Susan Freya Olive
Olive & Olive, P.A.
Durham, North Carolina
Practice focus: Intellectual property law (protection and litigation).
Laptop or desktop: Toshiba Tecra M5 laptop (duo processor T2600, 2MB RAM NVIDIA graphics). Within the firm, we primarily use Toshiba laptops and tablet PCs; our desktops are Gateways.
Wired or wireless: Wireless.
Browser: Internet Explorer.
E-mail: Microsoft Outlook.
Antivirus: Network Associates VirusScan, Spybot and Microsoft anti-spyware. On the server, Symantec and GFI anti-spam.
Backups: Tape and network. We mirror our servers, as well as back them up a couple of different ways daily with both onsite and offsite storage; we back up laptops onto our servers.
Security on the road: VirusScan and boot-level and bios password protection on laptop; passworded thumb drive, with passworded files; secure VPN.
Cell phone or PDA: Samsung I-730.
Substantive tools: Calendaring: Samsung PDA and Outlook (ProLaw docketing system's push-through to Outlook is being implemented); Case tracking: ProLaw (www.elite.com); Document assembly: Microsoft Word; Litigation notebook: Litshare (for larger cases); Group tools: Outlook; Document management software:In-house solution; Presentation software: PowerPoint and SMART Board.
Other favorites: Well-organized browser "favorites" folders; Gmail—though I don't think it's secure enough for client e-mail; and 30Boxes, a great freebie that works well for managing political campaigns. Favorite sites include: Snopes.com; www.networksolutions.com/whois; Library of Congress; National Digital Library; Internet Public Library; Acronymfinder.com; and language and rhetoric sites, such as AmericanRhetoric.com.
Who do you call when you need help or repairs? I pay for Toshiba's onsite service contracts on the laptops for their full expected life; that pays major dividends when there's a breakdown, particularly when on the road. For desktops, I don't buy extended warranties or service contracts. We have a part-time computer technician and also use NetSmart, Inc. For Web design, it's Consultwebs.
Greatest technology challenge: Migrating to a paperless office.
Pet technology peeve: Unresponsive service and releases of fixes and upgrades that impose new license requirements when installed.
Embarrassing technology secret: I still have trouble working our home music system.
Working philosophy when it comes to technology: For my firm: Leading edge but not bleeding edge. For me: Experiment at home; use reliable systems and programs for mission-critical work at the office; and back up, back up, back up!
Parting shot: If you are a good typist, the Accupointer on Toshiba and IBM computers is a huge time-saver over using a mouse or even a touchpad.