Samba, spam and more

I had planned to, you know, leave the house or something today, but instead I was overtaken with the pressing need to organize my electronic life some more.

First up was dealing with the vast amounts of spam that I am now receiving (see recent postings on this very issue. The previous solution, a hand crafted procmail script, was no longer getting a tolerable false positive/false negative trade off. I started trying to see whether I could get spamassassin up and running on my email somehow. The first hint that this might be easier than I had anticipated was the fact that spamc appeared to exist on the system my email arrives on. spamc is a client program that sends email to a daemon process to get checked for spam. But, after some playing around, I couldn't seem to get anything to happen. Then I happened (thanks to google desktop archiving my email) that someone else had their email checked by spamassassin, and the headers of their email helpfully indicated the IP address of a local machine doing the checking. Googling (yes, I'll use this as a verb; I've been happily Hoovering my apartment for many years without the world coming to an end) this IP address led to better instructions as to how to set up procmail to call spamc with this machine identified as the daemon. And now all is well: my old procmail script still does the necessary sorting into incoming folders, but it now collects the information from spamassassin, and files all spam directly into my spam folder. All I need now is a few more genuine emails in order to check it's not just dumping everything in there...

Next in line was sorting out ssh across my machines, and ensuring that rsync works properly across the network. ssh was fine; I played around with authorized_keys, and pretty soon I was able to log in and out across machines without needing to enter passwords. Emboldened by my success, I then tried to get rsync running. I started getting hangs in the middle of transfes, which turns out to be a common problem. After a lot of messing around, I concluded that this is just a failing of cygwin+rsync+ssh, and should give this up as a bad lot. Instead, I set things up with windows shares instead. For the long term, and for external connections I'll have to find something else, possibly involving running an rsync daemon. But that can wait for a while.

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