Outlook 2007

I like having all my stuff in one place, which is why I like Outlook. Up until recently, I really liked Outlook. But Outlook 2007 is the devil. You cannot turn off Junk Mail filtering. Oh, it says you can, but it lies. I set the Junk Mail options to “no automatic filtering” (which you’d think would turn it off) and have absolutely no addresses in the blocked addresses list. I even have a list of addresses in the safe senders list… and guess what? Outlook is declaring them junk mail!

If you go to Microsoft’s website, they’ll cheerfully tell you how to set the junk mail options to “no automatic filtering.” I can’t call them or send them a support request without paying them $49. WTF??? Geez, at least Adobe will talk to me and let me send them notes for free.

I don’t need junk mail filtering in Outlook. I use vqME, which rocks at filtering out spam. Anything that gets sucked into Outlook ought to go into the Inbox. But noooo…

If anyone out there knows how to tame Outlook 2007, I’d love to hear about.

Photoshop Is Marvelous

…their customer support, not so much.

I’ll preface my rant by saying

  1. I have hearing problems. I can HEAR you just fine, but the translation of the sound waves doesn’t always make any sense once it gets to my brain. I say, “Can you repeat that?” a lot and have learned to compensate by reading lips, after a fashion. So talking on the phone is difficult, and some speech patterns just don’t work for me at all.
  2. I love the people of India. They’re fabulous human beings.

So, my desktop computer is crapping out. It’s repairable, but it’s not good for much right now except maybe creating Word documents and a few simple Excel spreadsheets. I got a nice new laptop to use while I figure out what I’m going to do about the desktop. I got all my programs installed, and they’re running nicely.

Until I have to “activate” Photoshop. They want you to enter the serial number and activate online, right? So I enter the number. I’m copying it right off the email I had saved (because I save these things), and I’m entering it very carefully (because it’s just what you have to do). Photoshop tells me I have to enter the CORRECT serial number before I can activate the software. WTF? I check the numbers, and check them again. No, they’re correct.

Fine. I’ll just call the telephone activation people. They don’t make it easy to find the number, but I am nothing if not persistent. I reach a nice young lady in India who has me read the serial number to her, and then she assures me that it’s a valid number. (Oh, good. I was worried. Cuz, you know, I actually PAID for the program, after all.) This is where things broke down, though. I couldn’t understand her, and she couldn’t get my program to activate. Finally, she transferred me to someone else.

Person #2 seemed like a nice enough young man, and he, too, assured me my serial number was valid. (Whew.) He could not get my program activated either. He transferred me to someone in customer service (which is a different department from activation… remember this… it’s important later).

Person #3 also asked for my serial number. Guess what? It was still valid! The language barrier was much greater here, and I wound up being transfered back to the activation people… over my protests.

Ok, so Person #4… yes, they wanted my serial number and yes! It was still valid! (You were worried about that, I can tell.) He could not get the program to activate either, so I asked to speak to his supervisor.

Person #5, the supervisor (maybe), ASKED FOR MY SERIAL NUMBER AGAIN, and by this time I’m so frustrated I want to (a) bang the phone on the desk, (b) strangle everyone at Adobe customer support and (c) cry. Finally, Person #5 realizes that perhaps I have a problem they can’t solve and transfer me to technical support and…

JESSIE! Jessie is in California! Jessie is a geek! Of course, Jessie asks for my serial number, but the thought that my problem might actually get resolved has me nearly weeping with joy, so I rattle it off yet again. Jessie assures me (because I must have seemed concerned) that it was a valid serial number. He checks a few things, we chat a bit and finally he says, “AH! I think I know what the problem is! But you need to talk to the activation gurus down the hall.” I panic, but he assures me these are TECHNICAL people who just specialize in activation issues and they’re right down the hall from him in matching cubicles. He transfers me down there and…

I GET CUT OFF. Perhaps I should just kill myself now. But no. I’m stupid. I call them back.

Person #7 asks for my serial number. All I could chant was “Transfer me to Jessie! Transfer me to Jessie!” I’m sure he thought I was insane. Well, I was! But he keeps asking for my serial number. I finally broke. I screamed and hung up. (My cats stared at me like I was crazy. Yeah… DUH!)

So I go to the Adobe website to enter a ticket, explaining how I can’t get my program activated and that there’s a language barrier (entirely my fault) and let’s please get this resolved in writing. I wait several days. I get a response saying, “Call the activation people.” They closed the ticket. I get pissed. I open another ticket explaining WHY I can’t call activation, and request (for the second time) resolution via email. I wait several more days. I get a response saying, “Call the activation people.” They closed the ticket.

(Did you notice they did the EXACT same thing with the EXACT same response to both tickets? I did.)

But this time (this morning), I’m SOOOOOOO angry I can barely breathe. Still, I DID breathe and wrote them yet another ticket. This one said, in essence, “Thank you for your lack of help. It has been most illuminating. I will be going out and borrowing a copy of Photoshop CS2 from a friend to install illegally on my computer because you can’t seem to allow me to use my legally purchased software. Again, thank you. Have a nice day.”

I’m curious what response I’ll have in another few days. I’m betting on “Call the activation people.”

[Originally posted in the EntreCard Community forum on 14 May 2008. I have not heard from Adobe support regarding my last support ticket.]

Heard on NPR

As I was about to shut the car off and climb out last night, the announcer said that there was a group of activists who were planning to re-create the 1968 Democratic National Convention at this year’s convention.

Are they kidding?

Do you people remember the 1968 Democratic National Convention?  It was in Chicago.  There were riots.

Hello, Denver?  I love ya, and I miss ya… and you might want to ask these nice activist people to re-think their plan.

In 1968, I was a kid.  At the time of the Democratic National Convention, the whole family was on vacation driving around the country in our 1965 Chevy Bel Aire station wagon.  (It was white.  Gosh, the things one can remember.)  We watched the brouhaha on television from our motel room.  I think we might have been in Wyoming at the time.  It seems awfully scary watching it on tv.

I’m just saying it might be a good idea not to have history repeat itself.  And I’m kind of hoping I just made that all about about the activists.

The Skinny

So, here’s the deal with this blog. If I have the urge to participate in a meme, this is where I do it. If I need to rant and rave about something that yanks my chain, this is where I do it. If I ever decided to smoke crack and write about my experience, I’m sure this is where I’d do it. I don’t post here every day. I post on my art blog every day.

I just moved over from Blogger today. Maybe it’s because I’ve already gone through the process with my art blog, but it was even easier this time around. Of course, this blog had virtually no traffic and hardly any posts compared to the art blog. Blogger has been a tad annoying lately, and now that I’m putting up an EC widget here, it’s the best time.

Coming soon: that Adobe rant. You may have read it on the EC forum, but if you didn’t… stick around.