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Phone numbers are hard to memorize. True story: At one point, I didn't even know my own cellphone number. Everyone used my Google Voice number, which forwarded to the prepaid cell phone that I carried at school. So when I decided to open my practice, I wanted a phone number that was a little bit easier to memorize.

And my old GV number, part of which spelled out the word "CHUNKY," wasn't going to cut it for a law firm.

I also wanted a landline around the office for support staff and for the once or twice per year that somebody decides that it's time for me to dust off my fax machine. The solution? A $30 adapter and Google Voice.

Every year, the nerds of the world descend on Las Vegas for the Consumer Electronics Show, a trade show/press release machine where companies debut new products and tantalize us with proof-of-concept devices that may or may not ever be made, as well as nifty ideas that don't make much sense, like a Wi-Fi-enabled tea kettle.

So what products came out of CES that lawyers will actually care about? Especially the ones that will actually get made and not just chattered about but never released?

Wow, we weren't even three days into the new year before we got the latest in "The machines are taking our jobs!" And I don't just mean in general, I mean specifically lawyers. Every year, we're reminded that our judgment can be mimicked by a computer.

Emphasis on can be. Well, more like could be. Well, more like "it's theoretically possible, but it's expensive and still not as good as a lawyer."

We haven't done one of these in awhile: a big list of every tech-related item that would come in handy if you were to start a law firm in 2015. Today, we cover hardware -- laptops, monitors, printers, and more. Later this week, we'll tackle software and miscellaneous gadgets (including landline or VOIP phones!).

Think of this series as a wish list, for those of you on a budget. Or a checklist, if you're loaded.

It's no secret that FindLaw's Technologist is my favorite of our Legal Professional blogs. Tech + Law = Geek happiness. But this is a surprisingly broad blog: national security, cybercrime, online legal marketing, software, hardware, and gadgets are all fair game.

And out of all that, the gadget review posts are my favorite. Why? It's my chance to play with a new toy and to tell you how that toy might be somewhat, arguably, useful to your practice. (At least if the tax man is asking -- gotta love deductions.)

Anyway, I love gadgets and apparently y'all do too, as our gadget review posts were among our most popular, traffic-wise. Here were our Top 10 legal tech reviews for 2014:

By now, you've read many of our gift guides, including the Black Friday tech gift guide and the plain old lawyer gift guide. All of those gifts were actual gifts, with real utility. Don't you ever want to get someone something that's completely useless?

Well, fear not. We scoured the Internet looking for five gifts for the tech-savvy lawyer that are just completely useless. (OK, some of them have utility, but are otherwise really silly-looking.)

What happens when everyone suddenly has a smartphone and a wireless network? Appliance companies start making the same old things they used to -- but with wireless capability and smartphone access.

Seems preposterous? It can be. From the "smart" washing machine to the "smart" yoga mat, companies are coming up with new and interesting ways to make you pay $200 more for the same old crap you always had -- but now you can control it with your iPad!

Here are five of the dumbest-sounding "smart" devices we've come across:

Does that office printer you're considering put dark text on a light page? Good enough.

Except, it's not that simple. I mean, it is that simple if you don't mind major inconvenience (the inability to make copies or send faxes, the high cost of ink refills, etc.), but for the rest of us, buying a printer for our offices is actually a decision that requires some thought.

Here's a list of things you'll want to look at:

Remember the good old days, back in the 1980s, when you needed a 500 microfarad capacitor, and Radio Shack was your friend? They had drawers full of electronics parts of all shapes, sizes, and amperage.

Radio Shack, however, has fallen on hard times. Few people need electronic components, and even if they do, they can get them online. All the other electrical gadgets Radio Shack sells can be purchased elsewhere. Is this the end of the once-venerable tinkerer's institution?

It's not much of a secret around here that I despise Windows 8.1. I'm not the only one -- its market share is in single-digit territory -- but I haven't exactly been shy about my feelings: It was a terrible mistake by Microsoft to push a touch-first operating system on everyone, especially corporate, legal, and other business users whose keyboard-and-mouse setups did not play well with the OS.

On Friday, I bought my first Windows 8.1 device: a $59 WinBook TW70CA17 tablet from Micro Center. And while it may not be fair to evaluate the OS in such a less-than-ideal environment, I really was curious to see how it would fare on a tiny 7-inch screen with bare minimum specs: a quad-core Intel Atom Z3735G processor with 1 GB RAM and 16 GB flash storage.

Why did I engage in the tech equivalent of self-flagellation with a spiked leather belt? The tablet, however useful or not it may be, came bundled with Office 365 Personal ($70 from Microsoft), which meant I saved $10 on Office 365 and got the tablet for free.