Tuesday, October 16, 2007

More Annoyance

No sooner had I posted yesterday on the subject of my Brother in Law and his stupid Mac, my e-mail broke down.

To be totally forthcoming, it broke down more than it was the day before. I use full-blown Outlook for my POP client because I know it, had a copy and need it's ability to presort mail into pigeon-holes based on me-supplied rules. It works at work, mostly1 , and had worked fine for me until I added the Stevieling's copy.

My wife almost broke it, and yelled at me for ages when I first installed her copy, because she had about a thousand3 e-mails on the webmail server and POP helpfully downloaded them to our machine. Taking her private mail from a publicly accessed server and moving it to our privately owned machine was a problem for some reason. Thank Azathoth we had a broadband connection at the time.

For some reason, adding a third copy of the e-mail client (or a third profile for it to be totally accurate) broke it in a weird, inconvenient but non-fatal way. From that point on it wouldn't send the last thing in the Outbox folder.

I did some research and the consensus from the all-but useless Microsoft technet site was that the only fix was to erase the "pst" files and reinstall. The PST files are a condensed copy of all the e-mail that has been sent to Outlook, so you can see I wasn't keen on that option.

I struggled for three nights with the damned thing, then did what you can guess I did and just put a dummy outbound e-mail into each outbox and called it a day. Yesterday, for no known reason, the bloody thing refused to send anything out. I ended up running a "repair" from the CD-ROM which put me back to the work-around stage, but in doing so managed to evapourate all my contacts.

This was the straw that broke the camel's back.

I am absolutely sick to the back teeth of the "just so far and no further" design ethic that has become the De Facto standard operating procedure for the purveyors of the half-arsed crap they call "products". Symantec broke their firewall a couple of years ago with a stupid, poorly tested update that caused all web pages to load glacially4. I lost my machine a while back to events I'm sure are bound up with a so-called "alternative" to Norton Ghost. This sort of thing is infuriating enough, but to produce an e-mail client that cannot be safely deployed in a multi-user fashion on an operating system made by the same company smacks of incompetence on a staggering scale.

I'm told Eudora can do all that I want from Outlook, so I will be giving that a go. Let's hope it can cope with being woken up by three different people in three different contexts without losing control of its bladder.


  1. Although the idiots in charge of the mail have a "nuke it" default policy when they do something that breaks an e-mail profile, and persuading them to start diagnosing the problem instead of making it didn't happen2 is a three-day affair. I know this because I've done it
  2. A process that makes all one's mail, rules and contacts evapourate
  3. Not kidding, that's an actual approximate count
  4. Because my machine has a "paltry" 1.8 gigahertz processor some image-heavy pages, Symantec's own included, were taking ten minutes and more to load

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