OK, so I’m powering by Bill Gates’ house in my boat (no joke, he’s right there on Lake Washington), and thinking, “Wouldn’t it be fun to do to Bill what Tony Soprano did to his new lawyer-neighbor in the last episode of “The Sopranos? Set my sport yacht right there in front of his house, with speakers blasting—but, instead of Frank Sinatra, pipe in the nasty tech support calls which come into Microsoft over it’s most recent ‘new and improved’ software?”
So we have the topic of my January 2003 set of “David’s Rules”.
Remember, the key is to live a stress-free partnership with technology. That means OUTSMARTING it. “Preemptive Strike” is the key phrase. Get it before it gets you.
New Strategy for 2003: Instead of buying your new computer, or upgrading your current computer with a software CD, and finding out the hard way that there are problems with the operating system itself, do the following BEFORE you install any new application software or peripheral devices:
- Preemptive strike with Brand New Computer setup or upgrade to Windows XP: Contact Technical support or the website for a new product you plan to install. Find out what changes have occurred with your software installation, and follow the new instructions, if there are any on the website. In other words, take a few moments to check out the website for last minute changes in the installation process, which may not have been documented in the installation software.
- XP is notorious for having multitudes of little gremlins running around your machine from the day you get it. Thanks to the internet, Microsoft now provides automatic updates to your system which should “kill” as many of those gremlins as possible. These days, the FIRST thing you should do when purchasing a new computer, or upgrading your computer to XP is to perform a “windows update” immediately after the upgrade or setup finishes. It is relatively simple:
- Setup your new computer or upgrade to XP.
- Get online.
- Go to Start, Help & Support, Pick a Task, Windows Update. Follow the relatively simple instructions, and your system will actually “heal itself”. Be aware that it could take up to several hours, so plan for this. Your input is not required for most of the process, but you should be around, just in case the computer needs a decision from you.
- Preemptive Strike with installation of new software applications: Most software manufacturers get a huge discount for creating a huge number of software CD’s at once, so the software on your CD may be months old. RULE: The Software CD in your hand is an illusion. The real software is sitting on a website somewhere for you to download. When installing software, first, download the most recent upgrade from the software company’s website. Next, install the software CD. Then, install the update you downloaded. Reboot your computer, and now you have the latest software prior to working with it and finding out there are serious bugs.
I just installed ACT 6.0 on my system. Believe it or not, the instructions on their website are totally different than the software’s own installation program would suggest. If there had not been technical support there to help, the program would never have worked. Note that I waited for them to release a software “fix” on their website prior to purchasing the upgrade. I wanted the other less suspicious (and probably less experienced) users to experience the pain required for the new update, first.
I find this so unacceptable that all software produced by my company is beta tested for months prior to releasing it. The new release of the our 2k3 software is in its 36th revision PRIOR to being released. Most marketing companies ship products and THEN figure out how to get them to work. Engineering companies like ours, create thoroughly tested products and THEN ship to customers. I’ve noticed that doctors who become more technologically savvy almost always choose products with great engineering over the ones with slick advertising.
Windows 98 Essential Technical Tips:
- If still using Windows 98, make certain to reboot the system once daily, as there are problems with Windows 98 machines getting “messed up” from sitting too long. If you even noticed Windows 98 getting unstable, this is the most common cause.
- Backup up the system entirely once yearly, and run the computer’s recovery CD (if you have it) once per year to restore Windows 98 to its optimal working order. Windows 95/98 has a tendency to develop something similar to arthritis over time, and the only true fix is to restore to original setup, and re-install your software applications yearly. If you start having trouble with the system crashing, this is the time to perform the recovery. The hardest part is reinstalling your software applications, so make sure you have them all, prior to this process.
Technology can be your best friend or worst enemy. By finding the best product and support for your needs, you will have a great partner in building your practice. Follow the simple guidelines above, and you will enjoy all, the advantages of technology without the stress. TAC
The author, David Marcarian, MA, is founder and president of Precision Biometrics, supplier of the MyoVision SEMG and Thermoglide systems. He has worked for NASA, and was awarded a $450,000 grant from the NIH for developing the MyoVision. He lectures for Palmer College of Chiropractic and his course is endorsed by all U.S. chiropractic associations that mandate SEMG training. He has personally instructed more than 6,000 chiropractors on proper SEMG use. Mr. Marcarian can be reached at 800-969-6961 and via email at:
, or visit his company’s website at www.myovision.com.