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Microsoft Cloud Authors: Nick Basinger, Kevin Benedict, Pat Romanski, Liz McMillan, Lori MacVittie

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Technical followup

Of all the techniques offered for stopping and starting Apache on Windows, the one that worked the best was using a batch command: net stop apache2.2 to stop it and net start apache2.2 to start it.

A picture named yeah.gifIt's not perfect, because the batch file runs asynchronously from my script call, so it's hard to know when it's okay to proceed, since the call to stop Apache returns long before Apache is stopped; same thing with restarting. But this approach is much better than all the other suggested approaches. Still wish there were a program I could send a message to, which waits until Apache is stopped before returning. And it, predictably, took hours to sort through all the options.

Another problem in switching servers to EC2 is getting a mail relay agent running, so NewsJunk can send emails to people following it via email. When spam became a big issue it became harder to set up mail servers as they tried to defend against people using them for spam. So I thought I had stumbled across something excellent, Godaddy, which is registrar for many of my domains, offers SMTP mail relays. So I set it up and tried a one-line script calling tcp.sendmail but I'm getting an error message that's hard to parse.

553 Sorry, that domain isn't in my list of allowed rcpthosts.

I called their support line, but they have no clue what it means. They say I should use Outlook or Entourage or AppleMail. I said I'm doing it from a script inside my web app. They say they don't support that. Okay, but they're a registrar that doesn't serve people who run websites? They usually have smart, polite support people -- but this time they were trying to BS me. Not appreciated, Godaddy.

Anyway, I trawled around looking for a clue what that error means, and it's hard to parse. It could be that something hasn't propogated through DNS or it could mean their defenses think I'm a spammer (I'm not).

So I may be back to zero again. Can't run the IIS mail server because of a weirdness of EC2, life gets more complicated if you depend on configuring the OS and I want to keep it simple, using an off the shelf image of Windows rather than customizing one.

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