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A few words on the recent flurry of email notifications from this blog.

by Steve
4 min read

The trouble with free software is that it’s free. Often times it’s free because the author is trying to motivate you to upgrade to a paid version. Many times, free software comes with a lower level of reliability or support.

So it is with the software that I use to send out email notices when I write a new blog post. It worked fine – until it didn’t. When I write one or more new posts, the software creates a “job”. The job is to send each of you an email at midnight (Seattle time). All of a sudden, the emails are sent but the software fails to mark the “job” as complete. This gums up the works in a way that may result in the same notifications being sent day after day or simply stopping future notices from being sent at all.

I’ve spent a few hours trying to either find a fix or a workaround without success. I did notice that others are reporting the same problem, which tells me that it’s the software vendor’s bug, not mine. That tells me not to count on a quick fix.

My solution is to switch to a different product for doing the notifications. Yes, it’s also free, and yes, doing the same thing and expecting a different result might be an indication of my insanity, or possibly senility. But free is an excellent price so I’m willing to give it a try.

You’ll notice a visual difference in the emails you receive and I’m not sure how smart the new software is about only sending the posts you haven’t seen before (as opposed to sending, say, the last five posts). I may have to keep tuning to get the result I want. I’m more concerned about you never knowing there’s a new post, or hearing about the same one over and over.

Since a post needs some photos, I’m going to send you a few of the ever-charming Mary Anne.

But before I do, let me address the title of this post: Schadenfreude.

More than a few of you have written in response to my note saying that I was spending time in Scottsdale working on this problem. I got very little no sympathy. Nuts to you all. Once I press the Send button on this post, I’m heading to the pool.

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