OK, class, has everyone now completed reading the 200 or 300 pages that were assigned a couple of weeks ago? If you don’t recall what I am talking about, scroll down a bit. Between August 8th and 18th, I linked to a lot of material for you to download.
I’m now instituting a new form of post called a "Round-Up." The term reflects Oklahoma heritage. The rationale is that there will be times when I get behind on my online reading, and when I catch up, I may want to refer you to lots of unrelated items. So, in case it rains on you this Labor Day weekend, here is some interesting reading material.
I have noted previously my strong belief that most lawyers, particularly solos, would be better off with a laptop computer and docking station than a desktop. Ross Kodner agrees and has a lengthy post about the things to consider when doing this. His "money quote" from the post is: "I have never seen any lawyer or legal pro who decided to transition to a laptop as their primary PC ever want to go back. The freedom of choosing when and where to work, and the ability to turn unproductive downtime into productive billable time are all irresistably positive experiences."
GP/Solo’s August Technology eReport is out. Lots of good stuff, including a very positive review of WordPerfect Mail and and a feature by Carole Levitt and Mark Rosch on how lawyers can use e-monitoring and e-mail alerts to stay informed.
From the makers of Sanction, trial presentation software, is a brief white paper with a long name, Comparative Overview of the Functionality of Common Litigation Support Tools versus Trial Presentation Products. We understand that they aren’t going to say anything that puts their product in a bad light, but it is still a worthwhile download, especially if you do not understand the differences between the two classes of products. Note: You have to give them your contact information before you can do the download and then they will send you a 30 day evaluation copy by mail to try if you wish.
There were two big announcements from Google this week. I’ve previously noted Google’s decision to take on Microsoft office appilcations head on. This week they released a new suite that many of us are already calling Google Office. As the linked article notes, it still is missing a word processor and a spreadsheet, but both are out in beta. Lawyers will be rightfully cautious about client confidentiality. But the idea of free, automatically-updated applications underwritten by a few ads instead of my software purchasing dollars remains viable. Of more immediate interest to readers may be the announcement that many books that are out of copyright, including many classics, are now available for free download from Google Books. (More details here.) You can download and/or print the books, which are in PDF format. If you haven’t registered with Google for the many services it offers, including Gmail, what are you waiting for?
Deniis Kennedy directed me to Ed Yourdon’s blog. It is not law office material and some of you may not have an interest. But of special note are his posts Email is Broken, JotSpot: Wikis for Non-Geeks, Recurring Themes from My Web 2.0 Visits and a post on Digg.
Tom Mighell tells us about the Rollbar bookmarklet from Rollyo. He says, "Just drag the link up to the Links bar of your browser. Then when you’re at a site you want to search, just click on the Rollbar, enter your search terms, and Rollyo will search that particular site for your terms. This is a great tool for sites that have no search feature, or a bad search feature."
Jonathan Stein had a few comments about lawyers accepting credit cards, which led me to post a couple of comments on his blog. Even though we disagree, hopefully you will agree that the post and discussion in the comments provide food for thought.