LegalTech.com -Practice Management Software

Practice Management

Case and Matter Practice Management Software

I am a firm believer that every lawyer and law department can benefit from a computer-based system for managing their practice. In fact, in the world of private law firms, not having a computerized management system puts a firm at greater risk of malpractice claims. Minnesota Lawyers Mutual Insurance Company has created its own software subsidiary - primarily to assist its insureds with the adoption of technology to improve their practices and reduce risk. There is no question that corporate legal departments can also benefit from this kind of technology.

First, some discussion of terminology. I prefer to talk about "practice management systems," rather than "case and/or matter management." In the old days, case and matter management programs managed information on your cases and matters. That was great. It beat doing it manually or trying to do it with systems that weren't designed with the needs of legal professionals in mind.

However, there's more to managing a corporate legal department than managing case and matter information. As far as I'm concerned, the ideal system should integrate all major aspects of your practice into one coherent system, even if parts of it come from different vendors, databases, etc. This is hardly an original idea, but it's not something that's necessarily easy to accomplish, especially for small legal departments with limited resources. The good news is that, as the options available from legal technology vendors mature, they are moving in this direction. See the Ultimate Practice Management Page for my thoughts on what the ideal system would do.

This area includes the following:

General Thoughts - Some thoughts on the current state of the available technology and what might be coming in the near future.

Overview of the Products - What vendors sell practice management systems designed with the needs of in-house departments in mind?

The Survey - What information is available about the various systems? What will they do for you, what will they cost?

The Real Story - Experiences - both good and bad - of those who have actually used the systems.

How to Choose - a practice management system and how to make it work for you.

Last Updated: 03/30/01

LegalTech.com - List of Practice Management Vendors

List of Practice Management Vendors

List of Practice and Matter Management Vendors for In-House Legal Departments

This is a list of products with links to the vendors' websites and additional information provided by the vendors. I have not included vendors that say their programs are only designed for law firms or for litigation practices. For more detailed information, go to The Survey or The Real Story.

Some of the products listed below are true "practice management" systems and others (some call themselves "matter management" systems) are more limited and what I would call information repositories rather than true practice management systems. As a general rule, the products focused more on the general legal market tend to be comprehensive, integrated practice management systems, and the corporate systems are more tailored to the limited matter management needs of corporate counsel, but tend not to be comprehensive practice management systems. An example of the difference is that a practice management system should integrate closely with Outlook or other commonly used email and calendar programs - or even replace them entirely. If the program is more of a matter information repository and doesn't have the capability to integrate with email, you'll still be using a separate email system. That can make a big difference in the ease of getting information into the systems.

Specialized Corporate Practice and Matter Management Systems:

Case & Point (www.caseandpoint.com)

CaseTrack (www.case-track.com) - more

Chief Legal Officer (www.corprasoft.com) - more

Corporate Legal Desktop (www.corprasoft.com) - more

CT TyMetrix - TyMetrix was purchased by CT Corporation, which also acquired TriPoint Systems. Covers matter management and e-billing. CT TyMetrix claims to have pricing models suitable for small companies as well as large. www.cttymetrix.com. 90+ clients. e-Counsel (www.bridge-way.com)

Global CMS (www.1stlegal.com)

MODULAW Corporate (www.inslawinc.com) - For in interesting tale of death and intrigue (I am not kidding), type "inslaw" into a search engine.

Law Manager (www.lawmanager.com) - Now owned by Elite

LawPack (CompInfo/Hummingbird) - Note: It appears that Hummingbird is no longer selling LawPack. Mitratech is offering a free upgrade to LawPack clients through April 15, 2002.

LawQuest (www.bridge-way.com)

LawTrac (www.lawtrac.com)

LegalEdge (www.legaledge.com)

Mitratech (www.mitratech.com)

Serengeti Tracker (www.serengetilaw.com) - Matter management and e-billing for both small and large departments. Serengeti Tracker is an ASP, meaning there is no software to install. Perhaps the leading in-house counsel matter management ASP.

And there are many more general practice management systems that claim they could be used by corporate departments. These might even be more suitable for some insurance companies with staff counsel. Systems include:

AbacusLaw (www.abacuslaw.com)

Advantage Computer Systems (www.advantagelaw.com)

Amicus Attorney (www.amicusattorney.com) - more

Case Master (www.stilegal.com)

CLS/Summit (www.clssummit.com) - more

LawBase (www.lawbase.com) - more

Legal Files (www.legalfiles.com)

Practice Manager (www.reallegal.com)

ProLaw (www.prolaw.com) - Now owned by Westlaw.

Time Matters (www.timematters.com) - more

Other interesting systems:

JurisDictionUSA.net - more

Vendors: I'm sure I'm missing some of you. Please sent me an email and I will make every effort to update this list. Please do not ask to be included if your system is intended for law firms or only for litigation management.

Last Updated: 12/13/05

Creating Charts in iWork 09 Numbers (MacMost Now 460)

Uploaded by on Oct 6, 2010

http://macmost.com/ Learn how to create simple charts from spreadsheet data in iWork 09 Numbers. You can create pie charts and line graphs and then customize how they look with inspectors and by just dragging elements. You can also put the charts on a separate page for printing.


Science & Technology

Numbers '09: Creating a chart from table data

Numbers '09: Creating a chart from table data

Numbers '09: Creating a chart from table data

  • Last Modified: August 04, 2009
  • Article: HT3711
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You can add a chart that shows all the data in a table or only data in selected cells of one or more tables. If you change the data in a chart’s related table cells, the chart is automatically updated.

When you add a chart, Numbers defines either the table rows or columns as the default data series. In most cases, if the table is square or if it’s wider than it is tall, the table rows become the default series, but you can easily switch the data series and sets after the chart is created, as well as add, remove, and edit the chart data at any time.

If a table contains header rows or cells, Numbers uses text in the first column or row as axis labels. Otherwise, placeholder text is used for labels, which you can later edit.

Products Affected

Numbers '09

Here are ways to add select data and create a chart:

  • To add a chart based on an entire table, select the table, click Charts in the toolbar, and choose a chart type from the pop-up menu. The values in the table are plotted in the chart. If the table is empty, the chart is blank until you add values to table cells.
  • To add a chart based on a range of adjacent table cells, click in a cell, and then click and drag to select other cells; you can also select the first cell in the range, and then hold down the Shift key while selecting the last cell, to select the entire range. Then click Charts in the toolbar, and choose a chart type.
  • To add a chart based on nonadjacent cells, hold down the Command key as you select cells from a table. Then click Charts in the toolbar, and choose a chart type.
  • To add a chart based on data in more than one table, first select a single table or contiguous range of cells and create a chart. Then click Charts in the toolbar, and choose a chart type. Select the chart and hold down the Command key while clicking or dragging cells in another table to add their data to the chart.
  • To add a placeholder chart to which you intend to add your data at another time, make sure nothing is selected, click Charts in the toolbar, and choose a chart type. A chart and a new table are created with placeholder data.
  • To draw a chart, first select the table cells you want the chart to reference, and then hold down the Option key as you click Charts in the toolbar. Choose a chart type. When the pointer changes into a crosshair, drag the crosshair across the canvas to create a chart that's the size you want. To constrain the chart's proportions, hold down the Shift key as you drag.


Things You Must Know to When Connecting a USB Hard Drive to AirPort Extreme

Things You Must Know to When Connecting a USB Hard Drive to AirPort Extreme

Things You Must Know to When Connecting a USB Hard Drive to AirPort Extreme

Alan Zisman - 2009.06.29 - Tip Jar

Follow Alan Zisman on Twitter.


Share on Twitter Short link: http://bit.ly/3s4BSB

Apple's Time Capsule, building the equivalents of an AirPort Extreme router and either a 500 GB or 1 TB hard drive into a single unit, is a space-saving and easy-to-use way for users to combine a wireless base station and storage accessible over a home or small business network - and even across the Internet.

However, many users already have either a wireless base station (also referred to as a wireless router) or an external hard drive - or both. And Time Capsule is a relatively expensive way to add storage, even when added to the price of Apple's high-end AirPort Extreme.

Apple's US online store lists the AirPort Extreme base station (with no built-in storage) for $179. A Time Capsule with a 500 GB drive boosts the price to $299; the 1 TB model jumps to $499.

I have an AirPort Extreme; until recently, I'd been connecting a generic 500 GB external USB drive to my iMac and using it to back up both the iMac and my MacBook using OS X 10.5's Time Machine backup software. (See my article Time Machine Can Now Backup to a Shared Hard Drive.)

But backing up two Macs to that 500 GB drive, I'd started to run low on drive space. Dell Canada, however, had an external 1.5 GB drive on sale for C$150 (about US$130), which seemed like a nice price for quite a bit more storage space. Rather than connect it directly to the iMac, however, I thought I would see about connecting it to the AirPort Extreme's built-in USB port, making what sometimes is referred to as an AirDisk.

Apple describes what it calls AirPort Disk as "a simple and convenient way to share files among everyone in your family, office, or class", claiming "just connect the external hard drive to . . . your AirPort Extreme and - voilà".

It's not quite that simple, as I discovered. It is relatively straightforward, but there are a few under-documented things to be aware of along the way. (None of these steps are mentioned in the AirPort Extreme User Guide, for instance).

1. Partition the Drive for Mac Use

Like most external hard drives not specifically aimed at Mac users, the Dell drive - a Seagate FreeAgent model - came formatted as a Windows NTFS partition. (Seagate also offers FreeAgent models aimed at the Mac market.) That's not a bad choice, making the drive instantly usable by the largest market segment, but it won't be accessible connected to the AirPort Extreme.

Instead, the drive needs to be repartitioned using Apple's Disk Utility. That means connecting it to a Mac's USB port and opening the Disk Utility program (in Applications > Utilities). In Disk Utility, select the external drive and click on the Partition tab.

Partition tab in Disk Utility

Click on Volume Scheme to drop down a list of options, selecting 1 Partition. Change the Format to Mac OS Extended (Journaled).

Thinking that was enough, I'd clicked Apply... but the resulting drive wasn't actually usable. There's one more step needed before partitioning and formatting the drive in this way. In that Disk Utility dialogue box, you need to click the Options... button.

partition format options in Disk Utility

You'll see that the disk is still set to use a DOS-style Master Boot Record. Change that setting to GUID Partition Table (for Intel-based Macs). Click OK to return to the main dialogue box window. Now you can apply the settings to create a Mac OS Extended Partition.

Now you can connect the disk to an AirPort Extreme's USB port - or if you want to share both a hard drive (or hard drives) and a printer using the base station's single USB port, you can use a USB hub to connect multiple USB devices. But your AirPort Extreme needs to be told to actually share the connected disk.

2. Tell Your Base Station About the Drive

You now need to use the AirPort Utility on a Mac to reconfigure your AirPort Extreme. Like the Disk Utility, you'll find it in your Mac's Applications > Utilities folder. When it opens, it should show you your AirPort Extreme in the left column. Click the Manual Setup button on the bottom of the window, then (after a moment), click on the Disks icon on the top.

You should see your connected disk listed, complete with whatever name you gave it in Disk Utility. Click on the File Sharing tab.

File Sharing tab in AirPort Utility

You'll need to enable file sharing. Note the various password options; I chose to use the same password that I use to connect to the AirPort Extreme. There is also an option to connect over the Internet, which I haven't experimented with, and to enable Windows File Sharing by entering a Windows workgroup name.

After making your changes, click the Update button. Note that your AirPort Extreme will restart, dropping any Internet or other connections for a few moments.

At this point, your AirDisk can be accessed from computers connecting to your AirPort Extreme. In the Finder, for instance, clicking on the Shared item in the sidebar, I see an All item; clicking on it, shows me that my iMac has a shared drive, as does my AirPort (named 'kamloops' in the screen capture image); clicking on that icon lets me connect to the shared FreeAgent drive.

Connecting to a shared volume in the Finder

But I want to do more - I want to be able to use Time Machine to back up my Macs to this drive. And again, it's not quite as simple as just opening the Time Machine preference.

3. Make It Work with Time Machine

Even though the drive is being shared by my AirPort Extreme, I didn't see it in Time Machine's list of available disks. (To get that, open System Preferences and click on the Time Machine icon, or if you have a little Time Machine icon on the top menu bar, you can click it then select Open Time Machine Preferences from the dropdown menu).

icon of a drive shared using AirPort ExtremeTo make that drive appear in the Time Machine list, I first needed to go to the Finder and Connect to the shared drive so it will appear as an icon on the desktop. It will have a blue drive icon with the same wireless logo that Apple uses for its AirPort settings on the menu bar and other places.

Your shared drive should now appear in the Time Machine preferences Choose Disk list.

choose your backup volume for Time Machine

From here on, it's straightforward: You can select the shared disk, setting it for use for Time Machine backups. Note that Time Machine defaults to backing up every hour - I like the free TimeMachineEditor (see Free Time Machine Editor Does One Thing and Does It Well) to change that; in my case, I've set it to backup daily.

While I needed to have the shared disk's icon on my desktop in order to select it in the Time Machine preference, Time Machine will happily continue to use that disk from then on, whether the icon is mounted on the desktop or not. While it is backing up, you'll temporarily see a white backup drive icon on the Desktop.

Time Machine preferences

Be patient - the first backup is going to take some time.

When using an AirDisk with Time Machine, you should be aware of several things:

  • Backing up over a WiFi network is significantly slower than backing up to a disk that's physically connected, or even to a disk that's accessed across a wired ethernet network. For its first backup, my MacBook had a bit over a million files to backup, totaling 136 GB. I started at about 5 p.m. one evening; the backup finished the middle of the following morning, averaging about 8.5 GB per hour. Luckily, most subsequent backups deal with far fewer files and will only take a few moments.
  • As with other Time Machine backups, if you have virtual OS software like Parallels Desktop, VMWare Fusion, or Virtual Box installed, you may want to exclude your virtual drives from the Time Machine backups - otherwise, every time you run the virtual systems, Time Machine will want to back up the entire multi-gigabyte files, since they've changed - even though the changes may be trivial
  • As I described in my earlier article about using Time Machine with a shared drive, Time Machine creates a compressed "sparse bundle" file that contains all its backups. This is unlike what you'll see if you use Time Machine to backup to a drive physically connected to your Mac - in that case, you'll see individual folders for each recent backup with more easily accessible copies of the backed up files.
  • Because of this, if you need to make use of your backup in case of an emergency (or purchase of a new Mac), you may have to again be patient - if you try to speed up the restore by physically connecting the backup drive to your Mac, I suspect you won't be able to access the backup . . . the restore may need to be done the same way it was created - across the network, slowly. (Please let me know if I'm wrong about this. I would much prefer the speed and convenience of being able to restore with the drive physically connected).

Despite the speed issues, I find the convenience of having a large amount of inexpensive storage available to multiple computers makes using an AirDisk worthwhile. LEM

Alan Zisman is Mac-using teacher and technology writer based in Vancouver, BC, Canada. Many of his articles are available on his website, www.zisman.ca. If you find Alan's articles helpful, please consider making a donation to his tip jar.

8257 by Alan Zisman

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Base - data base, open source



BASE is a fully featured desktop database management system, designed to meet the needs of a broad array of users, from

  • just tracking your personal CD collection, to
  • producing a corporate monthly departmental sales report.

BASE offers wizards to help users new to database design (or just new to BASE) to create Tables, Queries, Forms and Reports, along with a set of predefined table definitions for tracking Assets, Customers, Sales Orders, Invoices and much more.

When a personal use database is all you need, BASE offers the full HSQL relational database engine, configured for single user, with the data stored right in the BASE file, as well as native support for dBase flat files.

For power users in the enterprise, BASE delivers native support drivers for a variety of multi-user database engines: MySQL, Adabas D, MS Access and PostgreSQL. In addition, support for JDBC and ODBC standard drivers allows you to connect to virtually any existing database.

BASE integrates seamlessly into the rest of the OpenOffice.org suite applications, for example:

  • supplying address book data for mail merge in WRITER using the industry standard LDAP protocol, or common address book formats such as Microsoft Outlook, Microsoft Windows and Mozilla;
  • creating linked data ranges in CALC files for data pilot analysis or as the basis for charts.

For more information on working with BASE, please see the OpenOffice.org Wiki Database pages.

For technical information, or to help make BASE even better, stop by the BASE project page.

Project Features

About this Project

www is a subproject of webworks, was started in February 2011, is owned by andrew.rist, and has 54 members.

Kexi - Data Base Project

Kexi Project - "Microsoft Access for Linux" - Home

Kexi is an open source data management application,
a long-awaited competitor for programs like MS Access
or Filemaker.

Kexi 2
kexi project

Home Download FAQ Support Features Handbook Screenshots Screencasts Compile Kexi Development Authors Contact License Sponsorship Translate This Site

WaveMaker Solutions | Migrating to Open Java

WaveMaker Solutions | Migrating to Open Java

Enterprises are increasingly moving from proprietary platforms like Oracle Forms and Microsoft .NET to open Java platforms. Yet re-training developers to use complex Java tools can be time consuming and costly.

The move to open Java platforms is particularly strong for departmental IT staff. In a recent report, "Citizen Developers are Poised to Grow," Gartner recommended that CIOs deploy new, standards-based platforms for citizen developers that are centrally managed by IT.

WaveMaker migrates proprietary applications to use the latest Web 2.0 and Java technologies. Over 15,000 developers use WaveMaker, including Fortune 500 companies like Macy's, National City Bank and Pioneer.

To learn more about WaveMaker, click on the following links:

Don't just take our word for it - download WaveMaker today!

WaveMaker Screenshot



Oracle Forms
Microsoft Access
Microsoft .NET
Lotus Notes

Web Developers

Create database using WaveMaker Studio

Uploaded by on Oct 11, 2011

Screencast shows how to create a many-to-many database and simple application using WaveMaker Studio. The data model created uses Authors and Books. An author writes multiple books. A Book may have multiple authors.


Science & Technology


How to control a Mac from your PC using Chrome Remote Desktop | Digital Media - CNET News

How to control a Mac from your PC using Chrome Remote Desktop | Digital Media - CNET News
Need to connect to and control a Mac from your PC? One quick and easy solution can be found in Google's Chrome Remote Desktop feature.
Released as a beta early last month, the Chrome Remote Desktop extension lets you connect to one computer from another directly through the browser. From there, you can control the other computer using your mouse and keyboard.
Of course, remote desktop software is nothing new. Microsoft includes its Remote Desktop Connection in Windows. It also offers a Mac version of the software, but that one only lets you connect to a PC from your Mac, not the other way around. There are certain options for going from PC to Mac, such as setting up a VNC (virtual network computing) connection in your Mac and then running a VNC client on your PC.
But Chrome Remote Desktop can connect you no matter which computers reside on both ends. And as such, it's an effective way to control a Mac from your PC without having to configure a variety of settings and download other software.
You can set up such a connection by going through the following steps:
  1. First install Google Chrome on both your PC and Mac if it's not already installed.
  2. Next download the Chrome Remote Desktop extension from its page at the Chrome Web store and install it on both computers.
  3. After installation, launch Chrome on your Mac and click on the + button at the top to open a new tab. You should see a page displaying any software and extensions that have been installed in Chrome. Click on the one for Chrome Remote Desktop. The first time you do this, you'll receive a message asking for authorization. Click on the Continue button.
  4. The next screen will ask for the necessary permissions for the extension to run. Click on the Allow Access button.
  5. The next screen will prompt you to share the computer. Click on the Share this Computer button.
  6. You'll then receive an access code that must be entered on your PC in order to control your Mac. Write down that code.
  7. Next launch Chrome on your PC. Click on the new Tab button and click on the icon for the Chrome Remote Desktop. Again, the first time you run the extension, you'll need to grant permission for the extension to run.
  8. At the Chrome Remote Desktop BETA Connect screen, click on the link to access a shared computer.
  9. Type in the access code generated on the Mac and then click the Connect button.
  10. You should now see your Mac displayed in the Chrome browser on your PC. As with any remote desktop application, you can use your mouse and keyboard to move around, open applications, access features, create documents, and do virtually anything else you want. You can also minimize Chrome on the Mac but don't close it otherwise the connection will be lost.
  11. Once you're finished, you simply click on the button that says Disconnect.
The initial process seems lengthy because you have to grant permission on both sides. But the process runs quicker once you get past that first hurdle.
Chrome Remote Desktop can connect any two computers over the Internet, not just on the same network. So, for example, you can use this to remotely connect to the computer of a friend or family member to help troubleshoot a problem. Of course, since it does run over the public Internet, there are always security concerns. People who may not want this accessible all the time can uninstall the extension and reinstall it when needed, but of course then you have to repeat the initial process each time.
Overall, Chrome Remote Desktop works smoothly. It doesn't offer some of the bells and whistles and advanced options found in other remote control programs. But it's a quick and simple solution for PC and Mac users and one I often rely on when I want to control my Mac Mini without leaving my PC.

Lance Whitney wears a few different technology hats--journalist, Web developer, and software trainer. He's a contributing editor for Microsoft TechNet Magazine and writes for other computer publications and Web sites. Lance is a member of the CNET Blog Network, and he is not an employee of CNET.


Blogger Hacks Part 1: Creating a static homepage | The Code King

Blogger Hacks Part 1: Creating a static homepage | The Code King

Blogger Hacks Part 1: Creating a static homepage | Wednesday, 9 February 2011


After searching around for somewhere to host my site I finally settled with Blogger. Why? Because I decided I preferred the choice of templates and in particular the drag-drop gadgets and page elements.

What I didn't like is that it is purely a blogging site. This is quite restrictive in terms of content as I really wanted the ability to create more of a website than a blog.

Well after a bit of trial and error, it turns out the new Blogger templates are fairly easy to 'hack', and as such I've managed to get the best of both worlds. I have the cool WYSIWYG gadgets and templates of Blogger, but have also fashioned a static home page and navigation structure.


This article has been updated to reflect the simplified technique that I'm currently using for this website. There are also several alternative techniques which involve editing the Blogger template directly, or by making use of the new static pages. I've briefly described these solutions below for reference.

Simplified Technique

This technique is simply a Blogger setting which allows a user to limit the number of blogs displayed on the default page. By changing this setting to 1, a static homepage is created which will always display the most recent post. By manually configuring the publish dates of the blogs you can then control which content will will displayed on the homepage.

To set the post limit login to the Blogger console and navigate to Settings -> Formatting. Change the "show at most" setting to "1 post".

Next override the publish date of the post you wish to display on the homepage. This can be found in the Post Options menu at the bottom of the blog editor.

Template Redirect Hack

An alternative technique I've previously written about involves editing the Blogger template, and adding code to redirect to a URL of choice. This has the advantage that you don't have to manually edit the post dates every time you create a new post, but does break the Blogger designer view and is not SEO friendly.

To implement the redirect on the homepage login to the console and navigate to the template editor Design -> Edit HTML.

Backup your existing template before making changes.

Using the editor scroll down to the tag, and insert the following code directly beneath this line. Replace http://mysite.com/post.html with the URL you wish to use as your homepage (this should be the URL of a specific post, or you could use a static page now supported by Blogger).

1<b:if cond='data:blog.url == data:blog.homepageUrl'>
2 <meta content='0;url=http://mysite.com/post.html' http-equiv='refresh'/>

The code above causes a client-side redirect as soon as the page loads. If you really want to go all-out and improve the implementation further, you can also include the following edits. This will reduce the time taken for the initial page-load prior to the redirect and further improve the user experience. It also provides a manual link for users with JavaScript disabled. I'd recommend only making these changes if you are comfortable editing HTML.

Using the editor scroll down and locate the tag in the template. You now need to wrap the entire contents of the tag with the following code. This is everything inside the tag and the tag.

2 <b:if cond='data:blog.url != data:blog.homepageUrl'>
3 [existing template code]
4 <b:else/>
5 <p> If the page doesn't automatically refresh click <a href='http://mysite.com/post.html'>herea>.p>
6 b:if>

Remember that with this technique in place you will not be able to use the Blogger designer to manage your gadgets. To do this you will need to temporarily disable the hack.


That's all there is to it. In the next article I'll explain how to set up a navigation structure within Blogger.

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Show us your coolest, most productive, Visual Studio LightSwitch business application and you could win an ASUS U31SD-DH31 Laptop and many other great prizes! Find out how!

The Real Blogger Status: Make A Static Home Page For Your Blog

The Real Blogger Status: Make A Static Home Page For Your Blog

uesday, May 25, 2010

Make A Static Home Page For Your Blog

OK, everybody knows that, with a Blogger blog, you can't really make a static home page. That's one of the known limitations of Blogger blogs. The home page of a Blogger blog will contain the most recent posts - as specified by the Settings - Formatting "Show at most" value.

So, just don't show any posts on the main page. That's not a lot of work, really.
  1. In Settings - Formatting, set "Show at most" to 0 posts.
  2. Add a "Welcome" gadget, using an HTML / Text gadget. Or compose a "Welcome" gadget using Post Editor, if you want a really shiny static home page. You'll have a couple choices for positioning the new gadget.
    • If you want your Welcome gadget to look like a "Welcome" post, you can position it just above the Blog Posts gadget, and have the sidebar(s) visible.
    • If you want your Welcome gadget to look like a "welcome" header message,, you can position it just below the blog header, and have the sidebar(s) below it and not visible.
  3. Tweak the "Welcome" gadget, so it only displays on home page.
  4. Remove the Status Message code from the template, so your readers don't have to look at the "No posts were found which match your query" / "Showing posts with label" message (both messages are produced by the same code).
  5. Add a custom pages index, to index the pages and posts in this blog, and other blogs. You can have either true static pages - or you can have dynamic pages, using labels.
  6. You're done - check it out.

If you wish, look at my Static WebSite Test blog, and see how simple it is. Note that my example shows a linklist in the sidebar, with mostly links to other blogs. It's a separate task (no more complicated than this one) to create a menu bar for this blog, to index pages and posts in this blog.

GTweet - Read Twitter in Google Reader

GTweet - Read Twitter in Google Reader

Here's a Quick Way to Get Twitter into Google Reader | Zemalf.com

Here's a Quick Way to Get Twitter into Google Reader | Zemalf.com

Let's set up simple monitoring systems for Twitter to ensure you get notifications when you, your site or certain terms you want to follow come up on Twitter. In Twitter clients, like TweetDeck, you can set constant search queries, which get updated just like your normal Twitter feed.

For certain terms, like your name or your website(s), it is good get notifications even when you don't have Twitter open. To achieve that, we can do Twitter searches and then subscribe to the RSS feed of that search query, and get notifications on Google Reader whenever your name, businesses or websites are mentioned.

Because of the superior dedicated clients, I think getting all your Twitter messages to Google Reader would be foolish (it is possible through the API), so we'll concentrate on getting RSS feeds of Twitter search queries to our reader as a kind of social media monitoring.

How To Get Twitter Searches as RSS

  1. Go to Twitter
  2. Enter Twitter Search for the terms you want
    • Use quotes around multiple words
    • Utilize the operators for advanced queries: OR, AND
    • e.g. search for "your name": do a twitter search with your own name in quotes Heres a Quick Way to Get Twitter into Google Reader
  3. Look on the sidebar at the bottom of the page and
    • locate "RSS feed for this query": find the rss link to the Twitter search query and click on it Heres a Quick Way to Get Twitter into Google Reader
  4. Click to subscribe and add the feed to a Google Reader
    • Use folder named "me", "monitor" or such to keep things organized

Unfortunately, if you have a relatively common name, or you have the same name as some well-known individual or celebrity, this won't work very well for you, but you can get your Twitter mentions as RSS using your "@username", read on for instructions on that.

And if your RSS feed subscriptions are not automatically going to Google Reader, check the settings of your browser.

  • In Firefox (my preferred browser)
    • go to the Tools >> Settings, when there,
    • go to "Applications" and
    • locate "Web Feed". Then
    • choose "use Google"
      • If you use some other reader, select that.

Setting Up Twitter Searches

You can also do a query without going to the Twitter site if you want:

  1. Start the search query with:
    • http://search.twitter.com/search.atom?q=
  2. Add the search terms
    • Replace space with %20
    • Replace quote (") with %22
    • Replace @ with %40
  3. Insert the full search query URL to your browser, and
  4. The search will go automatically into Google Reader

Example Twitter search queries

  • "your name"
    • http://search.twitter.com/search.atom?q=%22your%20name%22
  • example.com
    • http://search.twitter.com/search.atom?q=example.com
  • username OR "your name"
    • http://search.twitter.com/search.atom?q=username%20OR%20%22your%20name%22

Getting your Twitter "Mentions" as RSS

  • Follow the instructions above, and
  • enter @username (%40username) as the search term.
    • e.g. my search for @akokkonen, would be:
    • http://search.twitter.com/search.atom?q=%40akokkonen

If you prefer some other RSS reader to Google Reader that is fine, but if you're not using any reader yet, Google Reader is the best option. You can access it anytime and from any computer, the folder system is great for organizing and sharing posts directly from Google Reader to Twitter, Posterous and other services is very easy.

You can set similar queries in other services too. Keep your eyes open for the RSS icons on the searches. Not all services have them, but most do. And while we're talking about social media monitoring, go and set up some Google Alerts too.

Here's more posts like to this:
  1. Quick and Easy Market Research Using Google and Twitter
  2. 3 Ways To Use Google Reader Like a Pro
  3. Quick Remote Working Tips
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Spherical Flying Drone Looks Like Something From Sci-Fi Movies

Airborne Drones are all the craze this year, and Japan is getting in the game too. Japan’s Ministry of Defense showed off a flying demo of their spherically-shaped drone at the recent Digital Content Expo in Tokyo.
A video from DigInfo shows this little drone taking off vertically, nimbly zipping around the room, and correcting itself when struck. A propeller blade powers the drone but it is also equipped with wings that allow it to fly at speeds of 40 miles per hour. The kicker is the drone only costs $1,400 to build using “off-the-shelf parts.”
The quick maneuverability shown on the video is comparable to the Parrot's AR.Drone, but thanks to its spherical shape and three on-board gyroscopes, this drone won’t flip over and fall to the ground when it hits a wall. Japan’s drone can actually fly along a wall, or even land on the ground and roll to its destination.
This drone could be used for anything from security, military, photojournalism, or to replace camera cranes used on movie sets. At the same, time sci-fi buffs like me might think it looks a lot light those flying death bots from Doctor Who or those round syringe-wielding things hovering around the Death Star’s detention level.

BlackBerry Imagines the Future, with Touch Holograms [Video]

BlackBerry Imagines the Future, with Touch Holograms [Video]:

Just like Microsoft released a video for their sci-fi inspired imaginative future, Blackberry has jumped in with their own futuristic concept video, complete with plenty of touch screens and even touchable holograms.
I think these are fun to watch just to see what companies are imagining, but the main difference between Apple and Microsoft or Blackberry is that Apple is actively shipping things that lead us to believe this stuff is actually possible. The iPad, iPod touch, and iPhone feel like the future now, and they’re tangible. The other interesting thing to point out is that some features in the Blackberry video, like remote data wipe, are already in iOS 5, whereas it’s just a concept for RIM at the moment (as far as I know, I have no exposure to the Playbook).
The video comes via DaringFireball, who suggests that both Blackberry and Microsoft would be better served creating real products that can be used now, rather than fictional movies.
Anyway, enjoy the video, for conceptual reasons if nothing else

Blackberry imagines a touch hologramBlackberry imagines a touch computer
Blackberry imagines a touchable hologram keyboard


John Sculley: The Secrets of Steve Jobs’ Success [Exclusive Interview] | Cult of Mac

John Sculley: The Secrets of Steve Jobs’ Success [Exclusive Interview] | Cult of Mac:

John Sculley, Apple's ex-CEO, talks for the first time about Steve Jobs. 
Illustrations by Matthew Phelan.

John Sculley: The Secrets of Steve Jobs’ Success [Exclusive Interview]

In 1983, Steve Jobs wooed Pepsi executive John Sculley to Apple with one of the most famous lines in business: “Do you want to spend the rest of your life selling sugared water or do you want a chance to change the world?”
Jobs and Sculley ran Apple together as co-CEOs, blending cutting edge technology (the first Mac) with cutting edge advertising (the famous 1984 ad) and world-class design. But it soon soured, and Sculley is best known today for forcing Jobs’ resignation after a boardroom battle for control of the company.
Now, for the first time, Sculley talks publicly about Steve Jobs and the secrets of his success. It’s the first interview Sculley has given on the subject of Steve Jobs since he was forced out of the company in 1993.
“There are many product development and marketing lessons I learned working with Steve in the early days,” says Sculley. “It’s impressive how he still sticks to his same first principles years later.”
He adds, “I don’t see any change in Steve’s first principles — except he’s gotten better and better at it.”
I met with Sculley in a hotel lobby near Oakland airport. Sculley had been taking meetings for his investment fund and was waiting for a flight back home on the east coast.
Sculley was initially reluctantly to talk about Steve Jobs, his former partner at Apple, who had been both his protégé and mentor.
“I don’t have any contact with Steve these days,” Sculley said in one of our initial emails setting up the meeting. “He’s still mad he got pushed out of Apple 22 years ago… I have no interest to piss him off… My Apple experience is now ancient history and I have gone on with my life and I’m not looking for any publicity or have any ax to grind.”
I persuaded Sculley that I was a big fan of Jobs, and had no interest in digging dirt. What I wanted to know was: How does he do it?
During the resulting 90-minute conversation, Sculley divulged Jobs’s first principles. Here, in Sculley’s words, is Steve Jobs’ methodology for building great products:
John Sculley: The Secrets of Steve Jobs’ Success [Exclusive Interview]

Steve Jobs circa 1984. Illustration by Matthew Phelan.
1. Beautiful design – “We both believed in beautiful design and Steve in particular felt that you had to begin design from the vantage point of the experience of the user… We used to study Italian designers… We were looking at Italian car designers. We really did study the designs of cars that they had done and looking at the fit and finish and the materials and the colors and all of that. At that time, nobody was doing this in Silicon Valley. It was the furthest thing on the planet from Silicon Valley back then in the 80”s. Again, this is not my idea. I could relate to it because of my interest and background in design, but it was totally driven by Steve… What a lot of people didn’t realize was that Apple wasn’t just about computers. It was about designing products and designing marketing and it was about positioning.”
2. Customer experience – “He always looked at things from the perspective of what was the user’s experience going to be? … The user experience has to go through the whole end-to-end system, whether it’s desktop publishing or iTunes. It is all part of the end-to-end system. It is also the manufacturing. The supply chain. The marketing. The stores.”
3. No focus groups — “Steve said: ‘How can I possibly ask somebody what a graphics-based computer ought to be when they have no idea what a graphic based computer is? No one has ever seen one before.’ He believed that showing someone a calculator, for example, would not give them any indication as to where the computer was going to go because it was just too big a leap. ”
3. Perfectionism – “He was also a person that believed in the precise detail of every step. He was methodical and careful about everything — a perfectionist to the end.”
4. Vision – “He believed that the computer was eventually going to become a consumer product. That was an outrageous idea back in the early 1980”s because people thought that personal computers were just smaller versions of bigger computers. That’s how IBM looked at it. Some of them thought it was more like a game machine because there were early game machines, which were very simple and played on televisions… But Steve was thinking about something entirely different. He felt that the computer was going to change the world and it was going to become what he called “the bicycle for the mind.” It would enable individuals to have this incredible capability that they never dreamed of before. It was not about game machines. It was not about big computers getting smaller… He was a person of huge vision.”
5. Minimalism – “What makes Steve’s methodology different from everyone else’s is that he always believed the most important decisions you make are not the things you do – but the things that you decide not to do. He’s a minimalist.”
“He’s a minimalist and is constantly reducing things to their simplest level. It’s not simplistic. It’s simplified. Steve is a systems designer. He simplifies complexity.”
6. Hire the best – “Steve had this ability to reach out to find the absolute best, smartest people he felt were out there. He was extremely charismatic and extremely compelling in getting people to join up with him and he got people to believe in his visions even before the products existed… He always reached out for the very best people he could find in the field. And he personally did all the recruiting for his team. He never delegated that to anybody else. ”
7. Sweat the details – “On one level he is working at the ‘change the world,’ the big concept. At the other level he is working down at the details of what it takes to actually build a product and design the software, the hardware, the systems design and eventually the applications, the peripheral products that connect to it… He’s always adamantly involved in the advertising, the design and everything.”
8. Keep it small – “The other thing about Steve was that he did not respect large organizations. He felt that they were bureaucratic and ineffective. He would basically call them “bozos.” That was his term for organizations that he didn’t respect.
… Steve had a rule that there could never be more than one hundred people on the Mac team. So if you wanted to add someone you had to take someone out. And the thinking was a typical Steve Jobs observation: “I can’t remember more than a hundred first names so I only want to be around people that I know personally. So if it gets bigger than a hundred people, it will force us to go to a different organization structure where I can’t work that way. The way I like to work is where I touch everything.” Through the whole time I knew him at Apple that’s exactly how he ran his division. ”
9. Reject bad work – “It’s like an artist’s workshop and Steve is the master craftsman who walks around and looks at the work and makes judgments on it and in many cases his judgments were to reject something.
… An engineer would bring Steve in and show him the latest software code that he’s written. Steve would look at it and throw it back at him and say: “It’s just not good enough.” And he was constantly forcing people to raise their expectations of what they could do. So people were producing work that they never thought they were capable of… Steve would shift between being highly charismatic and motivating and getting them excited to feel like they are part of something insanely great. And on the other hand he would be almost merciless in terms of rejecting their work until he felt it had reached the level of perfection that was good enough to go into – in this case, the Macintosh.”
10. Perfection – “The thing that separated Steve Jobs from other people like Bill Gates — Bill was brilliant too — but Bill was never interested in great taste. He was always interested in being able to dominate a market. He would put out whatever he had to put out there to own that space. Steve would never do that. Steve believed in perfection.”
11. Systems thinker – “The iPod is a perfect example of Steve’s methodology of starting with the user and looking at the entire end-to-end system. It was always an end-to-end system with Steve. He was not a designer but a great systems thinker. That is something you don’t see with other companies. They tend to focus on their piece and outsource everything else.
If you look at the state of the iPod, the supply chain going all the way over to iPod city in China – it is as sophisticated as the design of the product itself. The same standards of perfection are just as challenging for the supply chain as they are for the user design. It is an entirely different way of looking at things.”
BTW: The interview with Sculley was awfully gratifying to me personally because many of his points coincided with points I’d made in my book about Jobs: Inside Steve’s Brain. I’d written chapters devoted to Jobs’ perfectionism, minimalism and elitism, and how they have shaped Apple’s business. A major part of the book is devoted to the systems Jobs has built. It was strange but thrilling to hear ideas I’d formulated independently expounded by a former Apple CEO and someone who’d worked with Jobs so closely.