Sticky fingers

How can you prevent law office theft, fraud and embezzlement? One way is to be aware of the potential problem areas so that you can be alert and vigilant. Blogger Laura Calloway, the practice management advisor of the Alabama State Bar, has collected an excellent list of procedures you can put in place to prevent problems in your office. Example: Always reconcile bank statements within two days of their arrival in the office. To see the whole list, go to the September 16 post on The Last Word.

Travel diversions

Is there a better way to spend time on a cloudy Friday than checking out some fun and fascinating websites? (OK, probably there is, but humor me.) My new Sites for Sore Eyes column (co-written with Jim Calloway) is in the latest edition of GPSolo Technology eReport.  The topic? Travel sites you may never have heard of.  Most are useful to one degree or another, and some are rather humorous. I don’t know why, but I find it amusing that there is a website devoted to finding clean public restrooms around the globe (The Bathroom Diaries).  This eReport contains an article on iPhone apps and one on SaaS (‘software as a service’ – everyone’s favorite new catchphrase). There’s also a review of the 2009 iteration of QuickBooks for the Mac. Be sure to check out eReport whenever it comes out – usually quarterly. It’s always free and online.

tech eReport

Digital Dictation

If your old Dictaphone has given up the ghost, take a look at Hardware for Digital Dictation and Speech Recognition by Britt L. Knuttgen.  Britt offers valuable advice on brands and models making it easier to decide what to purchase for either dictation or voice recognition software. If you don’t use dictation often, or don’t have an assistant to transcribe for you, what about using a virtual transcription service? SpeakWrite and QuikSek are two to explore.


Windows 7

The long awaited new Windows operating system, Windows 7, will be released to retail stores and PC makers October 22, 2009 – a mere six weeks from now. Many Vista users are eagerly anticipating what some have called “Vista Fixed.”

Many XP users (and there are a lot of us) have been waiting for anything but Vista to come along.  So, how will you know if you should make the move? I began by reading 10 things you should know about moving from Windows XP to Windows 7 on TechRepublic.  Among other important things, it spells out how XP users will have to do a clean install of Win7, or else install it in a separate partition on their harddrive.  A “clean” installation will replace your current operating system. The only thing left of XP will be in a folder that Microsoft creates called “Windows old.”  Your applications (your software programs) will not be viable! The good news is that Windows 7 reportedly is not a huge resource hog, so if your XP computer is three years old or less, it probably will be able to run Windows 7.

Vista users will fare better – they will be able to migrate from Vista to Win7 with settings and files intact. For either Vista users or XP users, I recommend reading Step-by-Step: Windows 7 Upgrade and Migration on Microsoft TechNet. Good luck!

Not a fad

Admit it: you’ve been holding out hope that Twitter, Facebook and all the other forms of social media networking are just a fad.  Even as you reluctantly signed up for LinkedIn, you didn’t feel like it was real. Maybe you were thinking that social networking has no place in the legal world. Well, today I found a blog that really made me think, “it’s not a fad. Lawyers will use Twitter and Facebook like we use the phone.”

The website was Social Media Law Student.  And on this blog was a post on How Law Schools are Using Twitter.  Seeing the long list of law schools that have accepted Twitter as a legitimate form of communication with law students — that’s when it really sank in: All these law students are going to be lawyers. There’s no way they are giving up Twitter or Facebook, or any of it.

It is not a fad.

Pet Rock