spamassassin, procmail, grep yada yada yada

Following on from yesterday’s housekeeping I updated my spam filters today.

I use spamassassin in combination with procmail which generally rocks.

It features Bayesian Filtering which is described neatly in A Plan For Spam.

The only problem is it requires occasional manual training.

This involves going through my spam mail folder and checking that everything that was automatically tagged as spam by spamassassin was actually spam, and then “teaching” spamassassin’s Bayesian filter to regard it all as spam.

The more this is done the better spamassassin becomes at recognising spam.

The converse of this is that I have to run it over my inbox from time to time to tell it that my inbox isn’t spam.

As I checked each spam I noticed some of the scores that spamassassin had allocated them.

I flag any email with a score over 5 as spam, but I saw some as high as 20.

I became curious as to the highest so I grepped my spam folder and found out the highest was a score of 29.20 points!

I looked at the mail that triggered such a high score and it read like a spammer’s guide to annoying people.

It was selling software to enable me to spam people more effectively, how ironic.

For the geek curious, the command line I used to find out the score was:

grep "^Content analysis details" ~/Maildir/misc/spam/cur/* | grep -o "[[:digit:]]*\.[[:digit:]]* points" | sort -u -n

grep -o is the dog’s nads by the way. 🙂

Say Hi to Bug

This is bug, the server that hosts this site.



This was a photo I took when I was building it.

It now has a lid on it and sits in a rack (rack-mounted baby!) in a remote data centre.

Since installing it in December 2001 I have not seen it.

It’s worked perfectly and required no maintenance since installation.

I still think about it though.

Server upgrade

I plan to visit my co-located server (that hosts this site) soon. It’s due to have a new hard drive fitted.

The server belongs to a small group of which I am a member, it’s located at a facility in London which is easy to get to but as I host through another company I can only go when they go.

It’s a pain as they have no plans to go at present.

Amazingly enough the hard drive has been sat on my shelf for 11 months – waiting for me to get around to fitting it – we haven’t run out of room yet so it’s not urgent.

The hard drive was supposed to be the original drive for the server, but it died the night before the planned installation in December 2001 (what rotten luck).

Fortunately I had a new hard drive in my own machine that I had barely used so I quickly stuck that in the server and restored from backups (thank goodness I had made backups).

All would have been fine except that the original drive was 80GB and the replacement was only 30GB.

So we decided once we got the broken one replaced we’d put it in as well – and 11 months later, I’m gonna do just that.