Category Archives: Uncategorized

Email message ends up on road sign

You really have to be careful what you write in an email – you never know where it may end up…


This out-of-office automatic response message made it onto a bilingual road sign in Wales!

If you don’t understand Welsh, here’s what the Welsh version says:

"I am not in the office at the moment. Send any work to be translated".

Here’s how this happened. 

[via Ferris Research]


Change of Address

I’ve just registered a “proper” domain name for this blog. It now resides at The folks at have rigged things smoothly, so that if you use the old address, you’ll still end up here.

If you are subscribed to this blog’s RSS feed, it should continue working normally, but it would still be a good idea to update the URL to

Keyboard Evolution

I recently bought a new wireless keyboard and mouse combination. As I surveyed the available models, I realized that the main differentiator for me was size — I wanted the footprint to be as small as possible. The ideal size would be the same as the old-fashioned, wired keyboard it would replace. Easier said than done, as today’s wireless keyboards come with all manner of programmable buttons, dials and other ergonomic features that bloat their size to dominate any desktop. I finally settled on a Logitech model that comes with the barest minimum of extra keys.

During the first minute of use I was surprised to discover that natural selection has given my new keyboard a significant advantage. My new keyboard might be small, but it boasts a Delete key that is double the size of the old one, and is now almost as large as the Enter key. I suppose I should not be so surprised — in this age of SPAM and CYA-Mail, the Delete key is probably one of the most heavily used keys.

(CYA-Mail: Cover Your Ass Mail — messages unnecessarily CC’ed to people who will never read them, by senders who think it will help to deflect blame when the sh*t hits the fan. If you have a better definition — you’re welcome to post it as a comment below.)

Introducing Daniella

Family grows by 2 feetLast Thursday evening my wife gave birth to Daniella, our new baby daughter. My wife says our family has now grown by 2 feet, but having been brought up on the metric system, I prefer to say we’ve just put on an extra 3.3 kg.

The last couple of times we announced a birth, 8 and 10 years ago, we had a lot of phone calls to make. With the close family spread over three continents (or four, if you count those on holiday), it’s also difficult to get the timing right, especially when you want people to hear it directly from you and not via someone else. This means a lot of phone calls in a very short time — quite a time-consuming task, and just at a time when everything at home has been turned upside-down.

This time, we are getting away with almost no phone calls. Email has become so pervasive these days, even my almost 90 year-old great aunt checks her messages regularly. Now that we’ve got the announcement out to everyone simultaneously via email, we can take our time and gradually touch base on a more personal level with all our far-flung family and friends.

I wonder how my kids will announce the births of their own children in ten or fifteen years’ time. Maybe they’ll just blog about them on the family RSS feed…

Outlook Tip: Display your folders in non-alphabetical order

The Outlook folders tree shows folders in alphabetical order only. In order to display them in a different order, you can use either of the following methods:

  • Promote a specific folder to the top of the list
    If you want a specific folder to appear before the others, rename it with a punctuation mark at the beginning of its name. For instance, if you want the “Pending” folder to appear first, rename it “!Pending” or “_Pending”.
  • Define the position of each folder in the list
    If you want to define the position of each folder, just prefix each folder name with a number, for example:

If you use SpeedFiler to file your messages, you do not have to type the numbers, as SpeedFiler looks for matches anywhere in a folder name, not just the beginning. So if you want to file an item in “1 Rejected”, just open the File In Folder window and start typing the word “rejected” until you see “1 Rejected” in the list of matching folders.