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Mailertable alterations need to be followed by:    "makemap hash mailertable.db < mailertable" in order to take effect.

> removed that odd ram....but there are problems with sendmail on bombadil quite often due to high load averages.

Bombadil should stop delivering email once its load starts getting high, but keep accepting new mail. When it gets higher, it should stop accepting connections as well. When the load drops everything should flow again. QueueLA is settable in /etc/sendmail.cf .or is it actually triggering a bug that shuts down smtpd/sendmail?
BTW, nntpcached keeps pushing the LA on bombadil up to 2 or more -- incorrectly closed NNTP connections seem to throw the child process into an infinite 100% CPU loop. Check it every now and then and kill any stray child processes (running "top -i" as root will show you the appropriate PIDs pretty quickly, and "k" while top's running makes for a swift execution)