Re: SMTP Time Date Stamp

Discussion in 'Computer Support' started by VanguardLH, Apr 22, 2010.

  1. VanguardLH

    VanguardLH Guest

    Cupid Stunt wrote:

    > I have a question for all of you "brains" out there. :)
    > I sent an e-mail before midnight to a government agency, and they are saying
    > now that I'm not eligible for my unemployment benefits because I filled the
    > appeal 2 MINUTES late!
    > My clocks at home said I sent it 5 minutes before midnight, but the "time
    > stamp" on my e-mail indicates that it was 2 minutes late.
    > How does the time/date feature work? Does it "stamp" the time from my
    > computer, my internet provider, or the end recipient?
    > Does anyone know of any link to this information that I can print for my
    > appeal? I found a link and when I tried to print, it was 112 pages long.
    > Anything a little more simple for an attorney? I still need to make my
    > point, but 112 pages is *way* too long.
    > Thanks for any help!

    The Date header shows the date on your computer. Unless you are using a
    time synchronization utility to keep your computer up to date with a 2nd or
    3rd tier atomic clock service (both the software and services are free), the
    time on computer could be wrong plus "your clocks at home" could be way off.

    The Date header is created when you compose your e-mail. It could be
    several minutes, hours, or days after you start composing your e-mail before
    you actually get around to sending it. The recipient isn't interested in
    when you began composing your e-mail but only when you actually sent it
    (actually when they get it). If you compose an e-mail but don't send it but
    instead leave it in your Drafts folder for days, that you sent it days later
    will show the Date field as days earlier for when you created the e-mail.

    Once your e-mail client transmits your e-mail to your sending mail server,
    you no longer have any control over it. As to when the mail server actually
    sends your e-mail is their choice, not yours. It can be many minutes later
    later when the mail server sends on your e-mail. I've seen e-mail services
    that batch up e-mails for an hour before sending them out all at once. Who
    knows what routing goes on at the recipient's end. Plus it is unlikely that
    some gov't joker was anxiously awaiting the arrival of your e-mail at
    midnight. They wouldn't see your e-mail until they came in on the morning
    and many hours after you sent your e-mail. They would be qualifying the
    delivery of notices (e-mails or letters) on the business day they received
    them, not while they were out and couldn't take any action on those
    one-sided communications.

    You need to look at the Received header. Each mail host that is involved in
    the delivery of your e-mail will prepend a Received header which usually
    contains a datestamp (those added for internal routing might not show a
    datestamp but the boundary mail servers at a domain will have them). The
    recipient is the only one that can see those, so make yourself a recipient
    if you want to check the datestamps put into the Received headers in the
    received e-mail. Of course, when Bcc'ing yourself an e-mail, you'll only
    see the Received headers from your own sending and receiving mail hosts, not
    the receiving mail host for the actual recipient. Also, when Bcc'ing
    yourself a copy, send it to an e-mail service at a different domain to avoid
    internal routing from and to your account which might not have the Received

    There is no guaranteed delivery to e-mail. There is no guarantee as to the
    time of delivery. There is no guarantee of immediacy with e-mail. That's
    not how the e-mail protocols were designed. They were designed to be an
    electronic equivalent of you sending postal mail. Both incur delays and
    both involve one-sided communications to which the recipient may or may not
    react or even receive.

    If you wanted the gov't department to record your notice on a particular
    business day (obviously during on-hours and NOT after-hours when no one is
    there to answer), phone in during that business day. Make sure the purpose
    is clear and that you get the name and possible an employee or ID number to
    whomever you speak. Also have them send you an e-mail or postal mail
    confirming your conversation. Gov't employees shift around or leave so
    later trying to convince another worker that a previous worker gave you
    permission without any paper trail usually fails and you lose.
    VanguardLH, Apr 22, 2010
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