Windows XP Service Pack 3

Many of you who have had the opportunity to install SP3 may have encountered the famous “Configuring Outlook Express 6” hang.  I don’t mean it’s slow.  I mean it just stops.  I had to install SP3 yesterday because I needed another patch that Microsoft wouldn’t let me have until I installed SP3.  Since I was dealing with infamous BSOD, I was hell bent on installing SP3 so that I could come back to work today and actually do the things they pay me for instead of futzing with this retarded PC all day.  I couldn’t find a good resolution to this documented anywhere so I’m posting one here. 

My answer to this:

  2. Select “Shutdown” from the menu
  3. Click on “Restart”
  4. Once the machine reboots it should be past the error

Microsoft’s Answer – taken straight out of their tech support email:





/* Style Definitions */
{mso-style-name:”Table Normal”;
mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt;
mso-fareast-font-family:”Times New Roman”;
mso-bidi-font-family:”Times New Roman”;

1. Click
“Start”, go to “Run”, type in “WAB” and press
“Enter” to open
Windows Address Book.
2. Click on the “File” menu, and click “Switch Identity”.
3. Choose “Main Identity”, and click “OK”.
4. Click on the File menu again, and click “Switch Identity”.
5. Click “Manage Identities”, Click “New” to create a new
the name for the new Identity, and click “OK”.
7. Click “Yes” to switch to the new Identity.
8. Click on the “File” menu again, and click “Switch
9. Click “Manage Identities”, select “Main Identity” for
the following options, and click “Close”:


Use this identity when starting a program.
b. Use this identity when a program does not ask you to choose an identity

Office 2007

Well, I would have blogged sooner, but Outlook 2007 decided to take over my machine.  It hogged up nearly 5 GB of RAM.  I’ve been tinkering for days now to figure out what the heck happened.  I ran scans for viruses, spy ware, Ad ware, root kits, and all sorts of other nasties and came up empty.  I suspected my anti-virus software so I swapped it for another package.  No change.  I dumped my trash and archived my older missives.  Still nothing.  Then I started Googling.  Apparently, I am not alone.  And if Google is any indication, not alone to the order of 250,000 results under “Outlook 2007 hogging memory”.  However, there is a fix.  Our thanks go out to Tris. 

Apparently there is a serious issue with the way Outlook and the rest of the Office 2007 things handle “Plug In’s”.  One, why are they being installed without my express permission?  Two, why are they allowed to hog up my machine?  Why do I need a 130MB Outlook plugin for iTunes?  WTF???  What does iTunes have to do with my *&^%$#@ email????  Once I disabled all the plug ins, and boy were there a lot of them, Outlook is humming away on my computer and only using a whopping 10MB of RAM.  If you want the full directions – go see Tris’s blog entry on it. 

Another Reason not to fund the Borg Collective

I realize that calling Microsoft the Borg Collective is a bit extreme, but not overly much.  My latest gripe with them centers around what used to be one of my favorite Microsoft products – Visio.  Visio was one of the few things that Microsoft had done well with.  I use to it to automagically draw out database schemas and network diagrams.  Yes, it will do that if you buy the more expensive version.

Well, I’ve purchased it through our procurement department but they move about as fast as a tortise on Thorazine, so I’m running it in trial mode until my key code magically arrives.  I’ve an absolutely gianormeous diagram of a very complicated database that I’m trying to print.  I’ve had to do some re-arranging on the diagram to get it down to a size that’s under 200 sheets of paper.  For that reason, I’ve got a lot of spare space in diagram.  I keep trying to export it to a high resolution image so that I can crop it and then print it.  That seems to be too much to ask of Visio.  Every file format that’s remotely useful (GIF,PNG,JPG,PDF,etc.) all produce some bizarre error message or it does a bunch of bizarre formatting, rending the document unreadable.

Nice going guys!!!  Way to f-up the one thing that you were doing that I liked.  Lord knows you need more products like Blista.