(2003 to 2005)

Erm, 'clippy' was useful?

Sat Feb 7 06:14:00 UTC+1100 2004


OK, my entire world has been thrown upside down! (the part where I exaggerate for dramatic effect)

You know that little paper-clip 'clippy' that never ceases to annoy the crap out of you in Office applications? Well, I had this problem where my default address book was all messed up. Basically it was pointing to a 'folder' that didn't exist any more, so when I tried to use the Address book I'd get some error message, and then manually have to select another folder (both folders were labelled 'Contacts').

So, I went through *every single friggin dialog and option box that I could find* in Outlook. For like half an hour. I was sitting there thinking: “I'm a computer geek, I could *program* Outlook, there is no way in hell that I'm going to put up with this, there must be a way to re-configure it”.

Anyway, after searching high and low for ages, and checking and rechecking all available options, I was inclined to just 'give in'. But before I did, I went and checked the error message again. It said, check Outlook help for how to add and remove address books (or something along those lines). So I thought, heh, why not? Having tried many times in the past to get useful information from the help system, I was prejudiced toward it, and only considered it as a “I have nothing to lose” last resort.

So I pressed F1. Up came 'clippy'. I entered the search criteria “remove address book”, it came back with a nice little list of options. I clicked on the second one. Low and behold, a direct pointer to the *only* dialog box in the entire application that I hadn't bothered to look at!

You know when you click Tools => Email Accounts, how you get that first screen that 'gets in your way' while you try to get to your account settings. Well, if you actually pay attention (something I have never done on this screen before) you will see that at the bottom is an option to 'View or change a directory _or address book_'.

So there you go. I'm in the process of reevaluating my entire outlook on life (no pun intended). If clippy was useful, who knows what could be next!


Copyright © 2003-2005 John Elliot