Windows 10 – Same Machine, Increased Speed

windows-10 On Basha WorkstationI recently took the plunge on my primary workstation and clicked the Upgrade to Windows 10. I have been using Windows 10 on a Surface Pro 3 for over a year, but had delayed switching throughout the office. I had been using Windows 8.1 with Classic Start Menu enabled.

Apart from the hour it took for the PC to process the upgrade, there was very little I had to do. Of course, my Classic Start Menu was disabled, but then again Windows 10 essentially restored the Classic Start Menu found in Windows 7, and then threw some tiles on as an option. But what was surprising was that the computer seems to be “zippier”.  I believe it is ultimately a programming trick, but programs load and start faster.

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Practice Management in the Cloud and on the Desktop

Man-shouting-at-computerIt has been five years since I first started exploring cloud options for lawyers. In that time there has been much progress, but actually less than I expected. I have seen a proliferation of new products for lawyers, but found that most of them lack the maturity of the client/server desktop solutions. At the same time, I have seen a stagnation in the desktop solutions, a failure to embrace change, a failure to innovate.

Selected by Technolawyer BlawgWorld Pick of the Week

I don’t intend to identify specific products, but rather to address the trends that I am seeing. The desktop solutions have mostly shifted to maintenance mode. This is reflected in their pricing models which emphasize annual maintenance and support plans. There is less emphasis on new marketing initiatives, and more on “insurance”. If you want support on your current system, keep current on your payments. This shift to annualized revenue, in my mind, is very healthy. It shifts the incentives to making sure the product is stable and dependable. It rewards incremental improvements, over splashy remakes. It keeps the company in regular contact with its client base.

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HotDocs Tip – Parse City, State, Zip from Address

HotDocsTip_ConvertCSZ_SnipIn our work in HotDocs, we often need to bring in defective and malformed data from databases.  Often the data source contains an address field or fields.  Ideally, it will be formatted with Street, City, State and Zip as separate fields.  However, more often, the data is not properly structured for analysis and usage.  We may get address line 1 and address line 2 or even address line 3.  To put this data into a usable format requires an understanding of text parsing.

With the use of the Custom Functions properties of HotDocs Computations, we have defined a way to parse the Address Line text which is in the [CityName], [StateAbbrev] [ZipCode] format in a line into the 3 separate constituent fields, respectively tmpCity, tmpState, and tmpZip.  We pass a parameter, prmCSZ which contains the address string.  The output sets the tmp fields which can then be used in a dialog script or other computation to set the actual fields you wish to use.

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Spring in the Air

SpringCleaningThe thermostat in our little river hamlet of Cortlandt Manor has hit 75 degrees.  While spring has not yet officially begun, it is just around the corner.  Along with spring come new resolutions.  The first and foremost is to remove the clutter that accumulates of the cold dark winter.   For me, that means several things.

NOTE:  With this post, Seth Rowland returns to the web with an active blog.  I realize the hiatus has been over a year and a half.  I have been very busy, but have neglected the prime imperative of sharing and educating that has been key to the success of my own business venture.  And so, come back, subscribe, even feel free to comment.  I hope to make it worth your while.

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A Solution in Search of a Problem – Paper Software

Paper Software (for the Mac) from Turner (Contracts Made Easy) (www.paper-software.com) is a solution in search of a problem.  On encountering the product at LegalTech New York 2014, I asked myself how this tool would improve either legal document drafting or document analysis.  I was told there was a new “document assembly” tool that work on a Mac.  What I found was fascinating, but really a niche product.

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Surviving the Cold Snap

There are times when it gets REALLY  cold.  Today was one such day.  It seems as if my office overlooking a frozen lake was like the place on left.  The funny thing is that while humans don’t like the cold, computers do, so long as  they are not in a moist environment.  The “cool air” is far preferable to the amount of heat generated by CPU processors, graphic processors, and memory cards.

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Power of HotDocs – Creating a Loan Amortization Table

Yesterday, I took on a  new “challenge” in one of the many commercial lending systems we have been building.  Typically, we attach a Loan Amortization Table supplied by the “bank client” to the loan documentation.

These tables project payments of principal and interest during the term of the loan.  After some research on formulas, review of VBA model code and Excel spreadsheets, I took the challenge. That featured image up top is the result.

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Some CHEAP Gift Ideas

For the past six months, I have been making extensive use of my JAMBOX.  This little “electronic box” connects via Bluetooth to my iPad, iPhone or Android, and even my laptop, and gives room-filling, high fidelity sound.  It does require periodic recharging. And setting it up for Bluetooth connection can be shaky after six months of use.

Further, at over $150 price tag on Amazon for the small version, and $250 for the larger version, it can be a large ticket item.

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