Posts Tagged ‘New Machine Headaches’


Yesterday I was talking to a Lenovo/IBM Technician because I want to know what type of hard drive is in my laptop. I want to purchase a backup drive in case this one fails (part of my disaster recovery plan). The technician tells me I have a SATA drive. Great, MicroCenter is selling a Western Digital 200GB SATA laptop drive for US$60. I was floored by the price so I plan to buy two of them and increase the storage on my machine by 80GB. I need the room. {g}

Then she asks me why I want to know. I explain my requirements to have a back up drive. She goes off for a minute to do something and comes back with “the best drive we have is a 100GB 7200 rpm drive.”

No thanks IBM. She then tells me I have to purchase an IBM Drive because my Lenovo Z61P laptop only takes IBM components. What?!? Seriously?!? I ask her what the deal is, and what is it that possessed Lenovo to architect a laptop to only accept IBM components? Was she pulling my leg? I told her if this is true it is the last Lenovo laptop I am purchasing, period. She could not give me the exact details of why the laptop requires an IBM drive. In fact, I believe she does not know what she is talking about and is reading some script. Stoopid. She said the same thing about memory and I already put in third party memory into a Lenovo laptop.

Do you have a recent or not so recent ThinkPad, and have you upgraded your hard drive?



Fellow DAFUGger and friend Paul Mrozowski sent me a link to a Microsoft KB article (933493) yesterday noting Microsoft made a hotfix to Outlook 2007. The KB article notes:

This update fixes a problem in which a calendar item that is marked as private is opened if it is found by using the Search Desktop feature. The update also fixes performance issues that occur when you work with items in a large .pst file or .ost file.

The performance is better and my email seems to be delivered faster. The freeze up during the send/receive is less frequent, but not fixed completely. For instance, during the day yesterday I did not notice when Outlook was doing an email pass. Granted, the email traffic on Sunday is less than a weekday. This morning I started Outlook and the initial pass had 75 emails to download. I could scroll my folder list part of the time and I could switch folders with some hesitation. Way better than the initial release, but still not as good as Outlook 2003.

Thanks for finding and passing this along Paul. Life is better.

, ,


Back a couple weeks ago I mentioned several Outlook 2007 frustrations on my blog. I am making some progress on a couple of issues I noted.

1) “The last frustration is the themed appearance of the title bar.’

I found buried in the Outlook Options the ability to select Blue, Silver, or Black as my “Outlook Theme.” You can find this under the Tools | Options dialog box, pick the Mail Format page, Editor Options button (near the bottom of this page). On the Editor Options dialog box you will see the Color scheme option on the “Popular” tab.

While I wish they would let me turn this off and just use the regular Windows Theme I have selected, at least the black theme is closer to the theme I have in Windows and is easier for me to see the Windows inside of Outlook. Unfortunately this is the only one I have resolution on and it is the least of the problems I have with Outlook 2007.

2) “The first is the appearance of Outlook locking up during a Send/Receive pass.”

I learned at the MVP Summit that this is a common problem and one that has solutions. Some folks have mentioned the size of PST files over 2GB are an issue. Mine is still floating around 1.5GB and has been at this size for the last couple of years. All the solutions I have been pointed to and read about give solutions that appear to work only on Vista. I can tell you Vista is not in my near future for my primary development machine so I have to find a solution for Windows XP. I have posted this problem on a couple of message boards I have access to and hope the community will jump in and make this easy.

3) I half jokingly mentioned: “I am not sure Outlook and my Treo are ever going to synchronize. {g}”

So far so good. Once I corrected some of the inadvertent time changes all is working on both Outlook and my Treo. No missed appointments so far.

Thanks to those who have offered help and condolences.



Out of all the changes to Microsoft Office 2007, the big hit or the app most important to me is Outlook. I spend probably too much time in Outlook, so any improvements would be great. Unfortunately I have hit a few “features” that are real frustrating.

The first is the appearance of Outlook locking up during a Send/Receive pass. I have a dozen email addresses designed to get email to Outlook. All of them are POP3. When I used Outlook 2003 I would never even know a pass was in process unless the desktop alerts popped up. I could interactively use Outlook to get contact information, manage tasks, etc. while the pass was in process. Outlook 2007 is completely different. I cannot do anything until the pass is more than 50% complete. This is a huge frustration because I really live in Outlook.

The second frustration is how Microsoft changed the email flags. There are colorized email flags and there are contact categories, and calendar labels in Outlook 2003 and earlier. Now there are colorized categories, and flags represent due dates. Previously I set up email flags to mean things (red – hotlist, blue – developer tools, orange – home, and so on). I set up a couple of Search folders in my favorites list so I could easily track these things. Now all my flags are categories (which is okay, but I have to reset them to something meaningful), and my red flags have become due today items.

I also colorize my calendar items with the 2003 labels. I set up a handful of colors to mean different things. This really made finding events in the calendar simple and allowed me to balance my work and home life. Now the colors are tied to categories. So my blue developer tools color for email conflicts with my blue White Light Computing color in the calendar. Outlook 2007 sees the colors as one category. What a pain in the back end.

It will take some time (which I have very little of this month) to re-categorize all my emails, tasks, and calendar items. Along with the Daylight Savings Time correction, I am not sure Outlook and my Treo are ever going to synchronize. {g}

The last frustration is the themed appearance of the title bar. It does not follow the normal Windows title bar colors. To me it is hard to determine visually which window is active and which windows are not. In particular the problem is accentuated when I have an email window open on top of the main Outlook window. I am sure the usability studies tested this out, but I find it extremely frustrating when I accidentally click on the menu of the main window when I want to work with the email window. This is a time waster. I have not seen any settings in the Options dialog box, but I might have overlooked the setting.

I am hoping to talk to someone at Microsoft next week while I am in Redmond for the almost- annual MVP Summit to see if there is a fix in the works for the send/receive pass lock-up and how I can easily work around my flags/categories issue.

, ,


Last we left our humble hero, he was installing 100+ apps on his new ThinkPad and working on configuring many of them. The good news is I am mostly done and on my self-imposed pre-conference moratorium of not installing new applications with OzFox only 10 days away.

I have come up against a little glitch I have never seen before with a new machine. It is not a show stopper by any stretch of the imagination, but one that is irritating me every day. In my Windows Quick Launch toolbar I have short cuts to different versions of VFP. The weird thing is the VFP icon is the VFP 7 icon, not the VFP 8/9 icon for the VFP 8 and VFP 9 shortcuts. Even the icons for the VFP8.EXE and VFP9.EXE files are the older foxhead in Windows Explorer. Why?

If I try to change the icons in the shortcut properties I see all the icons inside of the VFP executable and the old foxhead is there, not the new foxhead. It smells of a registry problem, but I am not sure where to even start.

Has anyone else experienced this? I know I can use my own icons, but it would be nice not to workaround the issue if possible.