I have a problem worse than spam...

I don't really mind spam that much anymore. I've got a nice spamassassin and Apple Mail combination which catches 99.9% of all spam coming in.

My problem is with real email.

Yesterday, I got pissed off at people sending me 5 MB ~PowerPoint files marked as FYI. You see, it's not fun trying to download them over a GPRS connection, since it takes ages. Then your inbox gets full, and you can't even send email before you remove some of the big mails. Yay. But even that's not the real problem. It's just an annoyance; after all, I'm not paying my own phone bill.

The problem is that I cannot ignore them easily: they all are somehow relevant to my tasks. So here I am at work, it's nearly eight p.m., and I'm done for my email for the day. I still have about 150 messages waiting, but those are the ones I just skim through quickly, conveniently sorted into their own folders automatically by some magic. So they can wait until tomorrow. I have a few messages marked as "answer later", but knowing that I get a hundred emails tomorrow, it's quite likely that I'll never answer those. When a message scrolls off the main list view, it's as good as forgotten, because tomorrow a hundred new voices come and demand your attention immediately.

I can do email, or I can sit in meetings, or I can do actual work. Choose two. Any two. But no more than two. (I suspect this is why so many people seem to do email in meetings...)

I'm beginning to like spam. Spam I can deal with. I can unequivocably hate it and kill it with a grin on my face, and tune my spamassassin's config ad infinitum. It's much more difficult to ignore an email when the guy on the other end is innocently asking for your advice or comments for real.


This is so true.

I wonder if using a statistical/learning filter would help in categorizing real messages, but by priority, rather than the more common by category technique.



Those are two programs that do it, with links to more. Might be worth a shot.

--Rob Meyer, 19-Nov-2004

I recognize the problem... Sometimes it's a corporate culture thing. Our company is heavily MS oriented, and most people aren't really that aware about how things work behind the scenes (that the email they're composing in MS Outlook will bog down the network just because they have a 500kB signature in the form of a PPT-file containing sound and cool graphics).

It's very common that people send out email containing nothing but an attached MS-Word document, itself containing three lines of plain text *sigh*.

--, 25-Nov-2004

A low email quota is a good way to kill that sort of behaviour :).

A friend of mine once got angry at these people using Powerpoint as an email program, took a webcam, and TALKED his message into it, sending a 300 MB video email to the poor recipient.

They took the hint.

--JanneJalkanen, 25-Nov-2004

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"Main_blogentry_181104_3" last changed on 18-Nov-2004 19:56:44 EET by JanneJalkanen.
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