- A couple of weeks ago, I was thinking about how I may build an advanced search utility for my own email archive. One way to make complex queries on the archive seemed to be to put it all into a relational database. Since the Dbmail system stores email in that way, I asked its developers and Harald Reindl (an email administrator at The Lounge who already uses Dbmail: I found him in the PostFix Mailing list archives) if Dbmail could be used in that way.
Every now and then, a question like this pops up on some email server management forum:
I'd like to be able to reject connections from remote IP addresses if they're from certain countries.
(this is a review that i originally posted somewhere on Slashdot, IIRC)
Many U*nix users with advanced email needs, a high load of email, and possibly a lot of addresses to keep separated, invariably come to procmail and to Mutt (but the MCG concept can be easily adapted to other MUAs: read on).
(update 2010/05/29: here’s another article about VPES legal, management and economics issues)
The way email is normally used today has several serious limits that I recently explained in another article. I also pointed out that one of the biggest obstacles to personal email management is lack of user demand for Virtual Personal Email Server (VPES) software and hosting packages. A VPES may run into any computer in your home or in some external datacenter, but that is another issue. Here I only want to look at the software side, that is to explain what are, in my opinion, the technical requirements and features of the perfect VPES. You are welcome to add your own in the comments and, if you’re a hosting provider already offering VPES, to add a link to your offer in the same way.
Taking full control of your own email, that is running your own email server, is a must if you really care about privacy, security or maximum customization.
- note: I am trying to publish, a piece at a time a lots of tricks that I use in my email management system, in such a format that each of them is usable separately. This is why it may be a bit difficult to understand certain parts of this and other pages, until I have published all of them. In the meantime, please let me know about anything you find not clear in these pages, so I can improve them, and read this article of mine on how to Build your own email server with Postfix, because it is a good synthesis of the whole picture
- Even in this age of social networking and instant messaging, mailing lists are very useful tools to get technical support or carry on public discussions online. The problem with mailing list is that, especially when they are very popular, you will soon find out that most of the traffic is irrelevant, because it’s either some flame war or some topic that has no interest for you. This kind of email traffic is a big problem for two reasons: