18 July 2006

Misc: Spam-free

After running SpamBayes in addition to our server-based spam filter for one week, my inbox is spam free! It's so-o-o much nicer to start the day and see spam getting clobbered.

07 July 2006

Misc: Spamish Thoughts

While browsing the spam tokens reported by SpamBayes, I realised that spam messages often have the same words, including typos and deliberate mispellings. As described in Paul Graham's A Plan For Spam, it's pretty straightforward to detect spam once you have trained your spam filter. Spammers are victims of their own dubious success; the more spam they send, the more duplicates each person is likely to receive and hence identify automatically as spam. Unfortunately, not everyone knows how to run their own spam filter. Heck, I've been online for years but only just started my own filter.

Julian asked why spammers think anyone would buy mortgages / fake watches / online diplomas / genital enhancements / medicines from a stranger based on a tacky and badly spelt message. Other than the obvious response that enough fools actually respond to spam to keep spammers employed, perhaps enough people accidently click on the spammer's link to earn them advertising dollars!

06 July 2006

Misc: Identifying Spam

You'd be a lucky person if you don't receive spam e-mail. I get about 15 spam e-mail daily, which is a smallish number but annoying. My company's mail server identifies about two-thirds of spam e-mail correctly, leaving me to deal with the remaining third. This is a pain but I can see our IT administrator's point of view; he can't really make his filter more aggressive without mis-identifying valid e-mail as spam. So, I looked around for a personal spam filter and found SpamBayes. It's a Python program wrapped within an Outlook plug-in, and delivered in a Windows installer, so it's pretty easy to install and use. I'm looking forward to seeing some results tomorrow!

05 July 2006

Misc: Redirecting Web Visitors

After moving all my stuff to my new web site, I thought it'd be simple to redirect all the visitors from the old site to the new one. After some false starts, I found that the easiest method is the following:

  1. Create a moved.html file with <META HTTP-EQUIV="refresh" content="5; URL=http://kamhungsoh.com">.
  2. Copy moved.html to index.html.
  3. Create a .htaccess file with this rule: ErrorDocument 404 http://members.optusnet.com.au/khsoh/moved.html.
  4. Delete all files and folders on the old server and upload the new files.
The META directive in the HTML files tell the browser to load a new URL after 5 seconds. The index.html handles the case when a visitor only enters the URL without any file name. If the visitor enters the URL for a file name, then the ErrorDocument rule is activated and the moved.html is displayed.

Misc: Domain Name At Last

After more procrastination, I finally got myself a domain name. Registering a domain, buying a host service, transferring my pages and blog to the new domain was a bit time consuming; luckily I could consult people who have done the same thing for advice.