received date and reconstruct

Phil Chambers P.A.Chambers at
Thu Nov 20 09:12:58 EST 2003

We give users the option of diverting suspected spam into a spam-folder so that they 
can check for false positives.  Unfortunately, some users don't bother cleaning this 
folder out on a regular basis.

I was planning to have a script go through doing this every night.  It would use the 
creation dates of the message files, deleting ones that are too old and then use 
reconstruct to tidy up.

I have two questions:

1) Can I rely on the creation date?  I ask this because I have just seen an inbox 
where every message file had the same date/time.  The date/time was 4.05 this 
morning and the user was not active at that time and the files had not been 
recovered from backup. Without any external activity, I cannot see what would have 
changed the creation dates.

2) Is it safe to use reconstruct on a live system in this way?  I am concerned in 
case a new message gets delivered into the folder while reconstruct is doing its 

Phil Chambers (postmaster at
University of Exeter

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