How To Import Netscape Communicator 4 Messages Into Outlook

This is sort of a silly post. I was reading a book on John Newton, which was heavily based off his letters and journal entries. While nobody will ever care about my personal correspondence, I got an urge to look at some of the emails I was sending and receiving in my early days on the Internet.

I’ve carried an archive of my old Netscape messages for years. I wondered if I had a way to read them.

It turns out, there is. And that way is Outlook Express.

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Did Microsoft Actually Do Something Right?

After years of reading Lifehacker posts about tweaks to make Windows more like Mac OS X, here’s a post about a way to add some Windows functionality to Mac’s OS. Apparently, Windows 7’s Aero Peek is a coveted feature.

I like Aero Peek. If I ever get a Mac, I’ll install this program on it.

Another Great Quip From Fake Steve Jobs

Apparently, somebody at Microsoft who had nothing to actually do with Windows 7 made some comment that they tried to copy the Mac OS. He apparently got some retaliation. OK, whatever. That barely made me look up. But, Fake Steve Jobs (Dan Lyons) took this one on, and cracked me up:

And then the Borg rolls out this old chestnut: “Over nine out of ten computer users choose Windows.”

Now, come on. Windows is like herpes. Or genital warts. Nobody chooses Windows. People get Windows. It comes preloaded on their crap machine, and they’re stuck with it.

Are You Going To Host A Windows 7 Launch Party?

Seriously, this is cheesy. Really, was Vista THAT bad that even Microsoft is encouraging people to celebrate the launch of Windows 7?

That also begs the question: Is Windows 7 that great, that Microsoft is encouraging people to celebrate the launch of Windows 7?

I don't know. I'm happy to see a new version of Windows, especially since my computers that run it are running better than under XP or Vista, but I'm not quite happy enough to invite all my friends over. I think he's busy that day anyway…

I’m Bringing Back My BS Filter Outlook Rules

I’m starting to spend way more time than I think necessary dealing with what I coined as “Corporate Spam”. I get way too many announcements at work about network outages in other states, pretzels available for sale, what time sodas will stop being sold, and other pointless topics that don’t pertain to me. There are also tons of newsletters, announcements for obscure “heritage months”, and other things.

I decided to resurrect a strategy that I used on my last job for dealing with “corporate spam“. I’ve already created my first rules.

Like the Look of Windows 7 But Don’t Want to Pay for it?

Windows 7 is due to come out next month. Are you going to upgrade to it right away? Honestly, I’m not sure if I will or not. I don’t have anything against it. I used Windows 7 on my netbook for a while, and I was impressed with it, but a few unforgiveable bugs in the release candidate led me to wipe that partition and go back to using XP.

Every time a new version of Windows comes out, paid journalists with no shortage of review copies start writing articles about why “you” don’t need to upgrade. Now in the age of blogs, people come up with guides to help you make the old version of Windows look like the new one. This time is no different.

Here’s a link to CNET’s with a guide to make Windows Vista (and probably XP) look like Windows 7. If you don’t want to upgrade, try this out.

As for me, I’m still not sure if I’m going to upgrade right away or not. We’ll see. I’m at the point where I’d rather have a Mac anyway, rather than yet another Windows PC.

I’m sure my wife would still be running Windows 98 if she could get away with it. She was furious at me in 2002 when I thought I was being helpful and upgraded her computer to XP for her. She was not happy with me at all.

The Most Useless Windows Notification

I know the title of this blog entry is not unique. I’ve seen several variations. I’d like to submit my vote for the Windows dialogue that needs to be yanked from Windows IMMEDIATELY. When did I start using Windows Vista as a beta? 2006? Let’s say it was 2006. For three years, programs on Windows computers that I’ve used have been crashing, and I get this dialogue that is absolutely useless. Note: programs on Windows computers I’ve used have been crashing all along, but this “feature” wasn’t introduced until Vista. I can’t remember (OK, one exception, which I’ll get to later) this dialogue window ever doing anything. Here it is:


Figure 1. Pointless Windows Dialogue

I have no idea what VSCore announcer is. This is from one of my work laptops. For all I know it’s some domain policy BS. Though I have administrative rights on this laptop, there are some funky policies running on the domain. Maybe I’ll Google VSCore Announcer when I post this. It doesn’t matter what VSCore is. I was working on my laptop this afternoon, and this window popped up, which is what Windows Vista and Windows 7 give you when a program crashes. Now, I do applaud that Windows Vista is more stable than previous Windows versions. Remember Windows ME (Malfunction Edition)? That’s two years of my life I’d like to get back.

So I’m working, and this window pops up as it always does when a program crashes. The only difference is this time, I’m in the mood to rant about it on my blog. When I started using Windows Vista, I’d go for the “Check online for a solution (recommended)”, and I’d get a Microsoft page that basically says

“We don’t know what the heck the problem is. Did you find this information useful?”

I’ve gotten into the habit of just clicking “Close” and wondering why Microsoft built this useless functionality into Windows in the first place, unless it’s part of some mind-conditioning program to prepare us for future versions of Windows, or to make us all convert to Apple so we can buy Office for Mac. I honestly don’t think Microsoft cares if we use PCs or Macs. They’re a SOFTWARE company. Many people who use Macs still run Windows and Office and other Microsoft software. SIDE RANT: I get annoyed when I see a headline stating something like “Another business switches to Mac!” Then I read the article, and find that yes, they did buy a bunch of Macs, but they use custom software that requires Windows. They’re still running Windows either through Boot Camp or Parallels. That’s not “switching to Mac”. You’re still a Windows user. You just switched your hardware OEM. Instead of buying your physical computer from Dell or HP, you’re buying it from Apple, but you’re still a Windows user. Yes, when I finally get my MacBook Pro, I’ll probably still run Windows on it for certain purposes. Why buy another Office license, for instance? Why get a new license for Mind Manager?

I promised I’d tell you what happened the one time “Check online for a solution (recommended)” actually returned some potentially useful information. I got a page saying “This problem was caused by Windows Vista. Did you find this information useful?” Being one of the few people who actually LIKES Windows Vista, I sort of wish the results had been as useless as usual.

This time, since I planned to write a blog post ranting about this feature, I clicked “Check online for a solution (recommended)”. Guess what happened? Nothing. Seriously, nothing happened. I was expecting Internet Exploder, the slowest, most annoying web browser ever, to launch and slowly connect to a site that then tells me “we have no idea what the problem is. Did you find this information useful?

Microsoft, seriously, ditch this useless prompt.