Outlook? Look out! 07 Oct, 2008
Yesterday was a bit of a disaster work-wise, in that I managed to royally snarf up my main VMware instance of Windows XP (entirely my own fault, buggering around with hard disk settings—will I never learn?)
Luckily, I had a back-up of said image on my NAS from the night before. I run nightly back-up scripts (plus weekly off-site ones) and I am very glad I do! So, off I went to retrieve the relevant bit of my back-up… Well, that worked just fine (I love Super Duper). But the file was huge, and took three hours to come back down over my network. Ouch! Never mind, I had other stuff to do. So, once it was all complete, I fired up the instance to check everything. All was well. Lotus Notes was happy. So was Eclipse and the VPN software I was using. The one app that threw a wee hissy fit? MS Outlook. Check this error out:
How pointless is this? People whinge about Lotus Notes, often quite rightly. But are they seriously telling me that messages (and underlying functionality) like this are better? There are a fair few things wrong with this dialog:
- Why does it matter that the local file is out of date (albeit by approx. 18 hours)?
- Why can’t Outlook just download all updates from the Exchange box at Send / Receive time, and be done with it?
- Does the average user really know where to find their .ost file? (its location is buried in one of the program’s various settings dialogs)
- Is the average user—indeed, any user—happy about deleting a file as vital as their Outlook cache?
- If the software is pretty much inoperable until this (stupid) step is completed, why doesn’t it just, erm, do it?
All hail replication!