Spam issue revisited

From: Seppo Niemi (
Date: Sun Jun 15 2003 - 15:49:48 EEST

Hello again - here are some thoughts about the spam issue and other
things. It may be a bit lengthy, but please take the time to read it

A quick look through the logs shows that at least 10 mails have been
rejected as spam since I installed the spam filter. A couple has
slipped through, but I think this is quite a good result.

In my earlier mail I referred to problems with the server being too
slow. The machine is a 500 MHz Pentium Celeron with 128 megabytes of
memory and it is only serving the rp-ml mailing list and the
web-archive of the list, but it was getting a bit sticky after I
installed the spam filter.

The problem was that each incoming mail, including computer generated
delivery error messages (and we get a lot of them) caused an instance
of SpamAssassin to be invoked. And each running SpamAssassin process
takes about 20 to 30 megabytes of memory, which means that if there
are five or more of them running at the same time we run out of
memory, which basically brings the machine down to it's knees. It does
not crash, but becomes v e r y v e r y s l o w !

Now, I've changed the configuration of the software (well, actually I
kludged around it) so that it no longer processes delivery error
messages (nobody reads them anyway). This more or less solved this
particular problem and now everything is running as smoothly as ever.

And another matter - a while ago some of you suggested that you might
give me a financial contribution as a reward of my work with the
list. I have given it some thought and I really appreciate it. I do
not feel comfortable with the idea, however. This is hobby for me and
I do it just for the fun of it.

And it is actually Hannu who does most of the work in maintaining the
list. I just check every once in a while that the machine and all the
software is still up and running. There really isn't that much work

Someoneo also mentioned the cost of running the server. Well, I
think the only money that was spent with this service, was when Hannu
originally bought the hardware. Everything else is actually free (at
least for us). The network connection (and the electricity) is kindly
provided by Lahti Polytechnic. And all the software (including
operating system) is free software released under the GNU General
Public License.

If you still insist on donating money, I recommend you send your
contributions to The Free Software Foundation
( They are doing an excellent job in creating and
maintaining good quality software free of charge. And they are also
spreading the ideology of free software around the world to encourage
programmers to share their work with others.

It would make me feel happy if you sent your cheques to them instead
of me. I honestly think they deserve it better. Without them we
probably wouldn't have the software or even the operating system
to run rp-ml. See for their
address or other ways to support them.

Thanks for your time,


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