DAILY: Monday, December 13, 1999

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An irregular journal of things computerish.

For the BYTE story, click here.

Previous Weeks of The View 1  2   3  4  5  6

If you want to PAY FOR THIS there are problems, but I keep the latest HERE. I'm trying.

This is a day book. It's not all that well edited, and some of it will be repititious and boring. If you want the original CHAOS MANOR columns, stay tuned: I'll take this mess and make a real 4,000 word column out of it monthly, at least for a while, since the overseas BYTE magazines seem willing to buy translation rights. Stay tuned on that.

SPECIAL REPORT on 1998 MELTDOWN by Peter Glaskowsky

I SURE NEED HELP.  Click here...

Monday Tuesday  Wednesday Thursday  Friday Saturday  Sunday

Current (This needs archiving, but I don't have time tonight, so this goes over a week.)

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Monday, July 13, 1998

I didn't get to the NT 4 Server installation on Fireball largely due to sloth. Fireball works splendidly in Windows 95 with none of the problems we had in Windows 98. Of course it also had a failed installation of Back Office Server on there which may have had something to do with the problem.

I have created a big RAID5 out of the 3 disks in the DPT Raid tower. Of course Windows 95 can't see them (it saw the previous RAID with disks D, E, F, G, and H) because I have done nothing about partitions. That's next. I'm creaking slowly forward.

I find that Nikkei BYTE will pay quite well for a monthly column; not quite enough to make it worth doing just for them, but I have sent out inquiries to the other 20 overseas licensees. If all of them were paying anything like what Nikkei BYTE was paying, BYTE was making money on me; it may be I will end up making more with overseas sales than I was getting from BYTE, since I got nothing but prestige from the overseas editions. The arrangement will leave me free to sell or publish the English rights, so this may work out well indeed. It may also mean that English is the only language the Chaos Manor column isn't printed in. A strange irony.

It does mean doing a real monthly instead of these snippets, but I was about determined to do that anyway, leaving this daily view as my sort of on-line daybook. What I get from that is your comments; and perhaps we can find a way to make some revenue from all that too.

Meanwhile, the NT installation continues. Hiked my 5 miles up the hill today (and yesterday, and the day before; getting back in shape, and I am under 220 pounds and falling….) Delivered a printed copy of Burning City to my movie agent, giving Roberta a chance to see the new Renaissance offices (Mr. Gotler's agency is called Renaissance) and me a chance to drive the Chrysler through the canyons. And I did finish the Intellectual Capital column last night, and Mr. Du Pont says he likes it, so that's that deadline out of the way. Enough for the day, I think…

Tuesday, July 14, 1998

Not much to report. Front Page apparently redraws the entire table if you have a table: I mean redraws it with every single keystroke. The way to do this is write in WORD and paste into here. I worked mostly on fiction Tuesday, with some side experiments on trying to get NT Work Station going on Fireball. That turned out to be a waste of time. We had tickets for the Hollywood Bowl, so that took up the evening. Great performance of the Bruch violin concerto. OK Elgar Enigma. Good hike from Hamburger Hamlet up to the Bowl and back.

Wednesday July 15, 1998:

If you want to go mildly mad, try installing NT on a complicated system with a RAID box, and be sure that the RAID box doesn't have identical drives in it. At least it is enough to drive me nuts.

Here's another of those situations where in the monthly column you would see just enough of the trials and tribulations to know it was a problem, but you wouldn't learn of the blind alleys, or not all of them. One of the 'secrets' of my old column was that I never wrote a story that didn't have a happy ending.

Incidentally, one happy ending is the way I am doing this: I'm writing in WORD, so my misspellings like 'teh' become 'the' even as I type; I am astonished at how accustomed I am to having my machine do that for me. As I have noted before, I am not an accurate typist, being utterly self taught. I'm just fast. Anyway, I write in WORD, and paste this into Front Page, and all is well.

On this diversion: I know some of you want me to continue playing with Dreamweaver. My problems with Dreamweaver are that it's never going to have a Word-like editor (but then who cares since you can paste into it) and it has no mechanism for following links. Dreamweaver is probably better suited to designing pages than is Front Page, but it's not better suited to designing SITES, particularly sites like mine that 'just growed'. (Diversion the next: as managing director of the Seattle Civic Playhouse many years ago I once directed a revival of Uncle Tom's Cabin, arguably the most influential stage play and book in the history of the nation; in the play, Topsy, one of the little slave children is more or less adopted by a spinster school teacher who asks her where she came from. Topsy replies "I don't know, Ma'am, I reckon I just growed." So now you know where that expression came from.)

Back to the NT mess. I had the system working just fine in Windows 95. I installed NT Server, but I wasn't able to set up the network administration properly, and worse, when I tried to format the big RAID array into something useable in NTFS I ended up with blue screens and the system won't come up at all. I'm starting over. Darnell says the simplest thing to do is scrub it to nothing, bring it up from scratch, and put everything in NTFS. I'll probably do it that way. My original intent was to have a small W 95 partition largely to make Plug and Play easier, another small FAT for NT itself so that I could get at it in DOS if need be, and the rest NTFS. That isn't working very well.

In the monthly column you would see some problems, some solutions, and the happy ending, with the path to get there, leaving out some of the weird missteps and odd blind alleys I tend to go down in the real world. Nothing for it, of course, but if you want skip all this stuff, I'll have an actual column done by the end of the month, and I'm sure this story will be in it.

The reason I'll do a column is that the overseas BYTE magazines are willing to pay for it, or at least some are; enough that it may match the revenue I was getting before the fiasco, and they're only buying translation rights. We'll see; the real story doesn't end until checks clear the bank, but this self-syndication looks to be worth the attempt. Do that and take a few ads for this site and it may work out well.

More later. I have to go play with a sick friend, namely Fireball. Maybe this time I just scrub it all and go to one big NT installation with NTFS.

Wednesday Afternoon

We're getting there. It helps to have Darnell look at things. We now have a big NT server, with a new domain. The RAID is set up as one pair of mirrored drives, on which I can put all the irreplaceable stuff. All the other assets are visible, and between Princess and Fireball is a 100 megabit net. The only problem is that due to mucking about with that system we did not manage to set up a new Linux box; that comes next. But Chaos Manor now has two servers and two domains, and on one of this is a highly mirrored drive. Neat. The reorganization take place pretty soon.

What I really need now is an updated copy of The Net Archivist. TNA was the tape backup system I used way back in Windows 3.1 days, although it was then primarily designed for Netware 3. What was good about it was that not only did it do backups with rules, but it guarded against operator error: against overwriting a file with a later version. TNA kept the old version as well as the new. I need something like that, and I'll have to start looking into it.

Regarding Outlook and making mail lists: the right way to do it is apparently through Access. I'm learning more about that now, but you can export an Outlook directory to Access, manipulate it, and, at least in theory, reimport it to Outlook as a mailing list. I've got all but the last stage done, and I'll try the rest after I read up on Outlook mail lists and their structure. If it turns out that Outlook doesn't really know how to do proper mail lists, I'll put in Eudora which does. One way or another I'm getting a handle on that aspect of my life.

And Roberta wants Visual Basic installed on her machine so she can start trying to convert the Mac version of her program to Windows. We'll be testing some of the interactive course books on VB 5 as part of this learning process.

About the only thing I didn't get done today is fiction, but I've actually been thinking about all that, and I have a bunch of scenes in my head that I dreamed up partly last night at the Hollywood Bowl during the Elgar Enigma Variations. Rick and Tylara are in really big trouble…

Thursday, July 16, 1998

Most of the day will be spent doing a 4,000 word column made up from the previous few weeks of notes. Nikkei BYTE wants it fast, and is willing to pay. I'll hang back on posting the English until I talk to them, since I've promised the overseas BYTE editions the same rights they used to buy from McGraw Hill.

It's odd: CMP doesn't seem to have noticed that there are overseas BYTE editions and that they were willing to pay for materials including my column. More and more I wonder why CMP bought BYTE.

NT Server is working, There are some oddities in the Iomega Zip IDE drive. It's also low on memory, and a trip to Fry's didn't find any: this box wants 3.3 volt BUFFERED DIMMS, and there aren't any in stock. I've sent a message to Kinston, and I expect they'll get me some. Fireball is configured with one mirrored drive. When I get to the mail for the week I have a cogent argument on why mirroring isn't as bright an idea as it might be; it certainly doesn't defend against system and operator errors. It is a safeguard against a single hard disk failure. I am keeping text files there, as well as backup copies of this web site, although of course the web site is backed up automatically: it exists in a directory here, and also on the big Alpha that hosts it at Darnell's binmedia. If you have a web host requirement, talk to about it. I'm certainly a satisfied customer. More to the point, so are a number of industrial clients.

I had misspelled Peter Glaskowsky's name, not once but many times, on many different pages. I was trying to figure out what to do about that when I remembered a line in the Reviewer's Guide that came with Front Page 98. There's a global search and replace function that operates from Front Page Explorer. I put in replace Glascowsky with Glaskowsky, and did the global; it responds with a list of pages where it found the search string. At this point it doesn't have a 'finish' button, and if you merely close that window you will have accomplished nothing. You must poke the "edit page" button; it then brings up each page it found, with the replace box on top. Choose "find next" and it will do that. Choose "replace all" and it takes care of it for that page. Save the page, and you're ready to "edit page" for the next one. In my case it was about 7 pages, but the whole job with saves and all only took about five minutes, maybe less. Then "Publish" and it takes care of the rest. Not bad.

I've been opening mail. The CMP check is here and in a minute I'll go out to the bank and deposit it. Also, about fifty envelopes with subscription money from many of you. If you haven't sent any money and want to, here is how. My friends at KUSC say the only way they get subscriptions is every now and they to have a subscription drive, in which they spend all day yattering about paying your share and so forth. I'm not sure I am up to that. Consider it virtually done.

Now to do the BYTE column and get it off to Japan. You'll all see it here in due season. I think I will use Acrobat to make it look like the printed column did, so you can download and print if you like. We'll see. Depends on how hard it is to do that.

Thursday Evening  HELP!!!

I retire defeated. I cannot figure out how Outlook works, and worse, there's the complication that it may be what I need to do is use Outlook express. Probably what I want is Eudora and to heck with this idiocy.

I have asked for this before, but I got confusing answers. I have a folder into which I have sorted a bunch of names. Your names, mostly. I would like to make a mailing list from that. I can't do it.

I cab export that list to an Access file, and then open that file in Access. Now if I could just fill the Category column with the words "Mail List 1", I could possibly import that back to Outlook; after which I know how to select all the records in a category for a mailing list. The problem is I can't do that either. I would have thought there is a way to make access FILL a column, but I sure can't find it, in HELP, or in any of about 9 books I have about Office and Access. It's terribly frustrating: I can paste the words "Mail List 1" into each record, hundreds and hundreds of them, one at a time. Bigus Dealus. I thought computers were intended for that.

If there is a drag and drop method of pulling names into a mailing list in Outlook I do not know it. MCI Mail has known how to do that for about 10 years, but I suppose it is too much to ask Microsoft to make useful tools, or, if they do, to make decent help files, and index their documentation. I am not a stupid person, and if in an hour of looking things up in books, and experimenting, I cannot make a program so something obvious like fill a column in a data base, either it can't be done, or the person who designed the program shouldn't be allowed to work on anything else. This is very bad; frustrating; and a waste of time. I will shortly install Eudora. Or, for that matter, go back to Netscape, which has better ways to manipulate mail than this. But in fact the MCI mail program I have had for years and years was an even easier one to use. Just drag and drop into a named folder to create a mailing list. What is hard about that? Why shouldn't you be able to do that in Outlook?

If anyone out there is an Outlook or Access enthusiast, please send me your defense of these programs, and in particular, tell me how to fill a column in Access, or create a mailing list in Outlook. Or both. Or tell me why you can't do that, since both are obvious things one would want to do, and which computers can do a lot better than people.

I'm pretty disgusted at this point. I would think any secretary could design programs better than Access and Outlook, in the sense of planning features one would want to USE. Have I just missed something obvious?

While we are at it, how do I get an ODBC Resource? Where does it reside? When I try to export a file from Outlook, I get the message that "the ODBC resource DLL odbcint.dll is a different version than [sic] the ODBC driver manager ODBC32.dll. You need to reinstall the ODBC components to insure proper operation." There is, of course, no clue as to what this gobbledygook means. I have no idea if I am supposed to reinstall Windows NT Workstation, Outlook, or Office, or any two of them, or all three. I have no notion of where an ODBC32 might reside. This is one of those typical Microsoft error messages that they inherited from IBM.

IBM has a secret school that teaches people how to write error messages that are absolutely clear if you know what they mean, and convey no meaning whatever if you didn't know already what it meant. Microsoft has clearly been sending programmers to that school. I wish they wouldn't.

Has anyone any help with:

How to find and install an ODBC whatever that is

How to fill an Access column?

How to make a mailing list from an Outlook file folder of mail messages?

Which mail program that does know how to make mailing lists I ought to use? I suspect Eudora. I already have that, and I think I had better go get it.

I am beginning to hate Microsoft. I do like WORD though.

Late Thursday Night

This is one of those days. Clearly. Installing Eudora did no good at all; if it has a way to import mail from Outlook it's not telling me. So I still have no way to make a mail file from that folder of mail.

Since Outlook keeps all its files in one huge binary file that cannot be parsed, you can't get at it that way. I can export to an Access data base, and from that to something else, and eventually get into Eudora, and I may do that; but it seems a pretty complicated way to make a mailing list. I truly believe this was probably easier with Procomm in DOS; things have been improved to the point of unusability.

One thing is now certain. Outlook is unlikely to be the right personal data manager for me. I liked Franklin Ascend a lot for a while; maybe they have fixed some of the bugs? There has to be something that is actually simple to use, and lets you drag mail into a list to make a new mailing list? Because Outlook is stupid. If you want to add a name to the Outlook "contact" list from mail, you must first:

Open the mail message.

Double click on the sender's name.

Add to the Address book. You can now put some things in there, but NOT categories.

NOW you get to go to the Contact list and find the name you just entered: THEN you can add a category. Once you have done that you can select by category. If this seems like a clumsy and brain damaged way to enter a contact, it seems that way to me, too; as if the program designer actually never thought about using it.

I do not know who designed Outlook, but Microsoft would be wise to take that person out of program design and not let him work on anything else that is intended to be used. Perhaps he can be sent as an agent provocateur to some other company. Access is a decent data base, barring the fact that I can't figure out how to fill a column with the same data; but Outlook seems deliberately designed to be awkward for use for any real purpose. It reminds me of some of those toy data bases we used to build out of BASIC back in CP/M days.


FRIDAY, July 17, 1998


This is our 39th Anniversary, and we went places today. I'll expand on these notes tomorrow.

THE OBDC problem: solved, in that it doesn’t happen any more. I still don't understand how I got the problem or what I should have done; but at least it's over.


The mail list problems: several suggested solutions. Need to figure how to make a mail list out of a single file of addresses. That is, with Access I can strip off everything but the mail address, and also eliminate duplicates, and save as a text file. Now what mail program will send to a list in a file? Will Outlook? If so it doesn't say so in the documents. I have suggestions for other mail programs.

Saw Armageddon. With willing suspension of disbelief it is quite good. Won't stand up to really critical watching, but then what does? Otherwise a lot of fun.


SATURDAY July 18, 1998 Morning

It is to be a record high in the Valley today, and my air conditioner ceased to work sometime after midnight. Why not? It will have to wait until Monday, since I am not about to pay triple time for someone to fix it. Assuming I can find anyone. The fan goes on, but not the compressor, which means it is probably electrical in some way. With luck it won't cost that much…


Fixing ODBC: will do it, thanks to a reader whose mail (and thus name) I have lost. My sincere thanks. I had previously spelunked in the Microsoft site with searches and wasted time downloading all kinds of file, none of which were able to take care of my problem. This place works, but I am not sure what would be the best algorithm for finding it.

It's not as easy to do as you might think. If you merely download and turn off Outlook, then install, it will NOT allow it; NT claims that a process is still running. You must REBOOT, and immediately without opening Outlook, run the EXE program that updates ODBC.

I did in fact manage a bit earlier, by going to C:\WINNT40\$Servicepack Install having found there were ODBC files there; then I rebooted, went back there, selected them all, and copied them into WINNT40/SYSTEM overwriting what was there. That did seem to allow OUTLOOK to export without warning messages. Then I got the message from a reader -- it annoys me excessively that I cannot find that message, I can't think where I stored it; the drag and drop storage system encourages errors if you aren't watching closely; it's a major defect. But since the subject was, as I recall, more general than just ODBC it makes it very difficult since I have to read every candidate message to the bottom. In any event, I got the message from a reader, went to the Microsoft site and downloaded, and after rebooting installed this. It worked perfectly, and perhaps my ODBC problems are over.

NT is very tricky; once you have it working you have to be very careful what you do. Case in point. We set up FIREBALL as an NT server. I wish we hadn't. FIREBALL has "only" 64 megs of memory, and that is not enough. I can't just replace the memory since the Micronics W6-LI Pentium Dual Processor board wants Buffered EDO DIMMS, and Fry's has none. I tried unbuffered which are much cheaper but they don't fit. Meanwhile, a lot doesn't work. Adaptec EZ CD Creator is one of them; at least the CD Duplicator part is. I had a TEAC 6 pack CDROM and a TEAC CD/R drive in there; the changer is run off IDE, while the CD/R was run off the DPT SCSI controller. EZ CD Creator didn't believe that there was a valid CD writing device in the system. It invited me to reinstall. I did. No joy.

I then changed to the Adaptec SCSI that's built into the motherboard as the device to drive the TEAC CD/R. I then used that CD/R as the CD ROM for installing EZ CD Creator. It installed just fine. Then Adaptec's copier deluxe reported there was no valid CD writer in the system. I then changed to a Ricoh Media Master. Reinstalled. Rebooted. It takes half a lifetime to reboot this system, but I did all that. NOW I have a valid CD writing device! Unfortunately, while CD Copier believes there are 6 CDROM drives (the changer) it doesn't believe there is a source disk in any one of them. No valid source. OK, use the CD Changer as the drive from which, once more, to install Adaptec EZ CD Creator. No joy. It sees the writer, but it does not believe there is any source disk to make a copy of . All other applications read from that changer without problems.

OK, maybe it can't understand that changer. I will install a new Memorex Multi-read 24X cdrom.

Did so. NT isn't working properly. EVERYTHING including trying to shut down takes about five minutes and I am not exaggerating. It is as if glue had been poured into the machine. And note that I am not running any processes. Of course it IS a SERVER, and SERVERS do all kinds of important things they don't tell you about or allow you to turn off. I am going to try to shut down and restart and see if that helps. But I really think NT Server is mostly for places that need something to run quietly in the back room, never to be reconfigured, never to have any applications on it, and if you want anything trick like big RAID drives and lots of network connections, think very hard about what you want, get it set up, and leave it alone. NT is not really ready for the experimenter.

Shut down is reporting that the Microsoft Office Shortcut Bar is hogging the system, and the whole systems wants 233400 of memory. This seems a bit excessive. Maybe restarting will work. If so I'll remove the Office shortcut bar from startup. NT Servers, poor things, don't seem to like to run applications, at least not with a mere 64 megs of memory. Incidentally, shutting down is taking about ten minutes so far. It did shut down. I'll continue the story later.


I'm going to build a Windows 95b machine; that understands CD R/W drives. NT doesn't so far as I can tell.


Saturday, Continued.

First, I want to thank everyone who responded to my Outlook, mail, and ODBC problems. I wish I had time to thank each of you individually, but this has been a heck of a week. I will try to get a selection of mail together. Often what is put up here depends on when it came in, and sometimes it's sheer whim; while I do try to be somewhat selective, I really can't edit a bunch of mail and take the best from each; so if one message is good enough on a couple of points and excellent on another, it's likely to go in and if time is short, two that are better on the other points just don't get in at all. And so forth. But I want again to thank all those who are helpful. One thing: please don't send me hyperlinks to BIX; send instead to or which gets them here to Outlook quickly. With BIX in order to do links I generally have to forward the mail here since whle it's in theory possible to do direct web access through BIX, it's not easy, and I don't do it.

On BIX: BIX is a klunky old text only conference. To get on it you must first join DELPHI, and once you have that account, send me email and we'll get you into BIX. We're selective about BIX: it's one of the last of the old conferences that doesn't have flame wars (or if it does they're controlled), most messages are relevant, and while it's entirely moderated, the moderators seldom have to do much. The Tojerry conference is one of the oldest in the world, and has all kinds of conversations. There are also highly technical conferences. I used to say that if you had a question you couldn't get answered on BIX in a week there probably wasn't an answer. That may not quite be true any longer, but you'd be astonished.

If you like this place and you would like to be part of more general conversations with the kind of people who tend to hang out here, try Delphi and send me email when you have an account. Delphi I don't know: there's in theory a conference with my name on it managed by Gary Utter who used to do my conference on Genie, but I have never visited it. Lack of time, plus confidence in Gary. But Delphi is the only way into BIX.

Now back to the tales of Fireball and NT SERVER: when last seen I was trying to shut down and reboot, and the shutdown took 10 minutes.

Well, that was interesting. Fireball came up all right, but it solved the problem of the missing 6 drive CDROM Changer and the new Memorex changer by ignoring the Memorex altogether. It saw the Ricoh, but whether as a CD R/W or not I don't know; I didn't test it. I did shut down and go into the BIOS, where I discovered that somehow the BIOS Settings were changed to indicate that there was NOTHING on the IDE controller. I have changed that again to indicate that there's a CDROM on there. Now to reboot yet one more time.

Nope. Still does not believe there is a CDROM on the IDE controller. OK, now to disable the SCSI CDROM entirely, and reboot telling it that there's an IDE CDROM. This is a bit tedious, you know. Thanks, Microsoft. And no, I still have not been able to force NT to believe this machine has a CDROM. No way. It will not see that IDE CD ROM.



On another subject:

Thanks to Robert Bruce Thompson who reminds me that Outlook has a pretty good search engine, I have found my benefactor's message. I didn't try search before because there were about 200 messages with ODBC in the message body. Only one had the actual html in it, and I knew what THAT was from the "history" in Netscape, so I searched on the html address, and lo:

From: John Rice []

Sent: Friday, July 17, 1998 9:22 AM


Subject: Fill and Access DB Field


Hi Jerry,

MS-Access -

Yes, the microsoft documentation/help leaves a lot to be desired.

To fill a field in an Access Database, you use an Update Query.

Open the Database in Access

Select Queries

Select New

Select Design View

Select the Table that contains the field you want to update

Select Add

Then close the ‘show table’ window

From the table sub-window that poped up, select the field you want to fill (double click)

From the top menu bar select Query and from the drop down, select Update



You should see the design table change and now there’s an ‘update’ field

In the update field, (under the table field you selected) put the text you


want to ‘fill’ in that field

Close the design (file - close, or double click on the subwindow close button [X]

To run the query, double click on it. You should see a popup telling you


that you’re about to change

x number of records.....

You can also use this method to update fields in records in the database


based on select criteria that you

also specify in the query, but the method described above should change the field in ALL records.


For ODBC updates, go to and download the ODBC driver update for x86. This will hopefully solve your problem by installing updated ODBC (Open DataBase Connector) core components.

Hope this helps

John Rice

And my thanks. Now I have to learn about queries in ACCESS.

Next questions:

Regarding OUTLOOK, is there any way to import an ACCESS DATA BASE into Outlook's CONTACTS?

If so, I can use Access to add a category, namely Mail List 1, and import.

Let me state the Outlook problem. Outlook knows how to make mail lists out of names associated with a CATEGORY. It also suggests that you add the CATEGORY when you put in the name. It seems to have NO way to add a category to a bunch of selected names: I can't go in, select say 100 names, and collectively add a category to them. If I can, I don't know how.

Thus, to add a category, you must find the name, and edit that entry. This takes at least 30 seconds. With 120 names, that's an hour. I have a lot more than that to categorize.

But it's worse than that. Suppose I get an email message from a well-wisher. I'd like to answer directly but I'm not going to have time. I drag that email to a folder called Mail List One. Now what? I can export that to an Access file, or an Excel file (that works fine now that the ODBC problem is solved). But I can't add those names to the CONTACT list. Not en masse. What I can do is:

Select the message. Open the message. This takes time.

Double click on the sender. (I can't do that in the summary view, as I can in Netscape; I must actually open the message, then double click on sender. Now I am offered the opportunity to add this name to the contact list. I do so.

I am then given the opportunity to add information and do things to that name EXCEPT THAT THERE IS NO CATEGORY choice. I cannot, contract to Outlook's documented recommendation, give that entry a category. Instead, I must save and exit; remember what name I have added; go find it in contact; edit that entry; and NOW and ONLY NOW can I add a category.

And all this is stored in one enormous unparsable .pst file, which CANNOT BE BACKED UP when Outlook has been opened in NT; you can only back it up by closing Outlook, and even then you may get a sharing error. The best way to back up is to shut down and restart, then make your backup copy of the pst file.

I suppose I could live with that although it's not intelligent; but the contacts entry fiasco is, to be polite, very poor design. I would not want the person who designed this entry method to be allowed to work on anything else, except perhaps to be sent to DOS 3.3 maintenance. Surely he shouldn't be allowed to work on adult projects. Microsoft, you have children designing your applications.

SO: I am told there is a way to import an ascii list into Eudora as a mail list, so I think I can solve the problem/ I have another question if anyone can answer it offhand:

How do I make an ascii file out of ONE COLUMN of an Access data base? That is, I want to export Mail List to Access; select the "email address column" which appears just fine in Access; and export that column, and that column only, to an ASCII or Text File. That will in turn become, I believe, my Eudora mailing list. Anyone know (1) if this will work, and (2) precisely how to do it? It is probably explained in the Access documents.

From what I have seen, Access is in fact a fairly adult program, and useful, meaning that it requires but deserves study. I sure wish I could say the same for Outlook, but my experience so far is that it's really a very poorly designed thing, not terribly useful; it's harder to use than the old Franklin Ascend 3 was, and not as useful as that. Alas, Franklin since merging with Covey has become feature ridden but uninstallable by me on at least two different machines; it's harder to use; and it doesn't do much that's useful.

I have hopes for Eudora.

That brings me to the next question: Eudora users, is there a simple way to import the Outlook mail files over to Eudora? I'm still looking for help. Thanks.

Saturday Afternoon, LATER:

Well, here is a better way to add names to the Outlook Contacts list; my thanks to Keith Irwin whose mail on the subject will appear when I get mail done for the week.

Drag the mail item to the CONTACTS icon on the vertical tool bar.

Now a real Contact Dialogue opens up (as opposed to the futile one that opens if you double click on the sender's name) and you can add a category. THEN you close and exit.

Now this stores the message itself, which isn't so good, and it still takes in the order of 30 seconds, but it does do the job. How one might use that for 1000 names, or even 50 a day, isn't at all clear to me, but I suppose one could.

Now if I can figure a way to import an access file of names and email addresses into the CONTACTS List in Outlook I'll be in pretty good shape. Thanks again.



Saturday Afternoon, Later Still:

HOLY MOLEY! Blankenhorn's Clued IN this week has an amazing story.

See for details: Sabre apparently thinks that it has a gold mine because it knows the travel plans of a lot of people. Imagine what can be done for them! Tailored advertisements. Ye flipping gods, and apparently no one there knew.

I am not sure how you get on the Clue List, but will probably get you an answer. Worth subscribing. Of course he says this is a good place to go, so fair warning…

I AM IN DESPAIR of NT being able to handle CD R/W drives, or even make a decent CD/R. I have ruind 3 in trying. Since all this equipment and software worked just fine in Windows 95b, and I have plenty of machines, the solution is obvious. I'm going to button Fireball up leaving him as an NT server, with an internal Zip, an intenal SYJet 1.0 Gig drive, and the TEAC six CDROM changer. All those assets work and will be available to every station on the net at 100 megabits. Fireball will get a simple old monitor and go in the back room.

Then I'll set up a good W 95b box for the CD R/W and other such assets, and use that as Niven's workstation. I'll put an internal Zip drive in that one too, and a good Number Nine video board, and the beautiful Eizo Nanao 21 inch monitor, and a joystick and it can be the games machine as well. NT is OK if left alone once set up -- Spirit, the NT server already in the back room hasn’t been rebooted in a year -- but it's sure not the right OS for the kinds of experiments I do. I suppose I should have known that.

Does anyone know of CD R/W drivers for NT? I suspect driver hell is going on here, and rather than set Fireball up to dual boot I'll leave him NTFS all the way and build a new machine. I have  motherboards and chips. Or I think I do.


A number of things. First, I have taken Fireball and stripped out the CD R/W and CD/R drives. Some readers report they have such devices working under NT Server 4 but others can't, and apparently it's a matter of driver Hell. I have an Adaptec executive coming down to Chaos Manor next week, and I'll let him tell me how to make all that work. It's easier than trying to fight it myself.

Meanwhile, I nave built a sweet little machine I haven't named yet. It's got an idt WINCHIP running at 75 MHz and a tripler for an overall of 225. This runs on an MSI MS-5169 ATX AL9 Mainboard. There's a Quantum 4 Gig Ultra Max I picked up on sale at Fry's a few weeks ago for some absurdly low price like $120, only now I see that's getting to be the regular price. I just had to name the machine, and she's WINNIE for the WinChip. There's a Fry's special 10/100 Ethernet card, another Fry's special SIIG SoundWave Pro PCI sound card, a 24X CDROM, an internal IDE Zip drive, and the Ricoh Media Master CD R/W although that latter isn't hooked up yet. The system is mounted in, naturally, a PC Power and Cooling mini-tower. I love those cases. I have some other cases and drives and Winchips, and I may make up another system.

Video is a Number Nine Revolution in the AGP slot.

Setup was surprisingly simple. The MSI documentation is terse but complete and the WinChip information is excellent, but in fact the essential information for the WinChip is printed right on the chip: you just need to figure out what it's saying. In fact, the WinChip wants 3.52 volts, the processor speed is 75 MHz, and the final speed is 225, meaning that it wants a core/bus ratio of 3. That turns out to be remarkably easy to set up given the completeness of the MSI manual. One problem: the settings only show 3.5 volt settings, and the WinChip isn't among the examples given (although the Cyrix MX and several AMD chips are) but AMD K5 wants 3.52 volts, so I used the voltage settings for that. It took an evening to screw all the parts together, so this afternoon I came upstairs, checked the dip switch settings one more time, inserted the chip and locked down the chip fan, connected up a keyboard, and turned her on.

Absolutely no problems. She runs through the memory tests like nothing you have ever seen. Now to put Windows 95b on, connect up the SCSI card, and get the CD R/W running. I'll also install the Number Nine video drivers. I'll have to see if I have any other AGP video board. Probably not. I haven't filled all the PCI slots yet, but I'm getting there. I also have a Diamond MONSTER Sound Card, and Eric has a bunch of Diamond Video Cards we need to test.

Anyone got Post Codes handy? I have one system that starts up with a long and two shorts and then dies. I am sure I have those codes around here. It's not the CPU or any peripheral because I have pulled all the plugs and the chip from that system is the one running in WINNIE. It would take me about ten minutes to put that system on line, and it would be one more test bed, if I could figure out just what that post code beep message means. I suspect a bad glue chip on the mother board.

WINNIE by the way is using a 128 meg EDO unbuffered DIMM. I bought that in hopes that the Fry's tech who sold it to me knew what he was talking about: I had brought the W6-LI manual out to show what kind of memory it specified for Fireball. Naturally they looked things up and came up with a chip, which I didn't think would work, but since I have to go out there once a week or so it costs me literally no more than five minutes of my time to return something.

The chip wouldn't work in Fireball. It wouldn't even insert: the little slot keys are slightly different for buffered and unbuffered memory although you have to hold the two chips together edge to edge to see that: it's very close to identical. Just not quite. But the chip inserted in WINNIE's DIMM slot, and I figured why not? And it works fine, and I think I paid about $120 for it, a buck a megabyte, and I'm not likely to get anything cheaper.

It's time to go condition WINNIE, but I don't anticipate any real problems.



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