So the conference has got off to quite a start. In addition to the two presentations I?ve posted about, I saw quite a few others. One of the better ones was Mark Suter?s e?mail filtering with MIMEDefang talk (http://zwitterion.org/talks/
), which seemed to be quite well received despite being based around two projects it?s cool to hate: Sendmail and Perl.
Mark?s jabs at qmail were also well received by the audience. Apparently, if you ask qmail to deliver 5000 e?mails to some other server, rather then listing many recipients it?ll simply make 5000 connections to the other server, delivering on message per connection. While this is technically
valid, it is a cheap way to a DDOS if the other end?s not up to the task.
MIMEDefang is rather flexible; indeed, that was one of the points Mark made ? it can be set up to do whatever you want. You want greylisting for all addresses except
the postmaster? You can do it. The best part, though, is that all this filtering is at the SMTP stage, when your mail server is receiving the e?mail ? so for an e?mail with dozens of recipients, you only need to filter once.
Andrew McMillan gave a brief run?down on Cacti, a templating system for RRDTool that hides (some of) the comlexity of writing the configuration. The talk was rather abridged from its original vision; Andrew only had half an hour to work with, but it did pique my interest. The highlight of his talk for me was when he asked who in the audience administered more than 50 machines? then more than 150? more than 500? and at each stage more hands were lowered. By the time he got to ?and who?s responsible for more than 1000 servers? we were left with just one chap from Google at the back looking generally smug.
So, sys?adminnery. I think tomorrow I?ll hit somewhere else. I thing there?s going to be a KDevelop presentation at the OSDW miniconf (which rather irritatingly lacks a programme), and the Gnome.conf.au scene also looks happening. I had been planning to see Damian Conway?s Introduction to Perl 6
; delegates with eyes sharper than mine will have noticed that this was actually on this afternoon. Blast. At least it?s got me to double?check my schedule for tomorrow.