Department of State Codes Division Southern Tier Regional Office Newsletter

July 2009      What Happened?

As you know, computers help us in our daily lives. They reduce the amount of paper work that we have to process, they shorten our work hours (or at least that’s what was being said in the 1970's), they never make mistakes. If you believe that, I have some wetlands that can be used for condos.

What happened.

I have used email to send out meeting notices, training notices, and general information for quite a while. Sometimes people told me that they never got the emails. I discovered that some email programs, when there is a long recipient list, consider the email to be spam and it never gets through. So being the computer geek that I am (I took my first programing course in 1971), I put all of the email addresses in a database and then wrote a program to send individual emails to everybody in the database. It worked fine. So, when I decided to send out the newsletter, I had added some names to the database and I used a new type of programming to create the newsletter. I soon discovered that the new programming technique (CSS), which works great for web pages, doesn’t always work for all email programs. So I decided to just send the newsletter as an attachment. The first thing that happened was that some of the email addresses that I had added to the database from other code organizations were not in a valid form. One was a web address and not an email address. Microsoft Outlook did not like it. So the program stopped running when about 38 emails had been sent out. Since I was in a hurry, I had not put an error trapping routine into the program, remember, computers don’t make mistakes and the program was only about 30 lines long. I fixed the email addresses and sent it again. At email address # 56, the power went out., the computer stopped and I was in the dark. When the power came back on, I added lines to the program to make a list of what addresses had been sent just in case anything else went wrong. That time it worked. EXCEPT... I got a few emails thanking me for the news letter and heaping praise on me for its content. I also got emails asking why they got two or three copies. But I also got emails saying there was no attachment. It turns out some email browsers don’t like web page attachments and treat the attachment as a dangerous program. They may or may not tell you about the attachment and give an opportunity to open it. Generally, they do not. and delete it so it never shows.

Finally, when I decided to send the above explanation to all of you, I mistyped the name of the message file and you all got a blank email.  IT'S FINALLY FRIDAY.

I am going to resend the news letter as the body of the email and will see what happens. There are thunderstorms in the area and I have a metal rod on the computer.