Newsletter Header, 12-2013
December 2013
Tech Gift Guide
Upcoming Speaking Engagements
OSBA Tech Conference
When Will Your Hard Drive Fail?
MacCorner - Apple Gifts
Eclectic Gift Ideas
Social Media Marketing Caution
End of the Line for XP and Office 2003
Visit Our Blog
The Affinity Consulting Group Law Office Technology Blog has up-to-date information on hardware, software, and tips for using technology in your practice. Click on the icon above to visit now.
Join Our Mailing List
Tech Gift Guide for Lawyers
What a year it has been for new tech items of interest to lawyers, law firm staff, and all of their families!  New smart phones heated up an already competitive market.  New Intel processors brought increased battery life for laptops and tablets.  A new desktop scanner became the standard for law firms. A Cloud-based operating system began to take home among traveling lawyers,  And, finally, the two major console gaming platforms received long-awaited hardware upgrades.  


All of these categories offer great gift choices this holiday season.  Our feature story this month will explore the top choices in categories of greatest interest to lawyers.  These suggestions will get you off to a good start on your holiday shopping.  


This month's newsletter also includes articles about hard drive failure rates, social media marketing concerns, Windows XP support, and our regular MacCorner column.  

Events & Speaking Engagements in December                 

- Wisconsin Law & Technology Conference, Milwaukee, WI - Steven J. Best, Esq.

12/11 - Adobe Acrobat for Lawyers, Columbus, OH (live simulcast to Cleveland) - Paul J. Unger, Esq.

12/12 & 13 - OSBA Legal Technology Conference for Solo and Small Firm Practitioners, Dublin (Columbus), OH - Debbie Foster, Barron K. Henley, Esq., Paul J. Unger, Esq., John Federico, Esq., Joshua Heppner, Jeffrey R. Schoenberger, Esq.

12/13 - Corporate Counsel Institute: Less Paper = More Productivity; 40 Tech Tips in 40 Minutes, Atlanta, GA - Steven J. Best, Esq.

12/17 - iPad for Legal Professionals - Intro & Basics, Mechanicsburg, PA - Paul J. Unger, Esq.

12/17 - iPad for Legal Professionals - Advanced iPad Topics, Mechanicsburg, PA - Paul J. Unger, Esq.
12/17 - Automation Tools for Legal Drafting and Best Practices, Richmond, VA - Barron K. Henley, Esq.
12/18 - iPad for Legal Professionals - Intro & Basics, Philadelphia, PA - Paul J. Unger, Esq.
12/18 - iPad for Legal Professionals - Advanced iPad Topics, Philadelphia, PA - Paul J. Unger, Esq.
12/27 - Cleveland Legal Technology Conference, Cleveland, OH - Barron K. Henley, Esq., Paul J. Unger, Esq., Jennifer M. Ramovs, Esq.
OSBA-CLE Annual OSBA Legal Tech Conference for Solos & Small Firms
- 12/12 & 13, Dublin (Columbus), OH
- 12/27, Cleveland, OH

Join several of our Affinity Consulting Group partners and consultant's at this year's Legal Technology Conference sponsored by the Ohio State Bar Association.  Topics include:
  • Legal tech tips, tricks, gadgets and cool stuff
  • Using technology to simplify rather than complicate
  • Computer forensics
  • 60 iPad tips in 60 minutes
  • Windows 8 for lawyers
  • Office 2013 preview
  • iPad for litigators
For information and to register for the Dublin (Columbus) conference, click here.
For information and to register for the Cleveland conference, click here.
When Will Your Hard Drive Fail?

Notice we use the term "when" not "if."  Your hard drive will fail.  It is just a matter of time.  The problem is that with hard drives, as is life, you never know how much time you have.  A recent study by on-line backup company Backblaze, gives us some data on hard drive failure rates.  

If you are conservative with your data, as you should be, this study suggests that if your drive survives the first year, you should be OK in years two and three.  But after that, failure rates increase significantly.  The old rule of replacing computers, or at least their hard drives, every three years, may have been close to the mark.

MacCorner - Unique, Functional Apple Gifts
- Jeffrey R. Schoenberger, Esq., Mac Specialist/Consultant

We Mac users got our Christmas presents early this year: iPhones in September and iPads in November. The only Mac users waiting for new big-ticket items are those itching to buy Mac Pros sometime in December. 


And while we techies generally prefer to buy our own smartphones, tablets, and computers, that shouldn't stop us from suggesting to our friends and loved ones accessories to make our Apple world more magical. Here are some ideas to put on your gift list or to buy for the Apple user in your life.


Eclectic Tech Gift Alternatives for Lawyers

We covered the basic gift categories in our feature article while MacCorner focused on Apple-related gifts.  But if you are looking for something a bit more unusual, look to the 9th Annual Holiday Gift Guide for Lqwyers from law practice management blogger Reid Trautz.  

His annual guide usually includes at least one bacon-themed gift.  This year it is bacon-scented bath soap.  Warning - Not advised if you work in a kennel!  He also includes handy USB flash drive cuff links to bring out your inner 007.
Social Media Marketing Caution 

Using social media to help market your services is a great idea - if done within your jurisdiction's ethical rules.  A recent opinion letter from ethics counsel at The Florida Bar states that lawyers may not list their areas of practice on LinkedIn under the heading "Skills and Experience" unless they are certified in the listed specialties by The Florida Bar.

When creating your profile on any social media network, but sure to comply with all of your jurisdiction's ethical requirements for lawyer advertising.  This is a dynamic area and many Bar's are revisiting and updating their rules concerning social media marketing.  You will want to frequently check for rules updates in your jurisdiction.
Support for Windows XP and Office 2003 Ending Soon
- Time to Say Goodbye! 

We are just a few months from the date, April 8, 2014, when Microsoft pulls the plug on support for the Windows XP operating system, the Office 2003 suite of applications, and Windows 2003 Small Business Servers (SBS).  

Law firms can be cautious when upgrading software, but at this point hanging on to outdated software and operating systems is no longer cautious, it is foolhardy. Security vulnerabilities in unpatched (and soon unpatchable) software is too great a risk. 

If your firm is still using any of these products, it is time to upgrade!  If your computer runs XP, chances are it is very old and also needs to be replaced.  Fortunately, despite what you may have heard or read, Windows 8 (now 8.1) has a lot to offer, including greater speed and enhanced security.  If you have questions about upgrading, contact your Affinity Consulting Group office