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Syslogd Overwhelming Your Computer?

If your Leopard (Mac OS X 10.5) system is unexpectedly sluggish, logging might be the culprit. Run Activity Monitor (Applications/Utilities/ folder), and click the CPU column twice to get it to show most to least activity. If syslogd is at the top of the list, there's a fix. Syslogd tracks informational messages produced by software and writes them to the asl.db, a file in your Unix /var/log/ directory. It's a known problem that syslogd can run amok. There's a fix: deleting the asl.db file.

Launch Terminal (from the same Utilities folder), and enter these commands exactly as written, entering your administrative password when prompted:

sudo launchctl stop com.apple.syslogd

sudo rm /var/log/asl.db

sudo launchctl start com.apple.syslogd

Your system should settle down to normal. For more information, follow the link.

Visit Discussion of syslogd problem at Smarticus

 

 

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The Postini Test Begins

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I'm mad as hell, and I'm not going to take it anymore! In particular, what I'm hoping I'm not going to take is spam destined for the tidbits.com domain. As a result, our good friends at digital.forest have set us up with a review account with the anti-spam service Postini, which I'll be turning on sometime within the next week (digital.forest resells Postini services to anyone for $1 per protected account per month).

<http://www.forest.net/>

For those that haven't heard of it, Postini is an anti-spam service that protects an entire domain from spam, although it's possible to prevent mail to certain addresses from being filtered (at least initially, we'll set this option for all of our auto-reply and mailing list addresses). To enable Postini to filter all the mail destined for tidbits.com addresses, I'll change the MX records in our DNS setup so all incoming mail goes through Postini's mail servers, where it can be checked for spam and viruses, before being forwarded on to our mail server for delivery.

<http://www.postini.com/>

I mention this move in advance because we simply don't know how effective Postini will be, and it's possible that mail to me, or anyone else at the tidbits.com domain, will be filtered out by Postini until our users adjust the settings appropriately. In reality, we of course hope that Postini will be equally as accurate as the client-side filters many of us already use; Michael Tsai's SpamSieve remains about 99.6 percent effective for me, but as my spam volume has crept into the 800 to 1,000 per day range, just receiving and processing that amount of spam has become onerous. Worse, scanning my Junk mailbox in Eudora for false positives has become essentially impossible; I can sort by spam score and look at the lowest ranked message, but if I think I've missed something, a search across the Junk mailbox is the only real hope.

I'll report back on how well Postini works for us and how easy it is to use in a month or so. In the meantime, I'm hoping for the best, which would be an almost complete drop in spam with no additional lack of reliability introduced into our email services. Fingers crossed.

 

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