.NET Framework Version 2.0 Released

The final version of the .Net framework 2.0 has been released, grab it here –
Download details: .NET Framework Version 2.0 Redistributable Package (x86)


ASSP vs DSPAM Part 1

I’ve been meaning to get around to this for some time now but just never seem to have the time. With my wife now back at University studying all the time, I have a bit more time to myself.

This is in no way a thorough comparison of the two anti-spam mechanisms I currently use but is just a few current thoughts about the two –

ASSP as I understand it is a set of Perl scripts that proxy mail to your ‘real’ email server identifying spam in the process. As a direct proxy to your live ‘real’ email server, ASSP ceases to function when your ‘real’ email server is down/unavailable. In comparison DSPAM acts a relay (in my set-up), sitting in front of your ‘real’ email server receiving mail, quarantining what it classifies as spam and relaying the rest on to your ‘real’ email server. In this way DSPAM is able to accept email for you and queue it when your ‘real’ email server is actually down/unavailable.

I really like the quarantine aspect of DSPAM, in my current set-up I have ASSP marking spam with a prefixed subject and a server side rule on our ‘real’ email server uses that info to move suspected spam to a subfolder which is therefore skipped on POP3 collections. ASSP in this set-up is therefore similar to DSPAM, YMMV. This is just my set-up and not a property of ASSP though and therefore DSPAM is better in this aspect. DSPAM is also user configurable at this level, a user can specify to have all mail relayed and just have the subject prefixed rather than the quarantine default. DSPAM actually has lots of user configurable settings which is great.

DSPAM is user specific, as mentioned above users have preferences, they also have their own corpus and therefore their own idea of what spam is. One mans spam is another mans email, I suppose.

ASSP is MUCH easier to set-up than DSPAM and as it’s just some Perl scripts it runs on many OS’s including Windows. DSPAM was pretty complex to set-up but in it’s defence I’m no Linux guru and therefore things like this do take a while for me to master.

One of the things I’m finding using DSPAM is that you can do so much to filter out spam before it even reaches DSPAM. I’m using DSPAM with postfix and have quite a few spam prevention measures set-up within postfix that drastically reduce the spam that DSPAM even sees.

I’m yet to upgrade DSPAM to version 3.6 which was recently released, I’m sure the upgrade of the core will go fine, but personally worry about setting up the Apache side of things. My Apache knowledge isn’t great and as it’s all SSL with user authentication this is the reason I’m putting of the upgrade.

Anyway I’m bound to think of more I’d like to say in comparison of these two products and one day I will actually review these ‘notes’ and do a proper comparison. Until then, bare with me 🙂

Posted in Linux, Spam. 3 Comments »


I switched over to using postgrey on all mail yesterday rather than just certain domains (Yahoo/MSN other webmail etc.) and although it’s drastically reduced my spam, it’s also lost a couple of emails 😦

I’ll have to revert to my initial plan of upping my greylisting to dynamic IP/dsl pool clients in addition to initial domain filter. I do this via a couple of PCRE checks on client access which seems to work quite well.

The 2 emails that I lost, in case you’re interested were, 1 from Apple (usual enews stuff from them) and my weekly email from codeproject. The apple one did retry at a later date but somewhere between postfix, DSPAM and my ‘real’ mail server it’s disappeared! The codeproject one seemed to retry twice more literally seconds after the first attempt and then just gave up.

This is exactly the reason I didn’t go with greylisting everything to start with, it’s a shame really as it’s actually a very good idea, it’s just a shame that some mailers don’t seem to work with it.

Using firefox with Visual Web Developer

One of the things that’s been really annoying me as that I’ve been forced to use IE to test pages with the ASP.NET Development Server. This is due to NTLM for authentication to the site. However by following the instructions in the link below, firefox now works 🙂 (the comma separated list of servers just needs to be localhost, although I did add my machine name too)
Firefox and Sharepoint

Learning ASP.Net 2.0

I’m currently trying to learn ASP.Net 2.0 using the new Visual Web Developer Express IDE. This is kind of different for me as I’ve been a classic ASP developer for many a year now and have always use a text editor for all my development. I’m guessing the best way to approach this is to take an existing ASP solution which I have previously written and try to rewrite it in .Net which is of course a completely different way of thinking. If anyone has any suggestions of good books/sites or anything I should be using then let me know.