Monday, October 15, 2012

Pull Up from The Myopic Grindstone

This a a nerd post. I'm venting. Okay, here it is the situation. I'm helping a friend install her old software to her new computer. I have my doubt about Norton Internet Security. The prior week it would not allow her to go enter certain web sites.

Couldn't see where to dial down the firewall. I looked every. I say frack it, next week I'm bringing AVG and be done with it. Backed up her system (it took a long time, old XP trooper that it was).

Finally got the stuff over. This week things are working, able to go to websites and get online mail.

Matilda* wants to re-install Eudora. I should mention that Qualcomm stopped developing and supporting Eudora. You can get the software from the site and the help info but there has been no work done on it since.

I wanted her to go to Thunderbird. On-going development. Spam protection. Better search. She was going for it until what ever blocked everything else last week blocked both Eudora and Thunderbird.

Today, Eudora is working. Thunderbird is not. 

No, I had nothing to do with it.

So, Matilda asked if she could import her contacts in Eudora. I had exported them out as a CSV file. The programs files were also backed up.

I was of a mind to grab a hunk of the old files and overwrite the new installation. Check with a few tech sites that gave the thumbs up. Checked with a few more that said don't do that, Windows 7 is less forgiving about allowing files to overwrite an existing installation.

If it isn't coming from a manufacture installation Windows 7 isn't that tolerant of being goosed.

Ok. Plan B - look for a CSV to LDIF converter.

There are some. Shareware for $49. Not doing that. There are some free ones, if you know a programing language or two.

There was one that might have worked, was free and gave it all. But Windows 7 is 64Bit OS and the software was old school 32Bit.

I even tried to download that 13 year old version Netscape Communicator because I think it had multiple export options. Not happening on Windows 7.

Ok Plan C - look for a PST to LDIF converter.

PST is the old Outlook mail file format. Eudora can read that file. If I could find a CSV to PST converter that might work.  My search ended. Nada.

What Is True Here?

I need to convert the CVS file to LDIF in order for Eudora to import it. Could Thunderbird do it? I know it can import CVS. Can it export LDIF?

Why yes. Yes it can.

I cleaned up the CSV file in Excel and then imported it. Three frigging minutes later I had that pesky file. Two minutes later I e-mail the time sucker file to Matilda.

Victory. Of sorts.

On the one hand, I spent three hours chasing down programs that don't exist or find vendors willing to provide a solution for a good chunk of change. Not saying the software wasn't worth it. I'm saying that there isn't a true repository you can go to find out your software options.

You have to find your person or beacon of information. Not a lot of modern folks writing about converting Address Book files.

The answer was in my face. I couldn't see it for hunting down the "software" I believed existed.

Once I let go of that search the answer came to me. Being methodical is one thing. A great thing. Being pig-headed about were the answer should be is truly putting your nose to the grindstone. It will hurt sooner or later.

Pull up, breath and let it come to you.

The techies will say I should have followed a specific process for file transfers. They are right.

The safety folks will say why did you allow her to download a obsolete program? It wasn't obsolete when she first started using it seven years ago. I installed maleware and system protection. I warned her of the risks. I can do no more than that.

The Thunderbird folks will say why didn't you call her ISP and ask for help.  I'm not in front of her computer. And that is something I did suggest. Or contact Norton.

I hope this is the end of it. I know it is not. I just have to hang on to hope.

*No, that isn't her name.  I'm not that sure she know what a blog is. She does go to parent sites, some of which are blogs. It is still a web site to her.  Let's just say I don't have coupons.

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