Thursday, June 18, 1998



This is largely from the MAIL page, but I'll settle in some of the stuff from VIEWS too. Organization of this web site is driving me nuts; bear with me while I experiment.

On the HTML problem, click here.

From: "Christopher Lopes" <>


I used Endora Lite for awhile, but got Outlook Express with Internet Explorer 4.0. Outlook is easier, no doubt about it. Netscape's support of Email (in Navigator 3.0 anyway) was non-existant, so I was forced to go with Internet Explorer. Hmmm, you don't suppose Microsoft won that one fair and square do you?

Chris Lopes

Don't know, but I'll find out. Darnell says he uses Outlook 98 to do his mail, so it must be pretty neat; he does this stuff for a living. I'm off for a four day trip (not computers, renewing some academic acquaintances and getting some new sociological information and such like) so when I come back I'll ask Darnell to help me set up Outlook. Thanks to everyone who responded on this.

From: Michael Ginevan <>

Date: Thu, 11 Jun 1998 13:30:17 -0700

Subj: Outlook and Netscape



I read your question about Netscape in your Journal. The answer is no, Outlook will peacefully coexist with Netacape. The e-mail client will also coexist OK with Eudora (though I have not tried operating with both open); I'd guess the answer is one or the other but not both.

Yet another set of condolences on the Byte fiasco. I was one of the lucky ones who renewed for a couple of years last April. I wonder what, if anything, I will get. There may be a blessing in disguise here. I really like your journal on the Web - it is much more immediate. The problem with Chaos Manor in Byte was the two month publication lag. I also think that publication lag is becoming a problem for a lot of industry related stuff. An example is the AMD K6-2 chips - I've seen no real evaluation of them, but they are here and can be purchased. At the same time, talk in the PC Pubs is on the "forthcoming" Celeron chips (PII SX - a dog). My point is that I would be willing to pay something to follow your adventures, and I would pay more if they were part of an Web-based publication that ran on shorter time lines than those in print media. Imagine an ongoing entity that is not published in "issues". As soon as a hardware review gets done it is available to subscribers. I am not sure what to call such a beast, but I think that if you could explain it, people would buy it.

One final thought on technology that is worth a try. In recent columns you have sung the praises of 21" monitors. I cannot argue; they are great. However, 19" displays are nearly as good (I am writing this on a Mag DJ800), and can fit places 21" displays can't. Moreover, they are getting cheap (Costco has my Mag for 569). If you have some 17" displays that need replacing the 19's are worth a look.

Best Wishes,

Mike Ginevan


P.S. Bought a copy of STARSWARM - Web advertising does work.


Thanks. I make no doubt that 19" monitors have some advantages, and in fact we have one down at the beach house; Niven uses it mostly and works well with it. But at my age I need all the text size I can get.

Your kind letter is typical: many have said they'd subscribe and they prefer this interactive and instant mode to the older print mode with its delays. The problem is, HOW to subscribe? But maybe something will work out. For now I'm still playing around. Thanks again, and stay well,


From: Ron Morse []

Sent: Tuesday, June 16, 1998 12:24 AM


Subject: Outlook and big files

I too have noticed that outlook 98 seems to choke on big files. Today I hit a mailbox I don't normally check...I use it to store various things in until I can get around to them it was about 3.5 megs in 52 different messages.

Outlook reported a strange error and sort of sat there. I called IBM (my mail service provider) and they were their usual competent and efficient selves, identifying the message as outlook's rather than their own.

My standby-by copy of Eudora lite retrieved the waiting messages with no problem, and once I cleared that glop of messages Outlook works normally on that account. It appears that Outlook has some sort of limitation on how much waiting mail it will accept.

I'm currently wading through eight separate Microsoft Knowledge Base notes that returned on a search for "Outlook file limits." Will report anything useful.


Ron Morse

Interesting. I have found an Outlook 98 setting that will limit the size of mail it will download. Now to find out what it does with mail that's bigger than that. I recall once I had mail at Earthlink too large to download, and the tech support people had to kill it for me; but that was long ago, and I think I had a bad connection. Of course all these glitches are attached to a critical need detector and show up when it's absolutely vital to get on the net.

I'm told that many of these problems will disappear once POP3 is replaced by IMAP4 at most ISPs. POP3, Post Office Protocol 3, is the current standard for clients to talk to mail servers. It doesn't allow selective downloads. IMAP4 does, but its implementation is spotty, and the electrons aren't quite dry on the standard yet. Outlook (which Mark Minasi likes to call "Schedule Minus"), Eudora, et al, support IMAP4. You can try it on your own ISP, but don't be surprised if it isn't quite there yet.

Stay well,


From: Robert Bruce Thompson []

Sent: Tuesday, June 16, 1998 7:12 AM

To: 'Jerry Pournelle'

Subject: OL98 download glitch

<< One glitch: when Outlook went looking for new mail, there was in the Earthlink mailbox a big (greater than one meg) file, which was about number 22 of 27. Outlook grabbed the first 21 fine, then sat there on the big file, no fuel gauge or other progress indicator I could see, and after a while it just stopped. Things timed out, and it didn't get the other messages (22-27) at all.>>

I transfer such large files almost daily. When this happens, the cause is almost always that the POP server was very busy and that the session timed out and dropped your connection. If you'd gone back in with OL98 and checked your mail again, that file would probably have transferred fine.

Also, you can try setting the OL98 timeout longer. Choose Tools - Services. Then highlight the Internet email service in question, and choose Properties. On the tabbed dialog, click the Advanced tab and set the server timeout slider to a higher value.



Robert Bruce Thompson

 Thanks. That "Services" setting is a little harder to find than you might think; 'Services" to Outlook means the mail service, and the timeout can be set individually for Earthlink and Once I figured that out it was simple.

Stay well,


From: Paul Roub []

Sent: Tuesday, June 16, 1998 5:29 PM


Subject: Outlook 98 gripes

Just read your comments on Outlook 98... I tried Outlook 98, from the first public beta up to the final release. I finally gave up and switched to Outlook Express.

Actually, I had been a satisfied Eudora user, but because of the specific (NTLM) authentication required by my company's Exchange Server mail server, that wouldn't do it if I wanted both my personal and business mail under one roof.

My problems with OL98?

- Half-implemented (at best) multiple account support. Yes, you can set up multiple email addresses (as Eudora has had for years). But try to filter mail based on the account to which it was sent -- can't do it. Eudora can, Outlook Express can. Try to decide which of the multiple accounts a given outgoing email should be sent from -- can't do it without reconfiguring outlook.

- Setting up the Exchange Server client to store the messages on the server (in my mailbox, that is) caused my *other* account's mail to be funneled through that as well. This meant major lag times when connected via modem, as mail was retrieved from my personal account, shuttled over to the work server, then finally to my desktop. Faxes had to go through there as well!

- As a PIM (one reason I tried it, I'd love to reduce the number of programs I need open at all times), it doesn't hold a candle to Ecco.

- It's slow, and a gluttonous memory hog.

- The automatic Adult and Junk mail rules are not modifiable -- watch what happens if a co-worker happens to send mail using three consecutive dollar signs.

Those are the biggies. Outlook Express doesn't have all the bells and whistles (I still prefer Eudora, but until they support NTLM authentication, that's out), but it's smaller, faster and does everything I need it to do.



Thanks; at least I know what to look for now. I do need a PIM, and I have heard many good things bout Ecco. I used Franklin Ascend for a long time until they improved it; it's possible they have made yet another improvement that fixes the bugs, and I ought to go back to it. And I own Eudora but don't use it; maybe it's time. On the other hand, Chaos Manor operates on the "Good Enough" and "One less darned thing to worry about" principles, so it may take a while. Meanwhile Outlook defenders, here's your chance...

Stay well,


From: Myers, Clark E []

Sent: Thursday, June 18, 1998 10:59 AM

To: ''

Subject: Chaos Manor Mail Outlook 98 More-

You said:

"I have installed OUTLOOK 98. It was both easier and harder than I

thought it would be. Easier in that there are few surprises: the setup program is quite good, and while Outlook will install Internet Explorer 4, it doesn't make anymore references to it."

Makes me feel better that the few surprises eventually catch up, as you amended subsequently it does make more references to it. I have learned to track changes just as I once kept successive paper copies of my config.sys and autoexec.bat files on an almost daily basis. That's one reason it took me all of 2 successive evenings of rearranging the configurations and order of installation to be satisfied (almost happy with it)

On the other hand, if you use enough Microsoft software the system may eventually find a good balance. I use a *lot* of Microsoft software so without notice I got a really nice fast loading Microsoft light duty fast loading picture editor/viewer. I am quite satisfied with it - previously I used L-view which has also been good enough but the Microsoft is a little better and loads as fast on a good enough machine. Results may be chaotic in the precise sense of sensitive to initial condition - depends on what configuration the machine started with and what order additional applications are loaded in.

I suspect you have been ignoring the HTML source on your page, certainly not proofing the source because you have at least one apparently unintended hot link. (double entry with an explicit link then again to a terminal letter "c" a few words later) It is precisely true the Microsoft products give you poor HTML poorly indented and laid out. Some say this helps them give you wysiwyg in the application and the (Microsoft) browser (when the page is hosted on an NT server with Microsoft software). I agree completely with the reviews which praise Dreamweaver as doing the best job of handling HTML.

If you sit down with no clear destination in mind Microsoft will give an acceptable web page very quickly. If you know where you want to go Dreamweaver will get you there quickest without fighting you. I have had some real time wasting disasters with Microsoft for updating web pages created with other applications running on UNIX.

Enjoy, fly (heritage) Boeing


Clark E. Myers


M/S 19-HJ seat 2-122-2-2E3-B

"Never ascribe to malice that which is adequately explained by

incompetence," said Napoleon Bonapart.

There are also degrees of SNAFU short of incompetence which may suffice.

Jerry Pournelle

Thanks and best regards. I'm still experimenting with creation software. Where is this double link you mention?