Ernie the Attorney reminded me today of one of the items I have on my rapidly expanding blogging to do list. He describes his basic computing toolbox and the tools in it in a post called “My laptop is my one-stop shop for everything I need.”
Great stuff – a good picture of how Ernie can work comfortably on a Mac in the Windows-dominant world of the legal profession. I learned a lot from his post. For one thing, it still amazes me that law firm IT departments are trying to move lawyers away from laptops and back to desktop computers. I love the looks I get from Tablet PC users who ask me why, oh why, lawyers do not realize how Tablets are so well-suited to the way lawyers work when I start telling them stories about the ways lawyers and law firms view Tablet PCs.
As usual, Ernie inspires me to blog better, but, as David Byrne said so eloquently, “I don’t have the time.” At least not today. But soon.
I’ve been wanting to put together a similar list of the hardware and software I actually use for a while – in a way “Open Sourcing” my personal technology choices so that people will email me with constructive criticism of my choices and suggestions for improvements. It might also serve as a guidepost for tech vendors who want to send me the latest version of their products, but haven’t been sure what I need. As an aside, if I were in Apple’s marketing group, I’d be “seeding” Ernie with the best new Apple stuff and making him the shining example of Macs in the law, especially given his profile in the legal blog community and his influential audience. But, what do I know? On the other hand, Apple could get me for the small price of a U2 iPod.
As a bit of a preview, I will mention the coolest addition to my computing arsenal – an HP OfficeJet 9130, unquestionably the best printer I have ever used, including my days in large law firms. Oh yeah, it also copies, scans, and, for those of you still living in the fax world, also faxes. The OfficeJet 9130 has its own keyboard – how cool is that? I’m grateful to my pals at HP for getting me a unit to review, so be sure to factor that bit of disclosure into my gushing review. However, this unit just seems like a great fit for small offices and workgroups in large offices.
And printing in colors! I may lose my membership card in the lawyers club for this, but I have to say to other lawyers, “c’mon over to the world of colors – it’s almost 2005 and it might just be safe to take a taste of the world beyond black-and-white printing.”
It’s amazing how the HP Laserjet became the workhorse in most law firms. Lawyers love them and keep them forever. I recently saw a post from a lawyer on an email list looking for suggestions to keep his LaserJet 1 alive. He could get ten times the printer for less money than it would cost to keep the old one alive! That’s customer loyalty. I can see the OfficeJet series capturing the same level of ubiquity in small law firms over the next few years.