Completion Obfuscation

I heard, on Radio 4, this morning that the Olympic site is “about 37%” complete … not over a third, not getting on for 40%, but “about 37%.” I was surprised not to hear that to two decimai places. And the good news is that the contingency budget still has 67% of its funds left, not about two thirds, nor have we spent only a third … precision where precision isn’t available is always dangerous.

Moving to Mac – Thunderbird, Outlook, Entourage

Every week I get a dozen or so people arriving at this blog looking for how to transfer from Outlook to Entourage. I did that about 18 months ago (was it only then?) and wrote it up here. Apart from the occasional comments left by people to say thank you, it’s hard to know whether those who try it get a good result. Anyway, I thought I’d check the instructions I left to see if they’re still valid – and there were some changes necessary, so here they are.

I tried Thunderbird on the Mac as well as Apple’s own mail application but settled on Entourage for lots of reasons. Initially I was very frustrated by Entourage’s stability but several updates and service packs have made it rock solid and I haven’t had any problems in ages.

How to import or transfer from Outlook (on a PC) to Entourage (on a Mac) via Thunderbird (on a PC)

1. Install thunderbird on your PC.

2. When you start Thunderbird it will helpfully bring up an import menu with only one option which is “don’t import anything.” Don’t worry about this and let it carry on.

3. Configure your email box if you must, but set it so that it doesn’t fetch new mail. This will stop mail building up in Thunderbird after you’ve exported it (otherwise you could end up doing several exports)

3. On the file menu, you’ll find that you can import from outlook. This function fetches everything – all the subfolders and so on – but it takes a while. I have about 3gb of email and it must have taken a good hour or so.

4. Now you’ll have all of your email in Thunderbird. Well done.

5. Visit this site (the entourage help page on, follow the instructions, and download the script (or you can run it in your script editor)

6. You’ll end up with a series of folders that are in the right format and with the right attributes to import into entourage

7. Copy those folders to your Mac.

8. Select each file that you want to import to Entourage and make sure you have done the rename – they’ll need to be “.mbx” not “.mbox” (sometimes they have no extensions, so just add the .mbx)

9. Go to the Entourage file menu and select “import”. Pick “contacts or messages from a text file” and then “import messages from an MBOX-format text file” (note that whilst this says MBOX it means .mbx)

10. Choose the file – this time you have to do it one by one.

11. Entourage will go quiet for a while. You won’t be able to press anything but there will be no spinning beachball. You just have to wait.

12. Eventually – depending on how big your files are – it will say “finish”. Click that and you’ll have to wait again, but you will get a beachball this time. This seems to be a shorter wait, but a wait nonetheless.

13. The folder you have just imported will appear on the left hand side of the screen under the “on my computer” menu. You can then decide what to do with it. I copied all of the inbox file straight into the inbox, one for one, but moved the sub-folders under it. This actually copies all of the folders rather than moves them so, once you’re done, you have to delete the old ones.

If this works for you, leave a comment … Better still, if it doesn’t, definitely leave a comment so that I can have another look and see what further changes I need to make to these steps.

O2 MMS Settings Part 2

A while ago I posted some settings for MMS on O2 in the UK. They worked fine on the OS3 beta and I’ve seen plenty of searches to the blog for them. There look to have been some changes now – I’m running 3.1 beta 2. So, just in case, here are the new settings:



username: vertigo

Password: password



username/password as above

MMSC:http: //

MMS Proxy:

Hope that helps if you’d reset them or somehow lost track of them.

Great North Run Hills

I’ve seen a few searches land at this blog in the last couple of weeks looking for an elevation profile of the Great North Run (often with the search string “Great North Run Hills”, or “Great North Run elevation”). So here it is:


The line shows the elevation (on the outer axis), the bars show the gradient (on the inner axis). So you get a nice downhill run at the start which doesn’t feel so bad as it’s along the motorway – as you near the end around km 18 and 19, there’s what seems like a much steeper decline before you come into the final mile along the shore – the best bit of the race (once you get down the hill).

And, for good measure, here’s a course map for the Great North Run:


Hope this is useful.