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KEYWORDS=spamassassin, anti-spam, traceroute, tracert, tracert.exe, DAVROM CONSULTING Newsletter - Issue # 19 - Dated: Tue Jun 17 18:11:48 EST 2003

From the desk of David Clark

No newsletter for May, sorry, just very busy time. A mixed bag of support
over the last month or so. Linux, SCO (5.0.7), SnapGear, ePipes and even
getting an old Stallion OnBoard 16 port to run on a Linux server (thanks
for the tips Alan) - don't throw out the old OnBoards - the latest Linux
versions ship with currently supported drivers.

My thanks to those who have recently expressed an interest in getting the
newsletter - I hope it continues to be of some benefit to our current
545 recipients.

I would like to thank the reader for their time in reading this newsletter.


UNIX Quote

UNIX, the standard that gave us the Internet standards.


In newsletter 11 I wrote on some methods I use here for blocking spam.
Well I stumbled onto SpamAssassin for Linux a few months ago and noticed
also that it is on the CD-ROM shipped with the latest PC World Magazine
here in Oz (July 2003 issue) - the editor also writes on the war on spam
in this issue as well.

SpamAssassin is a great Linux based antispam software product that is easy to
install and allows you to use a variety of methods of "plugging" it into
your existing e-mail system. It plugs into MTAs such as Sendmail but
also allows you to run it with e-mail handlers such as procmail. I chose
the easy way out and just configured it to use procmail by simply adding
the relevant entries to the /etc/procmailrc file.

You can either run the spamassassin program itself or if you wish have a more
"service" approach you can run "spamd" with it's client program "spamc"
to do the front end processing with spamd. The spamd approach is said to be
a more system resource effective way to run spamassassin so I have
chosen this one.

Spamassassin does not block the spammer it simply routes the e-mail to
another location and I prefer to have it go to a local mailbox file in
/var/spool/mail/spam - this way I can review the e-mail in this file
from time to time to make sure all those nasty spams go there and not to
my server e-mail users.

Although it is quite affective in stopping spam going to local users, it
can also put "friendly" e-mail there as well so it is well worth keeping
an eye on the spam mailbox file. You can tell spamassassin to "trust"
users and domains by adding entries to its "whitelist" (there's also a
blacklist for ones you want to block as well).

It is a bit resource hungry on my old gateway (slow CPU's suffer) so I
would recommend running it on nothing less than a 166Mhz machine.

The war on spam continues but at least with this one we have a good weapon.

In the News

DAVROM CONSULTING has been trading now for two years (as at June 1st
just passed).

SnapGear have released (May 29th, 2003) the PCI630 VPN/Firewall internal
10/100 card. It contains its own onboard processor and the released
information states "Unlike co-processing products on the market, the
PCI630 is an advance self-contained VPN and stateful firewall
multi-tasking appliance."

RedHat and Sun recently have entered into a global partnership to
combine their technologies. RedHat will distribute SUN's Java Virtual
Machine and SUN will support all x86 version of RedHat Enterprise Linux.

SCO Forum 2003 will be held in Las Vegas - MGM Grand Hotel, August
17th-19th, 2003.

Any old iron

Some time back I asked readers to respond if they had any old gear they
may have laying around that could still be used by other customers.

Here is an example of some of the equipment that other sites may be able
to utilise out there:

Stallion EasyServerII and all serial board technologies (EasyConnects,
OnBoards etc)
Stallion ePipe
Tape drives
Wyse Terminals
Modems (particularly fax capable)
Hard drives (1GB, 2GB - 10GB - IDE/SCSI)

Please let me know and I will start to build a central list on our

Tech Tip

traceroute and tracert.exe

After recently stepping customers through the use of traceroute (and
tracert.exe, the version of this program for Windows/NT), I thought I
would just quickly cover this command.

traceroute is a great utility for working out what gateways your server
or local PC is using to get to remote server/IP destinations. For
example, if we knew the remote IP address of a server in our LAN or WAN
was, and we need to make sure that our local server or PC
was using the correct gateways to get to it, we would type:


or for Windows/NT:


The output would appear as follows:

traceroute to (, 30 hops max, 38 byte packets
1 bongo ( 1.514 ms 0.815 ms 3.196 ms
2 ( 175.022 ms 176.638 ms 168.077 ms
3 ( 179.793 ms 173.534 ms 169.709 ms
4 remote.srv.my.com ( 179.834 ms 184.031 ms *

Keep traceroute in mind next time you are debugging your network

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