THE VIEW FROM CHAOS MANOR
View 306 April 19 - 26, 2004
Highlights this week:
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April 19, 2004
I will be driving home today. There is considerable mail and other material from the weekend. I have learned a great deal about management of pst files, More tonight.
Home. I am goofing around trying to make Outlook work the way I want it to with multiple PST files and like that. It's not as easy as I thought it would be, but I'll get there.
Well, I have twice uninstalled Microsoft Office in order to get rid of Microsoft Outlook. The first time when I reinstalled it, it found the pst file with multiple copies of this and that, and the inability to use the Contacts information as an address book. Since I didn't have that problem when Installing this miserable mess of too clever by half hacks on the Tablet I can only conclude that somewhere in ther resides pointers to things. I have now renamed ever pst file to something else, and moved them to places where I don't see how it could find them. I will now reinstall Office 2003 and see if I can make it behave.
I hate it when I get error messages that instead of telling me what to do, refer me to help == only OF COURSE help is no help. I have extraneous contacts folders in my address book which in fact can't find any unless I look by hand. When I try to open one of the extraneous ones it tells me that folder can't be opened, and to remove it I should look at Microsoft Office Help. Of course, of course, help is no help.
So I have again uninstalled this thing, and killed every file it might seek help from. With luck it will create a new Outlook.pst file somewhere -- I really don't care where -- after which I can import my older structure, and maybe make it work.
Of course it used to work on this machine but I made the hideous mistake of trying to get the outlook.pst files in the same place on both the tablet and the desktop where I run Outlook. Stupid of me. Microsoft doesn't want me to have an easy life.
I am really irked by all this cleverness. One had to be smart to create a mess like this. And I can't delete the surplus stuff because delete options are greyed out, and there is no override. If I knew the file names I would go in with a DOS-Like program for NT files and delete them by hand...
Well, that didn't work. I can import my contacts, but when I do I get a huge number of empty contacts folders that cannot be deleted. I can search among them until I find a non-empty one and then I can find a name to put on a new message, but setting the contacts folder as an address book doesn't work, and I can't delete any of the interminable list of empty ones.
This is completely fouled up. If there were a way just to duplicate what I have on the Tablet here on the big desktop it would be all right, but of course Microsoft won't allow that. I am sure all this imbecility is part of some kind of vast copy protection scheme. I hate this. I hate it.
There must be some way to restore this thing to where it used to be, without all that gubbage. There must be some way to uninstall Microsoft Office without reformatting the disk. So far anything short of that has left residual files I don't know about that tell Outlook to go get the bad data structure with multiple personal folders and other stuff I don't want. Why it wants to do that I do not know. And why I have to go through my rules every time and change folders to other folders of the same name I don't know.
This must be the worst user setup interface in all popular software. I cannot think of anything that is harder to use.
Am I going to have to scrap everything and type all my contacts in by hand because I can't import the contacts? It all runs on the Tablet PC, but it will not run properly on the desktop. It used to run on the desktop. I am sure I have done something unforgivable. And apparently I can't just start over.
Sable is at the dog wash, muzzled: I am the only one who can put that muzzle on her. She figures I may have the right, but no other wolf is going to do that to her. I bribe the people there, and Sable sort of puts up with it, and it's still a lot better than my doing it.
Microsoft is said to have someone calling me this afternoon. Perhaps I will be able to figure this out and tell everyone else.
http://www.techcentralstation.com/042004A.html I have not read this TCS paper in detail, but it looks to be very like what I proposed over a year ago. Had we done it then we would not be in such trouble now.
|This week:||Tuesday, April
Has any company ever had a worse HELP system than Microsoft? I have forgotten how to adjust the intervals at which Outlook automatically checks for mail. I am insufficiently ingenious to find the help index entry that might help me. In older editions of OUTLOOK it was obvious, but they moved it to "improve" the interface, and it has become entirely lost to me.
OK. I found it. HELP could not. And it is not in the send/receive menu entry under Tools. It is not in the send/receive settings entry in the menu under tools. Instead it is tools, options, mail setup, send/receive, which is entirely different from the send/receive menu in tools. Beedee, beedee, beedee.
I still cannot remove surplus folders from my address book so if I try to send mail and hit "To" I get a message that the folder isn't available. I can manually work my way down the list of empty folders until I find one that is not empty. This wastes time. The error message says that to remove these unwanted folders try Microsoft Office Help. I laugh hysterically.
I am off to get the dog washed. Back with more mail and stuff later.
OK. Microsoft HELP called me (you probably won't get this level of technical support at least so quickly) and it's all there, impossible to find through help, clear if previously known, but all logical and sensible eventually.
I have got it all fixed at last. Amazing.
April 21, 2004
Headed for Phoenix tomorrow but not sure which car to take. Someone hit my parked Explorer last night, head on. Most of the damage is to the brush guard, but that's quite badly bent. If it drives all right I may take it anyway, assuming the headlights work properly. They may not. Certainly the flamethrower lights on the brush guard won't be aimed properly, but that hardly matters, and for that matter I won't be driving at night.
Anyway, the Space Activity Society thing is in Phoenix and I'll be there.
The US Marine Corps project to get some Iraqi TV stations back on the air has been oversubscribed. Hurrah!
I will be taking both the Tablet PC and the PowerBook on the trip. I have a neat GPS unit for the Tablet; coming back from San Diego I had a better picture of my wife's car's speed than she did!
And another place to worry about: Venezuela
Dear Mr. Pournelle,
I'd really like to read your current Byte.com article about Movielink's struggles ("Lessons of Greed"). I'm willing to subscribe to the site (you have to buy a year's subscription), but I've been waiting to hear if I can unsubscribe later if I find I don't read it often enough.
Meanwhile, is there any other site you know of where I can legally read your article?
No, unless they choose to print that part of the column in Dr. Dobbs. Or you can subscribe to Nikkei Byte, but that will be in Japanese. CMP Publications pays me well to do these columns, but they buy the English rights; so no substantial part of the column will ever be here or elsewhere with my permission.
BYTE doesn't cost that much for a subscription, and you get not only about 10,000 words a month from me, but also Alex Pournelle's show reports -- he is at NAB now, and his RSA conference report is posted in the current issue -- and David Em on graphic arts; David is the best authority on that subject alive. You also get Moshe Bar and Martin Heller and a bunch of other people. BYTE on line has as much content as the old paper BYTE did, and is more than worth the subscription price -- and of course they will not be able to pay me if they don't have subscribers.
I don't make pitches very often, but I will say I find BYTE on line the best computer magazine around, with PC Mag a close second.
Subject: Journalist Earns Significant Salary Trading Virtual Goods
Julian Dibbell reports that his year-long experiment in virtual item trading from the fantasy world of Ultima Online netted him, in its final month, a tidy profit of $3,917. Over the course of a year, that would be $47,000. The self-imposed challenge here was to beat his best-ever earnings as a writer, but that's not the only benchmark one could apply. http://terranova.blogs.com/terra_nova/2004/04/journalist_earn.html
===== -- John E. Bartley, III K7AAY telcom admin, PDX - Views mine. celdata cjb net - Handheld Cellular Data FAQ *This post quad-ROT13 encrypted. Reading it violates the DMCA.*
Interesting. So there's hope for us if the industry collapses?
April 22, 2004
April 23, 2004
Had an uneventful drive to Phoenix. The conference is going well, interesting enough that I had no chance to log on until now. It will still be short. I have a stuffed up nose and something of a residual cold, and it's late.
I have seen some fascinating stuff. Robot space tugs looks like a real money-maker and will start soon enough. Blimps into space looks insane but they have flown some of the parts of a 3 stage to orbit system and they are talking about costs to space of a dollar a ton/mile. Ton mile. And it looks like it may work.
More another time on that. I did my talk. If you're familiar with what I have said about space here you have probably heard it.
The space tug company is financed by Americans and run by Americans but it is a European company. Shade of things to come? The regulatory environment is better? In Europe?
April 24, 2003
Space Access Conference. Balloons to space! Balloons to Orbit! And other marvels.
April 25 2004
From the Flying j truck stop in the Arizona desert. On the road home. By WiFi!
Back home. The Flying J trucks stops now advertise on their billboards 20 miles from the stop that they have WiFi hot spots. It's all true, and you can log on. It's not enormously cheap:
But it's interesting. I signed on for an hour's worth and downloaded my email, put a note here to show I'd done it, and drove on after filling the car with Arizona gasoline at considerably lower prices than California's. I expect to see a lot more of this as time goes on, and the prices will fall. I also expect pirates to find ways to exploit it.
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