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4 posts from February 2008

02/17/2008

Emergency Release Faux Pas

I've been a long time Netscape webmail user for years, having the account back when Netscape was still cool.  I've probably had it since the day Netscape started offering webmail.  Any how, over the years, more and more spammers had been able to bypass whatever controls might have been in place so I wound up simply using my netscape.net account when I knew that filling out some online form would result in my being bombarded with Canadian pharmaceutical ads, mortgage refinance offers and all those meet-sexy-singles ads. 

When AOL took over Netscape, the spam situation wound up getting out of control and it would not be unusual for this account to have 100's of junk messages in it over the course of a few days, so I stopped using it even rarely. 

I am a big fan of Stardock Systems' Galactic Civilations 2 and when the Dark Avatar expansion was released, I bought the electronic delivery version right away.  My regular mail system was down so I wound up having to use this netscape.net account so that they could mail me the serial number.  Time passed, I got a new laptop and I wanted to transfer the game to the new machine, which I decided to do last night.  We were in the middle of implementing an emergency change on one of the high-profile web sites at my job.  My role involved redirecting traffic at the start of the release and then redirecting traffic back to the site once the change had been implemented and tested, so I had a two hour window where there was nothing for me to do.  So, what better time then that time to re-install my game.

Since I needed to get the serial number in order to re-install, I clicked the "Lookup Serial Number" function in Stardock Central, plugged in the netscape.net account, and waited.  Putting the phone down on speaker just in case I was needed, while all the J2EE developers, testers, release managers, system engineers like me, and Oracle DBAs were doing their thing, I fired up mail.netscape.net and to my surprise, coming in loudly over the speakers on my iMac was the most distressing sound I've heard in a while.  The AOL voice saying "You've Got Mail!!"  Although only mildly embarrassing, the potential damage to my street cred in a complex technological environment could take weeks or months to repair.  So, I think it's time to ditch the account entirely now that all vestiges of netscape mail have been supplanted by aolmail.