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Tuesday, August 28, 2007


Is anybody else out there as annoyed with Microsoft Hotmail as I am?

I am a long time user of Hotmail. I was actually a big fan of their protocol (which isn't pop or imap) at first. Now, I feel like I am being rewarded for my support of Microsoft with pain and misery.

For starters, their proprietary format (I'll call it proprietary since nobody else uses it) stinks. You can't access your email using 3rd party mail readers. To make matters even worse, they discontinued support of their own tool, Outlook Express, which has been my Hotmail reader of choice. When I got a Vista machine, I came to the painful realization that I couldn't install Outlook Express, period.

Microsoft "replaced" Outlook Express with Windows Live Desktop. I've been using this tool in Vista for several months and it doesn't work properly. Oh, that's probably because it's in Beta. WTF? You release an operating system and it doesn't come with a fully functioning mail reader??? SHAME ON YOU, MICROSOFT. They recently released a new version of the tool, which seems to work better. But, I had a real hard time finding this update. That's because, when you click on "Check for Updates" in the old mail tool, it takes you to the generic "Windows Update" web interface (which we all know is a pain-in-the-ass). After letting that spin it's wheels for a few minutes, it tells you there are several "critical security updates", but no Windows Live update. That's right, they don't actually push down the updates through Windows Update, even though that is where they tell you it should be. I had to search on Microsoft's support pages to find the download and install it manually.

Microsoft really wants you to use the web interface instead, so they can force their advertisements on you. This may work for some people, but I like to have access to my email when I am offline. The other problem is that the web interface, surprise, surprise, works optimally in Internet Explorer. Those of us who use Firefox can kiss off, apparently.

I've been shifting my focus away from Hotmail and using email accounts provided by others. Microsoft has given me no other choice.

Hotmail should be put in the junk mail folder.

Friday, August 17, 2007

New Fangled Copiers Still Suck Ass

In case you forgot why new fangled copiers suck ass, look here.

Today, I wanted to print one little paragraph of a huge document. So, I highlighted the text, hit the print button, then hit OK on the pop-up print menu. What I forgot to do, is change the option to "print selection" from the default print option. Taking me at my word, the printer started to print the whole 100 page plus document.

Back in the old days, you used to be able to abort print jobs, but not anymore. The buffer on the printer (or maybe the printer server, I don't know, I'm not an IT person) is so large that the job quickly vanished from my computer's printer manager. I quickly ran over to the printer, but still couldn't figure out how to abort the job. At least, there wasn't an obvious way. There are 32 buttons on the printer, plus a touch screen LCD with layers and layers of deep menus and options.

It doesn't help that our printer also servers as our copier and there were two unhappy coworkers standing around waiting to copy and shouting "who printed a 100 page document"!

That really overloads my buffer!

Thursday, August 09, 2007

That's a Wrap

I have had a hard time finding good wrapping paper. I recently wrapped a present for a dear loved one only to find out that you could clearly identify what the present was after wrapping. I'm not talking about shape (like, "oh, it's a football"). I mean you could read what was on the box.

There are only a few requirements in designing wrapping paper:
  • Should come in sizes generally larger than the typical gift
  • Should not spontaneously combust
  • Should not be see-through!

Come on, wrapping paper manufacturers, get it right!

FYI, I won't tell you which manufacturer made my crappy see-through paper, but I will tell you that the name rhymes with Tall-Shark. I've probably said too much.