Crossing the beams would be… bad. So would pressing that button.

Crashed the laptop hard this morning, just clicking on Windows Explorer. Restarting Outlook took many minutes, so I decided it was time to do some personal folders cleanup (after a backup, of course). Dropped about 20,000 messages from email lists with good archives, and decided to compact the file. Warning: don’t try this at home kids, except perhaps overnight. In LookOut, er, Outlook 2000, File, Data File Management, Settings…, Compact Now, puts up a silly dialog with “Compacting” and a Cancel button. For hours. No progress indicator, no clues. What does “Cancel” do? Is it partially compacted, rolled back, or corrupted? (I know which one I’d guess.) How long will it take? What’s the result? No clues.

Welcome to User Interface Hell.

Two hours later, and it is done thrashing the hard disk. The result? No change in size. Sheesh.

A shutdown and restart (for unrelated reasons) and Outlook hangs on startup. Another shutdown and restart and I get a message starting outlook that the “Send to Bluetooth” option hung up Outlook the last time, and allows me to disable it.

Do computers ever behave the same way twice?

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