As those who are not Microsoft slaves will know, the "cross platform" client for GroupWise gives you the functionality of a cleft stick without the messenger - kind of like the beta release of the first version of Pmail for DOS, with a cludgey GUI. All that you were used to in the old IMAP Webmail - like the ability to sort messages on message size, and some indicator of your usage of mailbox space, for example - are no longer at your disposal. You can read mail, send mail, and move stuff between folders, and that's pretty much it.
And so, when I logged into uctgwacc at home and found I had used 89% of my mailspace, I was a bit alarmed. Particularly as it threatened me with all kinds of dire consequences. I ought, I decided, to do something, and so this morning I thought I'd move some of it to my C: drive.
Now, on all the mail clients I've used (PMail on PCs, and the native Email programme on the Mac) you can have folders all over the place, access several email accounts and identities simultaneously with all the folders in a single drop down list, etc, so I was completely unprepared for the the notion that moving mail to your hard drive might be A Big Deal. Well, it is. Welcome to Groupwise!
So you need to archive mail. Right - created the directory, highlighted the mail I wanted moved, found the menu item and chose "archive this" and Voila!
Everything froze. For five minutes I sat staring at that little kaleidoscopic wheel that Apple has instead of an egg timer. And then, pop! Suddenly Groupwise just wasn't there anymore. The window had shut, the icon had vanished from the open applications in the taskbar, and it was as if it had just never been. Trouble was, everything else was still frozen, too.
Now Groupwise crashing is nothing new. It happens several times a day, and the OS gives you polite messages to tell you this has happened, but being an Apple, the rest of the system remains stable and you have only to reopen the naughty app and resume work. But not this time. It was all frozen.
Even Force Quit achieved nothing. Eventually I used the only bit that still responded - the power button.
With a sinking feeling I waited, and then slowly switched it on again. The normal hard drive waking up noises started, the chime.... and then, nothing. Like a search for intelligent life in space, staring into the darkness yielded nothing discernable.
Eventually a small, flashing questionmark in the centre of the screen convinced me that the operating system really had been corrupted. Groupwise really had gotten it right. Even my robust iBook had been broken. It was wrist slitting!
So now I sit and wait, hoping Disk Warrior can do the magic Moeneeb promises.
If I ever get it working again, I solemnly swear to remove every trace of Groupwise from it. I'll set my email to autoforward elsewhere, and read it from a reliable mail client or a web-based mail account like GMail. I simply can't take the risk again.