POPFile Installed on OS X

I cannot express in words how happy I am. A picture is worth a thousand words right? How many words is a dynamic picture worth? Using these instructions you too can be as SPAM free as I, all while running Mac OS X. Special Thanks to Neil Lee on his help on the config.in file. Just a warning. This requires the instillation of the Developer Tools, which comes with OS X these days. The new version of POPFile uses the BerklyDB perl module, these files need to be compiled. But don't fret, this is very easy to do even if you are a nOOb at the command line. If all goes well you can just copy the commands from Neil's site and paste them into the Terminal. The end result is more then worth the hassle. Let me say that again. The end result of running POPFile on Mac OS X is more then worth the hassle of compiling some files in the command line. Why? POPFile offers a superior bayesian SPAM filtering system with "buckets" and "magnets" to provide the best SPAM filtering system known to man. Mac OS X Mail does not have bayesian filtering in it (score one for Outlook 2003, that is IF you want to pay the steep upgrade fee) and that is not good enough for me. Mac OS X Mail is pretty good after you train it for a while. But it is nowhere near as accurate as using POPFile. I have used POPFile for a full 8 months on my PC, and it got up to 99% accurate, and to the point to where there were NO false positives. SpamSieve is an option, but it does not work with Mail (It works with IMAP but not POP). You also have to use AppleScripts to identify what is SPAM and what is real mail. I used this app back when I used Entourage X. I did not like this AppleScript solution. Not one bit. SpamSlam is also a pretty good app to kill SPAM. I tried SpamSlam, it is not that bad, but the setup of this app is a lot. Both of these solutions are good. They both employ bayesian filtering. They both have nice clean instillations. They are both not worth it. Not in comparison to POPFile. No disrespect to SpamSieve or SpamSlam here. Did I mention POPFile is free, and open source (and is in very active development). Oh, you are still cringing at the command line stuff? Stop your whining and get your hands a little dirty in the Terminal. Stopping SPAM is worth it. This is the first part in a multipart series on POPFile and Mac OS X. Next I will discuss installing POPFile and setup of Mail and Entourage X to work with it. If you can't wait, follow these instructions for a very clear step by step how-to. UPDATE 11/05/03 Michael Artz has instructions for setting this up as well, but I emailed him saying they did not work, this is because the instructions were not for the new version of POPFile. Michael just emailed me saying that his instructions are updated. Although Michael claims otherwise, both sets of instructions do in fact have a downloadable StartupItem. Michael does have a full explanation about creating the StartupItem by scratch, as well as a note for Fink users. So at this point either set of instructions will get you to your end goal. When I posted this, Neil Lee's instructions were it. And to be honest I still prefer his instructions. Also posted at BlogCritics.

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Comments (2)

Randall Wright:

hiya ... thanks for the notes on popfile ... i was using it before panther and had some problems after the clean install ... it was the berkeleyDB thing that got me stuck for a while as fink doesn't put it where popfile expects it.

Shameless plug follows ;-)

Neil Lee instructions for installing popfile 0.2.x are nice but he skips the hardest part: setting up the StartupItem for OS X. You might try this page: http://www.artz-net.de/popfile/

Enjoy

Michael

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