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OT: Problems with sbcglobal news server?

Discussion in 'Electronic Design' started by Joerg, Aug 16, 2005.

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  1. Joerg

    Joerg Guest

    Hello All,

    If you are reading and posting in newsgroups via an sbcglobal server, do
    you also have these problems?

    Every once in a while and recently every other day I get frequent
    requests to enter my user name and password. Sometimes it sticks, other
    times it returns an NNTP authentication error and locks me out. It's
    like roulette, hit or miss. The worst is when that happens after a
    lengthy answer to a post and it freezes up my reply. Usually then it's
    gone. Other times that post does show up either a few minutes later or
    several ten minutes later as a double post.

    Writing to SBC wasn't helpful, they didn't know and just pointed
    fingers. Oh, it's Yahoo and so on (strange, their servers name is IOW, no clue. Then I called support and after the usual
    rigamaroo it rang at an outsource center, most likely India.
    Surprisingly the tech there figured out what it was, a server problem.
    An hour after that call it all worked again for a day or so, only to
    deteriorate again. I just wonder what that is and whether it's
    widespread among users or not.

    If I don't answer for a while here forgive me, then I am most likely
    locked out again. It can be days at a time.

    Regards, Joerg
  2. Mac

    Mac Guest

    I don't seem to.
    I don't seem to be having any such problems at the moment, although I
    have had such issues in the past.

    I'm using, because I live in San Francisco. (In
    fact, I think I should try to convince John Larkin to give me a job at
    Highland Technology; Judging from the address on his website, I would
    have a sub-10 minute commute! In a pinch, I could even walk it.)

  3. mw

    mw Guest

    If you are reading and posting in newsgroups via an sbcglobal server, do
    I have sbcglobal. I have always used Netscape, and at some point, not
    sure exactly when I started noticing, I would get the same problem.
    Sometimes newsgroup msgs would say

    "> Error!
    Or I'd get the frequent demands for passwords. Extremely frustrating.
    I switched to using Netscape 7.2, and the problem is mostly gone. I am
    not sure if it was because of the Netscape change, or something
    sbcglobal changed.

    I refuse to use IE or other Microsoft products like Outlook because of
    Microsoft's notorious problems with running hidden viruses in the
    emails. Netscape is "too dumb" to run the virus code... thank goodness.

  4. Joerg

    Joerg Guest

    Hello Mac,
    Were these issues similar?
    Well, maybe you can contract with him? I am also using that server. What
    surprises me is that your line breaks are ok. Mine often aren't even
    though I have all the right settings on the PC and newsreader and it
    shows correctly on the screen when I write. Sending email ist fine but
    when posting all the line breaks are often gone afterwards. That's the
    other thing that puzzles me.

    Regards, Joerg
  5. Joerg

    Joerg Guest

    Hello mw,
    I had that as well but this happens with most servers. Sometimes they
    seem to fail to copy a message. Or it does show but there is no text.
    I tried three newsreaders and it was always the same. What did help was
    lengthy conversations with support. The last one was great but sometimes
    they are frustrating. Miraculously it usually starts to work again a few
    hours later. Then one day the ID problems are back, out of the blue
    without any changes to my PC.
    Same here, I won't use IE. Mozilla is what I am using now. I like that
    better than their individual products, it's nicely integrated. Seems to
    have memory leaks though so once in a while I have to restart it to free
    up some RAM.

    Regards, Joerg
  6. Mark Zenier

    Mark Zenier Guest

    Looking at the Path header, you're really using for the news

    One possible cause is that you make contact with a load balancer that
    then connects you to a server in a server farm, (or even a different
    server farm) depeding on load (or a round robin queue) and they've not
    got all the servers configured the same.

    You may be timing out, (on either end), and the new server you connect
    to isn't configured to find out who you are. Or it may be trying to
    use internet services, (like identd), that your firewall blocks.

    Mark Zenier
    Googleproofaddress(account:mzenier provider:eskimo domain:com)
  7. Mac

    Mac Guest

    Well, I think so. What I remember is that my newsreader wouldn't download
    messages, and when I look at the error log it would say that there was an
    authentication error. In my case, the newsreader (PAN) stores the
    password, so I never get prompted to enter it.

    This hasn't happened in a couple of months for me.
    I've never done any contracting. Only "full-time permanent" status
    employment, although there is nothing particularly permanent about
    permanent status nowadays. ;-)

    How much experience do you have to have before you can plausibly be a
    contractor? I've got about 5 years of experience since getting my BSEE.
    My experience involves large digital boards (SBC's) and simple analog
    design with op-amps (amplifiers, buffers, filters, level shifters). I have
    also designed in a number of switch-mode voltage regulators without
    starting any fires or blowing up any boards (that I know of). And I've
    done some Verilog work.

    I don't have any experience, for the most part, with cost-sensitive
    design, so I sometimes just over-design things when I am not sure. And I
    don't waste too much time looking for cheap parts. If I can find an
    expensive one that looks like it will work, I'll just use it. This is
    because the stuff I do now is very low volume, and my time is one of the
    most expensive parts of the project.

    With the SBC's (different company), there was intense schedule pressure,
    and the cost was dominated by the processor, chipset, and on-board RAM,
    and volumes weren't huge (thousands per year, if we were lucky), so it
    didn't make too much sense to worry about saving a dollar or two per
    board. At least nobody ever told me any part I selected was too expensive,
    so I never worried about it.

    Anyway, I am working right now, but I may be looking to work closer to
    home in a few months. My wife and I just had our first baby.
    Interesting. Maybe it is a bug in Mozilla? Maybe you should try Agent by
    Forte (or whatever it is called), or PAN, if there is a windows version
    available. PAN seems to do a good job with the breaks. It can re-wrap long
    lines and preserve quoting levels in the process. This is very convenient
    at times.
  8. Joerg

    Joerg Guest

    Hello Mac,
    That's exactly what I had.
    Right now it's fine but you never know when it starts again.
    There is no rule as to experience. It's all word of mouth since there
    really is no market forum for contractors. Unless you go through
    contracting firms and accept that they take a large cut as middlemen.
    I found that it was often necessary to turn a 5c FET around and around,
    then replace it with a 1c bipolar. It depends where you want to work. I
    enjoy cost sensitive design a lot.
    Well, I tried numerous newsreaders and three different OS. Always the same.

    Regards, Joerg
  9. Joerg

    Joerg Guest

    Hello Mark,
    Good idea. SBC told me it's all run by Yahoo now.
    I was hoping that SBC tech support could figure that out. Can't be
    rocket science. But they didn't. I mean, I am paying good money for this
    service including newsgroups so they should make that work reliably for
    their customers.

    Regards, Joerg
  10. Mark Zenier

    Mark Zenier Guest

    Not if they want to get rid of their Usenet service. Take a problematic
    service, add a dose of incompetance, wait until usage drops to a minimum,
    quit advertising its availability, and kill it. Looks good on the income
    statement when the support costs go away. No more worries about trolls,
    spammers, or intellectual property lawyers asking what all this alt.binary
    stuff is about.

    Mark Zenier
    Googleproofaddress(account:mzenier provider:eskimo domain:com)
  11. Joerg

    Joerg Guest

    Hello Mark,
    Until they realize that lots of people defected to their rival Comcast.
    But by then it's too late because typically you can't get people to
    switch back without accepting prohibitive profit cuts.

    Regards, Joerg
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