping email on the mail server instead of 
> your computer so you can access it from a number of systems without 
> losing your mail, and as long as the provider does decent backups of 
> their data you won't lose data.

It's not "their" data. It's their client's data. In our hosting
operation, we don't back up client data unless they expressly want us to
do it and then we bill for it accordingly. Even if your hosting provider
says they back up your data, what would you do if their machine died and
their backup turned out to be not restorable, or if they went bankrupt
as the first hosting provider we used did about 13 years ago(*)? You can
scream, you can vent fury at them and you can even threaten to sue (but
not prevail if you did) but you'll still be without your data. The
prudent thing is to make sure that you always have a local copy of any
remote data that is valuable to you.

(*) The hosting provider that we used about 13 years ago provided great
service for the first year or so. One day, none of us could fetch our
email. Fortunately, I had a shell open via ssh so I could see the
problem. The server had run out of space on /var and of course the mail
spool was on /var. We left messages on their voice mail. We opened
trouble tickets. No response, which was very unusual.

I had made the mistake of using my email address within that domain for
 the admin contact email. How can you make any changes to the domain
registration, in this case, changing the DNS to point to another
provider, when you can't receive mail at your account? I went through a
lot of hassle with affidavits and faxes and after three days of no
email, we were with a new provider but this ordeal was the impetus for
us to start hosting our own stuff shortly thereafter and eventually to
offer hosting services to others. Tip: NEVER use an email address within
the same domain or even on the same server as the domain you're
registering. We use a Yahoo or Gmail account on all our domain

We never did hear from the first hosting company again. As it turned
out, they had gone out of business but their machines were still running
and their web site presumably still accepting new accounts. For the sake
of curiosity, I monitored their web site and it was a few months before
it finally went off-line. Who knows how many people got burned with them?

Clifford Ilkay
1419-3266 Yonge St.
Toronto, ON
Canada  M4N 3P6

+1 416-410-3326
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