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Fri 19 Mar 2004

Spam Assassin

Category : Technology

It seems like a long time ago since I was fiddling with both Spam Assassin and Mike Poulain's anti-virus filters for Postfix, but I've promised to help Leon Chen (World Wide Developer Relations) and EC Tan (long time Mac guy) at Apple to take a look at installing Spam Assassin for OS X Server.

I've had a trial copy of OS X Server from EC for some time, but I've never had a spare machine to run it. So I'm now running it on a TiBook he loaned me.

I've been finding my way around it. The Postfix part is mostly quite familiar. I still need to figure out how the Cyrus stuff works. As well as Open Directory. The administrator interface looks clumsy and lacks the usual Apple polish. But, I think I'll enjoy poking around it.

It took a whole afternoon to re-trace my steps to figure out how I had managed to get Spam Assassin to work on OS X client - and I had done it just a couple of months ago.

When you find a way to systematise the whole procedure and make it work with just one click, you eliminate a whole lot of work. But not everyone would be pleased to see that work eliminated, and I can actually see the point. It is often the case that you get paid for the perceived difficulty of the job.

With technically dense things like IT, very few people are sharp enough to tell make-work apart from real-work. And even when they could, even fewer are wise enough to think that they should go out of their way to reward an elegantly concise solution. It's not like in soccer, where the highest earners are those who make the difficult things look easy, like Zinedine Zidane or Thierry Henry. Actually, it's quite the opposite, and I'm trying to understand why.

There's a moral dimension to a systems analyst's work, if you're unlucky to be so pre-disposed. It's hard to work this out.

Posted at 6:19PM SGT | permalink


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