Glitch disrupts tracking system at Postal Service

Customers and businesses have been unable to track their packages this week through the U.S. Postal Service due to a problem with the tracking system software. However, the problem did not affect deliveries, a Postal Service spokeswoman said today.

"It's been down since Monday afternoon. We anticipate the system to become operational by Sunday morning," said Postal Service spokeswoman Sue Brennan. Postal officials had first said the problem would be fixed today. But then that deadline was pushed back to tomorrow, and now the problem is expected to be fixed by Sunday.

Brennan said the problem was either with the IBM database system or with the direct-attached storage disk at its database in San Mateo, Calif., which affected the entire tracking database. The database feeds both the tracking tool on the Postal Service Web site and the tracking tool that workers use at post offices. Vendors whose products are on the system are on-site trying to fix the problem, she said.

Last week, the Postal Service shut off its wireless tracking service, which allowed customers with handheld devices such as Palm Inc.'s Pilot or Research In Motion Ltd.'s BlackBerry to track packages by linking to the IBM database (see story). The Postal Service said it cut the wireless connection because not enough customers were using it.

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