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How to send an email to 9,542 people [Wednesday 15th November 2006 at 8:18 pm]
Thomas

boggyb
[Feeling |pissed offpissed off]

x-posted to boggyb and techsupport

How to send an email to nine thousand, five hundred and forty-two people:

Put every one of the 9,542 email addresses in the To header. Send email.

Wait for a good hour or so while your email client sends 9,542 seperate emails. I'm wrong, SMTP actually allows multiple destination addresses to be given for one email. Worst-case is merely sending 95 seperate emails. Of course, it still fans out to hit every one of those 9,542 inboxes.

Piss off any of those 9,542 people who are using Outlook Express, as Outlook Express wedges solid with 100% CPU usage when given 200kB of To header to parse. Annoy any of those 9,542 people who are using Thunderbird, as Thunderbird's renderer does strange things when given 200kB of To header to parse. Annoy any of those 9,542 people using Pine, as Pine crashes when commanded to show full headers of an email with 200kB of header.

And piss off the administrators, who have just had nearly 2 gigabytes of email pass through their servers.

Nice one, Student Union Comms Officer.


Irritatingly, this doesn't seem to actually violate RFC 2822 as long as the lines are no longer than 998 characters. Grrr.
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Comments:
[User Picture]From: jecook
Thursday 16th November 2006 at 3:12 am (UTC)
And piss off the administrators, who have just had nearly 2 gigabytes of email pass through their servers.

You forgot to mention that it'll likely get placed on spam lists as well, especially if a sizable percentage of those emails are on external people.

I had one person at the last place I worked at send a 35 MB email to every remote site (which was using Dialup) and all our offices. Fortuantely, only ONE of them managed to get off a reply all with the attachements before I was able to whack the puppy on the server directly.

(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: boggyb
Thursday 16th November 2006 at 9:22 am (UTC)
Luckily these are all (so far) internal emails. It would not look good for one of the older members of Janet (joint academic network, basically the original backbone over in england) to end up on spam lists.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: jecook
Thursday 16th November 2006 at 5:15 pm (UTC)
Ah.

Still, almost 10,000 addresses? oy. that's mailing list material right there.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: sarah_on_bed
Thursday 16th November 2006 at 8:57 am (UTC)
Actually, my thunderbird seemed to cope quite well with it, is just minimised the "to" header so i only saw three names (none of which were mine).
But I don't condone the total stupidity of them bulk sending without Bcc. Also, they have various allstudents@ addresses they can use, but evidently not. Hmm.
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: sarah_on_bed
Thursday 16th November 2006 at 10:25 am (UTC)
Result! Just e-mailed ITS about it and got a response (immediately, may I add - well done the IT people):

Hi Sarah,

The matter is in hand and we're talking to the Internal Communications
Office about it.

Thanks

Andy
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