Abomination

Outlook Must DieIf I didn’t have to have Microsoft Outlook 2007 installed on my system for testing purposes, I would uninstall it and burn the disks and packaging the installer came on. I’m not kidding. Outlook 2007 is one of the worst “upgrades” I have ever used.

I’ve come close to uninstalling it several times now. I had to disable the one feature I really loved – icalendar syncing – because I discovered it was the cause of some data corruption issues I was having. Other than the slightly nicer GUI, there is no reason for me to use the app.

I may just have to unleash this demon upon a coworker and/or a machine not regularly used for production purposes. I’m not sure I can stand Outlook much longer.

Have I mentioned I hate Outlook 2007?

Outlook Must DieHave I mentioned how much I hate Outlook 2007 lately?

  1. Daylight Savings Time: I knew that there would be issues with the Daylight Savings Times this year… but figured my calendar would be safe since I use Google Calendar to manage my appointments and whatnot. WRONG. Outlook 2007 has decided to be really, REALLY helpful and change the time of all of my appointments so that they appear an hour later. Never mind the fact that all of the events show the proper time in Google Calendar.
  2. Performance: I almost laughed typing that word. Performance and reliability are atrocious. Every time I shut down this infernal application and reopen it, I get this lovely error that says a ‘data file was closed improperly’ and that Outlook will need to scan it for corruption. Said scan takes hours. I have 4Gb RAM installed on my system. Every time I restart Outlook the same error occurs. I have no idea if my data is safe…
  3. Instant Search: I want you to go away and die. I know you want me to click you and download Windows Desktop Search so the two of you can play together, but I did that once, and the two of you brought my system to it’s knees. I want to turn you off. I should have an option to turn you off, but the only way I’ve seen to get rid of you is by installing Windows Desktop Search. Curse you.
  4. Internet Calendars: Did I mention Outlook 2007 screwed up my calendars? Thankfully Outlook 2007 can’t write to my online calendars, otherwise I would’ve been really screwed. With the DST update, all of the appointments in calendars I am subscribed to got modified locally. All appointments are now an hour later than they actually should be.

I want to like Outlook 2007, really. I am really, really trying. But this application is grating my last nerves. I’m hoping a decrease in RAM will help some. A coworker recently got a computer with Vista infected, err, pre-installed with only 1Gb RAM, so I am going to give him 2 1Gb DDR2-4200 sticks in exchange for his two 512Mb DDR-4200 sticks. I have a feeling, though, I may be downgrading soon. I can’t stand this application much longer.

Sync Google Calendar with iPod

If you use Outlook 2007, Google Calendar and iTunes and own an iPod – this tip might be helpful to the two of you. It’s not really anything new… but I didn’t think Outlook would share calendars that it’s subscribed to… Fortunately, it does.

  1. In Google Calendar go to Settings > Calendars. Choose a Calendar from those available to you. This will bring you to a Calendar Details screen.
  2. At the very bottom, you’ll see options for Public and Private Addresses for calendars. Right-click on the iCal button and copy the link location.
  3. Paste the link location into your browser’s address bar.
  4. Replace http:// with webcal://
  5. Hit enter.
  6. This should bring you into Outlook 2007 where you can subscribe to your Google Calendar.
  7. Your Google Calendar should now be available in Outlook!
  8. Open iTunes and plug your iPod into your computer.
  9. If your iPod supports it, your iPod settings will have a Contacts tab available to you.
  10. Under Calendar, select Sync calendars from Microsoft Outlook. If you don’t use Outlook’s calendar – choose ‘Selected calendars:’ and choose your Google Calendar(s) from the list.
  11. Hit apply… now every time you sync your iPod, you’ll pull down your calendars as well!

This tip would probably work similarly on the Mac by using Apple’s iCal app.

  • UPDATE: If you’re looking for a solution to sync Google Calendar with Outlook 2003, there’s an app called gSyncit you might be interested in… More info here.
  • UPDATE: Google released Google Calendar Sync which will allow for bi-directional syncing between Outlook and Google Calendar and it’s not as crappy as this solution is. While it would be preferred if you could simply sync directly with Google Calendar via iTunes (much like you can do with Google Contacts)… it’s still not a feature that Apple’s made available. One can only wish it’ll be included at some point in the future.

Pandora’s Box

In the beginning there was Text, and it was good.

I’m still in awe about how much residual traffic I’ve gotten as a result of the conversation going on about how Microsoft Breaks HTML Email Rendering in Outlook 2007. The story, in various forms, has appeared on a number of sites. If you were to trust the comments on Digg, most people (it seems) would prefer that we revert back to a time where email is text-only. I don’t disagree that HTML emails can be evil, but there’s an inherent problem in wishing us back to the Stone Ages of Email: People like HTML email.

Yes, HTML email is abused by spammers. Yes, Incredimail sucks and so does “email stationary” in Outlook and the like… but if HTML email didn’t work (for spam or even legitimate correspondence), and if people didn’t want their messages to look *gag* “pretty”, there wouldn’t be a market for it.

HTML Email is here to stay, and that is why I am so irritated over the fact that Microsoft has taken to course action they have with Outlook 2007. Why break something that worked fine in older versions? Why take away something clients have come to expect?

Software should be improved from version to version. The choice to use the Word rendering engine in Outlook 2007 was probably predicated by a desire to avoid further anti-trust lawsuits… but that’s unexectable.