Mail and mail servers. Hula is no more.

Yesterday evening I moved my mail server from a clunky old Windows 2003 server to a shiny new SLES 10 box.

I still use NetMail – but I had a couple of fun hours with the move.

First I looked at the state of Hula; some pretty broken RPMs that didn’t do much useful for me. Then I saw this post from Alex Hudson

So, Hula as a Novell project is basically over – Novell are no longer interested in any potential “Maui” product (which was going to be an upgrade path to Netmail users), the product group has been broken up, and at least one developer who was part of that group has now left Novell.

Bummer. Kinda confirms what I had found out internally a few weeks ago in planning the mail migration.

Then I saw this from Peter Teichman (who I really respect from his work on Red Carpet Enterprise at Ximian):

Novell no longer has anyone working full-time on
Hula.  As a team we have spent some time looking at where the Hula
project is and the opportunities in the market and in the end we had to
conclude that we couldn’t justify investing at the same level in Hula
going forward.  So those of us who have been developing Hula full-time
will be moving on to other roles and to other parts of the company.

So Netmail as it stands is somewhat orphaned. It’s pretty much end of life.

I’ve got Netmail running on SLES 10 without major pain; it does what I need. I’ll need to look around for the ‘what’s next’ some time next year – but for now I’m sorry to see Hula and Maui not move forward.

DirecTV, Tivo and HD

We bought a splendid HD TV a week or so ago – a Sony – very pleased with the quality.

I did the cable magic and got the DirecTV up to speed as well. I decided to go with the ‘old’ HR10-250 Tivo based DVR, rather than the newer MPEG4 non-Tivo DVR. Call it Tivo loyalty.

Nice to know that rather than the $400 we estimated for getting the work done; it cost me around $15 for the extra LNB for the satellite dish and about $20 for the good quality coax. Good job I can still crimp cables 😉

Middle is the new LNB Nice coax

Bayes learning, SpamAssassin, Novell NetMail and Copfilter


I use IPcop and Copfilter as my firewall/spam/email filtering gateway. Free and easy. Scales well.

I’ve had problems with Copfilter running the Bayesian learning for spam assassin; in short copfilter runs a wrapper script to call into

I found that the IMAP->message_to_file was just sitting waiting for input from the NetMail server I run. Simple fix; add a timeout to IMAP reads and increase the IMAP buffer size. This should let me get all of the body text for learning, and timeout on massive inline images.

I logged a bug and posted a fix to the script

my $imap = Mail::IMAPClient->new(
Server => ‘’,
User => ‘spamtrainer’,
Password => ‘longpassword’,
Debug => ‘1’,
#ezs edits
Timeout => ‘5’,
Buffer => ‘65536’,

Spam training is working perfectly now – Copfilter is eating its way through 3600 spam and about 6000 ham (non spam) messages.

Novell and Microsoft

I’m sure many inches of commentary will be written – but at first look this is a bold and disruptive move. Customers should be reassured and have confidence in a mixed source infrastructure.

The World is Flat

I read The World is Flat by Thomas Friedman a while ago. In it he describes how technology and supply chain improvements are changing the world.

Here’s my example.

Yesterday I ordered a red iPod Nano, with personalised engraving from Apple. It’s a present for Grania.

Today it has been shipped. From Shenzhen in China:

FedEx and Apple delivering my iPod within days. Now that would not have happened ten years ago.