Outlook - You Can not Win for Losing

I encountered my quarterly Outlook Qaugmire (yes I know I swore off Outlook last quarter, so why am I still complaining?   I am stuck with it I guess).

How did this all start?

It's all Audible's fault!  I have an Audible account.  I have a new computer.  Audible is a pain in the neck to work with when you have to migrate to a new computer or a new device.

I had to go into my Audilbe account and download the crappy Audible manager software.  I like a lot of things about Audible, but not Audible Manager!

Then I have to 'Activate' my device.  This is the step you take right after you install Audible Manager and proceed to nail your toes to a 12 inch section of 2 x 4 and take a 12 mile hike in the swamp. 

A Swamp hike with nailed on wood shoes is actually less painful than activating a device with Audible Manager!

So I hit activate and both my new computer and my Audible manager program can not find my Treo, so its time to share the love with Palm.  Your desktop synch software Sucks!

So I try and download the latest version of Palm software for my Treo.  I get a 404 page after filling in all the information.  The download is apparently not available . . .

So I dig out my treo disc from that place I stored it the last time I had to go through this stupid exercise.  I install the software.  I try and update the sofware, but it wants me to do a hotsynch first.

NOOOOOO!!!!    (Hotsynchs on new machines are always trouble!)

But I have no choice and I have it all backed up on my old computer, right?

So I run the hotsynch.  It takes forever.

I turn on my phone 20 minutes later and click on my address book to make sure all my phone numbers are still in my phone.

Big Surprise - They are ALL Deleted!   Palm Treo Hotsynch software Sucks!

So now I plug my phone into my old computer and start to synch it over there.  Its an older slower machine.  That was 40 minutes ago and it is still synching up, and hasn't moved off the calendar yet!  It still has Contacts, Tasks and Notes, so I take a break to calm down and get my nail gun back out and nail my fingers to some wood pieces of plywood cut out in the shape of hands.

I figure I will type like this to keep up with my machine running this slow software.

In the meantime, I'm troubleshooting the new machine.  I go into Outlook and I think that Palm couldn't find my contacts there or something.  I have this stupid little thing that happens when I try and send a new email.

Say I open a New email to send and click on the To button to pick a contact, it gives me this stupid error saying:

The address list could not be displayed. The Contacts folder associated with this address list could not be opened; it may have been moved or deleted, or you do not have permissions. For information on how to remove this folder from the Outlook Address Book, see Microsoft Outlook Help.

When I click on the OK, button I can then see my Contacts option labeled as 'Contacts' and I can pick my email address just fine.  Well apparently this is bad (yes Outlook sucks too!)  Outlook has 2 different contacts folders (and I use that term loosely because technically Outlook doesn't have Contact folders at all, it just uses that stupid name for all of us dumb schmucks that want a user friendly interface . . . where's my nail gun?

So I hunt the internet down for a cure.  Google sucks these days also and I go through 20 different pages of wrong turns looking for the answer for the problem.  I try 3 solutions that do not work at all.  Then I find this one and it works. 

So now I try to pick an email through the to button and every think is Hunky Dorry (no idea what that phrase means so I apologize to anyone that it offends - something from my scarred childhood I presume, where's my nail gun???)

So Outlook is fixed.  The stupid Palm software is installed, but not the update.  I had downloaded the update but its zipped.  I try and open it with PowerZip (PowerZip sucks because it turns all my zipped folders lime green and its share ware, which I'm not going to buy just needed something to open a tarz file one night.)  Well somehow PowerZip lost the download.

So I go back to Palm and hunt for the update.  I do not recall the keywords I used last time, so I come in through a different entry page.  I don't find the same update, but I find a different one that has the Day Light Savings time update (Thanks Congress really needed that small bit of hassle from you last spring and now again!  Congress Sucks!)

While I'm typing my phone finaly finishes synching up with my old computer. I check the address book and it has 12 listings called "Unnamed" and nothing else.  I have several hundred contacts.  Where's my nail gun???  The phone's getting it next!

I check my calendar on my phone.  It works.  Why delete my contacts but not my Calendar?  Must be an evil cabal between Microsoft and Palm and Motorola who may still own 25% of Palm and doesn't like it that Treo's still make better smart phones than Motorola, who isn't that smart.  I know I worked there for several years.  This can be confirmed by the fact that they let Mike Z go to Nortel I think.  Real smart send the guy packing that helped turn the company away from the brink of destruction.  Kind of like throwing Moses into a Volcano after parting the read sea.  Guess that would have saved everyone a bunch of rules . . .  hmmmmm

Plug stupid cadillac of a smart phone (Its a Treo 600 a dinosaur, but it gets good cellular coverage, better than any blackberry or cambells soup can with a string attached.  So I'm running the stupid Palm synch (not calling in hot synch any more, its Palm synch and it sucks.  Palm needs to fix it and then I'll use whatever stupid trademark brand name they like, until then its Stupid Palm Synch (SPS).

Now the first 2 times I synched it showed the contact names flashing through the Pocket Mirror monitor crap.  Like it had found 'Contacts' which it then lost somewhere.  Third times a charm and its showing the addresses again.  It runs real fast this time (new computer whooping some Palm butt!)  Or its just screwing up faster with twice the ram and a faster processor.

As this 3rd synch is winding down, I see that its backing up the databases.  That's good, the backup worked real good last time.  (Couldn't find the recover button.  Palm doesn't have a recover button.  Don't know where you recover that backedup data)  The synch just finished, I pick up my phone (after I stop typing these words)

It says Unamed again!  UGghhhhhh  I click on one of these Unamed names.  Its actually a name.  It only has an email address inside, no actual name no phone number and there are more than 12.  It just looked like 12 since they were all the same, I didn't realize that it was scrolling through the list.    My Kingdom for a nail gun!  (I do not really own a nail gun.)

So I have confirmed that Palm really does suck!  So now I have to trouble shoot why Palm is too stupid to synch all that other information into my 'smart' phone.

So now I install a Outlook conduit through Chapura something or other (Chapura another crappy palm software program apparently).  I double check all the mapping and things for the umpteenth time, but I don't think this is going to work well.  I run the synch and sit back and attempt to contain the bile rising in my throat.  Through the synchs a person that I keep intending to delete from my contacts keeps getting stuck and I have to cancel her contact from the synch.  I keep swearing that if I have to do this one more time, I will delete her from Outlook to save an extra milisecond on the next synch (that's the one right before I throw my treo in the trash.

Ah HA!

This time I notice that if I hit a letter on my phone it jumps me to names that begin with that letter.  My contacts weren't deleted after all (or not entirely).  It just added a few hundred new contacts with no names and only email addresses.

I go back into Outlook and what do you know.  Freakin Outlook has a bunch of email addresses in my contacts now and no names.  I didn't put them there.  No idea how they got there.  Stupid Outlook!

So how do I get the data garbage off my phone?

I sort it by name, and the select all the items that have no name.  I select cut and then paste them into a new contacts folder.  (I had checked a sample of them to see if there were any duplicates and I didn't see any.)

I then repeat this with a couple of categories of numbers that I don't want on my phone either.

I synch 2 more times for good measure and my contact list is back.  (Or so I tell myself, I'm positive that I lost a few numbers in all those synchronizations.  Outlook, Palm, Audible they all suck!)

Now I remember that Audible got me in this mess, so I start it back up again and attempt to Associate or claim or do whatever ritual I'm supposed to do with MY device for their stupid software.(I always put my books on a flash card anyway, wish I could just copy it to the card direct and then play it on my Treo but that would be too easy!)

I connect it and go throught the steps.  It tells me 4 times in a row that the device isn't connected, then it say it is but the activation fails.  I try again it loses the connection.  Try again it says it can't connect to the internet!

I try again, because I'm on the internet typing this message!

This time the screen just disappears and I assume that I am activated, so I start prying the nails out of my fingers and toes.

I glance down at my phone a minute later and see a message stating that its 'activate' would have been nice if they had mentioned that in the interface they were forcing me to work in!

So I start to download the book that I purchased from the 'Undead' series by Mary Janice Davidson series.  They are funny books with too much sex, but they are funny and I like sex.

So my book is downloading, I'm out of soda, so I'm going to post this and get a coke while the book finishes its download.  Then I can get to work while I read a book, which was my goal from jump.

For anyone that cares:

  • I'm running Palm 4.2 (now)
  • Audible manager 5 I think
  • Outlook 2003
  • XP Media center
  • An Imaginary nail gun
  • Treo 600

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