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More bugs

  • Our new Tivo seems to have a few minor buglets in it:
    • Since it has more disk space than our last Tivo, it stores many more “recommended” shows — the folder containing recommended shows is several pages long. I have noticed that if you navigate to the Nth page in the recommended folder and view the info for a given show, when you return to the recommended folder index, you’ll be back on the 1st page. That’s somewhat annoying, actually.
    • Periodically, hitting the 30 second skip button will seemingly have no effect. So you end up mashing it 3-4 times thinking that you just weren’t pointing the remote in the right direction. Still nothing. Some random time later (usually within 1-2 minutes), all the 30 second skips unexepectedly execute consecutively.
  • My sister finally got a rebate check for her Tivo (she bought it with an included rebate form). When she tried to deposit the check, it bounced! Wow! I’m not entirely clear if the rebate was from Tivo directly or some third-party reseller (like Best Buy), but it’s amazing that the rebate check would bounce.
  • We’re having problems with my church’s current e-mail hosting provider and are evaluating Google Apps Premier as a possible alternative. Overall the service is pretty nice, but the software seems immature/somewhat buggy. That is, some of the individual components have been around for a while (Gmail, Calendar, …etc.). But Google Apps is supposed to tie them together into a single domain and facilitate sharing between the apps among the domain’s users. This integration doesn’t seem to be fully mature yet. Examples:
    • We’ve had many issues with trying to schedule resources (e.g., rooms) on the calendar. Sometimes rooms don’t respond to invitations. Sometimes rooms reject the meeting invitation even though they are clearly available. Sometimes rooms claim to be wholly unavailable (and you can’t even send them a meeting invitation) even though they are not reserved.
    • You can’t change the credit card that will be billed for the Google Apps account once you’ve set it up.
    • Google Apps accounts are different than regular Google accounts, and they don’t seem to be universally recognized across Google. For example, when using my regular Gmail to send to a Google Apps user, Gmail prompts me with “Invite this user to Gmail!” — shouldn’t it realize that this user is a Google Apps user, and is therefore already on Gmail? Another example: if you’re logged in to your non-Google-Apps Gmail and then go to login to Google Apps, Bad/Strange Things happen — it seems to get confused between the cookies for the two different accounts (some things work, some don’t).
  • The Mac OS X Mail client can get really slow when you have many thousand e-mails in a local folder. One of my folders (where I archive everything) had about 30+ thousand mails in it. I noticed the following:
    • Mail was getting very slow. Vacuuming with sqlite3 had no effect on speeding Mail up.
    • Smart Folders that take their input from this mega-archive folder were regularly inconsistent. Example: I went to the same Smart Folder that sources out of the mega-archive folder 3 times in a row and saw 3 different sets of messages in the index.
    • The only solution I could find was to break up my mega-archive folder into smaller pieces (which was fairly annoying — it kinda defeats the point of having a mega-archive folder). Mail now is considerably faster and my Smart Folders are now consistent again.
  • When I was having these problems with OS X Mail, I thought I’d try the new Thunderbird 2.0 client. Unfortunately, it was far worse than Mail at handling large-volume folders. Any time I switched into a goodly-sized folder, there was a significant delay while it loaded it up (“significant delay” = 10+ seconds). After a while, the contents of my entire inbox disappeared (which had less than 400 messages in it). Restarting thunderbird had no effect; it said that my inbox was empty. So I went back to Mail (thankfully, my inbox had not actually been destroyed!).


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