A Little Ranting

No wonder people hate computers – and dread tech support

People know that I love technology, and use it every chance I get, but sometimes I run into circumstances when something happens and I understand the frustration. That happened to me recently. Oh, and by the way, I later learned that the problem that the support line couldn’t fix was really my fault because I should have known what the company’s trained (?) support people didn’t seem to know. Here’s the scoop. We upgraded our office’s online/cloud backup, using Carbonite, the same product we used successfully for years. This upgrade, we were told, would be easy and seamless. Unfortunately not. And complaints received a consistent response of dead air. First, […]

Windows 7 – Part II – The Good & Atrocious of Customer Service – Dell

Upgrading to Windows 7 can be an adventure if any of your hardware or software has any incompatibility. It’s worse, however, if you order a new computer and it arrives unbeknownst to you with a bad/corrupted installation of Windows 7. Mine did. Windows 7 Ultimate began as Windows 7 “the pits.” So what did I do? I trudged ahead, using repairs, trying to make things work. Nothing helped. Programs didn’t work, and I was at wits end. Yes, I called Dell, and the first tech I spoke to didn’t know anything – and thus began my trek with Dell that has proven unequivocally that the only person in America who works for […]

Ahh, the No Asshole Rule

A few years ago, I reviewed a book, The No Asshole Rule, for The Philadelphia Lawyer, the Philadelphia Bar Association magazine. Written by Robert Sutton, a Professor of Management Science and Engineering at Stanford University, the premise of the book is that no business should hire, tolerate or perpetuate the employment of “certified assholes,” people who are assholes all the time. In my review, I wrote (regretfully “tongue in cheek”) that “We are simply blessed that there are no assholes in our legal community and certainly none who fit the moniker of a “certified asshole.” Consequently, Sutton’s premise – that businesses are more productive, more profitable and have a better […]

I Love Microsoft Outlook – I Hate Microsoft Outlook

It’s everywhere – not quite Chicken Man (for those old enough to remember) – but Microsoft Outlook is used, it seems, in virtually every law office — and the 2007 Version is excellent. The small tweaks Microsoft made really helped improve the product overall (even though some actions remain counterintuitive). I recommend clients upgrade to it, especially any clients who are using Outlook 2000 or (yes) earlier versions. But… But… But… I hate Mircrosoft Outlook 2007. Not the whole product, just the absolutely infuriatingly outrageous Junk E-mail Filter.  Why, you say? If you don’t like it, turn it off. Sorry, Microsoft has decided that even if you don’t want to use […]

PC Magazine – RIP

It was with sadness that I read the latest issue of PC Magazine. One of the oldest technology magazine, PC Mag had been reinventing itself for some time. From now on, the magazine announced, it will only be available online/electronically, with no more printed issues. Surprisingly, despite my love of “less paper,” I will miss the paper magazine, and am not an afficianado of electronic-only publications. To the contrary, I like paper publications (and subscribe to dozens). They allow me to read them when and where I want, and to clip articles (and scan them) for future reference. It’s not easy to sit down for lunch in front of a […]

Travel Tips — And My Kindle

I recently traveled to Los Angeles to give my presentation, “How to Do 90 Minutes of Work in 60,” in conjunction with the meeting of the National Association of Bar Executives and the American Bar Association Midyear Meeting. The presentation went well, but I learned some lessons on my way to LA. Among them: Bring a paper clip and a book. Before I boarded the plane, I turned on my Kindle, Amazon’s really neat (but expensive)  book reader, audiobook reader, music player, etc. It gave me a black screen and was dead. I removed the battery and reinstalled — still the black screen. Then I realized the Kindle had a […]

People – Follow Your Gut

My father was a gentle man who understood people. He had an ability to immediately sense who was good, who was trouble, and who to “be careful” with. And he always encouraged me to follow my instincts. He was right, and I only wish I had followed his advice a little more closely recently. I’ve instead learned two lessons, both people- and business-related. First, if you’ve had prior dealings with someone and they weren’t positive, don’t have more. An attorney came to me for some technological services. I had been involved in a case with him a few years ago; his client was reprehensible, but so were some of his […]

Internet Access – Don’t Take it for Granted

The Internet is there, like the air we breathe, right? Wrong. Stuff happens. And then you wait, and twiddle. This week I learned that lesson. My Internet connection began to slow down, and get slower and slower. So I called Comcast, which is reputed to have excellent customer service for its business customers. They checked my connection, and found nothing wrong. They then promised me that someone would come to my office the following day. Unfortunately, by the same evening, the Internet connection was dead, and so was my overall ability to communicate (although, Thank God for the Blackberry!). When I called Comcast the next morning (the day of the […]

Backup — At Home

Lately, I’m the poster child for backups and restores. Yup, another story. I finally took Ellen Freedman’s advice and installed Copernic at home — it’s a far better desktop search engine than Google. I did it while also ridding my home computer of Norton Anti-Virus (which slowed it to a crawl at times) and installing the easy-to-use CA Internet Suite 2007. Google Desktop Search, however, didn’t want to uninstall and instead, after much frustration, I tried a variety of self-help options (don’t do this at home!) and then rebooted. Windows rebooted, but Explorer (the program that lets you access everything on the computer) was completely unavailable. I had a desktop, […]

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