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Technology

by Nerino J. Petro, Jr.

Year after year, the expo hall at ABA TECHSHOW® is a terrific place to learn about cutting-edge technology tools for revving up your law practice. I explored the expo hall at the 2007 conference as Law Practice's product news "man on the scene," and I found vendors displaying a wide array of software, hardware and services for all practice sizes and budgets. Here are some of the items that particularly caught my eye.

AVerMedia Technologies Presenters, www.avermedia.com. AverMedia's reasonably priced AVerVision line of visual presenters and document cameras allow presentation of 3-D objects, papers and other items during presentations and trials. The line ranges from the AVerVision 300AF, a small, portable presenter with autofocus and annotation capabilities, to the mobile SPC300, which has the ability to save images directly to the unit.

Fujitsu ScanSnap Scanner, www.fujitsu.com. At 18 pages per minute for single-sided documents and 36 images a minute for double-sided documents (it scans both sides of a page simultaneously), this sheet-fed scanner is small enough to set on a desk but fast enough to meet the needs of a small office. Scanning in black and white as well as color, when teamed up with its included copy of Adobe Acrobat Standard, this is a terrific value.

Riverbed Technology WAN Appliances, www.riverbed.com. Riverbed's Steelhead wide area network acceleration solutions have been highlighted on national TV and are being used by companies throughout the country (including the library district where my wife works) to optimize WAN communications across limited bandwidth. In the past, when WAN traffic was increasing, an organization went out and added another T-1 line. However, this can be expensive and the bandwidth may not be available or be reliable enough for consistent network traffic. Steelhead devices allow for data streamlining, IT consolidation, faster WAN backup and application acceleration in a single solution.

Dell Latitude Notebooks, www.dell.com. Dell was out in force, displaying notebooks, desktops and large-screen LCD monitors. But one of the most attention-grabbing moments at the Dell booth was a demonstration of the Latitude ATG, featuring a shock-mounted hard drive and LCD screen and other features that allow it to meet MIL-STD 810F, a military durability standard. Watching a notebook get dropped on the floor without it sustaining damage was pretty amazing.

CMS Products Backup Programs, www.cmsproducts.com. CMS continues to provide great external hard drives and backup and recovery solutions, with offerings from small portable drives to full-size desktop solutions. Its BounceBack software is interesting in that unlike other backup solutions, it makes an exact duplicate of your existing drive, which can make recovery from a hard drive failure quick and easy. While you can install a new hard drive and restore the information using BounceBack, an easier solution is to remove the hard drive from the CMS drive—this allows you to boot your system immediately.

WordPerfect Office X3, www.corel.com. A tour of the ABA TECHSHOW expo floor wouldn't be complete without a stop by the WordPerfect booth, where this year the showcase product was the WordPerfect Office X3 suite. The X3 suite includes improved compatibility with other file formats, as well as Corel WordPerfect Lightning, the new online collaboration tool for capturing, sharing and reusing information and images.

With a total of 140 booths in the expo hall, there were, of course, other great products to be seen. While e-discovery vendors were prominent, there were also vendors providing numerous software and service solutions for practice management, trial presentation, time and billing, digital dictation and Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) systems. To get a full list, go to www.techshow.com/exhibitors.

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