A1-Law / WCFMS Newsletter 12/2000
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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
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
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
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:
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