28 Mar 2002 Waldo   » (Journeyer)

New Computer
I've reached a Zen-like state of acceptance that my computer won't work until my girlfriend supplies me with the RAM that she promised me. I'm OK with the fact that I'm not allowed to just go out and buy that RAM. I'm OK with the fact that I have hundreds of dollars of shiny new hardware sitting under my desk, quiet and dark.

Serenity now!

Spam Battling

raph, you should seriously consider Spambouncer. I have never used anything else (in terms of true filtering via procmail or a similar technique; I've used MAPS, ORBS, etc.), so I can't say that it's better or worse than spamassassin. But it does work wonderfully for me. I get 2-3 pieces of spam each week; the remaining 100-odd weekly missives go right to my UCE folder. I have very few false-positives, though that's because I ran tail -50000 "Sent Items" |egrep "^To: " |cut -d " " -f 2 |less |grep @ |sort |uniq > white_list (or something like that) to ensure that anybody that I write to, I can receive mail from. One of my favorite things about Spambouncer is that it supports blacklists like MAPS, though not without consulting the whitelist beforehand. No more mistaken bounces.

Anyhow, it's worked wonderfully for me. Just a suggestion.

Moving the Office to Open Source
The release of Mandrake 8.2 has meant that I can finally start moving the family business from Windows to Linux. Previously, Mandrake wouldn't run on any of the systems because they all have the ATI Rage Ultra, which is only supported by XFree86 4.2, and I just didn't want to deal with switching distros and going through dependency hell. I installed Mandrake 8.2 today, which was shockingly simple even when compared with the Mandrake 8.0 process. Everything worked right off the bat, though I'm having some trouble getting the machine to communicate via Samba with the NT server. (It takes to the Linux Samba server just fine, though.) Now I have to start getting everything that we rely on daily to function -- or a version of it to function -- on Linux. A method of accessing Access on the NT server. Calendaring via Outlook. Somehow running the proprietary insurance-policy-issuance software. (It's so crude that I assume Wine could handle it flawlessly.) Access to the NT-based Zetafax server. Selecting a decent and fully-compatable alternative to Word and Excel. Figuring out how to quickly and easily fax from any application, a la "print to fax" that Windows and Macintosh support. Ditto for PDFs. The list goes on. The only parts that worry me are Access and Quickbooks -- I feel confident that everything else can be figured out fairly easily.

This is, I believe, how Linux will make serious inroads on the desktop in the business world -- a gradual transition on the part of small to medium businesses looking to save money, increase their technical flexibility, and do the right thing.

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