Mailing List Message #14426
From: Lewis Butler <>
Subject: Re: Moving up from SIMS
Date: Thu, 8 Apr 2004 17:53:26 -0600
To: SIMS Discussions <>
X-Mailer: Apple Mail (2.613)
On Apr 8, 2004, at 8:10 AM, chris wrote:
Most people seem to be recommeding Postfix (I asked on a few lists I
participate on). But this one aspect of support may be the thing that
weighs most in my mind. I know I will need support, and the last thing I
want to deal with is impatient, hostile support groups (I'll be a *nix
mailer newbie, and probably in the novice to basic range for NetBSD or
whatever *nix I end up using... so I know I'll have "stupid" questions).
If the qmail people have an attitude problem, then I don't think I'll
want to work with them. I'll have to see if I can find an archive of
qmail support forums.

To a certain extent, any unix tool is going to have irritable "gruff" support.

Best thing to do is:

1) Read the documentation before you try to install the software.
   a) A MTA generally has a TON of documentation
   b) don't forget sample files
   c) searching google for "<os version> how-to <MTA>" or "<os version>
      install <MTA>" or "<os version> tutorial <MTA>" is good
      (eg google: "Os X" install postfix)

2) subscribe to the appropriate group right away, before you install
   a) if you are considering more than one MTA, subscribe to a user level
      list for each MTA

3) scan the messages daily (you don't have to read them all, just can through them)

4) after you install the software DON'T immediately post a "this doesn't work" type of message.
   a) search for the error (if there is one) on google and/or the list archives
   b) re-read the appropriate documentation file
   c) still, confused, now you can ask
      i) look for other people asking questions who appear to have
         gotten answers
     ii) try to include the right info (OS version, software version,
         any other software), results of searches
    iii) be prepared to provide compiler/make/configure flags
     iv) if the answer is "read <name of doc>, dumbass" don't take it
         personally, that person may have answered that question 100
         times over already
      v) phrase questions as "what did I do wrong?" or "What did I
         miss?" and not "this doesn't work right" or "This is broken."
         That is to say, assume YOU are the problem, and not the soft-
         ware, because 99.999% of the time, you ARE the problem
    d) If you show that you are humble, prepared, and have invested time
       trying to solve the problem, people are FAR more likely to help
       than if you come off as a clueless n00b who can't be bothered to
       read the docs and assumes that if it isn't working right for him,
       then it must be broken.

5) Once you have a working configuration, backup!
   a) backup the configuration files ( and for postfix)
   b) backup a file containing the compiler/make/configuration flags
      you used
   c) archive this config as your "fallback"

A vote for Nader is a vote for George Bush.

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