No one likes unsolicited electronic mail. Even though you can easily delete messages describing ways to MAKE MONEY FAST, they take a toll on network bandwidth and reduce your productivity. The key to gaining the upper hand in the battle against spam is to understand the tools at your disposal. In Removing the Spam, Geoff Mulligan names those tools and then describes how to use several of them.
Mulligan begins explaining the operation and management of two widely distributed Unix e-mail tools: Sendmail and Procmail. In his section on Sendmail, the author answers the question asked by everyone who's ever been harassed on e-mail: How do I automatically trash mail from X? He shows you how to block mail based on mail attributes like sender, subject line, message size and several other parameters.
Coverage of Procmail in Removing the Spam includes the essentials of recipe files, but more ready-to-use mail-management recipes would be welcome. In addition to covering Sendmail and Procmail, the author addresses mailing lists under Majordomo and SmartList. He also provides a handy guide to the user and administrator commands that control these popular programs--just the thing you need the next time you're on a list and want to unsubscribe.
If you're generally unfamiliar with Unix and use a Unix-based Internet Service Provider (ISP), you will find this book to be an adequate orientation to how Unix machines manage e-mail. If you're more familiar with Unix mail programs, you'll find this book to be too elementary and lacking in details. It's a matter of your perspective. --David Wall
Written for network and system administrators, this concise, practical guide offers step-by-step instructions for installing and configuring an effective email system for your organization. The specific book focus is on the growing problem of spam--unwanted electronic junk mail. This book shows how to utilize mail-filtering tools and techniques to keep your system and users as spam-free as possible. Centered around real-world problems and issues, Removing the Spam will save you hours of frustration as you get your email system up and running. You will find in-depth coverage of major email systems and subsystems--sendmail, Procmail, Majordomo, and SmartList--and essential information about the following: *How to stop spam at the mail server and user levels *The most simple and effective way of generating the sendmail configuration file *Maintaining your sendmail configuration *Building and managing simple sendmail aliases and filters *Virtual domains *Filtering and sorting mail with Procmail *Procmail recipe files *Creating and administrating automated and manual mailing lists with Majordomo and SmartList *How to spot and combat mailing list abuse by spammers and list terrorists The book's numerous practical examples (compatible with Solaris and FreeBSD) include controlling the procmailrc file, sorting mail, working with auto-responders, and many others. With this book you will be well equipped to install and run an efficient email system that won't be overrun by spam. 0201379570B04062001
Not the generic book its title claims
By Christopher Barbay on Apr 04, 2000
Here is a book worthy of the saying, "Don't judge a book by its cover." In this case, you may judge this book to address the general topic of email spam, processing and filtering. Not so. This books focuses on the unix tools, sendmail and procmail. If you are looking for a book to guide you through the process of installing and configuring sendmail and procmail, this may be the book you're looking for. I couldn't tell you because I quit reading at that point. But, if you are looking for a general source on email spam and techniques for reducing or eliminating it, look elsewhere. A better title for this book would have been, "Sendmail and Procmail: Installation and Configuration."
Useful, but flawed by errors
A Customer on Jul 24, 1999
I bought this book for the procmail chapter (Chapter 3) but the other chapters, on sendmail and mailing lists, are also very useful. There is also an enlightening chapter on the history of email. The bulk of the book is a collection clear recipes along with explanatory text, in a practical how-to-get-tasks-done approach. In contrast to other encyclopedic books (in the case of sendmail) or disorganized masses of inconsistent web information (in the case of mailing lists), this book cuts to the chase and gives the key information you need. Unfortunately, however, in the chapter I needed most (and the chapter I have scrutinized most), I found there are serious flaws. For example, the first two procmail recipes given under 3.5.2 on page 102 resulted in several days worth of my email getting deleted; they simply do not work as described on my system; when I removed these two recipes my email again worked fine. If you are going to buy this book, wait for the author to put up an errata page, and then be sure to check that page before relying on the recipes in the book. In the meantime I still think the book has its merits since it explains things clearly.
Nice try, but a disappointment
A Customer on Apr 04, 1999
This is really a book about setting up some Unix mail tools: sendmail, procmail, majordomo, and smartlist, with modest amounts of spam fighting advice included. Unfortunately, a lot of the spam fighting advice is wrong, and many of the procmail examples have editing errors that keep them from doing what they are supposed to do. In a corrected edition, this could be a useful book, but as it stands, you're better off with the O'Reilly Sendmail book and the on-line documentation for the various packages.
Great for System Admins and Power Users
By Aaron B. Hockley on Mar 30, 1999
"Removing the Spam" is an excellent book that deals with mail administration in a unix environment. The book is concise and packs a great deal of information in its pages. The target audience of the book should be beginning and intermediate mail administrators, and the book does a good job of reaching this audience. The first chapter is a well-rounded introduction to mail systems and administration, and how spam is a thorn in the side of a successful mail operation. The books final three chapters deal with sendmail, procmail, and mailing list systems such as majordomo. "Removing the Spam" is more of a general mail administration title than a book that focuses purely on spam -- although by following the guidelines and suggestions in the book, one will set up a good mail operation with a minimum of spam.
A must have book!!!!
A Customer on Apr 11, 1999
This is an excellent reference book for system administrators. I was able to set up a mailing list using the cook book instructions in a matter of minutes. I was also able to install my initial SPAM filtering using the instructions in the procmail chapter and had it up and running with little effor. Geoff is to be commended for writing a book the makes these things simple to do!!!
Impressive step-by-step guide for sys admins
A Customer on Dec 29, 1998
Mulligan knows his material well. The technological grounding is impressive. I did not catch him in a single error in the entire book. He explains clearly and illustrates amply. With this book, a system administrator could follow the step-by-step examples and implement anti-spam measures.
Great for EMAIL administrators
A Customer on May 24, 1999
I really liked this book. It is well organized and easy to use. There isn't a lot of hype about SPAM, just the essentials and exactly what you can do about it! If you have to deal with EMAIL get this book.
Good coverage with links
A Customer on Dec 29, 1998
Good coverage of sendmail, procmail, mailing lists for beginners to email filtering. It's short enough to be read and it contains "links" to more information.
Learn how to filter out spam
A Customer on Dec 29, 1998
This is a very complete discussion of the infrastructure of email, well-suited to anyone trying to understand enough to be able to filter out Spam.
A Customer on Sep 08, 1999
This book is easy to understand by the new listserver admin. It provides information sources throughout that are very useful. I am not familiar with the unix type platforms, and yet this book helped me wade through the plethora of pitfalls and find the answers. A real headache saver