My great experiment with switching to Mac nearly came crashing to a halt this week. But just when everything seemed hopeless and I was ready to pack up my MacBook Pro and take it back, we found a solution to my networking issue. After that, I downloaded my case management software, loaded it, and "ta-dah ! ! !" -- it connected to my server and we were up and running at full speed.
The major issue that was plaguing me from the outset was the inability of my new MacBook to fully connect to my assistant's PC, where my case management data is stored. One of the great touted advances of Leopard its its ability to "plug and play" with PCs on a network. And while my new Mac immediately showed my assistant's computer as a "shared" computer, it would not allow me to connect as a user.
Assistance from the Apple Store on networking issues really wasn't helpful. I got some help from the MacLawyers listserve which allowed me to connect to my assistant's computer as a "guest", but that did not allow me to change files on her computer, which is critical to the functioning of my case management system.
So with a recommendation from the Apple Store, I bit the bullet and called a consultant for an in-house visit. He assured me over the phone that this would be a simple issue calling for his minimum 1-hour fee.
He showed up Wednesday -- nice guy who seemed to know his stuff. Well about 3 hours later, I believe the line was "I've don't know why its not connecting. In all the years I've been doing this, I've never seen this."
This is the point in our story when I'm ready to throw the Mac out the window -- well, not really. But I did seriously think at that point that at the end of the day, I would box up the Mac and take it back to the Apple Store
But my consultant was persistent. And about 30 minutes after that point, he called me in and we had the connection. There was no specific problem that he found, and in fact, the computer still doesn't show the connection the way it should. However he worked the problem and found a solution. Even better, he was able to write out instructions and show me how to set up the computer to share files with other computers on the network.
HURRAY ! ! ! But would it work when he was gone? Quiet miraculously, the answer is "YES"!
After he left, I downloaded a new copy of my case management system -- Practice Advantage 9. With some help from the tech folks at Lexis, I was able to download and install the software, connect it to my assistant's computer, and access all the case data.
Even better, we were able to download and install the remote laptop version, create the needed clone library, then sync up the data base with the remote data base. This means I can now take my computer with me and have access to all my files, including documents, emails, contacts, calendar, and even billing information.
And amazingly, the loading and setup of Practice Advantage went through without a single hitch. Just clicking "Next" a lot, dragging and dropping a file, and watching the little green bars mark the progress of the operation.
So as of now, my MacBook is networked, my critical case management system is functioning, and my WordPerfect (yes, I'm still a committed WordPerfect user), is up and running.
So we're locked and loaded, and ready to roll. And just in time. I've got an appellate brief due in 10 days. Gotta go.