My Favorite Bitch

Fri, May. 15 2009

Today is a beautiful day.

As I near my one year anniversary with my iPhone (may I remind you, this is iPhone number two) I'm happy to say today is one of our best days together. Sure there have been some rocky patches, but every relationship takes effort and patience and it's navigating the rough stuff together that truly strengthens the bond. I feel like today is one of those breakthroughs–a milestone in our history. And yes, we came dangerously close to the edge before we stepped into this lush green pasture of appreciation.

I was going to title today's post "iPhone Bitch" because all I've been doing for the last few weeks is bitch about my iPhone spam problem. Sure, I've got spam filtering set-up at the Artgig server and the usual Junk filtering in my Mail client at work but I was still getting completely inundated with crap on my iPhone, which has no filtering, so much so that using mail on my phone was becoming a dreaded chore. Every morning, I'd begin my day, tapping away in edit mode, deleting all of the junk destined for non-existent @artgig email accounts, that accumulated overnight and somehow made it into my Artgig mail account. I was beginning to question the very sanity of Apple - how could the reigning champions of super friendly user design make something so unusable?

I scoured the internet for iPhone spam solutions and the best option I could find was a slight-of-hand trick that required a ghost Gmail account pass-through for junk filtering. It worked for most people but all I could see down that path was more darkness and quite possibly, my breaking point.

I bitched to Steve.I bitched to Jim.I bitched to our hosting company.I bitched to everyone on Twitter.

They all said the same thing–anyone can spoof your email and make it look like it's coming from you/your domain. But of course, if a reply or bounce is sent it will only get to the actual domain holder (me). From the server's perspective, the emails are legit. Server-side spam filters won't work for the same reason.

I was at the end of my rope. "That's it," I said, "I'm taking this to the blog!" And as I entered that dedicated space of crafting words and thoughts for the page, in what was going to be yet another long bitching rant about the glaring obvious shortcomings of the iPhone, it hit me. The emails weren't bounces at all. They were going straight to the server to some phantom catch-all account.

So I rolled up my sleeves and opened up our hosting Control Panel, and what did I find? A little mandatory catch-all mail forwarder set to grab all @artgig emails, and guess who was designated to receive those emails?

In my haste to judge, I'd missed the obvious.

A single moment of clarity and one small adjustment later, and my spam problem was solved.

Me and my iPhone are just fine.

Now, if only it supported Flash...

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