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Chapter 2 - Hardware and Software

Portable Computers and the Mobile Attorney

Traditional desktop computing systems are being replaced with powerful multifunctional portable computers. Portable computers are computers that can be easily carried from place to place. Portables offer all of the advantages of desktop systems, but add portability.

Portable computers have fueled the capability of practicing law anytime and from anywhere. You can access your work product from the office, draft documents, check your calendar, manage your schedule and due dates, make presentations, communicate with clients and staff from home, at court or anywhere. You can take it to court, depositions or to real estate closings. You can make presentations to clients by accessing the firm’s web pages. Most portable computers have a CD-ROM/DVD built-in for easy access to caselaw or statutes. All of your application software – word processing, spreadsheets, full text programs, and so on – can all be loaded on a portable computer. Whether it is Timeslips, WordPerfect, Lexis, or Internet Explorer, all of your application programs can be used.

Below is a checklist of hardware, software and other issues to consider for the mobile attorney.

Some mobile computing sites to consider:

  • Backup using an ABS – Automatic Backup System for laptop or handheld computer. CMS Peripherals (www.cmsproducts.com).
  • Security system for laptops, projectors, etc. Features a 4.7-foot cable, combination lock, 360-degree motion detector, and a 110-decibel alarm. Port.com (www.port.com).
  • Retractable telephone cord reel. MobilePlanet (www.mplanet.com).
  • Virus, patches & updates - Downloading bug fixes, patches, uninstall software and update your computer software via the Internet. Mcafee (www.mcafee.com).
  • Partition and drive image software. Partition Magic – partitions your hard drive and drive image – creates an image of file as a system backup and move your files when you upgrade your hard drive. Powerquest (www.powerquest.com).
  • Ethernet connection - fast data transfer from laptop to network. 3COMM (www.3com.com).
  • Security - Hardware security devices - Innovative Security Products (www.isecure.com).
  • GPS security – tracks your portable computer using a GPS system. Computrace (www.absolute.com).
  • Printer - Canon’s BJC Portable Printer. Canon (www.usa.canon.com).
  • Portable scanner – Visioneer (www.visioneer.com).
  • Carrying cases - Port’s EasyRoller. Port.com (www.port.com).

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