Monday, January 29, 2007

Daylight Savings Time and Your Office

In August of 2005 the United States Congress passed the Energy Policy Act, which changes the dates of both the start and end of daylight saving time (DST). When this law goes into effect in 2007, DST will start three weeks earlier (2:00 A.M. on the second Sunday in March) and will end one week later (2:00 A.M. on the first Sunday in November) than what had traditionally occurred.

I've cut and pasted the contents of the article to my blog, so feel free to go straight to it:

This article summarizes the updates and tools that Microsoft is developing for its customers to address the DST change.

Microsoft is dedicated to working with customers to make this transition as seamless as possible for companies and organizations affected by these new time changes. Microsoft is further committed to working with others in the industry to address the broader challenges presented by this U.S. statute. Please check this page at least weekly to ensure you have the latest information available.

Change in daylight saving time:
Previously DST started on:
With the new law, DST will start on:
Previous DST ended on:
With the new law, DST will end on:

First Sunday of April
Second Sunday of March
Last Sunday of October
First Sunday of November

Would have been: April 1, 2007
Will now be: March 11, 2007
Would have been: October 28, 2007
Will now be: November 4, 2007

While the change in daylight saving time applies to U.S. and Canada, the change may affect users based outside of these countries.

• Mexico will not be following the new DST 2007 rules with the U.S. and Canada. Accordingly, systems configured to use U.S. time zones (for example, Pacific Time) will need to change their system configurations to use the new Mexico time zones.

• Companies or organizations with operations, customers, or vendors based in the U.S. or Canada may be affected.

• Companies or organizations that interact or integrate with systems that are based in the U.S. or Canada or rely on date/time calculations may be affected.

• Users in U.S. areas that do not observe DST (see below) but who travel to or interact with people in locations that do follow DST will be affected and should install the Windows operating system update.

Areas affected by this change in daylight saving time:
All of the United States except:

Arizona, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and American Samoa

Canada and the United States share DST

Mexico will not be following the new DST 2007 rules

The change in DST will have an affect on many automated and technology reliant products. Individual consumers, small to medium size businesses, and large enterprises may be affected by the new change in time. Computer-system related issues include, for example:

• Calendar / scheduling applications

• Date / time calculations (current and historical)

• Transaction logging (UTC vs. Local Time)

• Tariff billing applications

In many cases, making the necessary changes to accommodate the new DST legislation will be a relatively minor task. Users may need to manually adjust the time on their devices when the change occurs.

In other cases, more substantial efforts may be required. In some cases, systems and applications may need to be updated directly, while in others, the application may simply inherit or "read" the date and time information from the underlying system that it resides on so the changes need only be made to that underlying system. Given the broad range of technology in use today-and the integration of systems between customers, vendors, and partners-business and IT managers should determine what actions should be taken to mitigate the affects of DST 2007 on their organizations.

/// posted by kj

Saturday, January 20, 2007

To Vista or Not to Vista? How about Office 2007?

I am taking a break from posting technical information to share with you some personal perspectives on Windows Vista and Office 2007. Without question, law firms will be faced with a decision to upgrade to these two products in the near future, but some of you may need a reason or two.

Let me start by saying that Microsoft has come a long way and introduced a suite of products that are phenomenal. I've been using both products for months and have nothing negative about them. However, there is a learning curve - about a month for moderate computer users - to get used to the changes and benefit from them, so is it worth it?

On the subject of Windows Vista - it is a significant upgrade. To run vista you should have a high-end processor, 2 GB of RAM, and a seperate graphics processor (GPU) with at least 256 MB of RAM to properly display the beauty (strictly appearence) of the new operating system. I would do it just for the looks alone. There are however vast security, performance, and usability changes that don't need the pretty face to improve your computing experience. However, I would not rush.

However, the Microsoft Office 2007 System - in my view - is worth thinking about right away. Apart from the new interface, the largest change is the new file format (eg: *.DOCX, *.XLSX, *.PPTX) which incorporates XML, and is NOT backwards compatible with Office 2003 and its predecessors. Not to say that it cannot be opened by older versions, because it can - using a plug in. To me, that may be enough to justify the upgrade, but not necessarily because of the technology.

Let's set up a hypothetical situation. Imagine someone just e-mailed a Word 2007 document to a basic computer user in your office. The person double-clicks to open it and is surprised by an incompatibility message. At that point they would click on OK, follow the prompts to the Microsoft Website, possibly clear validation, trigger the ActiveX component, download the plugin, and finally have the document in ReadOnly format. From there, they try to make a change, hit save, are prompted to Save AS. Find a spot... and so on. Granted, that only happens once per user - but let's think about it for am moment. When I asked people about this process I was surprised when most people elected to click CANCEL on the initial prompt, never getting past it to open the document. After all, we're all trained not to install stuff that pop's up.

The point is, dealing with the backwards compatibility may be too much for most users that are interested in opening MS Word and writing a letter. It interferes with productivity and may create scenarios that are simply an annoyance. Of course your network administrators can assist you in preparing for these situations, but is it worth the hassle?

I say, download the Microsoft Office 2007 trial that fits your needs. It will install everything but MS Outlook parallel to your existing install. Check it out. Once you feel comfortable call your software provider, ask them for Open Volume licenses of Microsoft Office, and schedule a deployment. Prepare your staff, and just get it done. It's worth it.

According to Microsoft, after the initial 1 month adjustment period, you can see a 20% productivity increase in moderate computer users. How? Well, 8 years of studies revealed that users spend an enormous amount of time looking for things... not files.. but things. The save button, the table button, the font, the format, the spacing, etc... All the things that take a precious 4-5 seconds to locate. Well, Microsoft believes that by changing the interface they actually reduce that time. Think of all the money you can save....

//posted by KJ

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Update: TrialWorks HOTFIX for Microsoft Security Bulletin MS07-003.

Microsoft has released security bulletin MS07-003. The security bulletin contains all the relevant information about the security update for Microsoft Office Outlook 2003. The included update has an adverse effect on the TrialWorks Add-In for Microsoft Outlook. Customers running TrialWorks version 9.35 you may need to download an additional TrialWorks HotFix. TrialWorks users on versions lower than 9.35, must Schedule Upgrade if they have the problem.

  • For simplicity you can download the above mentioned exe file from our FTP and run it on any user machine with TrialWorks 9.35 and with KB924085 installed. The exe will copy and register the two DLLs. Both TrialWorks and Outlook need to be closed prior to running the exe.

  • This fix is exclusively designed to ONLY fix the issue with the TrialWorksaddin caused by installing the Outlook Security Update KB924085. The machine MUST be on version 9.35, if you do not have the version, go to our website and Schedule Upgrade. The issue is that after filing an e-mail it will not move into the corresponding e-mail folder for the case.

  • If you are a user having the problem

    Self-Install Download Link for Client:
    If you have TrialWorks 9.35 you can use this file .
    Click here to download the TW935 HOTFIX for the Add-In Problem.

    Download the above file and run it from it's location, only after you CLOSE TrialWorks and Outlook. For best results, save the file to your desktop, log-OFF and back ON to the computer, and then run it. This will ensure all applications closed.

  • If you are a network administrator, you may choose to deploy network wide using our built in upgrade scripts in TrialWorks.
    Manual Deployment file for Server - Download Link:

    Download the above file and extract it's contents to [servername]\TrialWorks\temp\Binn
    Overwrite the existing files.
    Use the BAT file to update all computers.

Previously posted under:

For more information:

/posted by KJ.

New Remote Desktop Client, version 6.0

On December 8, 2006 Microsoft Released the Remote Desktop Connection Client, version 6.0. This is an upgrade from the previous 5.0 version available in Windows XP. The new client bring in new fetures designed to work with Windows Vista and Windows "Longhorn". The client is installed automatically by computers set for Automatic Microsoft Update.

The new functionality has been problematic by some users. Because of new Authentication procedures, many have found the new features to be slightly frustrating. In addition, we have discovered that in some - not yet fully investigated cases - 3rd party printing software, like TriCerat Simplify Printing - cause errors in the Remote Desktop Connection.

If you are using TriCerat Simplify Printing you may wish to roll back to RDP Client v. 5.0. To do so, follow these directions:

* Control Panel -> Add/Remove Programs
* Check the "Show Updates" box at the top
* Scroll down to Windows XP - Software Updates
* Remove "Update for Windows XP (KB925876)"

KB Article and Downloads:

/Posted by KJ.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

TrialWorks Outlook Addin Stops Working: Microsoft has released security bulletin MS07-003.

Microsoft has released security bulletin MS07-003. The security bulletin contains all the relevant information about the security update for Microsoft Office Outlook 2003. At the present time the security update is preventing users from filing messages from Outlook to TrialWorks. This is true for TrialWorks versions 9.35 and below.

As a temporary fix to the issue, you can remove the Security Update:

  • Go to Control Panel
  • Go to Add/Remove Programs
  • remove: Security Update for Outlook/Office KB924085
    remove: Security Update for Outlook/Office KB925938
For more information: