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Projects and software by Matt Collinge @ www.mattcollinge.co.uk

New Mail Plus

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Introduction

In Outlook 98/2000 the tray icon showing new mail is rather small, and the dialog box which pops up requiring you to press ‘OK’ is really annoying when it pulls focus away from what you’re doing.

New Mail Plus can notify you of new email in a much more flexible way than is possible in Outlook.

Features

There are a number of methods you can use when new mail arrives. These 3 are more useful when you’ve got a headless PC, i.e. you normally work on 1 PC, but your mail arrives on another PC without a monitor:

- Flash the A:\ drive for a minute
– Eject the CD-ROM
– System beep

The most useful method of notification for me is the animation. The animation will play each time you get new email, plus if you’re away from your desk the animation (on it’s final frame.. not looping) will remain onscreen until you touch the mouse/keyboard. This is useful if you return to your desk, or if you choose a large animation you can see it from across the room:

- Use an .avi, .jpg or other media file
– Choose whether it’ll appear on the top left, or top right of your screen

Downloads (for Windows 9x/200x/XP)

The main file you’ll want is the .exe which you can stick in your startup folder. (Note: One thing I found is that I couldn’t minimise the application on launch because that somehow cause the animation not to appear).

Other files I’ve made available here are a couple of new mail animations; personally I like the first one because it looks like the ‘Breaking News’ banner some of the 24 hour news programs use.

New Mail Plus Install Kit (85k)
Download the zipped EXE (17k)
Download animation 1 (17k)
Download animation 2 (36k)
VB6 Runtimes for anyone who doesn’t already have them installed

License

New Mail Plus is freeware, but if you find it useful, a small donation via PayPal (no matter how small) would really make my day.

Make payments with PayPal - it's fast, free and secure!

Extra Steps for Outlook XP/2003

Outlook XP/2003 use a different method of displaying new emails via the system tray. New Mail Plus needs a small workaround adding. You’ll find full details in the zip file, but here’s what you need to do:

1) Configure Outlook…

- Goto Tools | Macro | Visual Basic Editor
– Double-click on ThisOutlookSession and paste in the code from below
– Edit the path for the tempFile constant to reflect the folder where you’ve put NewMailPlus.exe
– Change your security settings.. I’ve used a Digital Certificate so that Outlook will run the macro without asking for confirmation. Full details on how to do this can be found in this Microsoft Technet article.

2) Configure New Mail Plus…

- Check the box for ‘Detect File’
– Enter the path to tempFile which you configured in the Outlook macro code

That’s it. As soon as you’ve followed these steps it’ll work.

Outlook XP/2003 Code

Private Sub Application_NewMailEx(ByVal EntryIDCollection As String)

Const tempFile = “C:\win32app\newmail\newmail.arrived”

Dim notifyFile As Integer
notifyFile = FreeFile()
Open tempFile For Append As notifyFile
Write #notifyFile, “newmail”
Close notifyFile

End Sub

Legal

Disclaimer : A user of this software acknowledges that he or she is receiving this software on an “as is” basis and the user is not relying on the accuracy or functionality of the software for any purpose. The user further acknowledges that any use of this software will be at the user’s own risk and the copyright owner accepts no responsibility whatsoever arising from the use or application of the software.

Written by Matt

April 14, 2006 at 10:36 pm

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