Dorward's Ramblings

The Outlook is Hellish

Published on

My father has finally joined the world of broadband. This is a good thing, it means that I can upgrade his software when a security fix release comes out. It means that his anti-virus software doesn't take an hour to update when I set it to run manually. It means that his phone line isn't tied up when he is online (he does have a mobile phone, it isn't usually switched on).

Of course, no upgrade can go smoothly. Having crawled home after a day of ITIL training (in a word: 'dull'), the phone rings. After half an hour trying to resolve things on the phone, I end up driving out to Baydon to take a look in person.

The fault might have been with the router. The fault might have been with the ethernet adaptor on the motherboard. The fault might have been with the network cable. The fix was to switch to the USB connection. This did not please me, for some reason networking over USB makes my skin itch.

So, after making sure that the connection is working, getting an upgrade for Firefox, getting an upgrade for Sophos, and causing Dad to go "Ooooh" at streaming video, I head home.

That was Monday.

On Tuesday, Dad decides to check his email. He gets prompted to dial his modem.

Luckily, I remembered that Outlook has a setting to force it to use a specific network connection instead of the system default for checking email. (How I remembered I have no idea. I haven't used Outlook since 1999!). So I walked him through disabling it.

Then we come to today. Dad has the same problem. For some reason Microsoft Outlook reverted the setting!

So, after spending five minutes walking Dad through disabling it (again), I decide to have a go at removing the dial up connection entirely — I'd be impressed if Microsoft managed to prompt to dial a non-existent connection!

This, however, is Windows. There is no way that I am going to remove the connection settings without making a backup. If I do, its going to do something horrible. So, lets just move the connection out of the connections folder.

It looks like a file. It acts like a file. It is not a file.

Drag to desktop? You get a shortcut. Drag to desktop while holding down Mr. "I want a copy. A COPY!" Control Key? You get a shortcut.

At that point I consigned the problem to the "When I'm There In Person" pile. Poking semi-randomly at things is less productive when you have to do it blind over the telephone.