And they come with no warning,
nature loves her little surprises.
Continual crisis!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

I Hate Microsoft

Really and truly. I have to use their crappy products here at work all because of brain deadness.

So today, Entourage starts acting flaky. I immediately copy all email in the InBox (which I keep trimmed to just current items, maybe 10 or so emails) to a new folder, quit and try to find the InBox folder on my hard drive to delete it. This will force the mail program to recreate it (the wonkiness was in the InBox). But noooo, Entourage doesn't do things like that, they have a "database."

Okay, I'll export the contacts and mail, and then reinstall. Pain in the arse, but what the heck. But noooo, can't export the contact or email because there's an error in the database (no shit, that's why I need to do this). But at least now I get a message saying I need to run the Database Utility which is in my Office Folder.

But noooo, there is no such application in those folders.

So I relaunch Entourage to do a help search (like I ever do this). Same message, need to run the Database Utility which is in the Office Folder. No it's not, I reply. Well, in the next paragraph, which didn't relate to the DU, I find that you need to launch the Database Utility, which is a separate program, by launching Entrouage holding down the Option Key. WTF? They can't even get their help utility right? Hey, Microsoft, don't tell me to run an application that's supposed to be in the folder and then hide that they way you really run it is by launching another program holding a special key.

And now, as I'm running the Database Utility, I'm getting warnings that I'm running out of disk space. Oh excellent.

Edit The database is repaired, things look good except for now instead of saying my name it says, "Main Identity 2" at the top. I don't think this affects the actual function of the software or the addressing. And the database repair pulled back email that I deleted over a year ago. This makes me worry about what else has slipped in or out of it's memory. But at least now I can send and receive email.


Ken McConnell said...

Sorry Steve. I have to use their crap all day at work too.

Which is why my house is a Microsoft Free Zone except for a Parallels image on the MacBook. But I rarely turn that on.

Matt Mitchell said...

Yeah, I'm running Vista now and (of course) I have to reboot almost daily to keep it running smoothly. No blue screen of death yet, though...

But that brings to mind a question: I've never used a Mac, although I know Mac users are a dedicated sort, I'd really like to know what the why is. If Mac's are so great, why is it that 90% of all personal computers are PCs and practically a hundred percent of businesses use PCs? I'm not chastising, I genuinely am clueless.

Steve Buchheit said...

Ken, I have a Windows Laptop at home for the Village stuff. But for my home stuff I wish I could get completely away from Microsoft products, but I use Word.

Matt, it's somewhat hard to describe. I just converted my woodworking instructor so I'll use his words. "It just lets me do the work. I say, 'Hey, I wonder if I can do it this way," and I try it. I'm wondering if it did it, but the Mac sits there and say, 'Yeah, it's done, what else did you want to do. Unlike Windows which would have me click through five or six dialog boxes which would say, 'Well, we'll try it, but I don't think it's gonna work like this.'"

I converted him by taking my laptop in to the workshop one day. He was bragging about a video he happened to have on a USB thumbdrive. I said we could watch it if he liked (his machine was tied up for the powerpoint presentation). It couldn't believe that I just stuck the USB flash device in, it appeared on the desktop, I opened it up and double clicked the file and it ran. Then I connected to an open wifi port that was available. He was dumbfounded at how easy it was.

That Windows machines occupy, well, it's more like 85% now, is because it was cheap, difficult to use, easy to program customized macros, and required arcane knowledge which perfectly fit into the models for business (CIOs and IT departments). Also, at the time the switch occurred (at one time Macs were the dominant computer), Windows Machines were half the cost of Macintoshes (the cost differential isn't there anymore for the same level of machines). And Microsoft crippled their software for the Mac (while many point to MS providing MS-DOS to IBM as their major start, it was actually Excel and Word for Mac which made them their money).

While I don't need to reboot daily, I do at work. I load and unload font groups several times during the day. I'm comfortable on most systems, but I love how the mac gets out of my way and lets me do the work. I also like how I set a preference on the Mac and it stays set. All except for Microsoft products.

Windows XP is pretty good. We tried using Vista for the Village systems and had nothing but problems, so we downgraded.

The little things about the mac that make it easier to do, well, everything, are difficult to fully explain. The Macs have interface standards which make many things transferable between applications. Also most applications are designed to help a person do their work. But one of the main things is that I rarely encounter an extraneous dialog box on my Mac. I always encounter them when I work on Windows.

Matt Mitchell said...

Hmmm. Now I wish I hadn't "upgraded" to Vista. I had already been thinking about switching, but time I buy a computer I may just switch.


Jim Wright said...

Matt, I'm curious - why do you have to reboot Vista daily? Not a smart ass question, what symptoms are you getting? And what version of Vista?

I'm running Vista Ultimate on my server and haven't rebooted in weeks. However, I do notice that it occasionally goes off into indexing mode or some such nonsense and is unresponsive for 20-30 seconds. I can't figure out what it's doing, it's a quad-duo processor machine, and there should be a shitload of processor power available without sucking up the whole machine.

Other than that weird little glitch I love Vista - but like I said I'm running the Ultimate version, and from what I can tell that makes a huge difference.

I run XP on my laptop and the other machines in the house. Works fine, and I don't see enough advantage with Vista to upgrade.

Matt Mitchell said...


I'm running Vista "Home Premium." And for whatever reason the screen saver rarely ever works, the right-click button stops working on my mouse if it's been running for more than, I'll say two days. So I can't just right click "save as" or "copy" or anything. Those are the two most annoying things. But also: I remember when I upgraded to 98 and then to XP how it seemed the boot time dropped for each u/g. With Vista it seems to take longer to boot up. Just a minor annoyance. I agree with you, I don't see enough benefit to upgrade willingly, the only reason I did was because I bought a new computer and it came with it.

Jim Wright said...

Man, that's weird as hell and you've reminded me of another issue.

I've noticed the screen saver glitch on occasion. I fiddled with it and now the screen saver seems to work reliably, but the power conservation mode doesn't come on all the time. Supposed to go to screen saver after ten minutes - then power down the monitor after 30 minutes. Screen saver seems to work now, but the monitor shutdown only works maybe every other time. Beats the hell out of me.

I like the aero shell, and the networking functions are improved, but other than that I don't see much overall improvement. More like a cosmetic upgrade to XP, rather than anything radically new.

Steve knows I no fan of Apple either, but I think they've got a chance to take back a huge chunk of the market from MS, if they move now. Doubt it will happen though.