Bad IT day

Because of corporate changes (spun off from one company and merged with another), we have to remove our last dependencies on the old company's IT infrastructure. In this last round, they move our email and our (Windows) login accounts to a new domain. My migration was today.

They've sent lots of email about this over the last few months, but they left out some important details. A coworker who's been through it alerted us that they would be uninstalling and reinstalling Office, for no particularly good reason that I can see. (I mean, there's a good reason if you were on the wrong version or something, but I moved from 2013 to 2013.) The only hint they gave was telling us that we'd need to update our email signatures. Yeah, a bit more than that... maybe most people don't customize Outlook much, but I have to for accessibility. So a couple weeks ago, after finding no way to export all my client settings, I walked through all the configuration panels taking screenshots. Today I reapplied them all -- and there's a critical thing that's still broken and I haven't found a solution. I started customizing the web interface instead to see if that can meet my needs, but am feeling the lack of keyboard shortcuts. Maybe that's userscriptable. Dammit, Outlook is a PITA sometimes but it was working and now it's not.

They also created new user profiles for us. They said they would move "your files" over, but coworkers warned that this was incomplete. My browsers are very important to me, so I did my best to save bookmarks (easy), tabs (reduces to bookmarks), and session state. Chrome came through just fine. I was quite surprised, when launching Firefox post-migration, to be staring at the default configuration -- it didn't occur to me that I might lose about:config settings, add-ons, and other UI customizations. Frantic, I dug around in Users/me/AppData, found a Mozilla directory under Local, and copied the profiles therein. No effect. Eventually I went to Google to find out how to put things back the way they were (and sighing deeply about the customizations that don't sync, which I'd have to reconstruct), when I found something that pointed out how to ask Firefox where it's reading profile data from. Aha! Under AppData there is also a directory named "Roaming" (WTF is that?), and it was under there. Once I copied that directory I had my old browser state back. Whew! (Also backed that up for safekeeping.)

The actual migration process (not counting email, which they moved overnight) took about six hours. A chunk of that time was spent blocked and waiting on hold with IT. (An hour on hold the first time, 1:15 the second. Sheesh.) Because I knew the hold times would be long, as soon as I smelled a potential problem the first time I placed the call while I continued to work on it. Alas, the second blockage was a surprise error from their tool. By the way, they helpfully offered links to the FAQ and "contact support", both dead. At least they also displayed a phone number (which I'd secured in advance so I didn't need, but some would).

They moved most Windows settings over; for example, my large fonts, desktop icons, custom colors, and classic taskbar styling were intact. But, I discovered, they didn't move environment variables -- and I have no idea how to get those, since I can no longer log in with the old profile. I discovered this when Emacs didn't read my configuration -- it depends on HOME. So I reset that one, but I wonder what else I've lost.

Tomorrow I get to find out what else broke. I know the main doc tool will need intervention; the domain change confuses the license. I haven't tried git yet.

My laptop is getting on in years. On the one hand, this would have been a good time to replace it, given that there's going to be a lot of disruption anyway. On the other hand, it would come with Windows 10, which hasn't been making friends on my team. Also, I brought in a Windows 10 tablet to use during the migration, and yesterday when I was testing some stuff it announced that it couldn't start and I would have to reinstall the OS (!). I hadn't done much on it so I didn't lose a lot (had to reinstall the VPN and the browsers), but...really? In all my years of computer use, I've never once gone from "works fine" to "start over" in a span of hours. I wonder if I accidentally picked up that virus latest OS update, the one that was damaging data because it didn't check to see if there's enough disk space before starting. Every time that tablet asks me if I want to install updates I say no, but maybe something slipped through?


Updated to add:

Oh hey, we found the "show all email in plain text unless I say differently, dammit!" setting. Turns out there was a section of options I didn't capture because there was no earthly reason to think there was anything relevant there. It's in Options -> Trust Center -> Email Security -> Read as plain text. Because sure, I should think of this as a security issue and not an accessibility issue! (Doesn't Outlook automatically not run scripts embedded in HTML, anyway? Even the web client, which uses HTML, makes me click to see some content.)