i disagree with everything you just said.

Saturday, January 01, 2005

yo, g, what up, g?

here's something incredibly boring that i nonetheless spend a fair amount of time on: spam. my main email address has been out on the web for so very long that it gets somewhere in the neighborhood of 2,000 spam messages a day, which is just sad. still, i refuse to give it up [1], so i find myself forced to apply ever-increasing layers of filtering technology to keep the cialis offers at bay. up until very recently, that meant 1) spamassassin, deleting every message with a score of 8 or greater, and tagging every one between 5 and 8 as spam; 2) procmail, deleting the most obvious forms of spam as well as all the bounced mail i get from people spoofing @monstro.com as the "from:" address for spam they're sending out; and 3) mail.app's spam filter on mac os x, filtering most of the rest of what gets through into the spam folder, for me to browse through every couple of days to make sure nothing fell in by accident.

no surprises there, right? because i just did just what i read about on every other boring spam-related post out there on the internet. problem is, about a week ago it stopped working as well as it used to, for whatever reason, so i am forced to add another layer. the latest move has been to forward all my mail to gmail — ever since google added the ability to pop into your account, i've been meaning to do this anyway, because i love the way gmail threads up my messages into conversations, and i love the search [2]. then the spam issue tipped my hand and i actually did it, and with gmail's distributed spam filtering added to the mix after procmail but before mail.app, things seem to have settled back down. very pleasant.

meanwhile, there are three other excellent reasons i would recommended this setup with gmail and your favorite pop client besides the global spam filter, and they are:
  • archival record of all my email. this has been just amazing, even in just the few days i've been doing this. once you pop in and check mail, gmail marks the message as read and archived, which removes it from the inbox (if you check on the web beforehand, it doesn't stop gmail from popping that message out to you if you check it with your mail client later). and since the search is so powerful, there's no need to organize anything into folders — it's all archive and search as necessary. total paradigm shift, as the kids would say, and this version suits my style all the better &mdash messy and after the fact. who needs stupid folders?

  • all my sent mail on the web. i've set up my mail.app client to use smtp.gmail.com to send mail, and gmail brilliantly archives that mail as well. so i've basically got a record of all the mail that goes in and out, minus all the spam, sitting out there on google's servers, that i can access and search anytime i need without taking anything away from my local client setup.

  • best webmail client ever. clean, simple, whizzy dhtml fun. i love a well thought-through web app. go google! mozilla-based browser client with email integration next! and cut a deal with apple, while you're at it; you kids should really be working together better.

thanks for indulging the geek. back to more interesting topics (sex, decadence, high design, and proper grooming, in more or less than order of importance) soon, promise.

[1] because then the terrorists will have won.
[2] who doesn't love the search?

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