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Computing Woes and Frustrations (Read 4509 times)
NightOwl
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Computing Woes and Frustrations
May 26th, 2010 at 11:13pm
 
To all

Well, made some decisions and ordered a new *bunch of parts* to put together a new system.  Put it together last weekend, fired it up and immediately ran memtest86--got memory errors after 5% of the test--so guess I have bad RAM!!!

After testing each RAM chip separately--thought I figured out which one was the problem--but, then the errors went away!!!  So, proceeded to install Win7.  That seemed to go without a hitch.

But, when I started looking around at Win7, I was disappointed to see all the changes made to how the system is setup!  Back when migrating from Win98se to WinXP--it was actually quite painless because WinXP allowed the user to switch to *Classic Windows* desktop (i.e. Win98's desktop and configuration of where all the settings are made).  But, apparently that's not an option with Win7--darn!

And then I found that there is no Outlook Express which I have been using for over 10 years!  It allowed there to be multiple separate accounts that could be password protected separately for each--so one could stay with the same user desktop and not have to log off one user and log on another user to have separate email accounts!

And, after doing some Googling--I find there's no substitute email program that has similar features to Outlook Express!  The only way to have separate accounts with their own password, apparently, is to have separate User Accounts that require logging off and logging on--damn--I thought computers were supposed to make things easier--not harder!!!!!

So, shut down the system.  Rocked back and forth for several hours chanting *Change is Good!  Change is Good!......*

Rebooted, and ran the memtest86 test again--got memory errors almost immediately.  After a brief period of warming up--the errors disappeared again.

Well, computers and I are not getting along very well lately!  RMA'd the RAM back to NewEgg--waiting for replacement and hoping that that is the only problem and it will be fixed with the new RAM chips!

In the mean time, feeling a bit overwhelmed by the new technology of SATA controllers, USB bootability (I think--haven't had a change to try that--and don't have a bootable USB flash drive to try even if it does work!), and BIOS settings that are 2-3 times more complex than what I've used on my 8 year old system--steep learning curve ahead!!!!!!

Been rocking back and forth for several days now wondering *what have I done!* and chanting *Change is Good!  Change is Good!......*

Not sure I'm going to enjoy this....and survive!!!!

By the way--using borrowed laptop time to type this--boy does that slow me down even more--I make more errors typing than I do correct typing-----grrrrrr, this is not going well!!!!!

Going out of town for a couple days--so I'm not ignoring any replies--just not going to be near a computer--let's see--tomorrow is a full moon--being away from computers may be a blessing based on recent events!!!!!
 

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Brian
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Re: Computing Woes and Frustrations
Reply #1 - May 27th, 2010 at 1:14am
 
@
NightOwl

I'm still doing nearly everything in WinXP. The lack of Outlook Express in Win7 concerns me too. I tried Windows Live Mail and didn't like it. I'm learning how to use Outlook and I think it will be my solution. I've avoided Outlook in the past as Outlook Express was easy and enough for my purposes.

Regarding bootable USB flash drives. Using your ISO files on a Grub4DOS flash drive is far better than using the HP Format tool and setting up DOS files. With Grub4DOS you can have multiple ISO files on the one USB flash drive and you choose which to use from a menu. You should be able to use ISO files made from your current bootable CDs.
MudCrab has a good tutorial here....

http://www.themudcrab.com/acronis_grub4dos.php

Ignore the Acronis references.
 
 
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Christer
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Re: Computing Woes and Frustrations
Reply #2 - May 27th, 2010 at 2:58am
 
NightOwl,
Quote:
And, after doing some Googling--I find there's no substitute email program that has similar features to Outlook Express!

I had the same deliberations and my friend ended up with Mozilla Thunderbird 3.x. It is quite similar to Outlook Express but with "additional functions". His old computer was working and I installed TB on that one and imported "everything on offer" from OE. Next, I installed TB on the new computer but didn't configure anything on the "default" account. I created an account for him on D:, configured and copied selected files (address book and mail folders) from the old. There was a learning curve but it was not steep. The biggest problem was the modem as discussed in the other thread but now, he's happy!

I can point out a few "issues" if you want to give it a go ... Undecided ... you can always remove it.
 

Old chinese proverb:
If I hear - I forget, If I see - I remember, If I do - I understand
 
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Brian
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Re: Computing Woes and Frustrations
Reply #3 - May 27th, 2010 at 3:46am
 
@
Christer

I'd like to try it. I've read positive reviews. What "issues" did you notice?
 
 
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Christer
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Re: Computing Woes and Frustrations
Reply #4 - May 27th, 2010 at 8:02am
 
Brian,
well, not "issues" as such but it took a while to sort out, a while long enough for me to take notes.

When I set up TB on the computer with OE, I let it use the default profile on C: and I let it import everything and all went well. Account settings, server settings and other settings were correctly identified. (You can follow the instructions a bit further down to create a new profile on a different drive but in that case, you have to make choices when importing and I don't know how it works. The automated import to the default profile, as descibed below, worked well.

The first time you start TB, it starts indexing your messages. Let it finish but from what I've heard, this can be annoying. I choose to disable it: Tools > Advanced > General > uncheck "Enable Global Search and Indexer".

With a single mail account (not to be confused with a "single profile") on my system, TB was automatically configured to use the "Global Inbox". With several mail accounts, I assume that it might get complicated. Check at Tools > Account Settings > Server Settings (for each mail account) > Advanced > make your choices (don't forget to "include this server ...)

Among your imported mail folders, figure out which ones correspond to a "standard TB mail folder". At Tools > Account Settings > Copies & Folders > choose "your" folders and they will get a nice icon. In my case, I checked the radio button for "other" and used the drop down menu to navigate to the correct folder. If it didn't exist, such as "Templates", I created it before doing the deed.

If the imported Inbox has subfolders, create corresponding subfolders in the TB Inbox. Right-click on the TB Inbox > New Folder ...". Next, in the imported Inbox, highlight all messages > right-cklick on any message > Move To > Local Folders > Inbox. Repeat for the subfolders.

Now, apart from storage folders outside of the Inbox, all the imported folders should be configured as TB folders or be empty. The empty ones can be deleted.

Open the Address Book. You will find three of them: Personal AB, Outlook Express AB and Collected AB. Personal and Collected should be empty but Outlook Express should hold you addresses. Close the Address Book and TB. The default storage location is:

C:\Documents and Settings\User Name\Application Data\Thunderbird\Profiles\blahblah.default

There should be three *.mab files: abook.mab, history.mab and impab.mab. Rename abook.mab > abook.org (or simply delete it) and rename impab.mab > abook.mab.

The next time you open TB and the Address Book, Personal should hold your addresses and Outlook Express (empty) can be deleted.

There are several other settings to consider but I can't go through them all. Now we have installed TB on the old computer and imported everything we need from OE. Next we install TB on the new computer. (I always disconnect from the internet to avoid premature connection.)

During/After the installation, don't configure or import anything to the default profile. Just open TB and close it again. To create a dedicated profile, follow the instructions in

http://www.windowsbbs.com/attachments/windows-xp/2276d1207813329-moving-windows-...

When you have done the deed and start TB for the first time, you're prompted for account details. (TB tries to identifiy your servers and all the jada-jada but TB is stupid. It almost never gets it right and it eventually gives up. Among other "issues", it assumes that the email addy is the user name, which it might not be ...) Cancel and close TB.

To transfer everything, you have to copy from the old:

C:\Documents and Settings\User Name\Application Data\Thunderbird\Profiles\blahblah.default\"everything"

to the new:

D:\User Name\Thunderbird\ (or whichever path you have created for the profile)

and let it over-write as required.

I hope that I have interpreted my notes correctly (parts of this is from memory ... Embarrassed ... a modern teflon coated version) and I hope I got it right.
 

Old chinese proverb:
If I hear - I forget, If I see - I remember, If I do - I understand
 
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Pleonasm
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Re: Computing Woes and Frustrations
Reply #5 - May 27th, 2010 at 8:14am
 
NightOwl, concerning the email client issue, you may find this article helpful:  Using Outlook on a computer you share with other people.

I am running Outlook 2007 and it is excellent, in my opinion.  Well worth the investment!
 

ple • o • nasm n. “The use of more words than are required to express an idea”
 
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Christer
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Re: Computing Woes and Frustrations
Reply #6 - May 27th, 2010 at 8:17am
 
One more thing, the Address Book needed som work. First name, Last name were not correctly separated in some cases (both first and last name as "first name"). A possible cause may be that I had them sorted according to first name when importing them.
 

Old chinese proverb:
If I hear - I forget, If I see - I remember, If I do - I understand
 
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NightOwl
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Re: Computing Woes and Frustrations
Reply #7 - Jun 8th, 2010 at 6:15pm
 
To All

Quote:
RMA'd the RAM back to NewEgg--waiting for replacement and hoping that that is the only problem and it will be fixed with the new RAM chips!

Got the new RAM--ran some extensive testing--allowed to shut down and cool off--re-tested--everything passed okay this time--so looks like I'm back in business as far as the new system.

But, I've been bogged down with some other projects--and have not been able to do much computing as yet--I will be posting several other questions in separate threads soon (? today still--maybe!)--would appreciate input on those issues--so look for them!

@
Pleonasm

Thanks for the link to using Outlook--looks like that may suit my needs--I'll have to experiment in the next few weeks--I think I have Outlook 2003--pretty old however--but your links talk about 2003 and not 2007--but I guess 2007 is similar!

Good to see your comments!

@
Brian

Thanks for the link for bootable flashdrives--I'll have to look into that as soon as the dust starts to settle!  I'm still overwhelmed by all the changes that I have to make decisions about regarding system setup and OS choices, etc. -- see my other posts that will be coming soon!

@
Christer

Hmmm--got lost in all the steps outlined in switching to Thunderbird--maybe if I actually try it out and see where the step apply it won't be too hard to follow--do you know if you can have different accounts with passwords--or is it a single account with email going to different folders--but, anyone can open and look at your email without a password?
 

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Christer
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Re: Computing Woes and Frustrations
Reply #8 - Jun 9th, 2010 at 3:18pm
 
NightOwl,

Quote:
Hmmm--got lost in all the steps outlined in switching to Thunderbird--maybe if I actually try it out and see where the step apply it won't be too hard to follow--do you know if you can have different accounts with passwords--or is it a single account with email going to different folders--but, anyone can open and look at your email without a password?

Well, I got lost trying to relate my experience in english. I have actually considered english as the choice of language for my new system but that may be an overkill ... Undecided ... that only turns the wagon when I try to explain things to swedish speaking people.

Anyway, the procedure is simpler than I indicated. I did it a few years ago, when I wrote my guide but never used Thunderbird after that. It's straight forward and when installing TB on my friends old system, it took a few minutes to import from Outlook Express but hours to realize that the problems to connect had nothing to do with usernames and passwords but a ADSL-modem (or whatever it's called) that didn't work with W7. This experience indicates that if you install XP and get it to run nicely ... Huh ... there's no guaranties that it (read: the peripheral hardware) will work with W7.
 

Old chinese proverb:
If I hear - I forget, If I see - I remember, If I do - I understand
 
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Re: Computing Woes and Frustrations
Reply #9 - Jun 9th, 2010 at 3:25pm
 
NightOwl,
I forgot about the multiple accounts. I imported a single account from Outlook Express. I don't know how it would have to be set up to work with multiple accounts. In Thunderbird you can have multiple accounts and choose to have the mail delivered to specific inboxes or to a "global" inbox. I believe that you can configure TB to suit your needs.
 

Old chinese proverb:
If I hear - I forget, If I see - I remember, If I do - I understand
 
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Dan Goodell
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Re: Computing Woes and Frustrations
Reply #10 - Jun 9th, 2010 at 5:26pm
 
NightOwl wrote on Jun 8th, 2010 at 6:15pm:
Hmmm--got lost in all the steps outlined in switching to Thunderbird--maybe if I actually try it out and see where the step apply it won't be too hard to follow--do you know if you can have different accounts with passwords--or is it a single account with email going to different folders--but, anyone can open and look at your email without a password? 


To keep terminology consistent, "accounts" typically is used in reference to email addresses a single user might login to.  Different users, each having their own set of storage folders and email accounts, are called "profiles" in Outlook and Thunderbird, or "identities" in OE.

Thunderbird supports multiple profiles, each profile supports multiple mail accounts, and each profile can be password protected.  It's not quite as smooth as OE (where you can "switch identities" without restarting OE), but is more akin to Outlook (where you close Outlook and reopen in the other profile).

I think most of the migration difficulty comes if you have multiple profiles or identities.  If you have a plain, single-profile setup, Thunderbird is fairly smart about importing everything correctly.  But it's not flexible enough to give you control over the process, so if you have multiple profiles it gets trickier making sure stuff gets from subordinate Outlook/OE profiles into the proper Thunderbird profile.  You can't tell it to merely take the stuff from this Outlook .pst file or that OE6 .mbx file.

I've migrated several users from XP+OE6 to Win7+Thunderbird, including a couple with multiple profiles.  Anybody who had previously been using Outlook on their old box simply reinstalled Outlook on the new Win7 box, so they get to keep using the same app.  I had a few users try Microsoft's Live Mail as an alternative, but nobody seemed to like it.

I was never much of an Outlook or OE user myself, and instead used Eudora for over 20 years.  Eudora is no longer practical, so late last year I migrated over to the portable version of Thunderbird 3.  I've come to appreciate being able to keep everything on a USB stick.  When I bounce from one computer to another, I don't need to install Thunderbird on each one, as everything--program and data files--are on the USB stick.

I don't think Thunderbird Portable supports multiple profiles, though.  OTOH, it doesn't need to when each user can carry their own USB stick.
 
 
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