Apparently they have nothing in common. Vista is a bloat. Office 2007 is just a funny menu showcase. Outlook’s spam filtering is pathetic and Live! Search sucks and takes forever. And… you get to use them on a daily basis. Your email piles up in the inbox, spam flourishes and you have no clue where in the 8 GB of archived messages is the one you’re looking for.
Plugins to the rescue: SpamBayes and Lookout. Don’t get fooled by their venerable age: these oldies still rock.
DISCLAIMER: These are not officially supported. You might render your Vista inoperable and have to install Windows XP instead. Wait, that’s not nearly half that bad!
Get rid of spam!
SpamBayes is the daddy of all spam stoppers. It’s small, fast, eager to learn and serve you better, and a true spam killer (assassin was already taken). To quote:
The SpamBayes project is working on developing a statistical (commonly, although a little inaccurately, referred to as Bayesian) anti-spam filter, initially based on the work of Paul Graham. The major difference between this and other, similar projects is the emphasis on testing newer approaches to scoring messages. While most anti-spam projects are still working with the original graham algorithm, we found that a number of alternate methods yielded a more useful response.
And it’s got some nasty little icons to scare spammers away.
To get it up and running:
- Download and install the latest version (1.1a4 for some time now).
- Setup which folders you want monitored, where to store the spam and spam suspects.
- Let it train (if you already have spam and good email sorted, let it learn off those).
- Correct it’s classifications (use the ugly smileys).
- Enjoy (mostly) spam-free inbox (I like to archive my junk/spam mails in a separate Outlook file – this way I can use it to retrain SpamBayes if I need to reinstall)!
A few hundred messages down the road (that’s a couple of days tops) you’ll be wondering how you kept your sanity without it.
Fast-Forward Your Searching
Live Search? No way! Before Microsoft brought Mike Belshe and Eric Hahn to the Live Search dev team, they used to do something cool: Lookout. It’s a small plugin that indexes your Outlook files (and any other files you might like) and searches through them really, really fast. Really! Joel likes it too.
Unfortunately this doesn’t work with Outlook 2007. And it doesn’t work with Vista either. Well, actually it does! But it takes a while to make it work:
- Download Lookout 1.2.0. Although 1.3.0 was the last official release, it hasn’t been subdued to work on Vista. Yet.
- Make sure you have uninstalled any other version of Lookout (if you previously fiddled with it).
- Close Outlook.
- Install Lookout. Version 1.2.0, remember?
- Download these patched DLLs: lookout.dll and Inventures_old.dll. Unzip the latter and use them to overwrite what Lookout already installed. Leon Zandman‘s been writing more on these.
- Not needed, previous step covers this too (see Leon’s comment). Revert to Office 10 PIAs. That means opening a command prompt and running these commands (see more info on Mike Belshe’s blog):
rename Microsoft.Office.Interop.Outlook Microsoft.Office.Interop.Outlook.OLD
- Create a file named AppUpdate.log in Lookout’s installation folder.
- Start Outlook. Repeatedly, if necessary.
- If you get any error notifications just ignore them, they’ll go away.
If you were lucky Lookout should be working by now. You just need to set it up and let it rip:
- Select which files you want indexed.
- Disable logging (not required but recommended).
- Index your emails. This might take some time, especially if you have a few gigabytes of emails.
- Enjoy FAST searching.
That’s it, hope you managed not to crash your Vista. If you crashed it – more of a reason to switch back to XP – be grateful not hateful!