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The Procmail Companion

The Procmail Companion

Martin McCarthy

Sep 2001, Paperback, 256 pages
ISBN13: 9780201737905
ISBN10: 0201737906
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This book will explain in easy to understand language the complexities of Procmail. With almost all linux distributions including procmail as a standard package Unix like systems and procmail are finding their way into more office and homes leaving more people wondering how to do 'the clever bits'.

The book will be split into 2 parts - the first part fairly introductory for new procmail users and the second more of a reference book for 'power procmail users'. The first part will have copious examples to help the reader using a mythical company as a running case study. The second part will provide solutions and tips and tricks for the more complex features of procmail.

Procmail Companion

Martin McCarthy

Are you receiving dozens of emails each day? Feeling overwhelmed? Do you want something that will make your life easier? That will separate personal email from work email? Then Procmail Companion will show you how to control your email rather than your email controlling you.

The Book:

Procmail is a program that can automatically process electronic mail. It is small, fast, secure and free! It runs on Unix and Unix-like systems and is growing in popularity. It kicks in after the mail arrives on your machine and before you read the mail. With a few simple sets of instructions, or recipes, Procmail puts all messages from a photography mailing list into one mailbox and all mail from a particular set of friends into another. Emails that tell you how to ‘make money fast’ or asking if you would like ‘to buy a time share’ are thrown away and don’t waste your time. This book provides pain free explanations about how to use and get the most from Procmail. Using case studies, explanations and examples this book will teach new users how to use Procmail and give advanced users tips and tricks on the more esoteric features of Procmail.

Skills you will learn:

  • explain the basics of how email systems work
  • demonstrate where procmail fits within an email system
  • demonstrate how to set up simple mail processing and filtering
  • remove the mystery of procmail scoring
  • demonstrate how to invoke external processing from within procmail
  • explain all the features of procmail regular expressions
  • provide a full and detailed reference to procmail syntax, macros, variables and diagnostic messages

Professional Comment

‘I get over 200 pieces of email every day on my work account. I get nearly that many to my home account and to legacy accounts that bounce around the universe prior to landing in some box or other. Procmail is my friend. Procmail filters and sorts my stuff. Martin McCarthy is my friend, too. For Marty has written a book on what Procmail can do and how to use it. If you want to know how Procmail can handle mailing lists, McCarthy tells you. If you want to handle SPAM, McCarthy tells you how. And if you’d like to do these things, but fear that you don’t understand email of the Internet well enough, McCarthy gives you enough of an introduction so that you need not fear any more.

McCarthy’s book had enabled me to put it to other uses. I am really gratified to have read it. You will be gratified too.’

Peter H. Salus (Chief Knowledge Officer at Matrix.Net)

About the Author

Martin McCarthy has been a software engineer for over 15 years working for a variety of organizations, developing systems that range from control of particle accelerators at a high-energy physics laboratory through to intelligence systems used by the police. He was the first chairman of RIPE (European Internet Registry) Test Traffic Working Group and a member of the IETF (Internet Engineering Task Force) IP Performance Metrics Working Group. He is also the co-author, with Alligator Descartes, of Reality Architecture: Building 3D Worlds With Java and VRML (Prentice Hall).

The author, Martin McCarthy, is an experienced author having written Reality Architecture for PH in 1996. This book was about an internet based multi-user distributed virtual reality system (think dreamcast - which has bombed - and so did the book!). He does have lots of valuable experience - including being part of the Internet Engineering Task Force monitoring group and has been part of the procmail mailing group for some time.