One of the features of Word 2007 I think all firms should look at is the Document Inspector feature. Basically , the Document Inspector is a metadata removal tool. Some might find this a bit of an oxymoron as Word itself is the one that creates the metadata, but metadata really is helpful in many ways. It’s what makes features like track changes, the undo and redo functions and others possible. So metadata is a useful tool, you just don’t want your documents chocked full of it when they leave your office. And that’s where the Document Inspector feature comes in.
The feature itself seems pretty well designed and allows you to remove metadata from different “areas” of your document according to your selections. Specifically, it allows you to find and remove metadata information about your document revisions, tracked changes, document properties, author information, and more. Actually, I found a ton of information about it here. Check it out.
Time Matters has posted Service Releases for versions 7 and 8 to deal with the looming Daylight Savings Time nightmare. Users of Time Matters 8 can download and install SR1B by selecting Program Updates – Check for Updates from the Help Menu. Time Matters 7 users must visit the Time Matters Service Center and download SR2C.
Time Matters says that the risk to their program is small for most users and that customers who apply Microsoft’s DST patches will have little to worry about. Time Matters users who sync to Windows CE devices must apply the Service Releases to avoid issues but I suggest that everyone do so, as these patches usually include minor performance enhancements. The exception to this is users of World Server 6 and earlier. These users are much more likely to experience issues. If you fall into this category, you should consider upgrading to avoid issues. Remember, these DST issues will return twice a year for the foreseeable future.
For those of you who need a refresher on installing a Time Matters Service Release, the easiest way is to run in on one station and select Install Network Autoupdate when prompted. Remember to close all programs including Time Matters first. Once the network autoupdate is installed, simply go to each workstation and close all programs. Open Time Matters and the update will install.
Of course, you can feel free to call ITP any time you need Time Matters assistance.
After a four day surge in comment spam, I decided to give Akismet a try. Akismet is a free comment spam blocker that is installed as a plugin to a Wordpress blog. As soon as I installed it, Akismet showed me a list of the 211 pieces of comment spam that I have sifted through during the last 15 days.
Akismet automatically holds checks comments, trackbacks and pingbacks to the blog, places spam in the moderation queue and deletes it after 15 days. If it works half as well as the site suggests, I might even have time to write a post now and then rather than read through comment spam.
Update (2/21/07): Thirty-seven pieces of comment spam killed in the 18 hours since I installed Akismet. Not a single piece made it through.
Update (05/05/07): The count in about two and a half months is 2,651 pieces of comment spam caught by Akismet. Perhaps 10 made it through to my email inbox asking me to moderate. On average that is about 1 per week that made it through of the 265 per week that are being submitted. Thank you Akismet!
Okay, now that I’ve had the opportunity to lay my little grubby paws on Word 2007 for a little while, I think there are some pretty cool features people should be aware of. There are also some questionable design decisions, but it’s Microsoft so there are bound to be some head scratchers. Nonetheless, if I were the almighty judge of all things Word, I would say Microsoft did a pretty damn good job this time around. And yes, there are a number of features law firms especially can benefit from. In short, here is the list I think law firms will like the most:
· The “Building Blocks” feature (significant extension to the old AutoText feature)
· Document Inspector (Metadata removal tool)
· Document compare (basically just upgraded from earlier versions)
· PDF Generation (very cool, but you need to download an add-in to use)
Oh sure, there are plenty of other new features and quite frankly, many of the other features are more fun, but they really aren’t directly relevant to law firms. As far as bad design decisions go everyone will have their own opinion on the new interface so I’m not lumping that into the “bad” category (I happen to like it myself), but there is one design decision that has to be the worst I’ve seen in a while…
You can’t easily customize the buttons on the ribbons (ribbons have basically replaced menu lists in 2007). And seeing as though almost all features are now accessed on one ribbon or another, this is a patently bad design decision. Anyhow, I’ve digressed a bit. What I really wanted to get at was the fact that I’ll be blogging my tail off about Word 2007 and all the new features therein in the coming weeks. So if you’re interested, stay tuned. Or call me directly. The geek in me would be happy to talk Word with you (that’s kind of sad, I know).
After you download SR1A for Time Matters, don’t forget to download the supplemental documention and help files. These can be found on the Time Matters website in the Service Center. Login to the Service Center and select Service Release Downloads then the link for Service Release 1A.
On the right side of the window are links to several useful files. The first, SUPDOCS8SR1A.pdf, is supplemental documentation related to Service Release 1A including information on Acrobat 8 integration and the Time Matters Timesheet. The second set of links is unique to the different versions of Time Matters (i.e. Business, Legal, Accounting, etc.) and is named TM8BM8SR1ADOCL.EXE with the “L” indicating legal. Download the one appropriate to your firm and save it to your desktop. Once downloaded, run this file to update the Time Matters help files on your workstations.
So you’re thinking of upgrading to Vista? Well, from a visual aspect, no one could blame you. The new interface – Windows Aero they’re calling it – looks gorgeous. But, as everyone knows, upgrading a desktop system can be dangerous stuff. For those of us that have experienced desktop upgrades from one Microsoft system to another know that this doesn’t always go as planned. The best way to “upgrade” from one operating system to another has always been to do a new install. Even Microsoft says so. But this pretty much negates the idea of an upgrade, doesn’t it? Anyhow, this time around Microsoft did things a bit different. No, there are still no guarantees that upgrading to Vista will be easier than before, but now you can tell if your system will upgrade properly or not by using Microsoft’s Upgrade Advisor tool. Although I haven’t upgraded my system yet, I did run the advisor. The information it gave me about my system was detailed even to the point of providing links to new drivers Vista would need to run properly. Pretty cool. So if you’re thinking of upgrading to Vista I would strongly recommend you run Upgrade Advisor first. I think the jury is still out on how effective the tool is, but once I upgrade I’ll let you know how well it worked – first hand.
Isn’t it bad enough that spammers feel the need to overwhelm our email inbox with offer after offer for everything from financial services to other “services.” Now they have decided to target blogs as well. I am probably pretty fortunate that I only have to clear out a half dozen comment spam items each day. Comment spam is where spammers automatically post a comment that is nothing but a series of links to their sites. Argh! Give me a break. Luckily, the WordPress blogging tool is pretty good at weeding them out. I simply have to delete them – but what a hassle.
Scammers are even worse. Several times during the last year, my office has received a solicitation in the mail from someplace called Listingcorp.com. Listingcorp purports to be a service that enhances your search engine ranking – something I have long considered a scam, as true search engine optimization comes from good website coding not some magical listing service. The scammers at Listingcorp put them all to shame. Not only is their line of business a scam – their “solicitation” looks a lot like a bill for $65.00. So much so that it was passed on to my bookkeeper who entered it as a bill to be paid. Others have reported the same thing and many have paid the fake bill. Fortunately, I discovered it before it was paid.
For those of you who did not know, Time Matters 8 allows you to check for available updates by selecting Program Updates – Check for Updates from the Help Menu. If you check today, you will discover that Service Release 1A for version 8 is available for download and install.
SR1A provides four key enhancements:
- Adobe 8 Integration
- Microsoft Office 2007 Integration
- Windows Vista support
- TimeSheet support added for TM Only users
Remember to close all other applications before you install any Time Matters Service Release. Also, if you choose to utilize the network autoupdate feature, advise your users to exit all applications and reopen Time Matters first.
Better yet, if you have any questions about installing a Service Release, call ITP. We are here to help and will make the process is quick and painless.
Well, here it is – Word 2007. The question is…is that a good or a bad thing for legal professionals? If you’re using Word Perfect you’ve got no worries, but most law firms and legal professionals today are using Word in some way. Whether for specific situations or as the primary word processing tool, many (if not most) firms have some degree of dependency on the program. Early analysis of Word 2007 says that the jury is still out. From what I can tell so far, Microsoft’s newest iteration of the long used program is apparently quite a bit different than its predecessors. Whether that is good or bad probably depends on your viewpoint. My guess is that it will be good over the long run, but pretty painful in the short run. CNN Money actually ran an interesting article on Microsoft’s newest version of Word. Click here to check it out.
Notwithstanding the changes to the program itself, the larger issue may actually be Word 2007’s integration with document management, document assembly, case management and other programs law firms commonly use. With such a large change in the design of the program one can only assume there will be compatibility issues. My advice? Stay clear of Word 2007 until you are certain your other applications are compatible. And as far as functionality, design, and usability are concerned, stay tuned. I’ll be posting regularly as I get a chance to lay my hands on the program in the coming weeks.
Daylight Saving Time will occur on different dates starting in 2007. This may not seem like a big deal but it will affect alot of electronic devices that keep time. If you just look around your house most electronics have a clock and alot of them adjust the time automatically for daylight saving. Furthermore and more to the point of this article are the effects this will have on computer systems. The most concerning issue for most people will be the impact on their electronic calendars. A typical business solution is to have an Exchange server with clients connecting with Outlook and some users syncing to pdas. In order to prepare for this change all of these systems need to be updated or everything during the shifted time change dates will be off by one hour. Microsoft has prepared for this and is working on updates to resolve the issue. However you do need to actually apply the updates to avoid any problems. See link below for a complete description from Microsoft.
In August of 2005 the United States Congress passed the Energy Policy Act, which changes the dates of both the start and end of daylight saving time (DST). When this law goes into effect in 2007, DST will start three weeks earlier (2:00 A.M. on the second Sunday in March) and will end one week later (2:00 A.M. on the first Sunday in November) than what had traditionally occurred.
The change in DST will have an affect on many automated and technology reliant products. Individual consumers, small to medium size businesses, and large enterprises may be affected by the new change in time. Computer-system related issues include, for example:
||Calendar / scheduling applications
||Date / time calculations (current and historical)
||Transaction logging (UTC vs. Local Time)
||Tariff billing applications
In many cases, making the necessary changes to accommodate the new DST legislation will be a relatively minor task. Users may need to manually adjust the time on their devices when the change occurs.
In other cases, more substantial efforts may be required. In some cases, systems and applications may need to be updated directly, while in others, the application may simply inherit or “read” the date and time information from the underlying system that it resides on so the changes need only be made to that underlying system. Given the broad range of technology in use today-and the integration of systems between customers, vendors, and partners-business and IT managers should determine what actions should be taken to mitigate the affects of DST 2007 on their organizations.
Complete Article here