New server progress
I think we have now fixed all the problems with the big Cactus and Co website.
There are now 23 domains remaining to be transferred in the next ten days or so. Of these 11 are simply waiting for their owners to change the name server settings.
Yesterday I spent until 3 am this morning probing and diagnosing the email problems I had earlier this week. I still don't know exactly what is causing it but I do now know approximately where it is happening and how to work round it. It is affecting mail sent from 'cactus-mall.com' through my outgoing mail gateway at BT. The mail is accepted for onward delivery after checking that it coming from an authorised posting domain and checking the validity of the users email box. Further into mail transmission a bounce occurs with an error message of either the recipients host being unknown or the mailbox not existing, in spite of it having been checked at the gateway and existing to my certain knowledge.
The interesting fact is that mail sent out from 'bcss.org.uk' (another authorised domain for posting through the gateway) gets forwarded without any problems. The difference being that bcss.org.uk is on the new server while cactus-mall.com is still on the old server. I strongly suspect that work Navisite has been doing recently on the server has either screwed up the MX records or they may have added anti relaying software. Until I get cactus-mall.com shifted therefore most of my email will be posted from 'bcss.org.uk'.
Mail and other problems
I spent hours on the phone with BT today trying to sort out email problems. They refuse to acknowledge that they have any problems. I am sure they have but it seems there are problems on our servers as well. I am getting very despondant about ever sorting this out.
Complications on moving domains are multiplying and with limited ability to communicate with people I am having extreme difficulty in getting any problems resolved.
I am still not confident that mail sent out from Cactus-Mall.com is working 100%. Detecting bounces has been made more complicated in that a kind German spammer has directed the bounce messages from their spam onto a cactus-mall address so that genuine bounces are buried in piles of junk. Inward coming email to cactus-mall is unaffected.
I have sent a few messages out from an apparent cactus-mall.net address. Please do no reply to that address - it won't work - there is no mechanism for mail to be accepted or forwarded at that address.
BT Internet is still causing me major headaches, it is no longer bouncing all mail sent from cactus-mall.com but is now bouncing some mail with the message unknown user to addresses that I know for a fact are perfectly valid.
Credit card Payment for links, banners etc
I found today that the link for credit card payments for links, banners etc on the Cactus-Mall has not been working for a few weeks, possibly since the Naviste move of the server. Anyway this system has been moved to the new server and is again operational.
If you have paid for such a link, banner etc recently and have not had any response from us and your credit card has not been charged perhaps you could resubmit.
Suzanne and Tony Mace
PS . Any payments by the PayPal system are fine and not involved in this problem.
Server migration progress
As at today we have 17 more domains to migrate and a further 4 completed but awaiting DNS changes for the switch to be complete.
Today's little problem is that BT Internet seem to be bouncing some of our outgoing mail with messages like no such user or invalid domain in spite of the fact that these addreses were working this morning. I assume their DNS servers are overloaded or broken in some way.
This Blog will note updates to the Cactus-Mall and other related websites like the British Cactus and Succulent Society and the Mesemb Study Group.
I will give my thoughts on the current state of the Cactus and Succulent hobby and discuss topical subjects which I think need airing.
I hope it can be used by others to give us feedback on the development of the now 10 years old Cactus-Mall and what you think of its usefulness and ways in which we might improve this.