Spam email, yuk rant

Spam is a blight, I have to delete spam posts from the feedback on this blog, and I have spam control software on my email client.

At the moment I’m getting hundreds of messages bouncing back to an email account on one of my domains because evidently someone out there has or is sending spam with a reply address which isn’t their own.

Now although I accept the logic of a screening function that challenges a particular email if detected as spam, and offers the sender the opportunity to take remedial action, I’m rather annoyed at the stupidity of some returns which effectively say “your email is spam, go away”. I’d like to say to such senders that the numbers of spammers who use their own email address on SPAM is next to nil these days, and at the moment I think such people arenot very far up the stupidity scale from spammers themselves.

Some advice for mail admins – just delete the things, then I don’t receive 500 copies of the original spam message that you got from some stranger to me, and you don’t clog your outbound SMTP queue or the relays handling them downstream. And yes, I know some may be useful because there is a human at the other end, but frankly I’d rather try a couple of times and sort it out with my existing contact by telephone rather than rely on an email.

That’s me done the Business Analysis Bit

Way back last year I posted a quick summary of the work situation. I’d gone from technical development consulting to being based on site in the IT department of a Scottish Bank. From an original 6 month stint, I ended up being asked to stay and finished up being on site with them yesterday. I’ve learned a whole lot about the workings of a Corporate Bank, a fascinating experience and given me lots to think about. I’ve also learned one or two things about Business Analysis, reinforced certain views I had and confirmed a few others.

The people there were great, and coming to an end there has been like changing jobs, which is a major event for me. I’m sure I’ll be glad I made the decision, at the moment I’m a bit overawed by the whole thing.

70-215 Progress to Windows 2000 Server exam next Thursday

My technique of booking the exam before I’m entirely comfortable has worked, the nerves are beginning to kick in and I’m getting a bit of tunnel vision which is building as I get nearer to the day. I’ve also got a daily entry in my diary saying how many days to go to the exam, so due to the all day event I’ve put in Outlook, my M600 buzzes at about midnight every evening to remind me I have, for instance, 6 days to go.

I’m at the stage when I use Transcender test software to poke holes in my knowledge, and then scour the resources for the proper answer. At the moment I’m needing to get a bit more of the variants of unattended installation into my head, and final tweaks to the different volume options available. There are a number of scenarios for multi-disk volumes when failure occurs in a disk, and how to get it back, or how to add it in.

I’m working away on basic IP routing too, which I suppose I should know after all these years doing web development. It helps me to realise what a simple view I had of such, and the headache that proper routing and subnetting has in just the basic config of IP networks. Although not really covered in any depth in this exam, the power of Active Directory is beginning to dawn on me, and again is leading to a bit of appreciation at the job Infrastructure engineers have doing the design work. Planning out the organisation to make the most powerful use of the Group Policies is an impressive feat of skill. Hat’s off to my colleagues who consult on such matters.

Working away at this exam has been a good eye opener, and I’m increasingly impressed at good old Windows 2000. Windows 2003 must be really good, and we have Longhorn on the horizon!

Fifth Ride to Advanced

This week was a bit of a diversion, when I got to the car park that we meet up in, it was announced that the regular Miss Laidlaw trophy was happening. This is an award dedicated to a benefactor of EDAM, and involves a large bike and a small bike and a number of cones in a car park.

It was quite nostalgic to see a wee blue Honda CG125 sitting there, as that was the bike I did my CBT on all those years ago. They even had L-Plates fitted for genuine effect. The big bike was a CBF1000, which was really nice. And it really opened my eyes up to lighter bikes! I hadn’t realised how heavy the R1100RS was with all my luggage fitted.

We all started with a question paper on Roadcraft and Highway code signs, then a garage stop on the wee bike and cones on the big bike. I had a lot of fun, even though I didn’t do that well, hitting a cone on the first slalom and completely forgetting where I was going. It was a bit of a confidence booster being a lot easier than I thought.

I was quite scunnered at hitting the cone and forgetting the route, because I wanted another shot 🙂 , but the final round was a time trial, which upped the ante somewhat.

Hopefully back to the road practice next week, only a few weeks left this year.