Hot Products for Lawyers on the Go
WordPerfect Office 12
The latest incarnation of the word processor that won the hearts and minds of the legal profession has hit the streets. Acknowledging the market inroads made by the other Windows word processor, Corel has made compatibility with other word processors the single most touted feature. And if you want to take a nostalgic trip back in time to when there was a real variety of word processors from which to choose, just look at all the formats WordPerfect supports! Wordstar, anyone?
For those who have made the transition to Word, WordPerfect offers a workplace that looks and feels the same as Word, but with the advantage of offering reveal codes. Anyone who has been lost in a formatting problem in Word and its styles-based structure can appreciate this. Indeed, I even tried fixing a troublesome Word document by opening it in WordPerfect 12, turning on reveal codes, and fixing the formatting problem, then saving it as a Word document. Simple PDF files can be directly saved, but without the advanced features available in the full Adobe Acrobat package.
That being said, importing heavily formatted Word documents was not always successful, despite claims of Corel’s marketing folks. Complex autonumbered paragraphs did not always translate perfectly. However, I never discovered a translation problem that was difficult in the least to fix.
The cost remains substantially less than comparable competitive products: $149 for the upgrade, $299 standard full product. Street prices may vary. Reviewed by Dan Coolidge
Wireless Networking, The Easy Way:
IOGEAR Wireless-G Broadband Gateway
IOGEAR’s 802.11g Wireless Broadband Gateway serves as a wireless access point and router for small and home office uses. The router also serves as a print server to facilitate wireless sharing of a USB-connected printer.
Installation and setup proved simple, employing a Web-based setup wizard; the built-in firewall supports WPA and WEP. The router provides 4 hard wire Ethernet connections as well as wireless access, facilitating sharing of a broadband Internet connection (such as cable or DSL). The router works with computers on the Windows platform (Windows 98 or higher and a wireless card for wireless connectivity) and on both the Mac OS 9.2 or higher and OS X operating systems (requires a G3 or G4 computer with an Airport or Airport Extreme card for wireless connectivity). The router operates on the 802.11g standard, but provides backwards compatibility to 802.11b devices. The router lists for $130. www.iomega.com.
If your Windows-based computer does not have a wireless card built-in and you have not yet acquired an 802.11g compliant card, IOMEGA has a very competent 802.11g compliant PC card available. On the other hand, if you use your PC slot for something else (or have no card slots available in your desktop computer) and also want to have a wireless connection, you can look at IOGEAR’s Wireless-G USB Adapter. The cleverly designed Wireless USB Adapter bends to serve as an antenna. It conforms to the 802.11g standard and uses a USB 2.0 connection. The USB adapter lists for $ 89.95. Reviewed by Jeffrey Allen
8 Port Video Switch
IOGEAR recently introduced a $149 list price 8-port video switch (GVS881). The video switch allows up to eight different computers to share a single VGA display. The switch has the shape and the approximate size and weight of a large portable CD player. It comes with an IR remote control, allowing instant electronic switching among users. The switch supports VGA, SVGA, XGA, and multisync monitors.
Designed for use in conference settings, the switch also works for multiple-speaker presentations as well as any other situation in which you need to use more than one computer to make your presentation. IOGEAR’s video switch also acts as a signal booster. The switch requires no drivers or other software installation; it is literally “plug and play” for both the Windows and Macintosh OS platforms. You should not experience any problem in mixing computers on different platforms (Mac OS X, Mac OS 9.x, Windows XP, Windows 2000, etc.) www.iogear.com. The Switch comes with a three-year guarantee. This is a very handy piece of equipment to have around at a very reasonable price. Reviewed by Jeffrey Allen
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