How to Send Mail to Neil

I realize the instructions that follow aren't convenient. I apologize for that, but the massive volume of spam I've been receiving has forced me to take drastic steps.

My email address is nparker at llx dot com. You'll have to figure out how to turn that into a valid address yourself...I'm not going to make the spammers' job any easier by displaying it in its proper form.

Due to the draconian filter I've placed on my mailbox, you'll need to follow a few rules in order to get your mail through to me. If you don't follow these rules, I'll never see your mail, or even know that you sent it.

Address your mail directly to me. If my address doesn't show up explicitly in the To: or Cc: list, your mail will be automatically thrown away before I can see it. This means it's impossible to Bcc: a message to me.

Don't send me any attachments. If you need to send me an attachment, first send me a plain text message to make arrangements for getting the attachment past my shields.

Note that some email programs automatically attach attachments to your message even if you don't ask for it. I believe Outlook does this in its default configuration, and I have seen similar behavior from Gmail. If you want me to see your message, you'll have to figure out how to turn off this feature. (Hint: Try looking for an option to disable HTML mail.)

Don't send me HTML-formatted email. Send the mail as plain text. Unfortunately, as with attachments, HTML-formatted email has become the default with many email programs, so you'll have to figure out how to turn off this feature.

Choose your subject line carefully. There are a variety of subjects that will cause your mail to be automatically deleted, and the scanner is designed to recognize taboo words (and common misspellings of them) even when interrupted by spaces and punctuation marks. I'm not going to list the taboo subjects here, but you can probably guess what many of them are by looking at the spam in your own mailbox.

Limit your subject line to US-ASCII characters. My apologies to readers outside the US, but there's usually not much point in sending me non-English text, since English is the only language I'm fluent in.

If all else fails: If, for example, you can't find any way to prevent your email software from attaching attachments, or formatting your mail as HTML, you can get your mail past the filter by including a special magic word in the subject, enclosed in square brackets. For example, if today's magic word were "alakazam", you would put "[alakazam]" somewhere in the subject (without the quotation marks).

Today's magic word is officiousness. This word will change at irregular intervals, so don't assume that the magic word that worked last time will still work today - you will need reload this page to find out what today's magic word is. (Just revisiting this page may not be enough - use your browser's refresh button.)

Again, I apologize for the inconvenience. I realize some people may find some of these rules difficult to fulfill, especially the one about no attachments. But I've gotten so sick of the sewage that's been pouring into my inbox that I've decided that aggressive filtering is worth the risk of missing a few legitimate messages.