Archive for category Software

Thinkpad T42p graphics driver in Windows 7

A long time ago I raved about how awesome Windows 7 was compared to past operating systems. It turned out that my installation did have one fatal flaw that I dealt with for a little over a year. The graphics driver that I had managed to get to install caused crashes and blue screens when I switch from docked to undocked while in hibernate or sleep state.

Last month I messed up my installation so bad that I had to reinstall Windows. This time I took a bit more delicate approach to installing the graphics driver and it worked. So here is a guide for others still squeaking every last breath out of their previous T42p. This process worked for my ATI Fire GL T2/T2e

  1. Download the Catalyst “Legacy” Display Driver off Select: “Desktop Graphics”, “9xxx Series”, “9700 Series”, “Windows 7 – X Bit”.
  2. Download Mobility Modder and then follow the instructions.

The hardest part was trying to figure out what options to enter on AMD/ATI’s website to make them give me the right catalyst suite. Once that was done the rest is easy. Now my laptop docks and undocks with no glitches.

Filter duplicate emails with Procmail

At school I am on multiple email lists based upon my classification. Unfortunately the school does not have the list server configured to ensure that only one copy of any given message is delivered to a user. So when administrators send messages to list1, list2 and list3 all at once I get three copies of the same email!

This has bugged me for so long and I have put off finding a way to filter it because I figured it would be pain. But it wasn’t! All you need is a new procmail recipe like the following:

:0 Whc:
msgid.lock | formail -D 4096 $PMDIR/idcache
:0 a:

Make sure $HOME/.procmail exists before expecting this to work!

This tidbit was thanks to the Sysadmin Ramblings blog.

Yahoo! keeps saying I send SPAM!

Yahoo! is going to make me go insane! Why do I always have problems with Yahoo’s customer service and policies? (See Yahoo! Flickr Rant.)

So ever since I switched my mail server to the new hosting platform last May I have had issues with Yahoo marking email destined for their users as SPAM. Along with that they periodically decide to defer delivery of my messages. So I frequently see these messages in my logs:

Nov 10 09:11:21 mail sendmail[27028]: nAAFBEZG027025: to=<_removed_>, ctladdr=<_removed_> (501/501), delay=00:00:05, xdelay=00:00:05, mailer=esmtp, pri=122274, [], dsn=4.0.0, stat=Deferred: 421 Message from ( temporarily deferred - 4.16.50. Please refer to
---- OR this new one ----
Nov 24 08:38:02 mail sendmail[2816]: nAOEbtbr002813: to=<_removed_>, ctladdr=<_removed_> (503/503), delay=00:00:05, xdelay=00:00:05, mailer=esmtp, pri=124010, [], dsn=4.0.0, stat=Deferred: 421 4.7.0 [TS02] Messages from temporarily deferred due to user complaints -; see

These started as soon as I switched to my new mail server. I can only assume this is because the previous user of this IP address sent SPAM. Since I took over this mail server has never sent SPAM. I require authentication before accepting mail to relay so only my users can send mail. The mail server also uses DKIM and SPF so I’ve done everything I can to keep the server secure and prevent spoofing.

Its not like I have thousands of users that are acting up either. This server sends mail me and my close family only!

Well why am I complaining? I have contacted Yahoo! multiple times to resolve this but I always get the same form-mail response asking for more information. I reply to that and never hear back. Lets take a look at this.
8/25/09 – I filled out their form suggested by the reject message.
8/25/09 – I received their form-mail response asking for more information.
8/25/09 – I replied to their response with all requested information.
8/27/09 – I sent a follow-up email stating that I had not received a reply in 48 hours.
9/03/09 – I politely followed up again asking for their assistance to get this resolved and pointed out that a week has passed without any reply from them.
9/10/09 – I send my final follow-up. Still never heard back.

Isn’t that pathetic? Well I got annoyed again this week so I’m going to try the process again to see if I have better luck. This time when I filled out the web-form I gave the case # from my previous incident and once again explained my situation in detail. I even answered all of the questions in the form-mail reply that I got last time up-front! So how is this one going? Read the bottom of this post.

I don’t see why Yahoo! postmaster staff is a black hole! When I first got this IP it was on multiple blacklists and other providers were blocking my outbound mail. But that wasn’t a big deal because I followed their published procedures and got the block lifted in a reasonable period of time. Yahoo! has failed to cooperate and their customers are being inconvenienced by it.

I can’t help but link this issue with the Flickr rant I had in the past. For all I know they are two completely separate entities with no common control. Yet two of my worst internet customer service experiences have come with their parent!

Yahoo! Postmaster Contact Log

11/28/09 – I fill out the web-form.
11/28/09 – I receive a form-mail reply. GRR!
11/28/09 – I reply to the form-mail message.
11/30/09 – I found someone else reported this back in 2006. Their results weren’t pretty.
12/01/09 – I receive an automated email with a survey link for feedback regarding my experience. I respond with incredibly negative feedback. My patience with Yahoo! postmaster == 0!
12/01/09 – I follow-up with an email to Yahoo! postmaster asking for a helpful reply. I also directed them to read this.
12/01/09 – I guess I don’t like having relaxed evenings at home. I sent yahoo! postmaster a new online request. This time I selected the “other” category. I was courteous and specific. I explained email is delivered to yahoo! user’s SPAM folder and I occasionally received mail delivery deferred warnings. I hope to receive a helpful response.
12/02/09 – I receive a reply from yahoo! postmaster in the form of a questionnaire that I must fill out to have my server and sending practices evaluated for re-classification.
12/03/09 – I replied to the yahoo! postmaster with complete answers to their 11 question application for evaluation. Cross your fingers.
12/07/09 – Sent a polite follow-up to my complete application.
12/09/09 – Filled out a whole new web-form with a follow-up. Its like they never get replies sent via email?
12/10/09 – 12/12/09 – I have contacted yahoo postmaster at least once per day during this time. I love the maze of forms. They send me one form I fill it out then they reply saying unfortunately they couldn’t help me because I didn’t provide all of the requested information and enclose a new form in the email. This is the world’s biggest run-around but I won’t give up!
12/16/09 – I filled out the requested form and replied. I didn’t hear back so I sent them my responses again. This time I got a form saying they replaced their form with a new form that is better and asked me to fill this one out. Woo!
12/17/09SUCCESS! They replied today and said that they have updated the record for my IP address in their database. A quick test email went to the inbox of a brand new yahoo! user. Finally!

Yahoo! Mail Delivery Tips

Since I fought quite hard to get my server de-blacklisted the least I can do is pass tips on to the rest of you who may need the same thing.

  1. Is your IP ‘blacklisted’? Send an email from your server to a yahoo account. View the “full headers” of the message from the yahoo account. Does it contain a line “X-YahooFilteredBulk: ”? If so then yes.. you’re black listed.
  2. If you’re black listed fill out the following form. Yeah, I know your thinking “But I’m not a bulk sender.” Neither am I but I had to fill out this form. WARNING: Do not leave any field blank on the form. If any field is blank (even if it does not apply to you) they will reject it. The business name field? I wrote my domain name. The privacy policy? I wrote one and posted it(they rejected my app when I didn’t have one!) I cannot emphasize enough fill out everything. I had the form rejected for not providing information that is not applicable to me as a non-bulk sender using a personal mail server. Eventually I got through by filling everything out just as a business would have to.
  3. Sign all outgoing emails with DKIM
  4. Publish SPF records
  5. Enroll on the Yahoo! Complaint Feedback Loop
  6. Make sure the reverse DNS record for your outbound mail server points to a hostname that has the same IP.
  7. Don’t send SPAM.