AG fuer technische Informatik Meystre

Keep always a clean mailbox using LookFirst as preview spam filter

LookFirst an email preview reader will analyze the message header of the selected email account using just ascii text processing without starting any scripts, link or attachment, so this is a safe and quick way to keep away all unwanted messages, spam and virus from your mailbox

Caution, this is not a virus checker, attachements are never checked or downloaded !

LookFirst is using the top command of the pop3 protocol to get just the first part of the message. Unwanted messages are then directly deleted using the dele command of pop3.

With LookFirst you can organize your mailbox for a strict receiving of mails from registered addresses, as example just the recorded addresses of the friends of your child.

Download of the mails must follows immediately after preprocessing to minimize the risk to get unwanted messages at last minute.

Download freeware version of LookFirst for Windows 95,98,NT,2000,XP.


Unzip the downloaded zip-file to a location of your choice. (example: C:\programs\LookFirst\) This will then be your LookFirst work area containing the following files:

File name            Description
Readme.txt information, conditions of use and disclaimer
LookFirst.exe the email preprocessing program
LookFirst.dat option archive of your personal settings
Maillog.txt Header listing of the last analysis, created at the first use
MailRep.txt log of all received emails, created at first used and appending data of each session
myReader a link to your favorite email reader to open it after preprocessing, example is in the zip

Using LookFirst

LookFirst is running in 2 different mode.

Settings before first email processing

Double click LookFirst.exe and click on the Settings button to open the option dialog

Fill the list of your email provider addresses as text or IP address 192.168,23.12, first of the list is default provider.

next fill the user name as preset for the login, for security reason, password can't be saved.

the preset of Start with Mail# is mostly 1, but can be 5 to skip the first 5 messages in the post box.

In the normal mode emails are downloaded in batches of 20, 50, 100 ore more. Enter a number less than 200 at Number of Mails at once.

next fill the list of the wanted email addresses or part of it or keyword in the subject.

that can be: or friend@nice or or s34x58gztf4 as a secret key inserted in the subject of an email

next fill the list of rejected addresses, part of it or part of subject text.

that can be: or bill.spammer@ or the domain or a word like Viagra

The good items list is stronger than the bad one. First check is made on the bad list, second check is on the good list.

First an incoming email is marked as unknown , after first filtering it may be bad but with a valid entry in the good list it can be switched back to a good one.

Close the settings dialog with OK to save the values or cancel to just close without save.

Use in normal mode

Select provider, enter user name and password let the default values as is. The timing value in milliseconds between commands is needed to avoid deadlocks. This depends of answer speed of your post office. A very low value can create a dead lock.

Click on Get Statistics if you just want to see how many mails are in the box. The result is written in the frame at the bottom of the dialog window.

Click on Get Mail will start a first download batch. During download you will see Sender and subject in a centered window for a short time ( the timing value you set before ). After download mail number are reached you get it listed as tree view in a new window.

after getting the pre selected number of messages, here 50, you can see the detail information in a new popup window. During read, the information is scanned on unwanted messages and spam. In the tree view unwanted message are marked by a red icon , yellow icons are for unknown sources and warnings and the green icon is marking the valid and wanted messages. Double click on the icon will change the status of the message.

The left most button changes all yellow mails into red one. Next is the UNDO button.

The Process Mails button will delete all messages with the red icon directly on the mail server without downloading any text or attachments. Cancel will just close the window doing nothing more. After closing the tree view the mail server connection is closed also. Now all unwanted mails have been deleted from your mailbox, use your standard POP3 reader to get the wanted mails as usual.

Use in hidden mode

To use LookFirst in hidden mode you must first create a link on your desktop pointing to LookFirst.

Open the link icon choose properties and modify the command line by appending -h at the end of the line

double click on this shortcut will now start LookFirst in the hidden mode.

All defaults are preset from the options, you just have to enter your password and click on Get Mails to start processing

during download you can see the status bar, and the total number of emails. The 3 counters for good , unknown and bad are refresh all the time. At the end the last confirmation before definitely deletion of the unknown and bad mails.

with OK all yellow and red status mails are removed from the mail server without download to your mailbox. The green status mails are retained on the mail server.

after closing the last message indicating the number of deleted mails, LookFirst is closed and you favorite Mail Reader program is opened, if there are 1 ore more good Emails. Download the remaining mails immediately before new, unchecked one are reaching the mail server

The report file MailRep.txt has a line for each processed email. You can open this file with a text editor or import it in a database as MS-Access or MS-Excel or in documents of open office.

the second file created is Maillog.txt containing all headers of the last session. If you want save it rename it or copy it to another location. Maillog.txt is overwritten at each mail processing

To open your mail reader automatically - copy a shortcut of it from your desktop to the working folder of LookFirst (same folder than LookFirst.exe ) an rename it to myReader

under construction

Information and ordering: André Meystre HB9BIG back to AGTIM Homepage