News Briefs

E-mail Failures Sunday, Athena Failures Monday

MIT's mail system experienced its third outage in the past month on Sunday, April 1. The post office server was down for several hours between 4 p.m. and 10 p.m. Unlike the outages of po14 and po10 in early March, some incoming e-mail to the affected 250 users was bounced, or returned to its sender, with a cryptic error message. Information Services and Technology did not inform affected users of the outage, other than with a general notice on their outage announcement system, IS&T was not able to estimate how many messages were affected and declined to provide information as to the cause of the outage or how likely it was to recur.

Yesterday, access to most Athena file servers (and to MIT's main Web site,, which depends on Athena) was down for about half an hour around noon because of a failure of "redundant power supplies," according to an e-mail announcement from Theresa M. Regan of IS&T. The failure took out network connectivity to building W91, where many IS&T services are located.

—John A. Hawkinson