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Newsletter Archive

A1-Law / WCFMS Newsletter 12/2000

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Introduction

Welcome to the first issue of my newsletter. Well, here we are; I have now formally released A1-Law case management for Windows users. A1-Law, although clearly more powerful than WCFMS for both workers’ compensation and all other types of law, is newer and does require faster computers along with users who have a good understanding of the window’s paradigm. DOS support will continue as it has, only now it’s even better since I will offer additional support through this newsletter along with my website which is pending.

A1-Law Windows vs. WCFMS DOS
Many users definitely want windows and want to switch. Others are happy with what they have and may switch and still others definitely will not switch no matter what – WCFMS is their haven. Great, because I plan to continue (even better) support now for both programs through this newsletter and the website which is coming soon.

Notes: WCFMS refers to my DOS case management system (Workers’ Compensation File Management System, A1-Law refers to my new case management system for windows 95, 98, NT, ME, 2000). A1-Law will not work with Windows 3.1.

Tip of the Month

1. A1-Law / WCFMS
Some tips apply to both case managers as this one does. It’s called BACKUP. There are 3 ways to do a backup and only one way is the right way.

The first way is not enough or not at all.

The second (which is probably the most common) is not getting a good backup. The problem here is that relational database management systems have shared files that may be open all the time on the network (even when users log off). Therefore, it’s very important to check the "error log" from you tape backup utility to make sure you have a good backup.

The third way of course is performing good backups. This means checking the error log. Once you know you have a good backup, you need to "rotate" the backups. That means using more than one tape or backup media. Be sure you have at least one backup out of the office each month. Computers have gotten stolen (along with the backups) right out of office buildings. Many other factors can cause you to lose your backups (fire, theft, earthquakes, etc).
Please check with your network consultant and make sure you have a good backup. It’s too costly to replace data without a backup. Think of it as "cheap insurance."

2. A1-Law – Make Your Transition as Smooth as Possible
It seems like the offices who do best switching to A1-Law are the ones who have never used the DOS program at all or the ones who dump WCFMS. The offices who use "both" appear to be having the toughest time adapting. It reminds me of when I first announced WCFMS in 1986 and the idea of using it without the physical file was too difficult because the computer could not be trusted. What wound up happening to those offices was half the information was in the file and the other half was in the computer. If you have switched to A1-Law it will take some "getting used to" and there may very well be a "slow down" period at first. But, what could be a better time to convert than right now as the holiday season nears?

Start using the task manager and see the first task question of the month about dates below. To learn more about tasks or any other feature in A1-Law, just press the F1 key for context sensitive help.

3. WCFMS: When the DOS case manager is loaded and I try and load any windows program, it takes forever to load and is extremely slow. What’s wrong and how can I fix this?

Answer: This problem seems to appear in Windows 95 and up (not in 3.1). The problem is more a windows’ problem than a problem with the case management system. So, the fix is going to be done through windows. Right click on the WCFMS icon on the windows desktop. Then, click properties. Next, click the Misc tab. You will then see a checkbox Always Suspend. Be sure this is checked. This may drastically speed up the load and execution times of other programs while WCFMS is loaded. However, if you are running a report, it will be "paused" while you are in another window and will not run "in the background." But, the trade off is probably worth it.

4. A1-Law / WCFMS
Many users are not aware of quick ways to access and/or switch from one case activity to another. First, we should point out that you can have more than one case activity. In other words, you can have case activity for telephone calls, settlement, general, medicals, etc. You can have up to 26 case activity sections in WCFMS and 999 in A1-Law.

WCFMS – Did you know that you do not have to type C and press Enter and then N for new to switch case activities. You can type C2, C3, C4, etc. right from the client card.A1-Law – You can press Alt-1 from the client card and then Alt-1, Alt2, Alt3, etc. to quickly switch from one case activity to another. You can also type Alt-0 to open the categories (like N for new in WCFMS DOS) and then select a category.

Questions of the Month

All Questions Are Real Situations From Law Offices

1. A1-Law: I’m trying to run the conversion program to convert all of my WCFMS DOS information to A1-Law but I keep getting an error that says Access Denied. What’s going on?

Answer: You have encountered a windows network error where you don’t have access rights to that folder. A1-Law creates new folders while it runs the conversion program. You may have rights to create the folder but then no rights to write files in it. Talk to your network administrator and make sure everyone has full rights to the A1-Law folder and any folders that are created from within that folder (we encountered this error on NT workstations and an NT server).

2. A1-Law: My Task list is not in date order. I have tasks for November, then October and then November again. The dates are listed below, what’s wrong:
11/29/0200
10/02/2000
11/02/2000

Answer: A1-Law lists the tasks chronologically by date from the oldest task to the most recent. The idea being that all the task dates should be today or in the future or the tasks are overdue. However, if you look at the dates carefully, you will notice that they are listed in that order from the oldest to newest.. The first task in the list was probably not correctly entered since it’s 1800 years overdue (the year 0200 should have been entered as 2000).

3. WCFMS: Every other day I have to reindex



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