Train wreck



  • While looking for information on bulk copying of email folders, I came across [url=http://www.justanswer.com/mac-computers/38udf-save-folder-emails-thunderbird-usb.html#JA_questionThread]this[/url] minor epic.


    I think Jesse should be paying the customer.



  • Each morning I'm producing a mac expert smarter than this one.



  • Paying? These people get payed for misinforming the clueless? I mean, the customer got out dumber than he came in. That's one hell of a business model.



  • You people are so short-sighted. Clearly Jesse runs a data recovery service near the person asking the question. By offering muddled, data-corrupting "advice" he can bring people into his store. How much do you think that poor guy would pay to get his emails back? $100? $200?



  • @Hatshepsut said:

    While looking for information on bulk copying of email folders, I came across this minor epic.


    I think Jesse should be paying the customer.

     

    I'm afraid TRWTF is the customer at the point.  The tech said to drag the file system folder (which is wrong, because a drag might be a move instead of a copy) and the customer claimed not to be able to find that folder... yet their Thunderbird configuration and messages mysteriously disappeared after that.  They were obviously "trying stuff".

     



  • Jesse is the worst. What a fucktard. "Here's some vague guidance, not instructions but I'll mete out little bits of information one at a time giving you plenty of time to fuck up before coming back to ask about the next step. Oh and I didn't mention its important to have your email client closed, because I'm an asshole and I want you to lose data."



  • @blakeyrat said:

    Jesse is the worst.

    Yeah, and he keeps fucking things up for Walter.



  • @operagost said:

    I'm afraid TRWTF is the customer at the point.
    Yes.  Jesse actually gives a fairly reasonable answer: @Jesse said:
    simply drag your Thunderbird Profile folder onto a flash drive and everything will be there.   Your
    Profile folder is located in your User
    Folder->Library->Thunderbird->Profiles. In there you should
    see your profile (it will have ".default" on the end of it's name). Drag
    that to your flash drive, and all your information will be there.
    It's not a perfect answer -- based on the customers question it appears they have some emails in a folder within Thunderbird and are only interested in copying that one folder.  In that case, some additional steps are needed, but, it probably doesn't matter because the customer's later responses indicate that they are absolutely clueless and not able to follow/comprehend the instructions.

     



  • @blakeyrat said:

    Oh and I didn't mention its important to have your email client closed, because I'm an asshole and I want you to lose data.
    I just dragged my Thunderbird profile over to a USB drive, while Thunderbird is still open.  Worked just fine, no loss of data.  I'm using Windows, but I find it hard to believe that you can't do that with OSX.  TRWTF is the "customer".



  • @El_Heffe said:

    @blakeyrat said:

    Oh and I didn't mention its important to have your email client closed, because I'm an asshole and I want you to lose data.
    I just dragged my Thunderbird profile over to a USB drive, while Thunderbird is still open.  Worked just fine, no loss of data.  I'm using Windows, but I find it hard to believe that you can't do that with OSX.  TRWTF is the "customer".





    In OSX, if you drag a file to a different drive it creates a copy of it, thus no data loss. It might complain that the file is in use, but that's the worst that could happen.



    If you drag it to another location on the filesystem, if the application is programmed correctly using Cocoa/Foundation API's.. it shouldn't matter as applications should use an opened files fileID (there's a better name for that, but it slips my mind) which identifies what file it is on the disk. (Filesystem location is irrelevant as that's stored in the B-Tree).



    Reopening Thunderbird might be a different story (as it'll look for a filepath, although it could cache the fileID in a preference), but live moves should be okay.



  • @El_Heffe said:

    I just dragged my Thunderbird profile over to a USB drive, while Thunderbird is still open.  Worked just fine, no loss of data.  I'm using Windows, but I find it hard to believe that you can't do that with OSX. 
    I'm not sure if it just me, but OS X is really, really unintutive when it comes to copying and moving files... Copy and Cut aren't available for use, and to move files I ended up having to drag and drop them to the destination, which copied them, and then deleting the source files. Either I wasn't looking in the right place, or moving files involves sacrificing a chicken on the eve of the full moon while wearing only a hat or something.



  • @El_Heffe said:

    @blakeyrat said:

    Oh and I didn't mention its important to have your email client closed, because I'm an asshole and I want you to lose data.
    I just dragged my Thunderbird profile over to a USB drive, while Thunderbird is still open.  Worked just fine, no loss of data.  I'm using Windows, but I find it hard to believe that you can't do that with OSX.  TRWTF is the "customer".

    What the fuck ever you dorks.

    The point is he was giving shitty advice in a shitty way.

    The email client being open was HIS warning, not mine. So the fact that he was wrong ABOUT THAT TOO, just reinforces the POINT I was trying to make.

    Which of course everybody fucking ignored.

    Because of some triviality about the OS X filesystem I don't give a fuck about.



  • @operagost said:

    @Hatshepsut said:

    While looking for information on bulk copying of email folders, I came across this minor epic.


    I think Jesse should be paying the customer.

     

    I'm afraid TRWTF is the customer at the point.  The tech said to drag the file system folder (which is wrong, because a drag might be a move instead of a copy) and the customer claimed not to be able to find that folder... yet their Thunderbird configuration and messages mysteriously disappeared after that.  They were obviously "trying stuff".

     

    The customer may have contributed to her own problem, but I hardly think she counts as 'the real' wtf... After all, if you're offering paid, 'expert' advice to people asking this level of question, I would think that your base assumptions about the customer's competency level should aim pretty low. To me, the idea of playing with files via the GUI in this type of context is asking for disaster - the number of times my wife has accidentally dropped folders, mid-drag, into random locations, has convinced me that this type of screwing around should always be done via the command line.

    Anyway, I especially like how fixtor, self described 'Mac genius', refers her to a university helpdesk FAQ, and ends up saying 'i will opt out for more input from the MAC team'. And he says this for money.

    Jesse's trying a bit harder, but saying 'it's important that Thunderbird be closed' after the fact is pretty lame. I do like how he ends up saying 'You might try simply restarting the computer to see if Thunderbird fixes itself.'

    My favourite bit is the exchange: 'you might want to have someone look at it in person to avoid further data loss.' 'Yes. That is my thought, too. I am regretting that I started this process. I would rather have all my folders, email history and client information than save a couple of folders to a flash drive.'

    I think this is the [i]real[/i] real WTF: someone on the web being so polite and restrained in the face of disaster.



  • @Hatshepsut said:

    To me, the idea of playing with files via the GUI in this type of context is asking for disaster - the number of times my wife has accidentally dropped folders, mid-drag, into random locations, has convinced me that this type of screwing around should always be done via the command line.
    In additional to the stupidity of these so-called "experts" there are a number of other WTFs at work which make the whole situation way more complicated than it should be.  For example, Thunderbird not having any kind of "export" function, requiring you to manually drag files from one location to another (or doing the equivalent at the command line).   Then there's the extra added bonus -- I don't know how it is on OSX, but in Windows all this stuff is kept in directories that are hidden by default.  So you can't just tell someone "Navigate to this folder" because they're not going to be able to find it until you walk them through the process of unhiding everything.  Been there, done that.



  • @El_Heffe said:

    For example, Thunderbird not having any kind of "export" function

    Wha...?

    Bloody hell, you're RIGHT! I'm sure I exported a mailbox from TB one time... I think I used it as a crude mbox->Maildir transformer. I can see "import", but... no. No export.

    In this day and age, that sucks major. How difficult would something like this be to implement?



  • @Cassidy said:

    In this day and age, that sucks major. How difficult would something like this be to implement?

    The Thunderbird guys can't even draw a menu correctly on Windows 7. I wouldn't hold my breath for an export function.



  • @Cassidy said:

    How difficult would something like this be to implement?

    Exporting to an MBOX file is about, oooh, 80 lines of C++ (or it was when I did it). Maildir would be about the same.



    There are many good reasons not to use Thunderbird. This is just one the minor ones.



  • Some customer should simply contact paid Apple Support. They are best in world, according to my local newspaper.

    @El_Heffe said:

    @blakeyrat said:

    Oh and I didn't mention its important to have your email client closed, because I'm an asshole and I want you to lose data.
    I just dragged my Thunderbird profile over to a USB drive, while Thunderbird is still open.  Worked just fine, no loss of data.  I'm using Windows, but I find it hard to believe that you can't do that with OSX.  TRWTF is the "customer".



  • @Douglasac said:

    @El_Heffe said:
    I just dragged my Thunderbird profile over to a USB drive, while Thunderbird is still open.  Worked just fine, no loss of data.  I'm using Windows, but I find it hard to believe that you can't do that with OSX. 
    I'm not sure if it just me, but OS X is really, really unintutive when it comes to copying and moving files... Copy and Cut aren't available for use, and to move files I ended up having to drag and drop them to the destination, which copied them, and then deleting the source files. Either I wasn't looking in the right place, or moving files involves sacrificing a chicken on the eve of the full moon while wearing only a hat or something.

    It's actually quite intuitive, however it does want people to do file management visual-spacially (That's how the whole OS is.. more spacial, where windows is more analytical in design). By default, when transferring a file to the same Volume, it will simply move the file to the new location (updating the B-Tree) and it's instantaneous.



    When moving to a different volume, it will by default copy the file (which is what most people want, Oh.. I want these photos on a flash drive.. they don't normally want to mutate their master copy).



    This behaviour can always be overriden by holding Option/Alt when dragging.



  • @Nagesh said:

    They are best in world, according to my local newspaper.

    They should chisel that onto Steve Jobs' tombstone.



  • @gu3st said:

    ...move the file to the new location (updating the B-Tree) and it's instantaneous.

    Isn't that how every single filesystem handles moves?

    @gu3st said:

    This behaviour can always be overriden by holding Option/Alt when dragging.

    Intuitive!



  • @Cassidy said:

    I can see "import", but... no. No export.
    Except Thunderbird's import function is mostly useless.  Thunderbird can import e-mail from certain other e-mail programs, but only e-mail programs that are currently installed on your computer.   For example, if you want to move your e-mail from one computer to another, even if you have a copy of your old e-mail on another drive (external USB, etc) connected  to the new computer,  there is no way to do it other than manually copy the old files over to the new installation.  That's even one of the the official answers from Mozilla's Importing and Exporting Your Mail FAQ, which contains all sorts of WTF methods for moving your e-mail.

    If you have no other e-mail program installed on your computer, selecting "Import" gives you this helpful dialog box:

    (The "Next" button does nothing)

    I guess they're too busy increasing version numbers as quickly as possible to actually add any real useful features.



  • @El_Heffe said:

    Except Thunderbird's import function is mostly useless.  Thunderbird can import e-mail from certain other e-mail programs, but only e-mail programs that are currently installed on your computer.

    Okay.. this is shit weird.

    I distinctly remember several years back[1] copying my mail spools over from another server (in mbox format) and importing them in TB, but had to import them to a local folder before dragging the contents into my IMAP folders - effectively dumping my mail spools onto my mail server.

    At the time I was annoyed that I couldn't import them directly into an IMAP account, that there was this two-stage process: a right-click of a local mail folder brought up the "import" option but this option didn't appear on any of the IMAP folders.

    Yet I can't find it now. Perhaps it was only a much earlier version, or I just dreamt it. There's no way they'd remove an option like that... is there?

    [1] It was around the time of the ACS:Law debacle - I managed to get my hands on some of their mail backups and although many were Maildir format, some were mbox backups.



  • @gu3st said:

    It's actually quite intuitive
     

    I've run into problems with doing moves over the network. If there's a glitch or an error or something it can delete the source files even if they weren't written completely.

    I now usually use command lines to do important things like this now. The Finder has lost my trust!



  • @Vanders said:

    There are many good reasons not to use Thunderbird. This is just one the minor ones.

    I quite like how Thunderbird will happily ignore junk mail controls when it marks mail as junk. As far as I can tell, this has been an ongoing bug since goddamn 2004.



  • @Cassidy said:

    Okay.. this is shit weird.

    I distinctly remember several years back[1] copying my mail spools over from another server (in mbox format) and importing them in TB, but had to import them to a local folder before dragging the contents into my IMAP folders - effectively dumping my mail spools onto my mail server.

    At the time I was annoyed that I couldn't import them directly into an IMAP account, that there was this two-stage process: a right-click of a local mail folder brought up the "import" option but this option didn't appear on any of the IMAP folders.

    Yet I can't find it now. Perhaps it was only a much earlier version, or I just dreamt it. There's no way they'd remove an option like that... is there?

    In my previous post the link to Mozilla's Importing and Exporting Mail FAQ got screwed up.  But according to the FAQ,  you need an extension to import mbox and .eml files.  Actually, you need two extensions.  One to import mbox files and, if you want to import .eml files,  you need another extension to convert the .eml files into mbox files so that you can then use the mbox extension to import into Thunderbird.

    I'm betting that Thunderbird had the ability to import mbox files at one time, but they eliminated it, which unfortunately has become a common practice with Mozilla -- eliminate features and expect someone to write an extension if they still want that feature.

     



  • @El_Heffe said:

    I'm betting that Thunderbird had the ability to import mbox files at one time, but they eliminated it, which unfortunately has become a common practice with Mozilla -- eliminate features and expect someone to write an extension if they still want that feature.

    But also, every time they add some feature, people bitch about all the bloat and how it should be an extension. At least with FF...I don't follow Thunderbird, since I don't use it at all.



  • I chose Netscape email as a part of Netscape Navigator, and have been getting progressively more and more locked in as time goes by....

    At least hiding in the stupid cryptically named directory trees are big mail spool files you can dissect and reassemble on a new installation.  But of course the folder names will be different on the new PC unless you go hacking inside Thunderbird's setup files.

    Simple folder export jobs that you need to do with a new PC or when you give a family member a PC so their mail sub-folder needs to be moved to a different machine and become the main mail folder are mindlessly hard in Thunderbird.

    Its almost as stupid as Adobe Photoshop Elements Catalog files which hold picture tags and from which you cant simply export an empty catalog with all the picture tags preserved for the next year's worth of media. But as I paid money for Adobe Photoshop Elements I can moan. The last time I paid money for Netscape was the CD of Navigator 4.5 AFAIR.

     



  • @morbiuswilters said:

    @gu3st said:
    This behaviour can always be overriden by holding Option/Alt when dragging.

    Intuitive!

    Well, they should make it more obvious, because it isn't obvious that those keys do those things. Or, you know, do what every other OS does and offer cut, copy and paste functions for files?



  • @Douglasac said:

    Or, you know, do what every other OS does and offer cut, copy and paste functions for files?

    Don't be crazy. That wouldn't be thinking different.



  • @El_Heffe said:

    So you can't just tell someone "Navigate to this folder" because they're not going to be able to find it until you walk them through the process of unhiding everything.  Been there, done that.
    Tell them to "run" %localappdata% or %appdata%, it's much easier.



  • @pjt33 said:

    @Douglasac said:
    Or, you know, do what every other OS does and offer cut, copy and paste functions for files?

    Don't be crazy. That wouldn't be thinking different.
    Well, judging by the amount of Macs I see around the college and at uni, apparently thinking different now means "think like everyone else".



  • @Vanders said:

    There are many good reasons not to use Thunderbird.
    I've come to this conclusion too. What do you use as a mail client, guys ?



  • @Zemm said:

    I now usually use command lines to do important things [copy/move] like this now.

    I really wish modern versions of cp/mv had some progress indicator, like wget and lftp do.

    I know it's from a time when files were so small the processing was near-instantaneous, but there's no reason why Linux communities can't resort to stereotype and add some new funky long-optionn, like they did with ls and other commands.

    @El_Heffe said:

    Actually, you need two extensions.  One to import
    mbox files and, if you want to import .eml files,  you need another
    extension to convert the .eml files into mbox files so that you can then
    use the mbox extension to import into Thunderbird.

    Holy shitting fuckbread rolls. Did anybody else's cheek develop a nervous tic upon reading that? Chained extensions?

    @El_Heffe said:

    I'm betting that Thunderbird had the ability to
    import mbox files at one time, but they eliminated it, which
    unfortunately has become a common practice with Mozilla

    Okay, so there's a chance I didn't dream it. The only other mail client I've used are Turnpike (and at work - Outcrock) and I don't remember importing into those. Hmmm...

    @El_Heffe said:

    -- eliminate
    features and expect someone to write an extension if they still want
    that feature.

    In some ways I don't disagree with this practise: if you're not careful you bloat everyday operational use with some rarely-used extras (I mean, who in their right mind would decide to add a slo-mo random video player into a search engine?) so it makes sense to trim those off as extraneous fat and serve it up as a side dish upon request as it's not to everyone's liking.

    Having said all that, I'm hoping that the Mozilla group did some research and only trimmed out those features that were measurably rarely-used.

    Hoping.



  • @toshir0 said:

    I've come to this conclusion too. What do you use as a mail client, guys ?
    Outlook 2010, mainly because I only have Exchange accounts now. But even for POP and such it's a decent client and (most of the time) behaves.



  • @toshir0 said:

    What do you use as a mail client, guys ?

    My web browser!



  • @toshir0 said:

    What do you use as a mail client, guys ?
     

    At home - BlunderTurd and Squirrelmail (my mail is hosted on my server and accessed via IMAPS).

    At work, Outlook and OWA.

    Not tried many other mail clients, really... I happened upon TB/SQMail because I wanted something cross-platform. I installed Pegasus and Eudora years back to use them as IMAP clients but don't remember the outcome of my trials, only that for some reason I settled on TB.

    So, I suppose this is a recommend-me-do - what else should I try? I'm not particularly attached to TB.



  • @Douglasac said:

    @toshir0 said:
    I've come to this conclusion too. What do you use as a mail client, guys ?
    Outlook 2010, mainly because I only have Exchange accounts now. But even for POP and such it's a decent client and (most of the time) behaves.
     I use Evolution. It's got all the fancy features that Thunderbird doesn't (like import/export, you know, the basic ones that aren't at all necessary, ever) and it'll connect to Exchange server too. It might not be as nice looking as Outlook, but it makes some stuff a hell of a lot easier, like viewing the headers on an email (something that still isn't simple in Outlook 2010). And it supports some pretty huge local mailboxes quite happily (for example, one folder in Evolution contains all mails from a mailing list I'm on for the past few years, which is ~100,000 at last count). Searching within my local mailbox as well takes a fraction of the time the same search takes in Outlook (although in Evolution I'm testing it on the folder with 100,000 emails, in Outlook I'm only attempting to search an inbox with about 300 or so)



  • @toshir0 said:

    @Vanders said:

    There are many good reasons not to use Thunderbird.
    I've come to this conclusion too. What do you use as a mail client, guys ?

    At work: Outlook 2007 & Outlook 2010.

    At home: Claws, because I'm a Linux using hippy and old-school when it comes to email.



    In extreme circumstances I have been known to use Telnet to read my email directly on the POP3 server, but in my defence I haven't done that for a good few years and I'm still attending the meetings.



  • @toshir0 said:

    @Vanders said:

    There are many good reasons not to use Thunderbird.
    I've come to this conclusion too. What do you use as a mail client, guys ?

    Thunderbird, but for the sole purpose of downloading a backup. All my day-to-day emailing is now through web interfaces. (Or Outlook, if I'm at work. Too cheap to buy Outlook for home.)



  • @ASheridan said:

    Searching within my local mailbox as well takes a fraction of the time the same search takes in Outlook (although in Evolution I'm testing it on the folder with 100,000 emails, in Outlook I'm only attempting to search an inbox with about 300 or so)

    Bunk.

    Outlook can be said to have many flaws, but slow searches isn't one of them.

    Let me guess, you're one of those idiots who "optimized" your computer by turning off the Search Indexer service, and is now complaining that searches take too long, right? That's the usual problem.



  • @Douglasac said:

    @morbiuswilters said:
    @gu3st said:
    This behaviour can always be overriden by holding Option/Alt when dragging.

    Intuitive!

    Well, they should make it more obvious, because it isn't obvious that those keys do those things. Or, you know, do what every other OS does and offer cut, copy and paste functions for files?

    I was being sarcastic.



  • @Vanders said:

    In extreme circumstances I have been known to use Telnet to read my email directly on the POP3 server...

    Ewww..

    IMAP, people!



  • @toshir0 said:

    What do you use as a mail client, guys ?
    The Bat. Been using for the past 10 years or so, and never found a reason to switch to anything else.



  • @ender said:

    @toshir0 said:
    What do you use as a mail client, guys ?
    The Bat. Been using for the past 10 years or so, and never found a reason to switch to anything else.

    Hmm.. does it run under Linux? I have a feeling we'll be moving from Gmail to Outlook soon. While it's good for the rest of the company (and I do think Outlook is a great client) I don't want to run a Windows VM all the time, if I can help it.* And I've used Thunderbird and Evolution extensively and both were pretty lame.

    • Although, given the fact that I've been wanting to try VS as there are no good FOSS IDEs, maybe I should just switch back to Windows. That's really not very good, either, seeing as I primarily do Linux development and need a Linux machine.. sigh


  • @morbiuswilters said:

    I have a feeling we'll be moving from Gmail to Outlook soon. While it's good for the rest of the company (and I do think Outlook is a great client) I don't want to run a Windows VM all the time, if I can help it.* And I've used Thunderbird and Evolution extensively and both were pretty lame.

    I've been using kmail with Exchange over IMAP. The biggest problem I've had is that kmail cannot forward html email. It doesn't really integrate with the exchange based calendar, though it deals with putting invites and whatever from exchange on the korganizer calendar just fine.



  • @boomzilla said:

    The biggest problem I've had is that kmail cannot forward html email.

    That's a deal-breaker. A lot of people use HTML email (mostly just for styled signature lines). With Gmail, I really can't even easily tell if an email is plaintext or HTML. I do think Gmail is a very good mail client for someone like me, but I can see why most people wouldn't appreciate it. I do like its Android integration, too, although I'm assuming there are probably some really good* Android IMAP clients.

    • Well, ad-laden and of acceptable quality, like all "good" Android apps.


  • @ASheridan said:

    like viewing the headers on an email (something that still isn't simple in Outlook 2010).
     

    Oh, that bit annoys me too.

    It was reasonably convoluted in earlier Outlook versions; I've no idea why more hoops have been added in later versions.

    @morbiuswilters said:

    @ender said:

    The Bat.

    Hmm.. does it run under Linux?

    According to this, no.

     



  • @morbiuswilters said:

    Hmm.. does it run under Linux?
    It's a Windows application written in Delphi, so not natively. I know that older versions ran very well under Wine (well enough that a moderator of a local LUG was using it), but I have no idea how well current versions work.



  • @morbiuswilters said:

    @boomzilla said:
    The biggest problem I've had is that kmail cannot forward html email.

    That's a deal-breaker. A lot of people use HTML email (mostly just for styled signature lines). With Gmail, I really can't even easily tell if an email is plaintext or HTML. I do think Gmail is a very good mail client for someone like me, but I can see why most people wouldn't appreciate it.

    Well, it just converts it to plain text, which it fine for me for the most part, except when I want to forward something. For personal uses, I only use gmail, though. I would love it if I could use that for work.


Log in to reply
 

Looks like your connection to What the Daily WTF? was lost, please wait while we try to reconnect.