Spam, email, spam, email

I will blog about something other than this geekery, I promise! However, it’s occupying a lot of head- and real time at the moment, so bear with me.

I’ve run into a niggle. Yesterday morning – after I’d left home – I discovered that while email was arriving fine in my inbox and seemed to be leaving it, it wasn’t arriving at its destination. Some cursing followed, plus a bit of anguished tweeting. It was a bit of a hunch, but I wondered if it was connected to the planned outage overnight that my ISP, Be, had notified me of.

Note: I route (or at least, I did) my email through Be’s smartserver. This is to make sure that email is whitelisted as having come from a reputable, known source. I don’t have to send out via a smartserver but I risk being treated as spam: fair enough, I suppose. I did some digging around Be’s forums and discovered that there have been issues with its SMTP server in the past. One user frequently pointed users to another SMTP server that I could also use as a smartserver, so when I got home I changed the smartserver settings and bingo, email was going out again.

However, when I got up this morning, email was yet again not going out. *headdesk* I’ve disabled the smartserver and *touch wood* email is being sent again fine.

(ultrageeky alert here)
I’m wondering if it’s connected to an error reported in my overnight email from the server. I’ve tracked down the error on Microsoft’s exhaustively detailed Technet. However, as I’m discovering with Technet, it assumes a level of knowledge I don’t have as it points you to where the problem is and where you can fix it, but doesn’t walk you through the fix process. Correctly, I suppose, it assumes you sorta know what you’re doing; this stuff isn’t for amateurs.

If any experts are reading this, this is the critical error report:
“The application-specific permission settings do not grant Local Activation permission for the COM Server application with CLSID {61738644-F196-11D0-9953-00C04FD919C1} to the user NT AUTHORITY\NETWORK SERVICE SID (S-1-5-20) from address LocalHost (Using LRPC). This security permission can be modified using the Component Services administrative tool.” It happened 22 times in the logging period, and it’s identified as event id 10016.

I also had one instance of event id 10010:
“The server {0B5A2C52-3EB9-470A-96E2-6C6D4570E40F} did not register with DCOM within the required timeout.”

I’m also wondering if it’s to do with the fact that I’ve let my router take back DHCP management. On that topic, I’ve finally got around to rebooting the router, which has of course fixed the network wrinkles. The Mac is behaving itself, it can see the NAS and the Airport Express is visible to the network again. Hurray.

Next on my list is spam filtering. For the time being I’m signed up to the trial for Microsoft Live OneCare, which is offered during the setup process. It provides firewall, AV, spam filtering etc, all of which is cool except for one thing: I can’t see a way to manage directly my spam filter. I need to be able to define what is and isn’t spam as I’m on a couple of private mailing lists that can generate a lot of email – sometimes 100+ totally legit mails a day. These were arriving in my inbox but they’re not now and I suspect they’ve been blacklisted. But I can’t check to see, nor can I therefore manually whitelist the address they come from.

So again, if any experts are reading this, two questions: first, is there a way to manage directly the spam filter? And if not, can you recommend a third-party solution that will give me the control over the settings I need?


One thought on “Spam, email, spam, email

  1. dorkyturd says:

    I can tell you really like what you do for a living! A tech writer’s gotta be able to do this kind of stuff. I wish I had some constructive advice for you, but unfortunately I’ve never worked on this kind of platform. We are mostly a Linux shop.


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