Thursday, November 23, 2006
Note: I began this entry on Thanksgiving Day, and quickly realized that it was so out of the spirit of the day that it should not be published. That was then, now is now (28 November), and Windows still proposes to install IE7 each time I reboot, my spam-deletion chores seem endless, and my ISP was still block-listed for relaying spam last time I checked. Oh, but I haven't added mention of Acrobat Reader proposing to install updates it just finished installing! Yes, I let it download and install the same updates three times in a row just to be sure.
I suppose that, inveterate procrastinator, I am expected to be thankful for some help wasting my time. But that is not what procrastination is about: I want to be the one to decide to defer the pleasure of completing a task, and especially I want to decide what I do instead of completing said task. I really do not appreciate:
- nearly five hundred spam messages accumulated in one of my mailboxes in a week. I then had the fun of clicking "select all", then "delete", the "confirm" (after waiting for a pop-up window to appear, which sometimes failed to happen) forty-eight times, i.e. for each list of ten messages. That moved them to my "trash" folder, where I had the immense satisfaction of doing the same thing all over again! Three hundred clicks, connection timed out at least twice...what fun!
- Internet Explorer 7. I don't use IE, I use Firefox. But, a little yellow shield told me there was an update I should download and install, and I agreed. What a mistake! First, the download and update seems not to execute in a conventional manner: it actually only downloads most of the update during the installation process, not beforehand. It just downloads the Genuine Advantage checker (again, in case the last five somehow got lost) and an installer and then blinks "downloading updates for Internet Explorer 7.0" for ages after you click on "install". That gave me some time to fetch the mail and fix lunch. So far, just mild annoyance. But why must I be encouraged to reboot to use IE7? Why such insistence? Every five minutes, one of those horrid pop-up alerts that you cannot ignore. I finally found a solution: IE7 can be uninstalled, so I went to control panel and did so. And I still haven't rebooted.
- Prompts for housekeeping from Thunderbird. It seemed like every time I deleted or moved messages, T-bird offered almost immediatedly to compact folders. I think it is good to compact folders regularly. However, when I first open my mail client and want to fetch mail is a poor time to be compacting; yet, almost invariably T-bird wants to. I've tried to turn it off, but never found how. The new T-bird release has another "feature" I didn't ask for: detecting phishing or fraudulent messages? I'm not sure what it is doing, but it is always wrong and does not learn from its mistakes. One thing led to another, and I discovered that I could turn both of these off! The time I spent finding out "how" will very likely be compensated by the time I save clicking "no" within, oh, a month or two.
- Paranoid ISPs: I replied to an email from someone with whom I correspond reasonably often and have done so for years. My ISP and his ISP and our addresses have not changed. But yesterday, his ISP decided to bounce the messages I sent. How do I get this fixed? Is it his ISP that is paranoid, or mine that has become flakey? I asked my cable ISP to explain, but they haven't gotten back to me. So, I wasted some time looking for and visiting open relay and other related databases sometimes used (inappropriately) for blocklisting. I have tried mailing to other accounts, to see whether others (like Orange, laposte, and Yahoo!) bounce mail from my cable ISP, and they don't (but did suspect I was sending myself spam). Whenever I want to e-mail someone, I need to do it via an IMAP account using my browser. What fun! France to earthlink, do you read me?
Tags: IE7 : software updates : anti-spam : blocklist : spam