plant-hormones newsgroup server problem - SOLVED!

Frank Norman f-norman at
Fri Oct 7 08:55:31 EST 1994

In article <4OCT199414174019 at> grl6732 at (Gerard R. Lazo) writes:
>Does anyone know the administrator for the plant-hormones newsgroup?
>Apparently the diskspace for the mailbin on the machine is full and
>everyone belonging to the newsgroup is receiving the bounced mail

I just received this message from the listowner of plant-hormones.  The 
problem was caused by one of the list members' faulty mail client.   

From: Steve Croker <steve.croker at> (Tel UK 
0275 392181 EXT258)Subject: E-Mail Storm

I enclose an apology message I have just sent out to my group. This problem
caused 1,300+ mail delivery failure messages to be sent to my group. Owners
If you want to see them look at the plant-hormones archive!

Hello to all surviving members of the group.
First I must apologise on behalf of the plant-hormones group for the mail
problems of the last few days.

I know that many of you must be fed up with receiving mail from plant-hormones.
The problem was generated by 4 faulty mail clients in different parts of the
world. Initially a message was sent to the list which was distributed as
normall. The mailbox of one member on the list (who also had a faulty mail
client) was full. The mail client interchanged parts of the header of the
message and instead of bouncing the mail back to myself and Paul as is normal
it sent the bounced message to the list which it then received again and then
remailed to the list. This set up an unbreakable loop which was generating mail
to all other 300+ members of the group. Mailboxs soon became full and to add to
the situation there were 3 other faulty mailers which also set up loops in the
This generated over 10000 mails to myself and Paul alone and brought Long
Ashtons computing facilities to a standstill as well as Mailbase.
We are just getting back to normal here after 4 days.

I thank those of you who are still on the list for staying but as you can see
there was nothing that could be done by me. Mailbase postmaster spent 2 days
without sleep to break these loops.

One lesson from this is that I would urge you to ensure that mailboxs are kept
clear and if you are away for any length of time PLEASE unsubscribe from the
I noticed a lot of people trying to unsubscribe during the problem by sending
unsubscribe messages to the list. This is not the way to unsubscribe.
You must send the following message to mailbase at

leave plant-hormones

and not to the list itself.

Thankyou again
I look forward to a quieter time on plant-hormones

 RFC-822 :  STEVE.CROKER at BBSRC.AC.UK                     University of Bristol,
 X400    :  G=STEVE; S=CROKER; O=BBSRC; P=UK ;C=GB       Long Ashton Research
 Tel     :  0275-392181 ext:258                          Station, Long Ashton,
 Fax     :  0275-394281                                  Bristol, BS18 9AF
Frank Norman               National Institute for Medical Research
Deputy Librarian           The Ridgeway, Mill Hill, London NW7 1AA
tel 081 959 3666 ext 2380  fax 081 913 8534
f-norman at    f-norman at

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