Two usability problems: downloading new messages and marking all messages read

Two usability problems: downloading new messages and marking all messages read

Post by Jonathan S » Wed, 04 Feb 2004 02:27:43


I'm switching to Outlook Express as a news reader after
years of using Agent. It's working pretty well, but I
need advice on how to make a couple of things work the
way I prefer.

First, how can I make it download new message headers
only when I tell it to, and NOT download them
automatically when I select a news group?

Second, why does marking all messages in all news groups
as "read" take such a very, very, very long time? I am
subscribed to about eight news groups, none of them
extremely active; I timed this operation at 1 minute and
55 seconds! With Agent it took about 2 seconds. I need to
figure out how to speed up.

I found that the operation goes much faster if I select
each newsgroup in turn and mark it "read" individually.
Ironically I'm switching to Outlook Express because it
works better with speech recognition software, since I
have carpal tunnel syndrome and can no longer use the
keyboard or mouse extensively. Thus marking each
newsgroup individually instead of marking them all at
once is a type of accommodation I cannot well afford to
make.
 
 
 

Two usability problems: downloading new messages and marking all messages read

Post by Steve Coch » Wed, 04 Feb 2004 13:22:54


I'm not sure you can do that. You can set the download xxx headers at a time to a small value, but then you need to uncheck that option prior to subsequent visits, as its flaky.

You might also look in to the Edit | Catch up feature (see the help file).



That's a real PITA of a problem in OE. The fastest way is first to compact the folder (File | Folder | Compact) and then do a CTRL-A ; CTRL-Q to mark them read. After doing that, compact the folder again, as marking read generates a ton of wasted space.



I'm a bit unclear why you want to mark them all as read. If you are going to mark them all read to begin with, why read the NGs?

There's some excellent information at www.tomsterdam.com that may be of help.

steve

 
 
 

Two usability problems: downloading new messages and marking all messages read

Post by N. Mille » Wed, 04 Feb 2004 15:54:23

In article <844401c3e9b1$dd7f5a60$ XXXX@XXXXX.COM >,
XXXX@XXXXX.COM says...

Why? Agent is such a superior product...like trading in a Ferrari for a
horse-and-buggy!

Anyway, to stop automatic downloads...just looked and tried a few changes. I
can't see how; unless you change the message limit to 0? Nope; it wants at
least 50 for that setting. Until somebody who knows better comes along, I
guess that it can't be done.

What good would it do to know why it takes so long to mark messages as read?
It is likely some MSFT quirk, and not a configurable option.

Really, are you sure you want to trade in your Ferrari for a horse and
buggy?

--
Norman
~Win dain a lotica, En vai tu ri, Si lo ta
~Fin dein a loluca, En dragu a sei lain
~Vi fa-ru les shutai am, En riga-lint
 
 
 

Two usability problems: downloading new messages and marking all messages read

Post by Robert Ald » Thu, 05 Feb 2004 03:37:45

> First, how can I make it download new message headers

Toggle into Work Offline before entering the newsgroup.
(Alt-F,W or doubleclick the Working Online icon in the status bar)
If your connection is dial-up you will also have to deal with a prompt
asking if you would like to hangup as well.



I think it is because of the number of already read messages
that it has to traverse and ignore. The fastest Mark All Read
that I can get occurs when:
* my view is Hide Read or Ignored
* Group Messages by Conversation is off
* (naturally the sort order is by Received)

In fact it may be disabling threading which makes the most difference
because (in conjunction with a chronological sort order) most of the
messages to be marked will all be grouped together. (I.e. once the
first unread message is found the rest will be found very quickly and
any "holes" which have to be skipped because the view shows read
messages won't be as much of a factor as they would be *if* it is taking
the time to traverse many old threads trying to hunt down messages
within them that are unread.



I didn't even realize that that Ctrl-Shift-A was active in the newsgroup list
until I went looking for something to explain your comment. Thanks! ;)


HTH

Robert Aldwinckle
---




...
 
 
 

Two usability problems: downloading new messages and marking all messages read

Post by anonymou » Thu, 05 Feb 2004 10:56:30


after

Quite sure, since carpal tunnel syndrome obliges me to
use Dragon NaturallySpeaking (speech recognition
software) in place of a keyboard. Outlook Express uses a
special interface developed for the Microsoft Office
suite, and it works reasonably well. Agent uses DNS's
generic interface, which, how can I put this delicately,
sucks brake fluid.

If ScanSoft ever gets its act together and makes DNS work
properly with applications outside the Office suite, I
will happily return to Agent. Until then, the ability to
edit my text in Outlook Express trumps everything else!