Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Making electronic legal practice a reality

Also in this month's ABA Journal, a story reviewing and advising firms on the use of thumb drives. Now the tiny thumb drive can hold slimmed down programs, so you can actually carry all your productivity tools with you, and also maintain client confidentiality even at a public computer. See the complete story at the link in the title. Here are a few highlights:

Portable core programs on thumb drives extend data portability to the ultimate.

You can have in your pocket a fully functional version of OpenOffice, giving you a Microsoft Office-compatible suite set to your preferences.

But most impressive to us is Lotus Nomad. Plug a 1 gig (or half-gig) USB thumb drive into any computer, and Nomad presents a fully func­tional Lotus Notes desktop. It will even run Domino Designer for those who want to program.

Our jaws dropped when we first saw this (and we don’t easily drop our jaws). Not only was everything there, but the speed was good. If the computer had an Internet connection, not only were the calendar and e-mail accessible, but so were all our Lotus Notes databases—running off the server in our office. We have a paper-free law office that scans 99.9 percent of its paper into databases. Now our entire office is accessible from a $20 thumb drive.

Even without an Internet con­nection, the current generation of thumb drives has enough storage to take along a few critical databases.

Work to your heart’s content locally, saving to the thumb drive, and then rep­licate the updates the next time you have an Internet or network connection. Virtually no trace of what you do stays on the computer you plugged the thumb drive into. Nomad installs items into the host computer registry and then removes them when you unplug.

1 comment:

University of Baltimore Law Library said...

Damn Small Linux and Puppy Linux are other options.