Now here is a feature which I think will be rather well used in the drafting of legal agreements. You create the document in MS Word 2010 and then when you normally would save the document, you now "Share" the document.
This is a great feature, but only if you do screen captures for things like training material, or IT support to capture the image of the error - or maybe for the legal typist - if you are taking a screen shot of an email that is being used in evidence. It has been available in the past with the use of "Ctrl V" - but now it really is slick.
Word now allows you to insert an image into a document - like before - but now offers a new feature which removes the background of the image. You can then add a myriad of other image effects, like a shadow which makes the image look very professional.
We have been given a copy of Microsoft Office 2010 Beta to use, break and offer feedback to Microsoft. So far we have not found anything that seems to have gone backwards which is often the case in upgrades to software - a feature that they might think great, often could be cumbersome to users. We also look at estimated pricing.
Having been given the opportunity and also with me being bold enough to try a Beta version - it would be crazy not to offer my comments and views on the software to the South African legal market.
L@W's Transfer Solution has added functionality to cater for the following new transfer types. These include Partnerships, Execution sales - bank buy in, Execution Sales - 3rd party purchase, PIPs, VAT variations including inclusive, exclusive and plus VAT and SARS undertaking. Also available now is the global entity library where users can share in the global library of banks, councils, estate agents, managing agents etc.
A new version for the Chrometa time recording software has been released and boasts the following new features: Split time away - now you can allocate to more than one matter when logging "away from your PC" time. Log away time popup now mandatory - no longer will the popup fade away if you don't fill in the matter or detail. Drag and drop categories - you can now move your categories around and your matters move accordingly. There are a few other enhancements. This version has been a customer wish list come true update.
L@W has gone live with the backend of Close Corporations, Private Companies and Public Companies on its FICA Solution. L@W is also going live with the new FICA website which caters for these entities.
Secure Will allows your firm to create Wills for your clients at no cost to your firm. The client can opt for monthly or once off fee, with the monthly fee offering extra features like safe keeping of the Will, online access to amend the details of the Will and free administration of estates charges up to R150000.00 total value.
The award-winning Pulse smartpen from Livescribe is a computer in a pen that records everything you hear and write, and synchronises the audio to what you write, so you never miss a word.
If it seems like everybody and his second cousin is making an eReader device, it's because they pretty much are. Beyond the industry-leading Amazon Kindle and the Sony Reader, a veritable troupe of newcomers are taking the stage to challenge the digital reading device market: The Barnes & Noble Nook, Plastic Logic Que, Spring Design Alex, LG's solar eReader and more will be vying for a share of the digital book market along with the now official Skiff Reader from Hearst.
If you try accessing Twitter from the browser of a mobile phone, Twitter will automatically serve you the mobile-optimized version of their site. However, if in case Twitter fails to recognize your smartphone, you can manually type m.twitter.com to directly access the mobile site of Twitter from your phone. Now that's one way to use Twitter from your mobile phone. You also have a wide variety of mobile apps for Twitter that not only offer a much better experience than Twitter's mobile site but they also integrate with some of your phone functions like the built-in camera. Have a look!
Lifehacker have recommended downloads each day. In this article they have compiled a list of the very best free Windows applications for 2009. Some of these we have spoken about in Tech4Law and although we do not use all of the applications, we do make use of most of them. They have similar "best of 2009" lists for Mac and Linux. We are going to give Notepad++ a whirl, will let you know how it goes in the next few months - but just having multiple tabs for separate files is a plus! Have also heard a few good reviews about Foxit Reader.
Google realtime allows you to search on realtime results, or as close as realtime as Google can get. Which means that things like Twitter tweats will be searchable and viewable as they are placed. The search screen at the top will update automatically as new items are posted.
If there is a chance your notebook may be stolen or lost? Then this is a great tool that notifies you when your PC is connected from another location. This only works on the Firefox 3.5 browser - as far as I'm concerned, it is worth the change from any other browser.
A unique new addition has been released by the leading search and public information portal in the country. Copies of Court Documents can now be requested directly via SearchWorks.
The design of the feature cleverly links Court Documents directly from the Judgement results section of any credit bureau search. Alternatively, Court Documents can also be requested using the case number and court name.
"EnCase Portable now gives any lawyer, paralegal, and litigation support specialist the ability to easily collect and preserve ESI (Electronically Stored Information) anywhere, anytime." EnCase Portable is a data collection solution that leverages the powerful search and collection capabilities of EnCase®, delivered on a USB drive.
How often have you deleted something, after clearing your "Recycle" bin in Windows and then realized you needed the file for some reason? I'm sure just about everyone has wanted to undelete a file from the past. Recuva is the product you need! The interface is easy to use and very intuitive for "not so" geeky users - it starts by asking file types, then what drive, and gives you the list of files that are available to recover. It is free, but request a donation - my feeling is when you first use it to recover a file, make a donation. You may never need it, but it is a very good tool to have just in case, one of the best I have found over the years. Thanks to Gavin McLachlan of Randles Attorneys for the tip.
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Rick Borstein from Adobe has given us 30 great tips for use with Adobe 9. Here is the link to the PDF file you can download and read. You can follow Rick on his blog at http://www.adobe.com/go/acrolaw.
CCleaner is a system optimization, privacy and cleaning tool for Windows 98 to Vista. The system is freeware, although they do deserve a donation if you are going to use the software for commercial purposes. This cleaner allows your system to run faster, without the clutter that gathers on all Windows systems over time. It also has a good registry cleaner, to remove all of those registry entries that are no longer needed. To give you an idea, when I ran it on my Windows system (which is 2 months old) it freed up 1.705Gb of disk space, and cleared 94 registry issues. To date they have had 350 million downloads of the software. This is a great tool for the IT staff to keep on their utility memory sticks.
GoToMeeting is a Web conferencing tool that allows you to meet online rather than in a conference room. It's the easiest and most cost-effective way to organize and attend online meetings. Patented technology enables co-workers, customers and prospects to view any application running on your PC in real time. With the flexibility to meet in person or online, you'll be able to do more and travel less.
Here is a tool inside of Microsoft Outlook 2007 and Microsoft Word 2007 that can save you a great deal of time. What this tool does is insert a paragraph of text, including formatting into your email or document in a matter of two or three clicks.
OpenOffice.org will release version Open Office 3.2 on the 14th December 2009. The beta of this version has been in the market since early September. The changes seem to be mostly improvements on new features added in version 3. On the 29th October 2009 Open Office had been downloaded 100 000 000 times - the fact that the download is 150mb makes this quite an achievement! This is a great alternative office suite if you don't need Word for 3rd party software.
The Regibond Module used for downloading ABSA instructions and making payment advices, will be terminated at the end of November 2009 . From 1 November your Vendor will download the instruction data from the ABSA Bond Centre, without the use of the RegiBond Module. The instruction data is necessary for the production of your ABSA documents that do not reside on the ABSA Bond Centre.
ABSA Cancellations attorneys are now using a new web based system from Monday 2 November. The new cancellations system is entirely web based and does not require any software to be installed or maintained in the attorneys environment besides the L@W issued personal digital certificate. This means that the system is easier to maintain, accessible to remote users and easier to use. There is no need to synchronise data as is the case with RegiNET, and any action taken by a user is immediately processed by L@W and sent to Absa where applicable. RegiNET will still be available to view historic information, but no actions taken on RegiNET will be sent to Absa. RegiNET will still be used for CPF loans.
South African document assembly system, XpressDox has introduced a remarkably different new licensing model for its software both locally and internationally. "Potential users can download an unrestricted copy of the software from the XpressDox website. If they wish to use it non-commercially, they can do so absolutely free. However, if they intend using it for business purposes, they need to licence the software," says Chris Pearson, director of XpressDox. "We realize that some people might abuse the situation, but we're confident that most of the first world is legitimate when it comes to software licensing. Sure, there will be some piracy, but in our view the pirates would have been unlikely to purchase the software anyway. Besides, even pirates will help to spread the word." At R1,50 per day per user, XpressDox is so affordable that it just doesn't make sense for anyone to pirate it. XpressDox can be downloaded from http://www.xpressdox.com
I am no touch typist, in fact 4 or 5 fingers at most - however, people like me can save plenty of time if they learn to type properly, using all fingers and properly positioning your fingers over the keyboard. I have found a free online application that teachers you to type faster called "Typing Tutor Online", go to www.typingtutor-online.com for your first lesson.
Drawing the accident scene often brings a whole new perspective to the report, even if it just makes the report clearer for everyone to understand. Here is an online web based accident drawing application that makes it extremely easy and quick to illustrate the accident scene, with everything in proportion and with all the required signs/roads/vehicles. Once finished you can email it, save it or print it. All of this and it is free. A great application that can assist immediately, no training needed. Go to http://www.accidentsketch.com. for more details.
SaproType is a professionally managed Secure Online Specialized Confidential Transcription Service, which enables professionals to rapidly access highly skilled typists if their usual typist is suddenly unavailable. Regular users experience all the benefits of outsourcing.
Recordings can be dictated from anywhere in the world telephonically, directly to a PC via a headset microphone or "speechmike" or downloaded from a Portable Digital Voice Recorder. Confidentiality is ensured by sophisticated secure encryption technology, login codes and passwords. Documents are professionally proofread and are tracked and retrieved online. Contact SA Professional Typing Services Online on (011) 0232323 or visit their site at www.saprotype.co.za.
So you want a small portable projector that you can lug around with you when traveling? The new 3M MPro 120 portable should impress you, how is this for size: 120x60x24mm (millimeters!) and weight of only 154g. What makes it truly portable is the battery life which will give you up to 4 hours viewing. It has a multitude of connections to other devices, so your next presentation could be from your mobile phone. And the price seems reasonable at R3590 including VAT from WebAntics Online. Now that is portable!
Globodox is a document management software suite designed for the medium to large business. It features an integrated set of tools for scanning, indexing, searching, securing, sharing, auditing and workflow.