Phil Gyford


Friday 21 February 2003

PreviousIndexNext Sieving spam on the Mac

Spamfire is the most often mentioned spam filter for Mac OS X. It connects to your mail server before your email client and removes the unwanted spam. This makes me a little nervous, perhaps unnecessarily. I really wanted something that would filter messages once I’d downloaded them into Eudora, rather than jumping the queue and deciding what I could download. I wanted something more like the spam filter in Apples’

SpamSieve does the job. It works with most Mac email clients and uses de rigeur Bayesian filtering to weed out spam once it’s in your inbox. Running a second application alongside Eudora seems clunky but it does work. I trained it on an archive of 12,000 spam emails and an inbox of 3,000 non-spam emails. In the past three weeks it’s looked at around 2,000 messages left behind by my mailing list filters and has divided them roughly 50/50 into spam/good emails. It’s made 21 mistakes, an accuracy rate of 98.9%, and it feels wonderful to open an inbox containing nothing but things I want to read. Certainly worth $20.



do you think (a) that Eudora is better than and better than entourage?

(b) is SpamSieve better than the junk filter in which Il, frankly, find useless.

Posted by azeem on 21 February 2003, 3:16 pm | Link

I tried once, enticed by the shininess of its interface. But it's *way* too slow on my old Mac. The indexing of mailboxes and the fading of messages ground things to a halt. Eudora looks a bit old fashioned, but it just works.

Because I've barely used it's hard for me to compare its filtering with SpamSieve. I'd have thought they're pretty similar though, as they both learn over time.'s is sleeker because it's built in. SpamSieve works but it means having two extra icons active in your Dock (the application and the AppleScript).

Posted by Phil Gyford on 21 February 2003, 3:22 pm | Link

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