Rebuilding my work computer with Vista

It’s been a hard run the past few weeks, as my work computer started behaving in all sorts of unusual ways. Windows, as we all should know, has a half-life of six months (for heavy-duty use). It’s been nine months since my last rebuild, so I’m already overdue.

The first big change this time around is going with Vista. This was a tough decision, but ultimately, I have to take the plunge at some point. Vista has been around for quite some time now, so you’d think most of the kinks are worked out. (I’m keeping my fingers crossed).

The second big change is a real attempt to use Microsoft Outlook instead of Mozilla Thunderbird. Yes, Thunderbird is a superior email product, especially when teamed with GMail (which I use for all email, business and personal). Unfortunately, Outlook has superior contact management and calendar features, and is much more effective at synchronizing with my Palm Treo.

So far, I’m dealing with the expected delays using Outlook, mostly related to its difficulty doing a first-time sync of my Google mailboxes (both are over 500MB). Turning off UAC helped get some other odd things to work (like the PPTP VPN to SoftLayer). I’m sure there will be more issues, but I’m being hopeful that they can all be resolved.

We’ll see how things are after a week of heavy use.

How to save multiple messages to disk in Thunderbird

I had a bunch of messages in Thunderbird which I wanted to give to a coworker. I didn’t want to forward 60 messages, so I figured I’d save them as .eml files.

Unfortunately, Thunderbird only lets you save to file one message at a time. Who wants to File/SaveAs/File/OK sixty times? Not me.

Fortunately there’s a great little extension called ImportExportTools. After installing it, I went to File / Save Selected Messages / EML Format and watched it do what I didn’t want to do, sixty times.

I won’t mention all the other export and import features. Just get it and install it if you use Thunderbird. You will use it at some point.