Microsoft Outlook – Lousy Handling of Dates

It’s really very frustrating, especially when you travel a lot. You want your PC to reflect the timezone that you are currently in but at the same time you want some appoiontments to be absolute in time. Microsoft notes themselves:

You want an appointment to show on the Calendar at a fixed time no matter what the time zone is. For example, you want to be reminded to take your medication at the same absolute time regardless of the time zone you are in. However, when you change time zones, the appointment changes to reflect the new time zone.

Well, yes, that is it. You want some appointments absolute (so no matter where you are you want to be reminded at 8 in the morning to take your blood pressure tablets, but other appointments, such as scheduling conference calls and such, to be time zone dependant. Sigh, you can’t have your cake and eat it too with Microsoft. Pity really, but with all the bazillions of dollars they spend on R&D for Office 2007 (and from the beta, that looks really like quite a nice change too I might add), they can’t put a couple of hundred bucks aside for one of the developers to look at adding a flag to the apointment that says “Absolute Time”. Ah well. And lest you think I am being hard on Microsoft, they themselves note:

Outlook can’t force an appointment to remain fixed when the time zone changes. If you need the appointment to stay at a fixed time, you should not change your current time zone. You can add the additional time zone to track the other time zone times. To change the time zone setting in Outlook without changing the times for each of your appointments, you must export the data from your Calendar folder, change the time zone setting, and then import the data into Outlook.

Well, like that is really a solution … I am not even sure a geek would go that far.

That’s today’s gripe over. More gripes and travel tales later – I am starting to relax after a hard couple of months so all I can say at the moment is … surf’s up!

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