Bayesian Spam Filter :: Outlook :: SpamBayes
techAdmin
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SpamBayes Outlook Spam Filter Plugin
You can get a real spam filter from SpamBayes. A reworking of the Paul Graham inspired spam filtering method. The one we linked to is the complete Outlook plugin installer, but there's several other options available to you.

For some really strange reason Microsoft did not put in a real spam filter when they rewrote Outlook. The limitations [that's the MS info page] make Outlook's spam filter basically useless.

Plugins available for Outlook. This is an open source project, which means you can use and download this as you like, it doesn't cost anything. For your convenience we posted the documentation here. That's the documentation you get once you install the program on your computer, but it's actually pretty important to read it, especially this part.

Download the Outlook Installation program. You can read about other installation options here
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If the Outlook binary doesn't work for you, you can install from source. To do this, you will need three pieces of software:

1. The Python installer, available from the download page of the Python website. You should choose the latest stable release (that is, the latest release with no letters in its version).
2. Mark Hammond's pywin32 extensions. Choose the version which corresponds to the version of Python you downloaded.
3. The SpamBayes source, either as a zip file or via CVS. The zip file will probably be easier to handle, but there may be improvements to the code which make the CVS version a viable option (though you will have to have a CVS client for Windows installed).

Once you have all three bits downloaded, run the Python installer then the pywin32 installer. Finally, double-click the addin.py script in the Outlook2000 folder of the SpamBayes distribution and you should be good to go. See the README.txt file in the Outlook2000 directory for more details


Other Spam Filter Options
  • Although SpamBayes was the only product for Windows Outlook I could find, there are several very interesting looking Linux based ones, like dspam, and crm114.
  • Or of course you can just go and download Mozilla Thunderbird email client. It still has some bugs in it, but overall it's pretty good, has a similar spam filter.


Getting away from Outlook is in general a pretty good idea, so you might want to give Thunderbird a look.
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emilyron72
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I'm using BSpam, what you think about it...
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techAdmin
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Unfortunately, the bspam project homepage website reports the project is currently inactive as of 2004-06-30 19:46:

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Shortly after the last release of BSpam, I took a new job and moved across the country. When I moved, I closed my account with my existing ISP, started getting my mail via POP for easy portability, and started using POPFile. At that time I put BSpam development on the back burner, fully intending to return to it one day. Well, almost a year has passed, and I still find myself fully absorbed in other activities, so I am officially declaring BSpam inactive. I encourage you to look at other packages such as CRM114, bogofilter, or POPFile (which does its job pretty darn well).

Since the project maintainer recommends using the above packages, I'd follow his advice.

As you can see on Paul Graham's website, crm114 is doing a very good job:
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The current statistics for CRM114's sparse binary polynomial hashes are in. Over the last two weeks it's managed a reasonably enviable 99.87% accuracy...
With an accuracy of 99.87% for CRM114 versus my own rate of 99.84%, I conclude that CRM114 is "better than human", or at least better than its creator when confronted with 3800 decisions to make.


The popfile site has this:
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POPFile is an automatic mail classification tool. Once properly set up and trained, it will scan all email as it arrives and classify it based on your training. You can give it a simple job, like separating out junk e-mail, or a complicated oneŚlike filing mail into a dozen folders. Think of it as a personal assistant for your inbox.

I'd go with the one that either Paul Graham likes, crm114, or the one recommended by the bspam developer, popfile. Generally when a project sort of dies, there's a reason for it, in this case I'd guess that these versions do the job fine, and there was no real need to maintain another version.
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