Category Archives: What I do

Fixing POPFILE email classifier

I have long used an email classifier called popfile to assist me with managing email spam.

Recently it stopped working. It turns out that it has a conflict with the popular and fantastically useful remote desktop viewing and support program called ANYDESK. The default configuration of both anydesk and popfile use port 7070. This article is about resolving this conflict by changing the popfile configuration.

My Linux system uses Ubuntu-Mate 18.04 LTS, this solution has also been applied to 20.04 LTS.

In investigating why popfile was not working, I went to the logs located at /var/log/popfile I found in the newest logfile:
html: 76: Couldn’t start the html interface because POPFile could not bind to the listen port 7070
So the problem is with port 7070, looking at what it is being used for:
sudo lsof -i :7070
Which told me that ANYDESK is using that port and it also gave me the PID of that process. So I used this PID to stop anydesk for this session:
sudo kill “prosess ID from above”
Then test that there is no program on this port any more:
sudo lsof -i :7070
(no result, hence port not in use)
I could then start popfile and change its configuration:
cd /etc/init.d/
sudo sh popfile start
Result is: Starting popfile: popfile.
Checking with: sudo lsof -i :7070
Shows that popfile is connected.
Then in my web browser I opened popfile at the old conflicted port:
and for the fist time in a while I can access the popfile controls.
Then selected the “Configuration” tab, in section “User interface web port:” changed the number from 7070 to 7080 and click apply.
Then to change the configuration:
cd /etc/popfile
sudo ed defaults
change the UIPORT from 7070 to 7080 and write the changes
Then either stop and start popfile to pickup the new confifguration, OR just reboot the computer.
cd /etc/init.d
sudo sh popfile stop
sudo sh popfile start
This has restored popfile’s functionality.

Now the web browser opens popfile at the new port:
Be sure to bookmark it.

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Rescue of Holiday Photos

A traveller (name withheld for his own protection) unwisely set the language in his digital camera to English even though his native language was French. As a result instead of deleting some photos he formatted the whole memory card!

This distressed him immensely, but not knowing that recovery was possible continued to take photos for what was left of his holiday. Upon his return I was told this tale of woe, and offered to intervene on the basis that there was nothing to lose.

Back in my office I did a whole media read of the camera card, identified the start of each image and recovered the following data into a files, most of these files displayed as photos, and only a few were scrambled.

The end result was that I was able to recover over 100 of his ‘lost’ holiday pictures.

An amusing postscript is that when the partner of one of his friends heard about how I had recovered his erased photos he said “Keep him away from ours”. Makes one wonder.

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Website Fixup

A friend had a website developed for their business, unfortunately it was tuned exclusively for Internet Explorer 6, it displayed with various degrees of dis-function on other browsers. With the passage of time this increasingly became an issue. Another issue was that the site was not catching traffic from google very well because the page titles and keywords were too general.

After obtaining access to the website host I was able to fix the layout glitch across all the common browsers, and customise each page’s title and keywords to reflect its content. As a bonus I connected the website to a web traffic analysis package so that now the proprietor can see which pages his clients are viewing and what search phrases they employ.

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