Law Firm Hardware - Legal Technology - Technologist
Technologist - The FindLaw Legal Technology Blog

Recently in Law Firm Hardware Category

I must admit: I initially didn't understand the tablet craze. When Apple announced the iPad, I was like, "Uh, it's like a half-functional computer. And I have a smartphone. Why?" Eventually, I got an iPad 2 as a gift and it was like crack during bar review -- I never put the damn thing down. And then the novelty wore off, I sold it, and then got a smaller Android tablet, one which quickly began to collect dust.

It's not just me either. Tablet sales are slowing now that the market is saturated. Consumers are starting to ask, "Do I really need to upgrade?" Or better yet, "Do I really need one?" After all, the trend in smartphones, even at Apple, is bigger "phablet" screens.

The answer to both of those questions, dear law students, is "no." Here's why:

We had planned to make today's column a preview of OS X Yosemite, as the public beta was released yesterday to the first million people who signed up. Alas, Apple is popular and this error happened repeatedly. (Tip: Supposedly, deleting the Yosemite file from your applications folder and restarting the download does the trick. It's still not working for us, but we'll keep trying.)

But Yosemite isn't Apple's only big plan for the fall. In addition to the iPhone and iOS 8 rumors that we've gabbed about, there are rumors that upgrades are coming to the company's desktop and laptop lines as well -- including the long-awaited "Retina" MacBook Air.

It's my phone's screen on my television screen. And it only requires a compatible phone, a $35 Chromecast, and a Wi-Fi connection.

Why is this so awesome? It's because I can do anything on my phone (presentations, software demonstrations, toss up videos or pictures, or show off a document or PDF) and it displays wirelessly on a nearby television or projector.

It's just another reason why Chromecast, at $35 or less, is the perfect impulse buy and tech toy.

Last year, when Google released its Chromecast stick, we were beyond excited: a $35 stick that had so much untapped potential. At launch, it was a glorified Netflix and YouTube streamer, but offered little else, other than a few intriguing beta features, but the promise was there.

A year later? Google just announced a few significant upgrades at Google I/O, plus third-party apps have proliferated to the point where it's not just a video-streaming toy (though it is really good at that). Let's take a look at the upcoming features:

This morning, Apple finally released the long-rumored cheaper iMac: a  21.5-inch model for $1,099, or $200 less than the previous low-end model.

Your office might already run Macs. Or, perhaps you're desperate to avoid the abomination that is Windows 8.1 and have decided that Mac is the better route. If so, you might be wondering: should your office be eyeballing the low-end iMac? Or the Mac Mini? Or do you splurge and pay the extra $200 for the now mid-range iMac model?

Here's how the lineup stacks up.

Does your online advertising strategy keep up with the latest tech and SEO trends? Let our experts take a second look.

Your paralegal's six-year-old computer just spontaneously combusted. Or you are still running Windows XP. Either way, it's time for new computers in the office. You've heard bad things about Windows 8, but your office has always run on Windows.

Mac OS X or a Windows 8 PC? Learn a new operating system, or learn a new operating system?

Your best bet is to find a leftover copy of Windows 7, though beware of bootlegs on second-hand and auction sites. But if you don't want to pay extra for an operating system, or accidently buy illegitimate software, your options are limited.

What do the United States, Mongolia, and Papua New Guinea have in common? According to Bloomberg, they're amongst the last few holdouts in a world-wide push to upgrade credit card security. While most of the world, Europe especially, have moved to "Chip-and-Pin" systems, the United States is still plodding along with magnetic strips -- a 1960s technology that makes data breaches far easier to accomplish.

Why does your law firm care? If you take credit cards, you're going to be forced to make a big choice in the next year or two: upgrade your equipment or assume liability for any fraudulent charges.

There have been so many rumors swirling about the MacBook Air, from high definition "Retina" displays to a 12-inch redesign, that it'd be hard not to be disappointed by an update to Apple's cheapest ultraportable laptops.

Even still, meh. Earlier this week, the Cupertino-based company, with no fanfare whatsoever, quietly updated its MacBook Air lineup with this change: a 0.1GHz speed increase. This is like someone giving you $1.58 instead of $1.55. This is like being promised candy and getting a single jelly bean. This is like every single year for the Kansas City Royals.

But, on the bright side, Apple did slash prices by $100, leading to even bigger discounts on last year's now totally obsolete models. (Yes, that is sarcasm.)

Lawyers: Shortcuts Keys Can Make You More Efficient

Can a few shortcut keys make you a more efficient lawyer? It's frustrating to watch a lawyer wasting time schlepping that cursor around with a mouse when he could be blazing like a wizard using shortcut keys. Using the mouse too much also sets you up for repetitive strain injuries.

And for us of course, time is money. So be a wizard. Avoid the mouse with the easy and quick shortcuts below. They have been tested on a Windows system, but many of them work on Macs, too.

Attorneys: a Mechanical Keyboard Might Relieve Your Typing Pain

Remember the old IBM Selectric typewriter? The keys felt great, it made satisfying clicking sounds and no one ever complained of repetitive strain injuries. Don't you wish you could type on your computer using an old Selectric?

Oh, you haven't heard of the IBM Selectric? Well, whippersnapper, have you heard of Carpel Tunnel Syndrome and tennis elbow? We thought so. As attorneys, we all spend so much of our days in an office, on a keyboard, no matter if we are young or old. We're all in this together, so please read on.

If your keyboard is causing you pain, or if you just want to upgrade that thing you click on for hours every day, it might be time to consider a mechanical keyboard.