Email Woes

Why is it that my email server always dies right at the start of a long weekend? Well, probably the answer is that that when it fails at other times, it gets more rapid attention, or I have other things to worry about and don't notice. Still, it is rather irritating, and makes me wonder if I should look for a slightly more reliable service rather than clinging on to an address from a few years ago.

So instead of finally emptying my inbox, which is currently AWOL, I partook in my annual habit of data mining my email. I must admit, my heart isn't fully in it this year, for some reason, so just a few brief comments.

* Spam is UP! Or else I can count it better. I switched over to using spamassasin about a year ago, and as a consequence, rather than my old heuristic for counting spam (look for senders who sent me only one message), I instead switched to a new system whereby I just count the number of messages trapped by spamassassin. So this is probably a slight underestimate, since I still get a few false negatives but hardly any false positives. My previous estimates were about 1500 per month, but I'm now happily clocking 3000-6000 spams per month.

* Legitimate mail is UP! During 05 and 06, I was processing about 1200-1500 messages a month (and many of them were spam, since I had a lot of false negatives with my old manual procmail spam filtering). This year, I've been clocking 1600-2000 messages a month. Some of these are from heavy mailing lists, but that doesn't explain everything. I must just be more popular all of a sudden.

* Certainly, I'm sending more. One month I sent 300 messages (and this undercounts by loads, because I'm only looking in sent mail, and not in folders which some sent mail is automatically placed in based on recipient). Generally, the trend seems to be up and up. Amusingly, I used to send about 150 messages a month during my undergraduate days; the only exception was Novermber 1995, when I sent 230 -- and that was my second month of having email. Clearly must have had a burst of excitement that month.

* Am still missing loads of data, since I only have procmail logs for my academic email account, not my work email. So goodness knows what the real story is.

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