June 06, 2005
I've been using email in one form or another since the early 1980s. Then I worked for a midwestern utility company that had a mainframe based email package that, while cumbersome by today's standards, worked and was my introduction to the wide-world of electronic communication.
Since leaving that company in the mid 1990s I've worked as a consultant for a variety of companies, using a variety of email packages. Eight of the past ten years have been for government agencies which seem to be wed to GroupWise as an email platform. I've always had a love/hate relationship with GroupWise. It works well enough, but the interface is clunky by 2005 standards. One major factor in its favor is that it isn't as prone to viruses, worms, and mail script problems like, say, Outlook.
For about two weeks in the late spring of 2000 I worked on an assignment at a software development company, where Outlook was used. It took about three days to get my id setup and established through their technical center. On my fourth day there the "I Love You" virus was introduced to the company, and the 2000 or so email addresses in the company-wide address book spammed each other until the whole system ground to a halt. I left that assignment before Outlook was really back on its feet again.
My current client is in the later stages of rolling out Outlook in place of GroupWise. As a consultant I'm in the last group to be transitioned to the new platform. A part of me is looking forward to finally getting to use Outlook in a work setting, and another part is curious to see how long before some virus/worm/script brings the whole outfit to its knees.