Hybrid House

I’ve been working over here at PayPal for one and a half years, and if there’s anything I’ve learned about the way Things Are Done(tm) around her,e it’s that if you ever publish something or make something publicly accessible to corpnet, you have to make it accessible to both Windows and Unix users. We have a tremendous amount of Powerpoint presentations online, but they also have text versions, for those that want them. And that’s kind of what I like about working here. If I really wanted to, I could dive into the deep end of the Unix pool and stay there for as long as I want to.

Of course, this was all before eBay bought us.

eBay is an all-Windows house. PayPal is a hybrid house, and the entire IT department likes it that way. Half of our NOC uses either Debian, Mandrake, FreeBSD or OS X. The other half uses Windows 2K. I have a Windows 2K box (motoko) and a FreeBSD box (haruka) at my desk, and I tend to favor motoko over haruka for most things. eBay prefers to send stuff out in MS-only formats and that tends to piss off some of the guys, even though StarOffice can handle it without difficulty. I guess it’s some sort of principle with them, but I couldn’t care less.

Over the course of the past three weeks, I’ve been slowly migrating my mailbox from Exchange to using the courier IMAP server on the new NOC mail server. See, we get bombarded by so much notification spam, that we needed our own dedicated mail server just to process it all. Why? Because Exchange was bombing big time when 6,000 emails would get sent out in the course of five minutes. The CPU on the poor thing would turn red, and that in itself sends yet another batch of notifications via email. Now there’s a little ironic twist.

Anyway, I spent some time off and on and in between other pressing issues to ditch Outlook altogether and start using a unix mail client with the IMAP Maildir instead of the POP /var/mail/accountname mailbox that I’m pretty used to. It’s not in mbox format, and I’m such a bonehead when it comes to understanding IMAP sometimes, so I had to call the cavalry back in to lend a hand. But after a couple of hours of reconfiguring the IMAP server and then the client a little bit, we finally figured it out and now I have a unix mail client for my corpmail. Yay me! Of course, now, getting used to it is the hard part…

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