Tricksy Vista

I played with Vista further, after writing about it yesterday. Got the machine on our router. Making it see the network and the internet was sooooo hard. It meant – ohmygod – plugging in a cable.

Well, then to see the share on my old computer, I had to adjust the built in protection, which is pretty slick. It gives you a choice of turning on network visibility and file sharing (or however it called the pair of things) “private” to the local network, or openly to any public network. I chose the former, and love that they made the distinction. Still, not a big deal, and the internet simply worked.

I tested Windows Mail, which is the new name of Outlook Express. I setup my main elhide.com account I use as the default, modified the account to leave on server, and downloaded the 1800-odd e-mails that were accumulated there. It pops up things to tell you about suspected phishing e-mails, and it highlights those, even when it leaves them in the inbox. Suspected spams, defaulting to “low” for screening, go into a junk folder. There were a lot of false positives, if not that many when some 600-odd were junked overall. The disturbing thing is that apparently anything from me at that very account or domain is considered spam. Ditto for Deb’s address at that domain. You can tell it “not junk.” I’d hope you can do so on the right-click, but the mouse is broken so I had to use the menu. You can’t multi-select and unjunk things, only one by one, which is mildly annoying.

In the inbox, unless it’s on the broken right-click, there is no easy way to tell it a false negative is junk. It’s basically the same old blocked senders scheme tying into that, so I just deleted them. It doesn’t identify the newfangled spams that use PDF attachments, but then most filters don’t.

Overall, it did a good job.

Last night I tried copying way too many files from this to the new computer, pulling them via the new one. It seemed failry slow, and got steadily slower, so I wasn’t surprised this morning to see that one of the fixes out for Vista involves slowness of file transfer that has apparently driven anyone who would notice crazy. I ended up canceling that so I could shut down the machines as thunderstorms were predicted.

This morning I tried copying my Outlook Express data stores, all 3.41 GB of them, to the new machine to import into Windows Mail.

In the process, I found or was reminded of an interesting new feature. I’d set Explorer’s folder options to show everything. If you go to the profile folder, named jay in this case, under it are a set of folders, some of which are hidden. One is called “application data” and has a lot of settings and data files associated with your programs. Another is called “local settings,” and contains folders named temp, temporary internet files, history, and another “application data” folder. In Windows 9x, application data was either directly under the windows folder, or if you had profiles, was under the relevant profile in the profiles folder under windows. Same thing, basically, except for being only one app data per user.

Windows Explorer in Vista using a bar with cookie crumbs at the top, which I love. You can click back to a prior level easily. I was weirded out that there was no address bar, showing the equivalent the old way, like:
c:\documents and settings\jay

Ah, but if you click past the end, it renders it editable and in that format, and you can manually add to it, press enter and there you are. So in the profile folder, where you can’t see the application data folder, you tack on application data manually and it takes you there.

There’s just no apparent way to unhide those hidden folders. And since this was looking across the network at my old machine, I know it’s going strictly by the standard “hidden” attribute, not something new to Vista. Telling the folder options to let you view hidden and system folders makes no difference.

Anyway, I was able to navigate to “local settings” that way, and under that the “application data” folder was again hidden, so same thing again. Buried under there is where the Outlook Express data files are. I copied that folder.

Once it was done, I used what appears to be a slick import feature in Windows Mail. I told it the mail I was importing was Outlook Express 6 format. It was unable to import it. At first I thought maybe I had version 5, but it turns out that my e-mail is indeed version 6, so the import refused to work for no reason at all. Not good. It might be there’s an interim way around it, if I want to insist, but we’ll see. That’s not encouraging in part because it makes me feel less secure about anything importing the old e-mail, so what would be the point of backing it up?

On another note, I haven’t tried downloading Firefox or anything yet, but I love Internet Explorer 7 so far. It’s as if they copied and improved in Firefox, at least as of the versions I’ve used. It’s probably the hardware, but web pages load dramatically faster than I am used to seeing. It was super easy to tell IE7 to load in a new tab in the same window any link targeted to open in a new window, which is one of my long ago customizations to Firefox.

I’m still itching about that hidden folder issue. I figure buried under administrative tools or something there has to be a way to change the protective behavior…