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General Software Discussion / Re: Outlook 2007 - a rant
« on: June 07, 2007, 07:17 AM »
Well, I just couldn't stand it any more, not for another day. So last night I moved my email to Thunderbird.

I was very impressed with the Thunderbird import wizard. Just pointed it to my Outlook 2007 PST (500MB file), and off it went. Twenty minutes later, all my mail, contacts book and account settings were in Thunderbird, without a glitch. Message filters don't import, unfortunately, but that's a one-off inconvenience.

I'm sure I'll have plenty to moan about in a few days, but at the moment I'm just enjoying the speed of Thunderbird (relative to OL2007, anyway). Syncing with my PDA will be the challenge...

General Software Discussion / Re: Outlook 2007 - a rant
« on: June 05, 2007, 01:21 PM »
Does this help the speed issue:

Thanks for the link, but I have already applied the patch, along with many other fixes suggested on various forums. And the patch didn't really help. One of the reasons for the slowness is that the combination of a new database format and the use of Windows Desktop Search for indexing means that there's lot more writing to the hard disk going on all the time as you use Outlook.

I even read one quote from an MS bod who had the nerve to say that the problem was caused by users' large PST files and that "people shouldn't be using it as an archive"! I know what he means, but on the other hand, back when they released Outlook 2003, they boasted about the fact that the PST size limit had gone up from 2GB to 20GB.

My PST is less than 500MB, and it performed fine in Outlook 2003. Outlook 2007 is the problem. I can only presume that everyone at MS uses some form of super-computer and they never, ever see speed issues.

General Software Discussion / Outlook 2007 - a rant
« on: June 05, 2007, 12:03 PM »
In another thread (, I praised MS's fine OneNote program, and said it showed just what they can do when they try. On the other hand...

Recently I upgraded to Office 2007, and with it to Outlook 2007. Like many people, I live in Outlook. Which is a great shame for me, because Outlook 2007 is horrible.

The main problem is that it's just slow. Now Outlook has never been sleek and nimble, but 2003 was a pretty good program. Glitch-free, for me, and worked quite well. I am growing old watching emails render in Outlook 2007. It is painfully slow. And when the email finally appears, if you're unlucky enough to open an HTML email....Let me give you just one example.

Here's a daily email newsletter I receive from Variety magazine:


And since I "upgraded" to Outlook 2007, here's what I see:


Why? Well, it took some digging to find out, but apparently MS, in its infinite wisdom, decided to stop using the IE HTML engine to render Outlook emails. Now Outlook 2007 uses....MS Word's HTML engine. Really.

A bit more digging, and I found that this is causing plenty of coders endless frustration:

Now I know that some of you will say that maybe it's a good thing. Maybe we'll see a return to the good old days of plain text emails. And yes, I'm one of the old timers too - I always send plain text emails. Unfortunately, the commercial world does not, and will not. So email newsletters, invoices etc, all in HTML, and all at the mercy of Outlook's new excuse for an HTML engine.

I wish I could just shrug my shoulders and say "it's time to move on". But Outlook, and its PDA equivalent, are ingrained in my life. It's going to take some long-term planning to move away.

Finally, I inquired about how I would revert to Outlook 2003, while keeping the rest of Office 2007. Apparently I'd have to uninstall all of Office 2007, install Office 2003, then re-install Office 2007 without Outlook. Oh, and mail merge would be broken. And one or two other things as well...

Mini-Reviews by Members / Re: Microsoft OneNote 2007
« on: June 02, 2007, 06:16 PM »

I'm not sure the world needs another "is Microsoft good or bad" discussion. As I said in my review, Microsoft-bashing is a popular hobby, and many people will refuse to use their apps no matter how good they might be. Truth is, XP isn't a bad general purpose home-user OS. OneNote is a good program.

Yes, OneNote has limited export capabilities (you can export pages/sections/notebooks to PDF/XPS/MHT/DOC/DOCX as appropriate). Yes, still a heavy MS bias. Some bad old Microsoft habits die hard.

I take a pragmatic view of these things, having used computers in the workplace for the best part of 20 years, and often working in proprietary formats. Most data becomes irrelevant over time, be that days, weeks, months or years. We all make judgments about these things every day. Data you know you'll need forever, or might need long-term, your store accordingly in an appropriate app. Very little data most of us generate falls in that category. Regular housekeeping should expunge data you don't need. The vast majority of the data I have in OneNote at the moment will cease to matter within a few months.

Computers have encouraged the "we should keep everything, just in case" school of thought, and the logic is plausible. Hard discs are cheap. But really, it's the equivalent of the guy who keeps several decades worth of old newspapers in the attic, just because they contain information that might be useful one day. In the end, it's just silly and dangerous.

I'm rambling.  All I really wanted to say was; don't be put off using the best app for the purpose just because of export issues; choose apps based on the type of data (and short/medium/long-term value of that data).

Basically I'm an old-fashioned plain text kind of guy. But I can see real value in apps like OneNote for efficiently storing data with a short to medium term life.

Mini-Reviews by Members / Re: Microsoft OneNote 2007
« on: June 01, 2007, 06:26 AM »
is tagging easy -
i.e. can you use shortcuts in particular - & is it easy then to display only stuff with XXX or YYY Tag

Does tagging work across various "Notebooks" or is it limited?

I don't think you can modify the built-in shortcuts for standard tags, although I may be wrong. If there is such a feature it's buried.

You filter by tags by selecting the "show all tagged notes" feature and then sorting tags by one of a number of options:


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