Re: Lookout utility

Rev. Bob 'Bob' Crispen

The voices are telling me Dave Nelson said on 10/14/2004 12:35 AM:

My wife just installed something from microsoft called Lookout, which does
incredibly fast searches on MS Outlook files. I tried +C&NW +Built and in
0.32 seconds found 76 hits in 6 folders that were hidden within 14,000 other
e-mails. Very handy utility for searches. Now if it would only let me set
categories on the results....
Cute story here <> about Lookout. As everybody knows who's tried to use the wretched search built in to Windows Explorer or the miserable search engines on MSDN, the knowledge base, and other places on, Microsoft is about as clueless as it's possible to be about searching, and they certainly didn't write Lookout. They bought the company that did, and for a while distributed it without charge. Nice program.

Recently they ran into a problem. Part of Lookout was distributed using the Apache license, one of the more popular open source licenses. Open source is anathema to Microsoft, who have made their fortune from selling their software to people like you and me. In some cases, where the license permitted it, they slapped their labels on free software and sold it (there's a program that comes with every version of Windows since time immemorial called ftp.exe; examine it with a hex editor or the Unix "strings" utility if you doubt what I just said). But the Apache license forbids shenanigans like that, so Microsoft pulled Lookout.

No idea whether Microsoft put it back up or not. Two things: if you have Lookout now, make sure you make a good backup copy of the installer just in case it stays missing (or disappears again). And if you're ready to make the switch away from The World's Most Dangerous Email Program(tm), Mozilla Thunderbird has been ready for prime time for the past couple of revisions, imho.

Only one problem: Mozilla's calendar still can't import data from Outlook's calendar, but I imagine the bright folks at Mozilla will solve that problem before long.

In the meantime, if you want a safer email program (with grown-up mailbox and account management and adaptive spam filtering like Outlook and Outlook Express would have had if Microsoft hadn't stopped all development on them a couple of years ago) and can do without the calendar for a while, Thunderbird is ready to run.
Rev. Bob "Bob" Crispen
bob at crispen dot org
Ex Cathedra Weblog:

Flexibility has its virtues. No one was more decisive than George
Armstrong Custer and the last thing that went through his mind was
an arrow. -- after Argus Hamilton

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