Frequently Asked Questions

9. Why didn't you reply to my email?

Maybe it didn't get to me.

On an average day, I receive around 400 emails. Normally, around 360 of these are identified by my filters as being junkmail and are deleted on the server without my ever seeing them.

The people who compile lists of email addresses for selling to junk mailers harvest the addresses from Usenet newsgroups and websites. I've had a website since 1994 and have been posting to Usenet groups since a couple of years before that. So my email address is on every junk mail list on the planet.

I'm therefore forced to have effective auto-filters on my email to avoid spending a lot of time each day simply deleting junk mail. These filters delete email on my ISP's mail server before I download them and I never even see them.

Emails which are auto-deleted unless I've added the sender's address to an accept file:

Anything not directly addressed to one of my domain names.
In other words, any emails which do not have one of my domain names somewhere in the To: header are automatically junked.

Unfortunately, this means that unless I am expecting it and have set the filters to accept all email from your address, if you have decided to include me as a CC or BCC on an email which you are sending to a number of people, I won't get it.

It also means that if you have added my name to a mailing list without my having requested it, your emails will be deleted without being downloaded.

Any email containing an attachment for which I have not received prior notification.
The most common method for propagating viruses is as email attachments so if you want to send me something as an attachment, tell me in advance what it is. Otherwise my filters will regard it as a potential virus and delete it.

Also, I'm on the road a lot of the time and frequently I'm online via a telephone dialup in a hotel room. Hotel phone charges are ridiculously high and I can't afford to sit there for an hour or more paying the cost of a call to slowly download a large graphic or sound file. As I can't download and read the rest of my mail until an attachment has downloaded, I go for the lesser of two evils and attachments get zapped. Sorry.

Any email from a Hotmail, Yahoo or AOL address which I have not added to my accept list.
Throwaway addresses like these are regularly used by spammers and the bulk of mail coming from them is junk. If you use one of these addresses, put the words 'Dick Gaughan' somewhere in the Subject line as I suggest below - that way it has a chance of reaching me.

How to make sure I get your email.

Put the words 'Dick Gaughan' somewhere in the Subject line.
My filters are set to automatically accept emails which do that.

Do not send an attachment without alerting me first.
If you want to send me a photograph or sound file, email me first to ask if I'll be able to receive it. If I'm on the road, I can then ask you to wait until I get home.

I do try to reply to all genuine email and if you have emailed me and not received any reply it is likely that I didn't receive it and that the reason is one of the above.

Sorry if it causes a bit of inconvenience but not to have these filters would cause me even greater inconvenience. Manually checking and deleting each of around 360 junk emails every day is something I can happily live without - not being forced to do so gives me a little more time to try to reply to genuine email.

FAQ 8


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