GLossary Pages

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Blind Carbon Copy and Outlook.com

For some time now there have been issues with Blind Carbon Copy appearing in support forum where the mail provider is outlook.com, in searching for a solution it bacame obvious that the issue encompased all mail clients wsending mail with SMTP, indicated it was a bug, or change of policy at outlook.com.
The effect of this issue was that mail send using BCC was not delivered by outlook.com.  It appeared that BCC addresses were simply stripped  and dropped from the email.  The mail would be delivered to anyone in a CC or To field,  but BCC recipients simply did not receive mail.  At one point I had contact with folk who were able to get some BCC mail addresses to work,  but not reliably and they were doing nothing different to others.  This reinforced my view that indeed there was a bug with outlook.com

I have had a support request with the Outlook folks for some time on this matter and I have now been notified the yes they do have a bug. Yes, they have a fix and are testing it.  Hopefully BCC will soon work again for those using SMTP in the near future.

I will update this post when the fix is released. If I am notified of the release.

Update:  All Outlook.com mail accounts should not work with BCC

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Outlook Calendar in Thunderbird

This has been something of a thorn in many peoples side.  It is simple to press the publish button in an outlook.com account on the web and add the resultant ICS file to Thunderbird as a read only calendar.  But what if you want a calendar you can update, one that syncs both ways.  Until now I had though it was simply not possible.  But it appears I have been mistaken.

So how to do it.  It is in fact fairly simple,  but has a crucial step that has to be executed before you try and set up the calendar.

Click this link. https://outlook.com/ews/exchange.asmx
You will be asked for your password and user names.  These are the same username and password you use to log into the Outlook.com web site.  In my case my Hotmail.com email address and associated password.  Once you are authenticated you will see a web page advising you that your have created a service and giving a lot of instructions about how to create a code file.


Not important in our world.  What we have done is enabled EWS on the URL for ourselves.  Up until this point is you put in the URL https://outlook.com/ews/exchange.asmx into Thunderbird using the ESW add-on it would simply give an error about being forbidden.  Now it just works.

So the next part is easy;
  1. Locate the EWS exchange add-on. download link here 
  2. Open Thunderbird's  add-on manager by clicking on the on the tool bar and select add-ons
  3. Drag the entry for exchangecalendar-v3.8.0.xpi from that page to the Thunderbird add-on manager and drop it.
  4. When the install dialog opens (it will take a little while as the add-on is downloaded) click install. 
Or use the instructions here

Once the add-on is installed and you have restarted Thunderbird before configuring a new calendar.
  • Open the calendar tab.
  • Right click in the calendar list pane
  • Select New calendar.
  • Select "On the Network" and click next.
  • Select Microsoft Exchange 2007/20110/2013 and click next
  • Give your calendar a name and select the email associated with the calendar
  • Click next 
  • Select Hosted Exchange
  • Server URL  https://outlook.com/ews/exchange.asmx
  • Primary Email address <Your primary outlook email address, no alias>
  •  User name  the user name you enter to log into Outlook.com.  For me it is my email address again.
(The following were the default values. I did not change them)
  • Domain Name is blank.
  • Share folder Id is blank.
  • Folder base is "Calendar Folder"
  • Path below folder base is /
  • Check the server name and settings and complete the Wizard using it's defaults.
I have not yet tested this over a period of time.  But after a number of hours I still have a rad write outlook.com calendar in Thunderbird.

Please  let me know if this does not work.  I have not found it anywhere else on the web, and I doubt my own abilities.  Perhaps it only works for a day.  Only time will really tell.






Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Bigpond mail changes.

Today I got an email from Bigpond/Telstra advising me their mail system was changing.  It was full of nice touchy feely vibes and after I read it all I knew was at some future date something was changing.  Congratulations Telstra.  This is important stuff and you have dumbed it down to the level of a marketing email.  Then I check the date the change is scheduled for and it is today.  Talk about forward planing.  The email they send today said "We'll email you in a few weeks with the exact move date of your email service listed below".

By searching around on the Telstra web site. They do have the information, and I must admit the email has a link to the starting point. I learned that the changes to  me really involve their closing up of shop of the Bigpond brand, and finally modernizing their email system to use secure connections. Minor really,  but enough to stop my Thunderbird accounts getting mail without changes.

So my ancient Bigpond server settings will need to be changed when the day comes (Today).  Telstra recommend I also convert to IMAP.  That is a whole different issue.  My existing email accounts are POP and I just want then to keep working.  So here are the changes I will have to make to my existing Bigpond mail accounts.

To summarise the changes to "just keep on as it was"  the following information will need to be changed

Incoming information in your account.

Field Existing Setting New Setting
Server Name: mail.bigpond.com pop.telstra.com
Port: 110 995
Connection Security: None SSL/TLS


Outgoing Server (SMTP)
This is at the bottom of the list of accounts in account settings.

Field Existing Setting New Setting
Server Name: mail.bigpond.com smtp.telstra.com
Port: 25 465
Connection Security: None SSL/TLS

I have included the recommended settings. However Telstra also allow for the use of Port 587 and connection security STARTTLS. As this is actually more secure, I suggest you try those first, before using the recommended less secure settings.

It is always possible to add a new account as IMAP,  but that is not the purpose of my posting.  My purpose is to offer setting that will allow your existing account to just keep working.

Source links at Telstra. 

Thursday, August 18, 2016

My experience Windows 10 and Thunderbird / Firefox freezing

This posting is somewhat off topic for me,  but then it is on topic, because the issues I am discussing initially appeared to be in Mozilla branded products.  I am a glutton for punishment sometimes, and as a result I run daily builds of both Firefox and Thunderbird.  The result of this is a mostly reasonable experience with occasional disaster days where you get a Thunderbird or Firefox that basically does not load at all.

In July I bit the bullet and updated Windows to version 10,  the motivation was more a case of I had seen many people in the support forums with Windows 10 issues and really they appeared to be largely inexplicable than any desire to use the latest and greatest from Microsoft.

In all the upgrade of my Dell Vostro went well.  I read the options closely enough to find the tiny option to keep my existing settings and after a number of hours  I was away with the new Windows 10.  I turned off all the phone home things Windows 10 wanted to do, I stopped Cortana and got rid of all the rubbish in the start menu.  Things were looking positive. 

So here I am in August,  frustrated by Mozilla Firefox.  It is horrible and getting worse.  It just stops responding for anything from a few seconds to a minute or more.  Typing in reply dialogs on support.mozilla.org just stops mid word. When it returns large chunks of what was typed is simply not there, not in some buffer waiting for the freeze to end, just not there.

Then Thunderbird started to display this same abhorrent behaviour.  It just stops responding.  Sometime it says it is not responding,  other times it just does nothing.  At least it is not as bad as Firefox.  But it appears to be getting worse

Then I noticed something new.  The command window in Windows 10 was also freezing.  This was when I realized I had an issue with Windows, or some other software freezing windows,  not Mozilla branded software at all.

I started searching on the web and it really only took a few moments to see I was not alone.  There were lots of folk apparently experiencing hangs or freezing.  In my usual approach to these things I read a few of the first hits I got from Google, looking for similarities and common solutions.  Then I clicked on a link to a YouTube video that offered to fix windows 10 freezing.  Cynic that I am I though what are they selling.  Well nothing is the answer! Except a free solution for me.

I found that of the settings mentioned in the video,  only the PCI express setting appeared in power on my desktop.  So like the guy in the video I tuned the setting in power management off.  That was a couple of days ago now.  I have experienced no  freezing at all since that change.

 The lesson for me was just how much of my computer time is spent in Firefox and Thunderbird.  I had the problem for weeks and never even considered I was looking in the wrong place for a solution.

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Hotmail Proxy errors

The longer I deal with Microsoft the less surprised I become by there aggressive and underhanded marketing.  The latest from Microsoft is that they are converting all of their existing Hotmail/ Live/MSN accounts to their new outlook.com. What these good people forgot to mention is, if you have been getting your mail via the pop protocol until now,  they are going to turn that option off for you.

How did I become aware they had done this for me.  Thunderbird no longer received mails from my Hotmail accounts.  Instead I got this lengthy and opaque  error message.

Sending of password for user {MyEmailAddress]@hotmail.com did not succeed. Mail server pop3.live.com responded: Authentication failure: unknown user name or bad password. [Error="ProxyNotAuthenticated" AuthResult=0 Proxy=SIXPR0201MB0940.apcprd02.prod.outlook.com:1995:SSL]







So now I am aware of this blatant decision to ignore the users settings in favour of some that favour vendor lock-in. I think it is high time for some user instructions on how to set things back to rights.

First log into your account at Hotmail/Live/MSN/Outlook using your browser.   Once you get there you will probably be facing a user interface that is entirely new to you.

To start locate the cog on the right of the toolbar pane. It displays the following menu, and is included in the image




Select options from the menu entry and you will be taken to the following page, where you will need to click on the POP and IMAP settings entry on the left.


Change the POP options to on. and click the save "button"
Click on another folder and then click back on the POP and IMAP settings entry.



You will now see that the settings for the account, including the server name are shown   Make note of that server name.  Currently simply turning the option back on will restart downloads to your mail client,  be it Thunderbird or any other POP client.  However for future proofing, I strongly suggest you change the server name you are using to the one provided by the web site. There is no telling when they will simply remove the old server names.

Right click your account in the folder pane of Thunderbird, and select settings.
In the server setting page for the account insert the server named in your settings on the web page.

In my case I was advised the server name was pop-mail.outlook.com so that is what is shown in the image above.   When I changed the server name Thunderbird warned me about filters.  This is not an issue, as all that is changed is the server name.  Everything else remains the same, really it is the same account on the same server, so just acknowledge the warning. Your user name will not change from what you are using currently, which should be your full email address.









Saturday, January 23, 2016

Outlook.com / Office365 Imap subscribed folders disappear, difficulty in subscribing

Over the past couple of days it has become apparent that there has been an issue with IMAP accounts hosted on office365 and outlook.com.  Support has received a number of complains of subscribed folders disappearing from Thunderbird and attempts to re-subscribe failing.

A workaround has been identified by turning off the Thunderbird option "Show only subscribed folders".

To turn off this option;
  1. Right click the account in the folder pane.
  2. Select the menu entry Settings
  3. In the server settings for the account,select the advanced button.
  4. In the advanced account settings dialog, un-check the option "Show only subscribed folders"


----o0O0o----


Microsoft have now acknowledged the issue as EX41924 and are posting updates here. At the time of writing this post the latest update (update 4) is suggesting a code solution has been developed and is currently being deployed across the office365 and outlook.com web sites to remediate the failure their previous patch caused.Affected users that wish to follow the Microsoft support thread on community.office365.com can find it here.

While it is unfortunate,  there is nothing the Thunderbird community can do in this other than offer the workaround until such time as Microsoft resume normal services.