Death by Clutter

Back when we had a different ISP, I created several e-mail addresses for use with online forms, lists and memberships. The idea was to have junk mail go to one, mailing list posts to another, and private e-mail from friends to yet another. One of the accounts I created was (okay, so I fudged a little on that domain just now).

That name pretty much sums it up: Death By Clutter. There came a point where I was checking two or three web-based accounts a day, plus three POP accounts. That’s for the birds!

In a metamorphosis to a more simple electronic life, I’ve pared my e-mail addresses down to two…Well, three if you count the one that came with our ISP, but we don’t really use it. One’s this domain’s e-mail addy and the other is our church’s e-mail prayer chain address, which I set up since it’s easier for folks to remember. Shoot, I might even change that latter one so it just forwards to my primary account (though that can really confuse people when they write to one addy and get a reply from another one).

But I digress…My point is, I’d rather filter all that spam in one or two primary accounts than have to check multiple locations and filter at all of ’em.

For filtering, I use POPfile. It’s a proxy server which runs on my PC rather than at a remote site. Using Bayesian logic, it remembers the criteria for the messages I marked as OKAY or SPAM and applies those rules to future e-mails. In other words, it learns and grows in its accuracy. Seldom now do I have to re-mark an e-mail that’s been pegged with the wrong label.

I know some e-mail programs such as Eudora’s paid version and Mozilla’s products have this type of filtering built-in, but I like Eudora’s handling of multiple accounts better than Mozilla/Netscape product’s handling, plus I don’t want to spring for the paid version of Eudora just for their junk mail controls.

POPfile does take a little finesse to set it up, but the instructions were clear and I figured it out in an evening’s time. Oh, and it’s free.

When I download my e-mail, it first gets run through POPfile, where each message is automatically evaluated and marked in its headers one of two ways: OKAY or SPAM. When the e-mails hit Eudora, I filter anything marked SPAM to my “Possible Spam” folder for easy review. The rest goes to my inbox and is then automatically filtered by other criteria (i.e. any e-mails with “[Gardenwife’s Plot]” in the subject line is plunked in my “blogs – gw comments” folder.

Oh that my real desk were so organized…

This entry was posted in Techie.

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