leah blogs

March 2006

09mar2006 · A mail from the past

Whilst checking my daily e-mail, I stumbled upon a message with the subject “Mail delivery failed: returning message to sender”, that’s nothing special, of course. Bounces commonly happen when you gave an invalid mail address or the mail delivery was impossible due to some other reason.

Reading further (anonymized here):

This message was created automatically by mail delivery software.

A message that you sent could not be delivered to one or more of its
recipients. This is a permanent error. The following address(es) failed:

   SMTP error: 552 Message size exceeds fixed limit
Reporting-MTA: dns; localhost.localdomain

Final-Recipient: rfc822; XXXX@localhost
Last-Attempt-Date: Thu, 09 Mar 2006 11:18:40 +0100 (CET)
Action: failed
Status: 5.0.0
Diagnostic-Code: 552 Message size exceeds fixed limit

Okay, looks like I sent a mail that was too big—sure, can happen. Except I couldn’t remember sending a really big mail in latter time. Luckily, the header of the original message was attached:

Delivered-To: XXXXXXXXXXX@gmail.com
Received: by XX.54.22.19 with SMTP id XXXX3179wrv;
        Sun, 12 Dec 2004 11:28:25 -0800 (PST)
Received: by XX.38.14.54 with SMTP id XXXX1624955rnn;
        Sun, 12 Dec 2004 11:28:18 -0800 (PST)
Received: by XX.38.181.42 with HTTP; Sun, 12 Dec 2004 11:28:11 -0800 (PST)
Message-ID: <e064621a04121211283541b122@mail.gmail.com>
Date: Sun, 12 Dec 2004 20:28:11 +0100
From: Christian Neukirchen <chneukirchen@gmail.com>
Reply-To: Christian Neukirchen <chneukirchen@gmail.com>
To: XXXXXXXXXXX@gmail.com
Subject: emacs19 binaries

Where is the error in this picture? Try finding it yourself before you read ahead.

Did you notice the Date:-header?

Sometimes, you read about post-cards finally being delivered after 60 years, the sender was long dead, two world wars happended in between.

Even I once got a reply to a mail I sent more than half a year ago.

But did you really expect a bounce for a mail you sent from one GMail account to another suddenly appear after one year and 87 days? I certainly didn’t.

NP: The Rolling Stones—Let It Bleed

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