Tom’s Tech Tips

Tom’s Tuesday Tech Tip: Time to Buy a New Computer for Your Legal Nurse Consulting Business? NOT!!

About this time of year Certified Legal Nurse Consultants’ thoughts turn to the purchase of a new computer. Perhaps you feel it’s time to upgrade from your old desktop that takes 45 minutes to boot up in the morning to one of the sleek All-In-One computers. You might be a road warrior who’s tired of hauling an old 70 lb. laptop and are craving a new SSD Ultrabook. Or maybe you’re counter-PC-culture and have an older Mac® computer but want to upgrade to a sleek, thin MacBook® Air® laptop.

My advice to my CLNC® amigos: the only reason to go out and buy a new computer right now is if you’ve suffered a fatal computer crash and need a replacement yesterday. For the rest of us, sit tight and wait. “Why wait?” you might ask. Because Windows® 8 and touch screens are coming in the fall – on tablets, monitors and laptops.

If you’re a CLNC® consultant who is running Windows XP on your current computer, your next computer will have the Windows 7 OS. You’ll need to learn that and then suffer the upgrade process to Windows 8 later, but without the touch screen capability. If you’re running Windows 7 there’s no reason to upgrade yet. It’s a great, stable OS but if your current machine is so slow that it interferes with your work, maybe you should upgrade for the productivity increase.

Windows 8 will be a major departure from prior versions and from the previews I’ve seen it will be well worth waiting for. It seems to be primarily designed for tablets and has retro-fitted the tablet look to the regular PC. Beta-users love it and hate it. By the time it comes out it should be well refined. That leaves you with the choice of the devil you know (Windows 7) versus the devil you don’t know (Windows 8). Unless I suffer an unrecoverable, catastrophic failure, I’m going to wait and see. While you make up your mind, you can read more about Windows 8 here.

CLNC® Mac users also have a difficult choice. The new “OS X Mountain Lion®” operating system will be out in the summer or fall. Older Mac systems probably won’t be upgradable but some of the newer systems probably will. You can read more about Mountain Lion here. If you’re considering buying a new Mac, wait and get one that’s optimized for the new OS. You’ll be a much happier CLNC® consultant than if you simply upgraded an old box to a new OS.

Tablets aren’t ready to replace your legal nurse consulting business’ computer (not yet), so you still need a computer. If you absolutely, positively need a new computer now, go ahead and get it. However if you can afford to wait, it may be worth it.

Keep on techin’,

Tom

P.S. Comment and share what you plan to do for your next computer.

6 thoughts on “Tom’s Tuesday Tech Tip: Time to Buy a New Computer for Your Legal Nurse Consulting Business? NOT!!

  1. Hi Tom. Thanks for the advice. I was going to switch to MAC from PC this spring, but will hold off till fall. Speaking of all things tech gadgets, as a new Certified Legal Nurse Consultant, I am debating whether or not to get a separate cell line for my business. The personal one is a 4G. What are your thoughts on a separate line? More hassle and money or good business move? Thanks for your insight. Your column has been a source of good information since day 1.

  2. Mary, you can certainly use your same smartphone for business and for your personal use. Just make sure you have an appropriate message, probably without your business name in case you get calls from your facility. I’m not a big fan of 4G right now – the coverage isn’t the best in our area and we see more dropped signals. It can only get better though. Good luck switching to the Mac – you’ll love it!
    Tom

  3. I recently decided to up-grade a bit and wanted more RAM. Being a MAC addict for more than 20 years (yes, I have used pc’s) I walked into the Apple Store with $$ questions in mind.

    A wonderful employee said that I could buy the desired RAM on line, (MacMall.com) told me how much my MacBookPro could handle, and said the instructions on installation DIY could be found on YouTube.

    For less than half the Professional Fee, I did it myself without a hitch. No new machine for me in the near future.

  4. There will always be a new computer or updated software around the corner. And when you add the fact that Windows® 8 is going to be a significant departure from previous versions, it may take awhile for specialized software to catch up to the state of the art.

    In a professional business environment waiting till you have a catastrophic failure isn’t particularly good advice. Better advice might be for Certified Legal Nurse Consultants to look at their work flow and evaluate the software and the hardware they are using and weigh the pro’s and cons and making an informed decision that involved what’s available now and what might be available in the future.

    You purchase what you need, when you need it, and you don’t look back or forward. That’s the nature of the computer business.

  5. Craig – Thanks for the comment. Most Certified Legal Nurse Consultants will be running “out of the box” software so the catch-up time won’t be long at all. The biggest difference will be adapting to the interface. Waiting until your computer crashes is bad advice and some I’ve never given – if your computer is failing the time is now – unless you can afford to wait (like most of us).

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