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From: Jim Mercer <jim () reptiles org>
Date: Fri, 25 May 2001 20:38:16 -0400

On Fri, May 25, 2001 at 08:16:03AM -0400, Shawn McMahon wrote:
On Fri, May 25, 2001 at 07:02:35AM -0400, Jim Mercer wrote:

i regularly configure ISP's with a limit on the size of email messages.
(generally 10meg, although i think 100k is probably better).

Generally 10MB.  Now why is that, I wonder?  Do you think people will
be typing 10MB of text?

Or even 100K of text?

i accept, with the adoption of MIME standards, that people will use email
to move the odd thing around.

also, with some of the stupid message encodings these days, a simple
"hello there" with background wallpaper and animated letterhead can easily
jump over 100k.

Why is it that the limit has to be that large, Jim?

10meg was an arbitrary decision, and my personal preference.

i'm not attempting to dictate policy here, i know that is futile.

but, my hope is to inject some sound reasoning behind my decisions, such that
others can benefit from my experience, or not, if they so choose.

I can tell you from personal experience that accidentally setting it for
1MB instead of 10 will get you paged out of bed to "fix" it.

Why is that, if only Roeland and I send large files in email?

i do get paged, less frequently since going from 5meg to 10meg, but my
reaction to the client is the same.

WTF are they sending that is that huge?  i then explain to the client the
possible reprecussions to their other users if they do not enforce some
type of limit.  boneheaded users who feel the need to send 400meg zipfiles
to their buddies yahoo account.

maybe the MTA i'm using (smail) is not appropriate.  i don't think this is
the issue, as in "normal" operation, the queues flush within reasonable

Ah, so you're the one that fucked it up for everybody else, and obsoleted
the instructions in so many O'Reilly books.  :-)

yep, that's me.  and damn proud of it.

you should really take the BITFTP issue in context though.

at that time, much (very much) of the email and news moving around the "net"
was being done using uucp over modems.

our site (lsuc.uucp/lsuc.on.ca) was a voluntary, un-paid hub for hundreds
of academic, personal, commercial, etc uucp sites in toronto.
(directly 80+, and what ever nodes lived behind them).

our site operated using an AT&T 3b2 with ESDI disks.
this was reasonably state of the art given our budget.

we also used a couple telebit trailblazers and a bank of 1200 baud modems.

we were not commercial, and if someone wanted to step up and take over the
responsibility, we were open to it.

but, alas, we were it.  and we were getting swamped.

and i did something about it.

[ Jim Mercer        jim () reptiles org         +1 416 410-5633 ]
[ Now with more and longer words for your reading enjoyment. ]

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