Hard News by Russell Brown


Ihug: still screwed?

So last week's Ihug email nightmare is all over, new servers are in place and everyone has all their email? If only. Two Hard News readers have been in touch to advise of continuing problems - and of email (contrary to the soothing statements from Ihug marketing) lost for ever.

First, Peter Todd:

The Ihug outage was a true debacle. I have had incoming email deleted off their server - lost forever. The lack of support from their tech team and obscure postings on their website on added even further confusion. For 4 days I did not know if my business email was coming in or going out.

There was a further 48 hour period when I couldn't send any email, which was only sorted when their tech support confirmed that I had to change some 'advanced sender options' in my Ihug account settings. Why this could not have been alerted on their website beggars belief.

Is it possible that Ihug have not invested sufficiently in their server infrastructure prior to their recent sale to an overseas company? I suspect it may be the usual story of the fast buck for today's shareholders versus investment in the future. It's just another reason why I am considering moving my business out of NZ.

It is becoming increasingly difficult to conduct my home-based freelance medical writing business in a professional manner. I can't keep changing my ISP without looking like a dork. I used CompuServe for over 10 years before switching to Ihug. I'm not sure if using a .mac account is the right way for me to go.

Oh, by the way, the tech people at Ihug said that delayed incoming email (up to several hours at least) has been a regular problem for the last 2 months. This was communicated to me directly on the phone and appeared contrary to directives from their marketing people.

Then Mike Riddell:

Thought you might be interested in a bit of goss about what's happening at Ihug. You probably know that they had a meltdown about 10 days ago with the spam surge creating huge delays on their servers.

Well, despite assurances to the contrary on their website, the problem is still ongoing. I have several emails which have been sent to me but not arrived, the earliest of which began its journey on Monday 30th October - still not here. After numerous attempts to find out what's going on (Ihug's 'network status' says the problem is fixed), I finally discovered that they have two mail servers out of 15 which they can't get the mail out of. This after 10 days of trying - unbelievable! Do they even have any engineers working there? Anyway, I reckon the news should be in the public domain ...

I can report that I'm also trying to discover whether one or two important inbound emails have been sent but not delivered to me, and have also had at least one party (not on Ihug's network) to whom I have sent mail claiming not to have received it. Click the discuss button below if you have comment or reports.

Staying with the tech business … Shortly before midnight last night, the domain record for apple.co.nz was changed. Its registration to Apple Computer's present New Zealand distributor, Renaissance, had been due to expire as the clock ticked over. It has now been extended by exactly a month. Goodness. Was that little old me that brought that on?

My view remains that Renaissance will shortly be retired as the distributor and that Apple will soon directly enter the New Zealand market. Yesterday's speculation about an Apple Store and an iTunes Store for New Zealand stands. And I suspect we won't have to wait too long. Fee free to discuss this on the thread we set up yesterday, which has been quite lively.

And you can also feel free to keep up with and contribute to our mid-term elections forum on Public Address System, which already has plenty of useful information and savvy content. It'll run all day …

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