Email

Microsoft Outlook won't show contacts

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Another weird one today. A co-worker's install of Microsoft Outlook 2002 wasn't showing any of the contacts he had in his "contacts" address book. As it turns out, this is a bug in Outlook, at least when its running in Exchange Server mode. There are two steps to this, first you add the contacts folder to Outlook then you add it to the email popup window. To fix the problem:

  • In Outlook go to the Tools menu and select Email Accounts.
  • Select Add a new directory or address book and click Next.
  • Select Additional Address Books then click Next again.
  • Under the Additional Address Book Types list select Outlook Address Book and select Next.

At this point you'll get one of two responses, either it will say that Outlook needs to be closed to accept the changes or it will say that your selected folder is already present and can't be added again.

The second part is pretty simple:

  • Right-click on the Contacts folder within your Outlook Folders list and select Properties.
  • Click over to the Outlook Address Book tab.
  • Select the Show this folder as an e-mail Address Book box
  • Type in a relevant name for this particular contacts folder under Name of the address book.
  • Click OK and you're done.

One thing to remember on this is that if you have multiple contact folders, e.g. if you separated them into one folder for personal contacts, one for vendors, etc, you need to go through the second set of steps above for each folder, adding the main Contacts folder won't add all of the other folders; this is actually what turned out to be the problem at work, the main contacts folder was added already but the sub-folders were not.

The best spam filter for Windows?

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Junk email, aka spam, is a terrible problem for almost everyone these days. There is help at hand, though, for anyone using an email program on Windows. There's a completely free program called Spamihilator that will work with your email program to mark emails as spam. It looks like it should be really good, I'm going to give it a try both at work and at home to see how it fares. Note, however, that it will not work with web-based email clients, only ones like Thunderbird, Outlook, Eudora, etc, where the email is actually downloaded to your computer.

Also, one cool thing is that it seems to be under constant improvement and you can download beta versions (versions that aren't quite finished yet but should work fine) to try out, but I don't recommend non-geeks try this as it can lead to unexpected problems. Along with that they have a large number of plugins which you can use to improve the accuracy of the spam filtering. Lastly, there's also a support forum if you need help with it.

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