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Thursday, March 17, 2005

Follow-up

Firstly, as you may remember from this post, I have been none too pleased with "Mozza's" and we've been largely boycotting it since it "rebranded" itself.

However, last night, on my way home from my run (6 miles this time - just a short one ;)...) I had planned to pop in there to pick up some bread. It was just after 8pm. As I drove in, I noticed two things.

Firstly, a handwritten label had been stuck over the car park posters, informing customers that the car park charge now only applies from 8am until 5pm. When it first re-opened, it applied until 8pm. I think their evening business must have suffered, as predicted by none other than m'good self.

Secondly, as informed by a chav on a bike at the entrance, the store was closed, "love" (what? you're only about 12...). It closes at 8pm now, instead of 9pm.

Pants.

So I had to get my bread from the petrol station, whose selection was limited to say the least. I was already in a bad mood from the run. Sometimes, your legs just don't want to play, they feel like lead. Last night was warm too - the warmest conditions I've run in for some time. Running in humidity is like running through treacle - though a *little* less messy.

Design Feature

Secondly, do you remember this one about sending photo messages to email and only being able to save the embedded image as a bitmap rather than a jpg?

Well, this issue has continued to annoy me, until the other day when I noticed something interesting. Y'see, when I'm at home, I download my main home email into Outlook. When I'm at work, I pop in and view it via the webmail interface. I noticed that when I accessed the photo message from webmail, I was able to right click and save it as a jpg. At home, in Outlook, it would only allow me to save it as a bitmap.

I'd originally assumed that it was a problem with my mobile phone network (and had sent a number of ranting emails about it), but on seeing this phenomenon, I began to think otherwise. I experimented - sending the message to my gmail address (which I rarely use). Again, I could save the picture as a jpg.

"Ah-ha!" I cry, excited at my discovery, "it must be a setting within Outlook". I scour the options available and can find nothing to influence how embedded images are saved.

So off I pop to Shite-cro-soft's webshite to search their support articles. Nada. I end up sending them a support email. Imagine my surprise when, the very next day, I receive the following:

"Dear Witho,

Thank you for your inquiry regarding Microsoft Office Outlook 2003 and for choosing Microsoft Online Support. I am [insert name] and I will be assisting you with this service request.

According to the case log I received, my understanding of this issue is: You cannot save e-mail embedded pictures to *.jpg format. If I have misunderstood your concern, please let me know. Thank you very much for bringing this to my attention.

Based on my experience, when you right click on an embedded picture in Outlook Express, you can only save it as a *.bmp file. However, there are some workarounds which you may want to try.

[insert workarounds here]

I personally think what you would like to implement is very reasonable and understand how frustrating it is when you find that the product does not meet your needs. However, this is hard coded by-design feature in the program. There is no option or method to change it at present.

I will forward your recommendation to the proper department for their consideration. They may consider this suggestion for the next version of Outlook. In addition, please feel free to submit your suggestion on our product to the following link. Our Product Group and developers reviews the suggestions submitted by our customers.

[...]"


I had to laugh at: "this is hard coded by-design feature in the program" - I thought IT people only used this ironically...

However, I was quite pleased at the swiftness of response, the fact that it was personalised (not just a link to a useless FAQ) and the fact that he started off by restating his understanding of the problem, a good technique. Even if he couldn't actually solve my problem and confirmed that it is a limitation in Outlook.

So sorry Vodafone, you were half right, it *was* a Microsoft problem... but I still think you should send the photo as an attachment rather than embedded. So nerr.



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