An Opera irritation and its cure

Sometimes[1] a message with a malformed attachment will crash “Opera”: hard, and all subsequent attempts to restart will also be aborted by a crash. This should not happen to a mail program. Also, a mail program should have a better editor than Opera’s, very much better handling of address books, and it should know about MAPI. I put up with all the disadvantages because Opera indexes every word of every email so that I can find anything in moments.

This is an instance of a more general rule, that being able to find the stuff you have written is in the long run more useful than almost anything else. I am probably going to go back to using Word just for this reason — Yahoo Desktop Search, which is easily the best and most comprehensive content indexing program, doesn’t know about OpenOffice v2 files.

So, when it does crash, the answer is to delete the ‘Lexicon’ folder in the mail store, and to restore the previous copy of “Index.ini” from the “automatically generated”: nightly backups. So far, this has worked every time.

fn1. Three times this year.

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9 Responses to An Opera irritation and its cure

  1. Can you say ‘Spotlight’? Though Desktop Search does do a good job, it’s so nice to be able to type ‘Helmintholog’ into the blue box at the top of my screen and find that I have used the word 17 times including (though I’d completely forgotten this) a reference to your problem with The Guardian’s subs over Mark Steyn in my BBC column back in June 🙂 So although I try hard not to be a Mac zealot – as we all know there are enough problems with Apple and Mac OS X – I do find that it does enough of what I want, when I want it, and in the way I want it done, to satisfy me. And with the Neolight plugin it will also cope with OpenOffice…

  2. acb says:

    Well, if I had a mac, I wouldn’t use OpenOffice on it, but something like Mellel, which seems to be fine for writing books with. We’ll see. If I am feeling recklessly solvent, I might splurge £60 on a hard drive and see if I can resuscitate the dead Mac mini with it. What is really silly, though, is that one would then spend hours and hours playing with the new system.

    Something like spotlight needs to be in every operating system, though.

    Where was your BBC column?

  3. Bill Thompson says:

    I’ve just looked and it seems I cut the reference to you from the final piece – was overlong and by the time I’d explained who Mark Steyn was I’d lost the point… sorry 🙁 The piece is “on the BBC site”: and is about spam and filtering.

  4. Rupert says:

    Alternatively, you could just save your OO docs in Word format. I don’t think that breaks anything.


  5. acb says:

    erm, actually it does seem to do funny things to the language settings, which is right now a nuisance, since I am writing a book with many Swedish words in it. Some paragraphs, but not all, seem to be exported in a style with the language set to US English which it certainly isn’t in the original. It may be — I have only just thought of this — that they are the paragraphs where some of the text is set in Swedish.

  6. Sirocco says:

    Speaking of bugs: all your category links lead to ‘Nerdery’ (assuming that’s not a feature).

    P.S. If you’re writing a book on Sweden, don’t you dare not find a way to work in a mention of Allan Pettersson somehow. {/absurd fanaticism}

  7. acb says:

    It was a feature. It was a feature so fantastically popular with our readership that we have improved it even further, in line with our policy of continuing improvement _without warning_ to the point where the new premium edition of _Helmintholog_ (beta) now links the archive categories to the real archives.

  8. qB says:

    Did I just post a blank comment? well, how appropriate.

    I was supposed to be merely whispering “apple Mail search” but my whisper obviously was too quiet to be picked up at all.

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