Technology in Practice. What works? Who Gets it?

Volume 37 Number 6

By

Nerino J. Petro, Jr. (npetro@wisbar.orgg) is a legal technologist and the Practice Management Advisor for the State Bar of Wisconsin. A former practicing attorney, he blogs on legal technology and practice management issues at www.compujurist.com.

With the holidays fast approaching, we’re going to change things up a bit and take a look at some new and updated products that you might like to have the jolly fat man bring you this holiday.

Office Tab
MS Office 2007 and 2010 represent major changes from the old MS Office interface. While the majority of the changes have been for the better, one thing that hasn’t changed is the ability to work on multiple documents, spreadsheets or presentations from within a single window. Our Web browsers have given us tabbed browsing for years, allowing us to easily switch between different pages and websites by simply clicking on the appropriate tab. Enter Office Tabs, which brings a tabbed interface into MS Office 2003, 2007 and 2010. There is a free version for personal, non-commercial use which provides tabs for Word, Excel and Power Point. You can download it at http://office-tabs.com/index.htm. If you want to use it for work, you can purchase it for $25.00 at http://extendoffice.com/product/office-tab.html. If you want tabbed access for Visio, Publisher, Access or Project, then you can purchase Office Tab Enterprise at that same Web page. 

Rebit 5 Backup software & drives
You never know when your hard drive will die or if a virus or other piece of malware is at risk of taking over your computer. Why take chances when backing up your files and computer is a relatively painless and easy process? Product Watch previously reviewed the earlier version of Rebit (Rebit SaveMe, which has since been discontinued), which had the slogan “Ridiculously Simple” software. With the release of Rebit 5, most of the few minor shortcomings of the earlier versions have been addressed. The SaveMe versions of the software provided for continuous backup with file versioning; contained a SmartSave feature that allowed you to use one external drive for both Rebit backup and general storage; and allowed for full disaster recovery. The one major issue was that the prior version did not allow for the rotation of backup drives and removal of one offsite, which is a backup “best practice.” That is no longer true.

Rebit 5 combines all of the features of the multiple prior versions into one package and has licensing available for a single PC or for three PCs. You can now rotate backup drives, and Rebit 5 allows for both direct connect backup (USB or eSata), wireless backup or LAN backup, including Network Attached Storage (NAS) devices. You can restore a file, a folder, all files and folders to a specific point in time (like before you got that virus) or a full restore including your operating system, programs and data. Rebit 5 is still Windows only, and your hard drive needs to be formatted in the NTFS file format for full functionality which is the standard on all recent Windows computers. A single download license is $34.95 and a three computer download license is $79.95. If you would like the program and a Recovery CD, add $5.00 to each of these prices. You can also purchase it pre-installed on an external hard drive. Full information is available from the Rebit website at: http://rebit.com/  

JayBird Freedom Bluetooth earbuds
One thing that modern Smartphone users, whether iPhone, Android, Windows or WebOS, have in common is Bluetooth wireless connectivity. For most lawyers, the idea of walking around with a set of earbuds or headphones that look like something out of a science fiction movie or having a bulky Bluetooth adapter just won’t work. Enter the JayBird Freedom wireless Bluetooth earbuds.

The Freedom earbuds feature a clean, elegant design and come with interchangeable eartips in three sizes, as well as secure-fit ear cushions to ensure they don’t fall out during sports or other activities. The Freedom earbuds provide up to 6 hours of use and feature a built-in microphone and controls for both music and voice. You can pick up a pair for $99.00 online or at a local Best Buy store. For more information check out http://www.jaybirdgear.com/

Samson Go Mic
If you don’t like wearing a headset when using Speech recognition software or for Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) software like Skype; if you want to record podcasts or webcasts; or if you desire to capture music like a musician, take a look at the Samson USB Go Mic http://www.samsontech.com/products/productpage.cfm?prodID=2010.

This small USB microphone is a great option for those that don’t want to be tied to a headset and who want a microphone that is small and easy to carry and use. You can attach it to most laptop screens using the built-in clip and connect it to your computer with the USB cable that comes included. The clip can also serves as a desktop base if you are using it on a desktop computer (most desktop displays are too thick for the clip) or want to position it to record a group or multiple sound sources. The Go Mic is not made of plastic, but solidly built metal, has selectable recording polar patterns (recording direction) and includes a carrying case for the unit itself (but not the USB cable). Buy it online for under $50.00 or find it locally for under $60.00.

 

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