Converting to Macs

ImacI put Verdical on my main desktop and it could run, but it was sluggish to the point of being non-useable. It was very, very sluggish in loading and trying information on the computer. It was not an acceptable speed for using at trial.

I wasn't certain how that could happen, because I like to buy good hardware and thought I had a 'go-fast' box. It turns out that I did have a go-fast box, but one that was about 5 years old. We had skipped Windows Vista by staying in Windows XP and decided it was time to upgrade.

The first upgrade was the server. It was still runing on MicroSoft Small Business Server 2000. We're currently in 2010. Our server was about 7 years old and running 10 year old software. So we put in a new Mac Pro with lots of memory running MicroSoft's Small Business Server 2008.

In addition to the Mac Pro, I'm in the process of putting 27” iMac's with Core i7 processors with 8 gigs of RAM on everyone's desk. We're running Parallels and Windows 7 on the iMacs and I updated to the 15” MacBook Pro with Core i7 processor and 8 gigs of RAM for a laptop. It is running Parallels and Windows 7 as well.

We are still mainly a Windows office, but when I finish putting an iMac on everyone's desk we will have the ability to work in both worlds.

 

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Moving to a MacBook Pro from a Toshiba Ultra-Light

Toshiba-portege-r500-12q

I've always been a big fan of ultra-light laptops. My last laptop was a Toshiba Portege R600. At the time I bought the computer, it was fast and only weighed 1.6 pounds. That's about half the weight of a MacBook Air and almost exactly the same weight as an iPad.

Unfortunately, I upgraded from Sanction to Verdical to get the deposition summary software and the Toshiba couldn't handle it. Verdical uses a public version of MicroSoft SQL server that just made the laptop choke. I looked into putting more memory into it, but it was maxer out at 2 gigs of RAM. Oh no. It was a full fledged laptop, not a net top, but the inability to put memory into the laptop was a problem.


Apple MacBook Pro

So I've upgraded to the new MacBook Pro's. My preference was to get the 13”, but I wanted the fastest processor and the most RAM on the market, so I had to go with the 15” laptop.

It has a Core i7 processor, 8 gigs of RAM, hi-resolution and anti-glare screen.

A new laptop doesn't sound that dramatic. But when you go from a laptop that's 1.6 pounds and slips into a leather portfolio, to a 5.6 pound laptop and most of the bags are between 2 –  4.5 pounds, it's the difference between taking a notepad and taking a bowling ball with you wherever you go.

I'm enjoying the new MacBook Pro, it's speed, the OS X, the new Windows 7 and all the things it can do, but it will take me awhile to get used to the larger form factor. It's been more than 5 years since I've had a laptop that weighed more than 3 pounds.

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Moving to a MacBook Pro from a Toshiba Ultra-Light

Toshiba-portege-r500-12q

I've always been a big fan of ultra-light laptops. My last laptop was a Toshiba Portege R600. At the time I bought the computer, it was fast and only weighed 1.6 pounds. That's about half the weight of a MacBook Air and almost exactly the same weight as an iPad.

Unfortunately, I upgraded from Sanction to Verdical to get the deposition summary software and the Toshiba couldn't handle it. Verdical uses a public version of MicroSoft SQL server that just made the laptop choke. I looked into putting more memory into it, but it was maxed out at 2 gigs of RAM. Oh no. It was a full fledged laptop, not a net top, but the inability to put memory into the laptop was a problem.


Apple MacBook Pro

So I've upgraded to the new MacBook Pro's. My preference was to get the 13”, but I wanted the fastest processor and the most RAM on the market, so I had to go with the 15” laptop.

It has a Core i7 processor, 8 gigs of RAM, hi-resolution and anti-glare screen.

A new laptop doesn't sound that dramatic. But when you go from a laptop that's 1.6 pounds and slips into a leather portfolio, to a 5.6 pound laptop and most of the bags are between 2 –  4.5 pounds, it's the difference between taking a notepad and taking a bowling ball with you wherever you go.

I'm enjoying the new MacBook Pro, it's speed, the OS X, the new Windows 7 and all the things it can do, but it will take me awhile to get used to the larger form factor. It's been more than 5 years since I've had a laptop that weighed more than 3 pounds.

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Odd Marketing Call

I received a call from an advertising company. Normally, these are a rip-off. Even if you are a fan of advertising, for the same price that they charge, you can do two to three times more advertising on your own, than you can with these firms assistance.

The company was doing a national advertising buy and then parcelling out the pieces and parts to various markets. I do know that national advertising is much cheaper than buying local advertising, so I was willing to at least listen to the pitch, but with a hefty dose of skepticism.

First thing I want to know about any of these advertising / marketing schemes is what is their minimum contract length. If they want to lock you into a year of expensive advertising, but are not going to give any guarantees, or let you out of the contract if you’re not getting results, it means to me that they don’t really believe in their contract.

I met a vendor at the Southern Trial Lawyer’s Convention, who was doing internet based advertising (more on that later), but he said he was more than willing to do a 3 month sign up and a month to month contract. That’s someone that’s confident in their product.

The approximate price for the advertising on the call was $2,500 a month, which is about $30,000 a year. The first thing they wanted to do was set up an appointment for a 45 minute sales pitch. Wow. I can’t think of nearly anything that I would want to listen to for 45 minutes and an advertising sales pitch certainly wouldn’t be near the top of the list. Just show me the numbers and I can make a decision in less than two minutes.

The next thing is that I wanted to know was how much they stood by their product (which was not very much). Guaranteed year contract for $30,000. According to them, they had ‘guarantee’ that you would get double your money out of their advertising. I asked them ‘Okay. So what happens if after three months, I don’t get much of a response, can I cancel?’ No. ‘So how would I get double my money back, if I’m not getting much of a response?’  Well….we would just keep advertising longer until you got ‘your money’s worth’ out of it.

Then the guy on the phone took me to task for having a negative attitude and that this was never going to work, if I started off with a negative attitude and that I needed to be more positive about it. It was quite a lecture.

Let me get this straight. They want me to pay them $30,000 a year and I’m not even allowed to ask questions about their program? I’m not supposed to ask questions about what happens for the $30,000 that they want me to spend? That’s when the conversation ended rather abruptly.

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A Way to Deal with Non-Surgical Cases

If you have a permanent soft tissue case that does not lead to a surgical solution, that means there is no cure for your client.

He has a lifelong problem that can’t be fixed. At least with a surgery, it can be fixed. With the non-surgical, there is no fix.

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Know When to Buy Your Mac, iPod or iPhone

Looking for when to buy a new Mac laptop, iPod or iPhone? Mac Buyer's Guide has information on Apple products on when they were last updated, the average life cycle, when the prodcut is expected to be renewed and also a collection of news / rumors about the new products. All on one page. A one stop shopping guide. I’m buying new iMacs now, but holding off on getting a new laptop.

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Insured Medical Bills vs. Uninsured Medical Bills

A quick comment about rates insurance companies pay and how much uninsured people pay. I recently helped a friend out with a few doctor’s bills. I don’t do this for a living, but did it to help a friend. The bulk of it was two Emergency Room visits about two months apart. She had insurance on the second visit, but was uninsured for the first visit.

Insured ER VIsit

She had charges of $2,617. Insurance paid $370 and there was a contractual adjustment of $2,047.00. That left her a balance of $200 to pay.

 

UNInsured ER VIsit

She had charges of $4,719.76. The hospital agreed to reduce it to $3,020.65.

Of course, if she got the same deal that the insurance company got and paid both her portion and the insurance portion, it would come out to owing the hospital only $1,027.96 .

We were able to work a significant reduction for her. But it’s crazy that this goes on.

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Adjuster Law: But Your Guy Didn't Die

I have a case that came in not too long ago. Single car wreck. 11:30 p.m., the car’s right tire goes off the edge of the road and the driver over corrects, swerving back and forth trying to get control of the car. The car eventually hits a concrete culvert and flips 3–4 times, finally coming to a rest upside down in a cornfield.

My client is the passenger. He was buckled in and looking for the driver. He came to and was able to drag himself out of the car. Frantically looking for the driver, he finally found him 30–40 feet away from the car in a twisted mass. Dead.

The driver was a friend of his. Someone quite a bit younger, that he had been living with for three months, working with and mentoring in his trade. Dead.

My guy had the initial ER bills, four weeks off work and minimal follow up to that point, because he couldn’t afford the doctor’s bills. I called the insurance company. They had the state minimum policy limits of $25,000 with an additional $25,000 for UIM.

I figured that this was more than enough to get to the $50,000 and called them to check on their feelings. “Oh no…..that’s not nearly enough.” Not enough to get to the $50,000? “No……Not enough to get to the $25,000.”

But this is a very serious fatality case. It was his roommate, friend and co-worker. “Your guy didn’t die. We consider this a soft tissue case and nothing more”.

Wow. It’s breathtaking.

The insurance company is of course Allstate.

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Minimum Limits for South Carolina

The minimum auto policy limits of $25,000 went into effect on January 1, 2007. But on existing policies, the new limits take effect on their renewal date, which is every six months from the date of the original policy.

That means that depending on the renewal date, you can’t be 100% of having $25,000 minimum limits until July 1, 2007. The statutes and cites are after the jump. Continue Reading Posted inQuestions SC Lawyers Want Answered, SC Specific |Comments (0) |Permalink

Getting a Quicker Response in Workers Comp Cases

I have been experiencing a distubring lack of response to my settlement demands in workers compensation cases. More often than not I believe it’s because the insurance company hasn’t given the attorney authority to settle the case and they are reluctant to call back with nothing. I’ve put together a standard form letter with suggested responses for the defense attorney and have received a positive response and more information about my cases. The form letter is below the fold. Continue Reading Posted inPractice Management |Comments (0) |Permalink