This is the website of Abulsme Noibatno Itramne (also known as Sam Minter). Comments here or emails to me at abulsme@abulsme.com are encouraged... or follow me on Twitter as @abulsme.

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Goodbye Sweet Spam

Yesterday I did something that made me shiver. For the first time since 1993, I *intentionally* deleted email. Yes, I did. I have actually been preparing for this moment for several months, but the events of the last few days prompted this action.

Up until June of this year, my email client would filter the spam into a spam folder and out of my main mailbox so I wouldn’t have to slog through them when dealing with my real email. Then once every few weeks I’d look through the spam folder for things that got in there by mistake, move them back into my inbox, and then file all the spam into my perminant archive in the correct folders. (I organize all my old email by the sent date by month, and because spam often has goofy dates, I have mail folders going back to 1901 or so, and going forward to the 2050’s sometime.) So it would all get filed. None would be lost.

As of July 1st at 00:00 UTC I have been taking the spam from the spam folder and actually putting it in the trash rather than filing it into my month by month folders. I had however turned off the automatic emptying of the trash, so it wouldn’t really be gone and I could change my mind if I wanted to. I was holding off on actually pulling the trigger on emptying the trash.

Well, in the aftermath of the whole saga outlined in the previous few blog postings, I was slowly copying over the 20,000 spams that had been miraculously saved out of my remote cache and into my pure local folders, so that when I reconnected to the mail servers again they wouldn’t be wiped out like the real mail had been.

About two hours into that effort… it took awhile because interspersed with the ones where I had full caches were some where I did not, and they would give errors when I tried to copy them and I had to work around that… anyway…

About two hours into it, I suddenly said “What the hell am I doing???” I was spending lots of time and effort saving spam messages I didn’t give a damn about. So after doing one last check for real mail in there by mistake (I found about 20 real messages out of the 20,000 in the spam folder) I just went ahead and trashed them all.

And then turned back on the setting for trash over one month old to be automatically purged perminantly. A lot of the trash went away instantly. Boom.

I have deleted email. On purpose.

I have deleted spam.

This is a major milestone for Sam.

I feel a little queasy, and if I think about it hard I regret it a little bit.

But it is done. There is no going back.

Kinda sad really.

Still debating if I retroactively go back and delete all the spam from before July. Probably not.

So for those of you advocating for me not perminantly archiving all the spam I get… you have won the battle!