E-mail Everywhere from Anywhere
I am writing this article on my last day of work before I leave; later tonight, I'll be on a red-eye flight to Pennsylvania to spend Christmas and New Year's with my family. Besides the chance to wake up to a snow-covered lawn, one of the things I am most looking forward to is not having e-mail access for two whole weeks. Oddly enough, my friends find this weird—both my lack of access and my excitement over it. Even my friend who barely knew what e-mail was a mere six months ago expressed shock about my willingly going without it.
For those of you who can sooner imagine parting with a limb than parting with e-mail, the Linux Journal web site has some articles that should prove both interesting and useful. First off is Nick Moffitt's advice for “Busting Spam with Bogofilter, Procmail and Mutt” (www.linuxjournal.com/article/6439). Nick presents the macros he added to his system-wide configuration file to make training a Bayesian spam-filtering system as easy as deleting spam and saving or replying to interesting mail—things you do anyway. His macros are also good for personal Mutt configurations, so you don't need root access to start catching spam now.
If you've ever had a need or desire to access your home system remotely but can't SSH in because of a firewall, “Using E-mail as a System Console” can help solve your dilemma. This three-part series (www.linuxjournal.com/article/6453, with links to Parts II and III) is the work of Michael Schwarz, Jeremy Anderson, Peter Curtis and Steven Murphy from their book Multitool Linux. They explain how you can use Fetchmail, Procmail and a few scripts to access information, execute commands and even connect to the Internet strictly from e-mail.
Writing an article rejection letter led to “Mutt Over SSH, but What about Attachments?” (www.linuxjournal.com/article/6511) by Linux Journal Editor in Chief Don Marti. Usually our rejection letters are not this extensive, but in explaining why the article did not go far enough, Don ended up offering some methods for viewing e-mail attachments remotely. Reader-posted comments have continued the conversation, debating the merits of IMAP vs. its slow speed. If you've got a better way of dealing with viewing e-mail attachments remotely, please write about it in the article comments section. Don really wants to know a better way.
If you want to share the details of a unique e-mail configuration you've designed that can, say, command your house to clean itself or enable you to launch bottlerockets from work, drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org. Remember to check the Linux Journal web site often; new articles are posted daily.
Epilogue: So the holidays are over, and it's my first day back at work. Over dinner last night, I told a friend that I'd be happy if less than 500 e-mails were waiting for me. The final count? 846.
Heather Mead is senior editor of Linux Journal.