Wednesday, May 02, 2012

Everybody loves Outlook

kw: email

I learned long ago that vulnerabilities in MS Outlook make it a prime target of virus writers and worm writers. So I have avoided using it for many years. At my work place, we've used Lotus Notes for more than ten years, and over time I got used to it. At home, I use the ISP's webmail tool, which has served me well enough. I used to use Eudora before I got broadband internet access. I also have a couple of specialty Email accounts on GMail.

Now the company management has decided to become an all-Microsoft shop, meaning we are learning SharePoint and Outlook, which are taking the place of the various parts of Lotus Notes. We are joining about 240 million people, just in the U.S., who primarily use Outlook for their Email. Fortunately, the learning curve for Outlook 2010 isn't too steep, at least not from the perspective of us peons.

From the perspective of corporate IT, it has been a long process. A major matter was migrating everyone's Lotus Notes stuff to Outlook. It took months to get a software tool working as well as it needed to. My migration occurred this morning. They ran the software against my LN files overnight (mine and a number of other folks. They are doing it in phases).

I got my new Outlook account set up this morning, and found almost everything there. Just not my Contacts. The address book synchronization that worked for most folks had not worked in my case. I used the Export software in LN to prepare a VCard file. But Outlook only receives the first card in a VCard file. I found I could right click on a LN contact record and have it Emailed as a VCard attachment. I only needed to move about a dozen contacts over, so sending myself a dozen Emails was the quickest way to do it. A colleague wrote a little Perl script that makes a multi-card file into any number of one-card files, so other folks who have my problem will use that.

Interesting to say, I am now up and running on Outlook, a bit quicker than I expected. Its similarity to other Office 2010 applications helped. I am still leery of its vulnerability to virus attack, but I guess the multilayer firewall at the company will help. Now to read the eight page tips sheet they sent us about using Outlook…

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