Information on this page is several years old and may be out-of-date;
some links may not work.
Greetings! Welcome to Vol. 6, No. 16, of Exchange Messaging
Outlook, a biweekly newsletter about Microsoft Exchange and
We're delighted to welcome Kaitlin Duck Sherwood, author of the
"Overcome Email Overload" series, as a regular EMO columnist.
Kaitlin specializes in using the built-in features of Outlook and
other mail programs to help you spend more time getting your work
time and less time staring at your Inbox. You can order her
"Overcome Email Overload with Microsoft Outlook 2000 and Outlook
2002" book from:
or via the book's web page at
- Exchange 2000 Service Pack 2
- Office XP Service Pack 1
- Goner and other viruses
- Farewell to MyPalm
- Overcome Email Overload tip: Organize and prioritize
- New utilities
- Updated utilities
Exchange 2000 Service Pack 2
Exchange 2000 Service Pack 2 became available for download from
Microsoft yesterday. Among the features and fixes are some very
welcome enhancements for Outlook Web Access.
Exchange 2000 Service Pack 2 Overview
XGEN: List of Bugs Fixed by Exchange 2000 Server Service Packs
What's New in Exchange 2000 SP2? (by Jerry Cochran of Compaq)
Office XP Service Pack 1
ActiveWin.com is reporting that Microsoft will release Office XP
Service Pack 1 one week from today. Assuming that date sticks, we're
planning a special issue of EMO next Friday to cover the release and
alert you to any gotchas.
Given Microsoft's track record on updates for Office XP so far,
we think SP1 will definitely be something you'll want to install.
Goner and other viruses
What is it going to take to convince mail administrators that
they need to block certain attachment types at the server and users
that they shouldn't just open any attachment they see? LoveLetter
was a wakeup call, but Nimda, Sircam, and BadTrans should have been
convincing arguments for more protection.
So why has the Goner virus been spreading this week? Goner is
like the LoveLetter and Anna Kournikova viruses -- the payload
doesn't execute silently like Nimda or last week's headline virus,
BadTrans. Goner runs only when a user actually opens the attached
file. I have heard reports of company presidents -- even IT company
presidents -- opening the Gone.scr attachment (or any of the other
filenames that Goner users) and thus spreading the virus through
their entire company. Is there any reason people should be
exchanging .scr (screen saver) files in your office? Why not block
them before they ever hit your mail users?
And if you're a user, did you recognize the Goner message as a
virus right away? If so, pat yourself on the back. It had all the
telltale signs -- a misspelled word, an unsolicited attachment, a
message from someone you know that the file would be just what you
wanted. Of course, if you had the Outlook Email Security Update,
Office 2000 SP-2, or Outlook 2002 installed, Outlook probably
blocked the file so you never had the chance to be tempted to open
https://www.slipstick.com/outlook/esecup.htm#attsec for more
information on Outlook attachment security.
I also heard stories of people checking the attachment with their
virus scanner and, finding it clean, feeling it was safe to open it.
Remember that most virus programs can't detect new viruses that
don't resemble previous attacks. So, you really can't depend on a
virus scanner for 100% assurance that the file is OK. All a virus
scanner can do is detect and quarantine or delete viruses that it
knew about when you downloaded the last pattern update for your
scanner. If something new and different arrives, the virus scanner
won't find it. Yes, it's better than no protection at all, but don't
make it your only protection and make sure you update the virus
Rule #1 for users: If you receive an attachment you weren't
expecting, ask the sender to confirm that they actually sent it.
Rule #1 for administrators: Block potentially dangerous
attachments before they get to users.
Rule #2 for users: Stay current with Internet Explorer patches.
Without them, you're vulnerable to viruses like BadTrans that use
weaknesses in HTML mail. See
https://www.slipstick.com/outlook/htmlmail.htm for the patches
Farewell to MyPalm
The MyPalm portal (http://my.palm.com),
which offered a web-based solution to synchronizing Outlook across
several devices, is discontinuing its PIM services next month. In a
notice to subscribers (http://my.palm.com/Corporate/whatsnew.jsp),
MyPalm says that it will delete all data for the Date Book, Address
Book, To Dos, Reminders and Memo Pad features on January 10, 2002,
and advises users to retrieve that information by synchronizing with
Outlook or your Palm device before that date.
Overcome Email Overload tip: Organize
One of the biggest problems with email is prioritizing messages.
If you deal with messages in the order that they arrived, you will
probably find yourself spending too much time on unimportant
messages and not enough on the important items.
Perhaps you skim down the list of messages and use your eyes and
memory to make a mental list of what order to deal with messages.
Alas, this is very hard to do. Not only are eyes and brains
error-prone, but the list keeps changing!
If you've tried Outlook's Rules Wizard to group related messages
in various folders, you might have had a hard time keeping track of
your "to-do" messages (messages to read, respond to, or act on).
It's easier to keep track of "to-do" messages when they are all in
I have good news for you: there is a workable alternative.
Instead of using the Rules Wizard to move messages to folders, use
rules to assign a category to each message. Then create a view that
groups messages by the Category field and voila! Your messages can
all stay in your Inbox, but they will be organized in groups.
(Outlook won't let you sort your messages by Category, but a nice
side effect of groups is that you can expand and collapse groups by
clicking on the +/- in the group heading.)
Furthermore, if you put a letter at the beginning of each
category, you can easily force them to alphabetize in priority
order. For example, you could use the category names a-Spouse,
b-Boss, c-Coworkers, all the way down to z-Spam. This way, your
Inbox will be prioritized as well as organized.
And, if you move messages out of your Inbox when you are done
with them, it will be very easy to keep track of your "to-do"
messages. In the next newsletter, I'll discuss efficient ways to
move finished messages out of your Inbox.
**** This tip is adapted from "Overcome Email Overload with
Microsoft Outlook 2000 and Outlook 2002" by Kaitlin Duck Sherwood.
Find out more at