********** 11-19-09 **********
On Monday 11/16/2009 there was a power outage at the facility where the aitchison.org servers are hosted. When the power was resumed most systemsm, including the mail server came back online normally. Unfortunately in the early morning of November 17th the mail server suffered a hard drive failure.
After numerous attempts to restore the hard drive or at least recover data it appears that the drive and the data are not recoverable, while we are continuing to attempt to recover the data the chances of success in this endeavor are slim.
We were performing a nightly backup of the mail database however due to the space limitations we were only able to keep the one backup at a time, as the system failed shortly after the backup commenced this backup is not usable.
Rather than attempt to build a new server without the existing data I have decided to migrate the aitchison.org mail infrastructure to Google services, this is provided free of charge by Google. The service is essentially identical to the GMail service they offer to the general public. All methods of accessing the server with the exception of the corporate mode of Microsoft Outlook will still be usable.
This is a change I have been considering for some time, to maintain the previous system with the resources and available time that I had was a constant challenge and I was unable to provide the level of service, especially in terms of spam protection, that using Google will. This failure highlights the limitations and vulnerabilities of maintaining a system such as this without proper protections and contingencies in place.
The new system has been brought online, I have set usernames and E-Mail addresses exactly the same as they were before. For passwords I was able to set the passwords for most people to the same password that was set when the old account was originally created, there were a few people for whom that password did not meet Google's requirements or for whom I did not have a record of their original password so I set a random password.
To access the new system please use the following URL: https://www.google.com/a/aitchison.org/
The first time you log on you will go through a small registration process. Once you are in the system you should see mail that was sent from the time that the system went down early Tuesday morning until the current time.
If you are used to using an IMAP4 client please be aware that IMAP access is not enabled by default, you can use these instructions to enable IMAP access. Once you have enabled IMAP you can use these instructions to assist you in configuring your mail client.
If you have your old mail stored on your computer and would like to import it into the Google mail system so you can access it from anywhere there are a few options available, please contact me with your situation and I should be able to provide some guidance.
My most sincere apologies for this issue..
Please feel free to contact me regarding the issue, I invite all aitchison.org mail users to contact me (email@example.com).