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painful mail/fetchmail problems

Under debian frozen, kernel 2.2.15.

Somewhere around a week ago, fetchmail started hanging on me.  After
fairly thorough investigation I'm still not sure just what changed to
cause this, or even whether it's client side or server; though, I think
it's something on the server, because I didn't change anything that I'm
aware of, and a different pop server looks to be working.  If it is the
server, I still need to work around it...

The behavior is this:

orbit:~> fetchmail --all 
79 messages for paulp at pop.ricochet.net (325997 octets).
reading message 1 of 79 (3312 octets) . [and now hang here]

Eventually it times out.  The first message gets delivered locally at that
point, but not deleted from the server.  I thought it might have something
to do with the message itself, but I manually deleted the first one that
caused this from the pop server and it didn't help.

When I telnet to the pop server directly, everything looks fine; messages
will display, are properly dot-terminated, etc.

Any clues appreciated.

Paul Phillips      | The good Christian should beware of mathematicians [...]
Everyman           | The danger already exists that mathematicians have made a
<paulp@go2net.com> | covenant with the devil to darken the spirit and confine
slap pi uphill!    | man in the bonds of Hell.  -- St. Augustine

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