Didn’t miss it for long

Another thing I love about the web and weblogging is that individuals can move companies to act on their behalf. Take the recent acquisition of Lookout Software by Microsoft as one example.

Joel Spolsky, who writes a popular blog, Joel on Software, took an interest in this acquisition and asked a question on a lot of folks’ minds–certainly mine–why did Microsoft yank the Lookout software download? More importantly he did so with tact and in a manner that would be compelling to his ultimate audience in Redmond. Furthermore, he enabled his subscribers to add their collective voice.

The result? You may now freely download Lookout 1.2 from Microsoft, just like Don Box did.

If you’re like me, you have a computer at home that supports more than one user. Of course, once you experience the power of a tool like Lookout, you’ll want the other users on that machine to have the same advantage (e.g. self-help, more productive, etc.).

Unfortunately after I installed Lookout from my account, indexed my content (fast!) and then switched over to a second user account, when I launched Outlook again I wasn’t greeted by the Lookout wizard.

Having written multiple add-ins for Office applications, I (correctly) suspected that the Windows Registry was missing some critical values in order for Lookout to work under additional user accounts. The fix ends up being fairly simple as follows:

  • If it’s running, exit Outlook.
  • Launch your text editor (e.g. Notepad), copy the following text into a new file and save that file with a “.reg” extension. Note: you may need to modify the following text to match your environment (e.g. your Program Files folder is on a drive other than C:):

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Lookout Software\Lookout]
@=”C:\Program Files\Lookout Software\Lookout”
“VersionMajor”=”1″
“VersionMinor”=”2″
“VersionRevision”=”0″
“VersionBuild”=”0″
“Assembly”=”C:\Program Files\Lookout Software\Lookout\Lookout.dll”

  • Go to the saved registry script (i.e. .reg file) and double-click it to update your Windows Registry.
  • Launch your text editor (e.g. Notepad), copy the following text into a new file and save that file with a “.reg” extension:

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\Outlook\AddIns\LookoutAddIn.Connect]
“Description”=”Lookout fast search for Outlook”
“FriendlyName”=”Lookout”
“LoadBehavior”=dword:00000003

  • Go to the saved registry script (i.e. .reg file) and double-click it to update your Windows Registry.
  • Repeat the above steps for each additional user account that needs Lookout functionality.

2/11/2005 update: it appears that the best place to download current Lookout software is the legacy Lookout Software web site and not the Microsoft site above. For example, version 1.3.0 released here today.

-Craig
http://craigrandall.net/
@craigsmusings