Random Thoghts

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 […]

A Funny Website – With Funny Tech Jokes, Too

My son is scouting for engineering schools, and came across www.engineeringedu.com. He also discovered its jokes page. Apropos my earlier blog today, the site (http://www.engineeringedu.com/jokes.html) features, among others, this little ditty: New Lyrics to Beatles Song – “Yesterday” Yesterday, All those backups seemed a waste of pay. Now my database has gone away. Oh I believe in yesterday. Suddenly, There’s not half the files there used to be. And there’s a milestone hanging over me. The system crashed, so suddenly. I pushed something wrong, What it was, I could not say. Now all my data’s gone, And I long for yesterday-ay-ay-ay. Yesterday, the need for back-ups seemed so far away. […]

Never Train on Live Data (The Data You Actually Use)!

I always say, “Never train on live data” because if something happens, it’s a “problem,” to say the least. Today I failed to abide by my own words. Guess what, something happened. The database with 98,542 records shrunk a bit — to 6 records. So did my stomach. Having never seen this before, I called Tech Support. The rep hadn’t seen it either. He put me on hold and found out a couple of the other reps had heard of this. What did it mean? That the database had crashed and I needed to restore it from a backup. And, of course, the firm didn’t think there was a backup! […]

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 […]

Backup – Yes I’m Beating That Same Drum!

Remember, it’s not if, but when in terms of hard drive crashes. My new Dell computer is an ideal example – new, high tech, etc. And the hard drive died in less than 2 months. Dell immediately shipped a replacement. Fortunately, I use Retrospect for daily complete backups. Once the replacement hard drive was in place, I merely re-installed Retrospect and restored my entire system. It took about 3 hours to recreate the index of files, and about an hour to restore my system. But every program, every document and setting were there, as if I just turned the computer on from the day before. I sighed a huge sigh […]

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 […]

Don’t Ignore Your Spam Folder

I know, we’re all tired of learning how wonderdrugs can enhance our lives, and make us look and feel like we’re years younger. And, of course, how many lotteries have you won? That’s all that’s ever in our spam folders, right? Wrong. It’s a good idea to read the periodic summary you are (or should be) receiving of the contents of your spam folder. Why? Because spam filters are not perfect, and sometimes they filter email you actually want. For instance, in the last week, my spam filter determined that one bill, two new client inquiries and an email from a credit card processing company were spam, plus some other […]

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, […]

My favorite things (software)

So, what do I use in my office? That’s the question I’m always asked. I have a lot of answers. My office is managed with Legal Files, a superb case management program I use (after testing 7 others, including many major names). While I like Time Matters, and recommend and support it, Legal Files is still a slight bit better for my needs. It isn’t perfect, however, and I wish it had Time Matters’ “formattable clipboard” and its “Packages” feature, but overall it wins by a nose. In addition, I use Adobe Acrobat Professional 8 all the time, and Case Map, Time Map and Live Note have become keys to […]

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