6. What happens when mail arrives?

Mail coming in to any address ending with .ox.ac.uk is received initially by one of the central mail routers (collectively known as oxmail). These machines are responsible for routing practically all mail traffic within the University. The mailers hold details of all Oxford email addresses and the routing information (username/server combinations) associated with them. When a message arrives, the mailer checks to see if it is for an address it knows about and has routing information for. If so, it passes the message on to the relevant account on the correct server for that address. If the server is temporarily out of action, oxmail will hold the message and attempt to send it later.

In Mary Brown's case, mail arriving for either of the two addresses listed above would be passed on to the OUCS Nexus system for the username food0032.

If the incoming mail address is not recognised by the mailer, the message is returned, with an explanatory note, to the sender.

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