Archive for the ‘Tech Tips’ Category

Disable Acceleration in AT&T Mobile Data Service

During an ice storm, I received a valid connection and network (IP) address, but still nothing would work.

After I did my own testing, I had to call the support line. Level 1 was “basic troubleshooting” and took 30 minutes. Level 2 was “desktop support” and took another 45 minutes, including a reboot. Final, disabling the “Acceleration” feature in Communications Manager solved the problem.

The process to fix this in Communications Manager:

  • On the menu bar, choose [Tools] and then [Settings].
  • Select the  Acceleration tab.
  • Change Startup Type to Manual.
  • Click on [OK].

What was frustrating was that only Firefox reported the redirection properly. Attempting to browse started, and then redirected to But only Firefox showed this in the status bar. More frustrating was that this symptom (“connecting to“) should have been in the troubleshooting guidelines for the support staff.

The support staff would really not listen to the things I had already tested — they had to use their pre-defined process. I don’t object to a well-defined process, but when I can report a valid IP address and name server, it is entirely possible to skip past much of the checklist.

Keeping Your Email Server’s Reputation Clean

I was recently asked about some general steps to ensure an organization’s email server is “clean.” Here is the advice for doing this (forward to your technical contacts).

  1. Use a service to check and monitor your email server’s reputation. A good example is
    You can sign up for a free monitoring service (2 hosts for free) to monitor your server for being placed on a blacklist. It gets checked daily, and they send you an email if you server’s blacklist status has changed.
  2. Make sure you have “SPF Records” defined for your domain. This proactive tool allows an organization to state explicitly what servers will be sending email for its domain.
  3. Make sure your have special email accounts defined:
    • (required)
    • (recommended)
  4. If you have listserves or send a fair amount of email (especially marketing content), you may want to create an account with, but there is a small annual fee for their service. I found it particularly useful when an email server was blocked by the “Barracuda anti-spam service”.

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