Cryptography Lessons
Tracy r reed   |  

How I @#$#% HATE MS Outlook

And people wonder why I'm such a big fan of Linux and dislike MS so much. It is because even though I don't use Windows or anything Microsoft and have not for over 10 years Microsoft STILL finds ways to piss me off. I just got a phone call from the main office. They claim my emails are all messed up and they find them nearly unreadable and that this has been the case for some time. I am using Thunderbird. A very standards compliant email program. Sends plain text, wraps at 72 characters, no funny mime types or anything. An email program from 20 years ago would still be able to read my emails. But Outlook has trouble. I sent several friends using a variety of email programs an email, had them reply to me, I reply back, and everything works fine. Some even sent screenshots. The emails render perfectly. My coworker also mentioned that they find my quoting style confusing. I have been using email since 1989. And I use the same quoting style now as I did then. It has always worked out fine for everyone.  This is the old top-posting vs bottom-posting debate. We are supposed to be a technical company. Technical people typically bottom post. All technical mailing lists expect you to bottom post. Technical Usenet groups expect you to bottom post. Last thing we need is for our employees to look like lamers and not get the help they need. RFC1855 which is the Netiquette Guidelines, which comprise a comprehensive set of netiquette conventions even prohibits top-posting:

If you are sending a reply to a message or a posting be sure you summarize the original at the top of the message, or include just enough text of the original to give a context. This will make sure readers understand when they start to read your response.

But Outlook defaults to top posting and now many email users think this is standard.  Wikipedia provides a pretty good discussion on top-posting and explains why in technical areas especially it is considered a bad idea. Some pretty good reasons not to top-post can be found in Why is Bottom-posting better than Top-posting as well. Did I mention that the people from the main office use Outlook? Well they do. So now I either get to try to convince them that bottom posting is more proper which will require them to put a little more effort into their emails or just give in and conform (top-post) while sending inter-company email but try to remember to bottom post only when sending email to anyone to whom I might wish to appear professional and technically competent.

So not only does my machine get a zillion port scans/attacks each day from Windows boxes taken over by worms and my mailbox get filled with viruses and bogus virus warnings replying to virus-laden emails spoofed to be from me and I get to try to keep up with the ever-changing proprietary file formats but now I have to worry about how I compose my plain-text emails also.

The whole internet is going to hell in a handbasket and the average Joe-sixpack can't be bothered to give a care. Sometimes I want to go Amish...