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They Finally Did It!

 Nov 9, 2006  |   Filed under: Software Development  |   Tags: HTML, JavaScript, Microsoft

They finally did it; Microsoft finally drove me over the edge. Here is the full story so when I go postal people can't blame me.

It all started about a year ago when my company decided to remove Linux from the organization. They killed of every single Linux application we had starting with the SAMBA PDC (which was one of the first things I created when I started working there 4 years ago). I didn't protest much because I was through playing sys-admin and wanted to concentrate on development. If we kept Linux guess who would have to maintain it, that’s right, yours truly. This change didn't affect me much and still hasn't since I'm currently working as a consultant thus not using our company network at all.

About six months after this I received an e-mail saying we would be switching to exchange server, this started to worry me, I mean no more IMAP mail access. Well fair enough, I said I didn't want anything to do with the sys-admin stuff - I guess this is my punishment. Everyone started using outlook, except us poor bastards that where working off-site we got Outlook Web Access (OWA). I guess I'm a tuff crowd since I don't like any web-mail but OWA is the worst *%&#¤ you can find.

I'm not going to go into all the small problems we have had with OWA I'm just going to jump to the one thing that finally drove me over the edge. There’s a timeout, a timeout after which you get logged off. Now that’s a good thing for your mail box - "sorry you haven’t done anything for a while - bye!” I was logging in 30 maybe 40 times a day just to see if I got any important mails. Even if the timeout wasn't there I would still have to refresh the web-browser manually to see if I got any mail.

Well today I was on the phone discussing business and had to check an e-mail. I clicked the e-mail, and guess what; I was thrown to the login screen of OWA. Right there I just snapped!

I decided to do something about it. After all I'm a systems developer; I'm supposed to solve these problems. So I wrote a small HTML/JavaScript application (well actually more of a page). It only does the simplest thing, loads a page in an iframe and delivers a refresh button and an auto refresh functionality which can be toggled on and off. Now I can just keep a browser window open and whenever I'm not reading mail just toggle on auto refresh and my inbox will refresh auto magically every minute.

Maybe I won't have to go postal just yet.

Here's the thingy released under GPL, it's not perfect but it works for me. You will have to edit index.html and enter the page you want to load instead of