Monday, August 16, 2010

Death to Outlook! Death to Outlook!

I'm not entirely sure why I need to cheer for its death -- my copy of Outlook is clearly close to death all by itself.

It does two things that are very wrong.  Very very wrong.

The first thing it does is refuse to close.  Let me explain.  I had about a bazillion old pieces of email in it, so I decided to delete them all en masse.  Result?  Every time I try to close Outlook, I get a little pop-up asking, "The message [stupid thing you received two years ago and just deleted] has been changed.  Do you want to save changes?"  Obviously, I don't give a damn about the changes, so I can answer either "yes" or "no" and it makes no difference to me -- I deleted it already.  But Outlook wants me to confirm changes to deleted emails two emails at a time.  That's right.  Every time I try to close Outlook, I get this for two messages.  Try to shut down your computer without first closing Outlook and you'll get one of those "Windows cannot shut down properly" messages, because Outlook is waiting for me to confirm changes.

This is annoying, but not sufficiently bad for me to call for its death.  That would be the other thing.

It ... well, I don't know what it does exactly, but it thinks it has forgotten my AOL passwords.  Normally, it should be minding its own business and checking my email every few minutes, downloading the messages into Outlook.  Instead, no matter what else I'm typing, every few minutes I'll get a dialog box saying that it can't log in to one of my AOL accounts and for me to re-enter my password.

And it doesn't seem to like the passwords I re-enter, either, as the dialog box immediately pops up again and asks for the same password.  It'll ask for one password for about three times before it (I assume) gets it right.  Eventually mail appears.

So I finally gave up on Outlook.  Downloaded Thunderbird and set it up.  It downloads mail without complaining about passwords and it closes when I ask it to close.  Success!

OK, here's the thing.  Today, I needed to send an email to someone whose address I forgot -- but I knew I had a message from him sitting in my Outlook inbox.  So, for the first time since it had been replaced, I opened Outlook again.  (It immediately asked if it could be my default mail program.  Where's the "hell no!" button when you need one?)  I got the necessary address, drafted the email (in Thunderbird) and sent it.  Closed Outlook.

A few minutes later, Thunderbird said it was having trouble connecting to my AOL account, and would I like to give it a new password.  

Come again?

The only way I could fix it was to reboot.  My knowledge of the whole smtp thing is pretty much nonexistent, but near as I can tell, the mere act of Outlook having been opened messed with my computer's ability to send and receive email, even through another program, even after I'd closed Outlook.

Piece of crap.  :::mumble:::


Wil said...

When you have a monopoly, you can get away with just about anything...

Lori said...

I have always hated Outlook. The company I used to work for changed over to Outlook several years ago, and I have hated it ever since.