Several years ago, there was an episode of SNL that had one of the segments of “Nick Burns, your company’s computer guy” with Jimmy Fallon as Nick, an annoying IT guy who would never let his users get a word in edgewise while he fixed their computer problems and insulted them for having problems in the first place.
One of the episodes had a little bit in it about Outlook, and it made the rounds of the Outlook team. The best part was that they got it right – well part of it, at least. They nailed what, at the time, was a common (but complex) problem with Outlook. The issue stemmed from the confusion between the “Personal Address Book” (PAB) and “Offline Address Book” (OAB). The PAB was a .pab file on your client machine, created by Outlook when the user chose to create a local address book. The OAB was an .oab file downloaded from the Exchange server with the members of Exchange’s global address list in it. In order to get the PAB into your Outlook profile, you had to import it. In order to get the OAB, you had to download it from the server.
You can read the transcript here, but here are the highlights:
C-Hey, I’m still having a little problem.
N- Yeah I’m having 3 problems. What is it?
C- I just can’t find my personal address book.
N- Did you import it from the outlook program?
C- I think I downloaded it.
N- You downloaded it? Oh that’s amazing, considering it’s impossible! You have to import it.
C- Import.. through my folder?
N- MOVE!!! Let me teach you a lesson here, First you open up the folder file import in the download box, open outlook 6.0 folder, find the address file, and click import. Was that so hard?
C- Yeah actually it was, yeah.
N- They teach this type of stuff on Blue’s Clue’s. Who’s next?
This is the kind of thing that gets old Outlook dorks like myself snickering.