HTML Email: JWZ's fault?

One-time Netscape Navigator developer Jamie Zawinski suggests that HTML support in email might have been his fault.

Whoops: iOS 11 Mail Microsoft Issues

If you've upgraded your iPhones to the just-released iOS version 11 and your email is hosted by Microsoft's, Office 365 or Exchange 2016, you may now find yourself unable to send email from your iPhone. It sounds like a known issue and that it is being worked on.

In the mean time, the most commonly suggested workaround seems to be that you should download Microsoft's Outlook email client for iOS and use that instead.

Hurricane Irma & Luck

As some of you may know, my wife and I (and dog) moved to the Miami area just a couple of months ago. We actually donated most of our furniture before we moved, because it was mostly junk, and because we were downsizing. So the past couple months before the hurricane, we had gone to IKEA Miami approximately nine hundred times, dragging individual pieces of flat-pack furniture home and painstakingly ignoring the silly IKEA directions. (Proving both that I can assemble a KALLAX from memory, and that a marriage is forever if it survives nearly two-dozen IKEA trips.) We had just gotten to the point where we had enough simple furniture to consider our new place home. Everything was unpacked. All the pictures were hung on the walls. No more travel for a while. We truly were where we wanted to be.

And then Hurricane Irma was coming and we had to get out of town. And we were lucky we were able to get out of town. We've been on the road, waiting for things to calm down, so we could return home. The past ten days were stressful, but we treated it mostly as an unexpected vacation and the worst thing that happened was that we overspent our food budget by eating out the whole time. My employer was not only understanding, but also provided assistance. We got through it just fine.

Unlike what other folks went through, in our case the storm mostly just did a number on the greenery around our apartment building.

Like I keep saying, we are lucky, and we really can't complain. But over on the other side of the country, my friend Karen isn't as lucky. Karen is a long time friend of mine, and past coworker, and she really knows what she is doing when it comes to email technology and deliverability. Her and her partner have fallen on hard times after she had to take medical leave. They are currently homeless. I am asking you please consider donating to Karen's GoFundMe to help them get an RV and some other stuff to get stable and so she can be able to work remotely. (And then you should hire her if you need deliverability help -- she's fantastic at it!) 

Karen is smart and sharp and I think she fell into a trap that any of us could fall into, and I think that with just the right amount of help she can get back on her feet. I hope you'll consider donating.

Full Email Headers

Email message headers have a lot of information in them. Only the tiniest amount of that header information is typically exposed to a recipient by default. There's much more to it than just the from address, to address, subject line and date. There's routing information, authentication information, IP address information, and more information hiding just beneath the surface, in the "full headers" or "internet headers" of that email message. To get at the rest of that header information associated with a given email message, a recipient will need to "view full headers" or "view the message source."

Here's a guide from MXToolbox on how to get full email header information from various email clients.

Google explains how to obtain full headers from Gmail, and even shows you how to extract valuable information from them.

Microsoft explains how to obtain full headers from various versions of the Outlook email client.

Pro tip: When somebody asks you to send them email headers, don't send them a screen shot of the from address or email body. That's not what they're asking for. (And screen shot images aren't searchable; if somebody is trying to help you troubleshoot something, it is painful to have to manually read each line of a header in an image to try to find the right header.) Instead, send them a text file attachment containing all of the copied-and-pasted email header info, or full message source.

Hotmail UK MX Change

The MX servers for Hotmail UK changed in DNS overnight. For those who are caching DNS or have hard coded DNS entries, you're going to run into problems with false positive "user unknown" bounces. Time to flush the cache and make sure you're relying on what's currently in DNS.

I'd include the specific domains here, and their new MX records, but I don't want to lead people down the wrong path of hard coding MX record entries, when they really should be relying on DNS.