Jack Newton on Great Customer Service

Filed under: Marketing | Tags: , , |

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More from MILOfest: Jack Newton of Clio is presenting “Behind the Genius Bar” on how to provide great customer service. 

I love the above image from his presentation. Love it.


Go Brainless With Markdown!

Filed under: Blogging | Tags: , , |

Doug Rice is presenting about Markdown at Milofest. One of the great tips was using the Copy as Markdown extension in Google Chrome.

Screen Shot 2012 11 09 at 9 15 29 AM

Copy as Markdown not only lets you copy a link and page title as Markdown, but also lets you copy ALL OPEN TABS as Markdown. Ever wanted to publish a list of sites? For example when you are out of ideas for what to blog about. So you decide to do a “rundown” of other people’s articles and blog posts, just open up the sites. Click the plug in and you have just copied all urls and titles in markdown format. Then click paste in your editor….

… and BAM, you got a blog post!


Brett Burney on Keynote Tips

Filed under: Law Offices | Tags: , , |

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I’ve made my annual pilgrimage to Orlando Florida for the Macs in Law Offices conference (MILOfest for short).

Brett Burney, technology consultant extraordinare, has some great Keynote tips that even old hands might not know about:

  • You can apply a theme just to one slide (not just to the entire deck).
  • Tear off inspector windows with ALT + click.
  • “Cmd +” and “cmd -” increases and decreases text size. Great when experiment with the text size.
  • You are not limited to “text” bullets. Go to inspector, text, bullets, and select “image bullets” from the pull down menu.
  • “Cmd P” plays from the start of the presentation. BUT more importantly, “alt cmd P” plays from the selected slide! This is great when you are testing you build in and outs in your keynote presentation.
  • Did you know you that you do not have to use a square or rectangle when masking an image?In “Format – Mask with Image” lets you select different shapes. Here is a call out –>Screen Shot 2012 11 09 at 8 01 26 AM

OSX User Interface – Kickin it Like Harry Potter!

Filed under: Editorials | Tags: |

If your desktop is like mine, you have windows on top of windows. So you do your best to have windows sticking out, just a bit so you can click on the window you want.

SS1

However, you don’t want to click the “close” button! Think about it: how many times have you clicked on a background window to switch to it and accidentally closed it, or launched a new email, or switched the view in that window — when all you wanted to do was to get to that app?

Apple, I know you have ways to get to the program…. but they suck:

  • Alt-tab is too slow unless the app is the next app in the list. And if I pass the icon, I either have to go all the way around or play finger twister with shift-alt-tab!
  • Mission Control is fine, but invoking it on a mouse is doesn’t feel right: the mouse jitters, trying to two finger tap twice, but not click is like a little game of DDR for your right hand. The three finger swipe works well, but it means moving the hands off the keyboard mouse combo.
  • Dock? Come on! I don’t want to have to try to find the icon. I just want to get to the program that’s right there (without closing it)!

And sometimes, you aren’t sure which app is sticking out beneath your active app: is that bar for Mail or Finder?

So, how about this Apple: you already allow scrolling in apps that don’t have focus, how about when the mouse is over a background window, you have that window slide out a bit, or have a little tab appear (that doesn’t close, or do anything in that app) to let you select that app? Or both:

SS3

It would be a bit like the group photos in Harry Potter where people rearrange themselves so you can see who is in the back row. If I move over the cursor over an bottom app, it moves out from under the top app to provide a better view. If I want the app, I click the tab (or some other “white space”), that doesn’t close the app, or launch an email, or anything else, other than letting me select the app. How about it?


Social Security Application book drafted

Filed under: Editorials | Tags: |

I’ve been working on a “how-to” book providing a walk-through of the Social Security online disability application. This was meant to be a “brief interlude” between working on the BIG Social Security Disability book which I’ve started several times, but was always a bigger project than I could satisfactorily complete. The Application book was meant to be a smaller project and chance to learn iBooks Author app.

It is now about a year later and I am finally done with the writing. The book is not done by any means. However, it is now goes on to technical editing and proof reading. Which means it is largely in other people’s’ hands for a while. This also puts me in the position of having to figure out publishing, finalizing a title, and hiring someone to design a book cover.

I am trying to break this down into segments.

  • Technical edit and cover design.
  • Final art.
  • Proofing and final edits.
  • And finally publication.

I have no idea if this is a good plan or not, since I have never done this before. However, it keeps me from being overwhelmed.

After this is done will come the conversion of the manuscript into something that will work on the much more widely used Kindle format. At present the book is heavy on screenshots. Considering Amazon’s $0.15 per megabyte “delivery charges,” under the 70% payment option, and I could easily image myself out making any money at all from this project. I could take the 35% payment with no delivery costs, but it sticks in my craw. Still, I may need to be bite the bullet and take the lower percentage to avoid the delivery fee.

Another thing that stops me in my tracks is the fear that no one may be interested in putting down cold hard cash for the book. So, I am trying to stay busy and have started a second book, which is a return to the Social Security hearing tips idea. Over the last few days, I have been working through an outline of the book. Having a skeleton in place makes me feel much more confident that I will be able to get a second book written. And, since it will not require screenshots, it will be a lot easier to distribute through a variety of channels.

photo by: holgabot*

Disaster planning backup strategies

Filed under: Paperless, Practice Tips | Tags: , , , , , , , |

My law office is located in Colorado Springs Colorado – the location of the 2012 Waldo Canyon fire. On June 26, 2012, the fire broke over the ridge and started to come down the mountain quickly rushing into Colorado Springs. Foothill neighborhoods burst into flames. And no one knew how far the fire would go. Would the fire rush through all of Colorado Springs?

We quickly packed “go bags” with three days of clothes along with water, food and supplies, in case we had to evacuate.

But what about the office? We are paperless, so everything is digital. A couple of hard drives and we have everything. Smart, right? Well, there’s nothing like a disaster to put your finest plans to the test. The local backups are all on the full-size hard drives. They require their own power supply. This means a separate cable, power-brick, and of course, power. Three full-size drives and cables (one for the server, one for the laptops, and one for the Time Machine). Once you add in padding, you are looking at a carry-on sized bag. You think you have room for everything, until you actually start loading the car. You quickly find yourself running out of space. The trunk sags, and you need to make some hard choices about what you’re going to bring and what you will leave behind. Survival gear takes the priority: food, clothes, water, sleeping bags, medicine. However, with your “digital” office, you still have your laptops, and backups requiring the same space as a gym bag. It’s not big, but what do you leave behind so you can bring this?

In case you are wondering, I do use cloud backups. However, in a disaster, I am not counting on good conductivity. If I have to leave, I have no idea when I will be coming back, or even if I will be back. I need to be able to keep the office running and plan for contingencies, in case something happens during the evacuation. I need my first data location (on the laptop), and a backup.

Fortunately, we did not have to evacuate that night and I won an extra day. The next morning, I went out and bought two 1 terabyte bus powered hard drives, wiped them, reformatted for the Mac, and did a full image.

Two drives. Now I’m down to backing up the office onto something smaller than two paperback books. No long cables. No separate power supplies. Just a short USB cable. I slipped them into the pockets of my go bag.

Now, it is Friday, June 29, 2012. Three days since the fire came down the mountain. The weather has been favorable. The winds are blowing fire back into hills. There has been no growth in the fire and the firefighters are starting to gain containment. However, the fire still isn’t out. So, we stay ready. The car remains packed. I keep backing up: local, off-site, in the cloud, and onto the USB bus drives that come with me.

Remember, good backup strategy is about layers. You may have things backed up. However, if you have to leave in a hurry, give some consideration to how much space and weight those backups take compared to everything else you will need to take for yourself and your family. Add some bus powered drives – your business may depend on it someday.

photo by: FtCarsonPAO

Remembering what’s important

Filed under: Videos | Tags: , , , |

Here are some of my favorite presentation and commencement addresses. I watch them about once a year to help me remember doing good art, having fun trying new thing, and doing something new is important (even if you cannot connect how it will translate to paying the mortgage). Read the rest of this entry »

photo by: Tomasz Stasiuk

Happiness has nothing to do with logic

Filed under: Videos | |

Here’s an amazing presentation from Rory Sutherland at TEDxAthens on perspective being the key to happiness.

This is not only about personal happiness, but also about the totally unexpected and cheap (even free!) methods of keeping clients and customers happy.

photo by: Tomasz Stasiuk

Zoe Keating – Radical Cello

Filed under: Music | Tags: |

One of my favorite artists is Zoe Keating, a very modern cellist who uses a Mac (see the tech angle) to loop music live on stage. The results are fascinating, haunting and often highly emotional pieces.

It takes a bit to get going. If you are the impatient sort, skip to around the three minute mark.

photo by: poptech

Money can buy happiness!

Filed under: Videos | Tags: , |

I really enjoyed watching Michael Norton’s TED prevention on How to Buy Happiness (aka if money can’t buy happiness, you’re spending it wrong). It’s a light hearted and fun, yet empirical, talk on how spending your money in different ways can greatly improve your sex life (or at least your overall happiness). Give it a watch: