I haven't had any email through now for 24 hours. It's like the time I had a 'heated discussion' with the vicar at a baptism and was plagued with dreams of seven-foot horned man-goats breaking down my door for the next week: Natural retribution.

The Mail Administrator howto (or in plain text) has a good explanation of how email works, and how to talk to an smtp system. Relevant rfcs are rfc821: Simple Mail Transfer Protocol; and rfc1869: SMTP Service Extensions.'s host's are also moving -- on Monday, apparently. The DNS howto (plain text) is a fine example of how open documentation can really work: The backgrounder and tutorial on the dns system are excellent. I haven't read the rfcs; there are quite a lot: Annotated rfcs are kept at the DNS Resources Directory.

So, what have I discovered? That the dns records for haven't been changed for over a year. And that the smtp gateway is down. And the gateways for other domains on the same server, so it's not just me. Well, at least I know -- I don't have to feel so paranoid now -- but it's still concerning: How long is email kept in the queue before it's bounced? How much will I never receive?