ACS retools Webmail

    UCSD Webmail, which has been plagued by capacity and Spam e-mail problems, has overhauled aspects of its system’s features.

    Webmail services were unavailable for account holders last weekend for a whole night, due to problems with the size and location of where e-mails were stored.

    “We have changed where these files are stored and enabled monitoring software to prevent [this] from occurring,” Academic Computing Services Director Tony Wood said.

    However, the UCSD Webmail service still malfunctions, according to Eleanor Roosevelt College senior Rakdy Khlok.

    The e-mail system is so unreliable that Khlok is unsurprised when it does crash.

    Other UCSD students have encountered problems with spam e-mail filters, such as ERC freshman Jamie Goldman, who frequently receives personal e-mails in her spam box.

    Some students, such as John Muir College senior Ruben Mier, have opted for a separate spam e-mail blocker instead.

    “If I didn’t have a spam e-mail blocker, I’d be pretty annoyed,” Mier said.

    The Webmail spam filters help curb irrelevant e-mails sent to students through a number of mailing lists, according to Wood. These lists are not moderated and may have UCSD mail hosts that are not connected to the UCSD mail system, since students and nonstudents alike are able to post messages.

    “We have found a high percentage of the messages are spam of the most blatant sort,” Wood said.

    While ACS has attempted to “score” e-mails, which evaluates the likelihood that an e-mail is spam, the Webmail system has had trouble diverting or delivering the e-mail to its appropriate destination.

    For now, ACS will seek other methods of evaluating the e-mails from the other UCSD mail hosts. The current system’s spam filter diverts e-mails that are questionable into a “Possible spam” folder.

    However, that system still has some kinks.

    “We have received a few complaints about legitimate mail being diverted into the ‘Possible spam’ folder,” said Wood.

    To remedy the problem, students can direct certain senders’ addresses straight to the mailbox, regardless of whether the Webmail system reads the e-mail as spam, Wood said.

    ACS has also increased the quota in mailbox size, according to James Rapp, manager of Support Services. Up until last spring, the normal size of UCSD mailboxes was only three megabytes. Students were allowed to exceed that limit to up to 15 megabytes for a seven-day grace period.

    If the mailbox did not get below three megabytes after seven days, then new e-mails would not be delivered.

    ACS has now expanded the initial e-mail allocation to 25 megabytes, with a 35 megabyte maximum, and a 30-day grace period to clear up mailbox space. E-mails diverted to the “Possible spam” folder will stay in the folder for 30 days before they get deleted, Wood said.

    Students should refer to the ACS Web site http://acs.ucsd.edu/account-tools to find out more about spam e-mail settings, Wood said.

    Another electronic service project, dubbed TritonLink, was launched in March and is still in development, according to Electronic Student Services Coordinator Beth Surrell.

    “We are adding more information and more functionality,” Surrell said.

    The Web site service remains impractical in some ways, according to ERC junior Debbie Koh, who finds TritonLink to be cluttered.

    “I think it’s better than StudentLink, but it’s hard to find stuff,” Koh said. “The links and tabs are repetitive and have just too much information.”

    To address the problem, ESSC will renovate the site, adding the option to minimize and maximize pages and icons to look more organized. The option will also allow students to choose which pages to open and close in a tab format.

    Readers can contact Grace Wu at [email protected].

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