I think I’m pretty good at both using the English language and getting my computer to do the fairly limited number of things I want it to do. But I can’t count the number of times I’ve read an error message, or a warning, or an instruction regarding our computers or programs, and, though the message was clearly written in English, understood it no better than Sanskrit.
Those frustrating experiences, which I suspect many lawyers and others share, underscore why I always appreciate reading and hearing advice from Illinois lawyer Bryan Sims. On his blog, The Connected Lawyer, Bryan provides pithy tidbits of information and advice on gadgets and software in plain, easy-to-understand English. Though he directs his advice to lawyers, anyone can benefit from it.
Bryan has a good article in the current issue of Illinois Lawyer Now, published for members by the Illinois State Bar Association, on how to integrate technology into your law office without spending a bundle. He addresses different, cost-effective options for printers, faxing, and phones and provides examples from his own practice to explain why his own chosen options work best for him.
Bryan speaks on these matters at conferences and always gives a great, informative presentation. I’ve interviewed and quoted Bryan in articles I’ve written for the Illinois Bar Journal and learned quickly that he’s a very nice and approachable person (as true superstars tend to be). Bryan also loves to read and posts occasionally about the books he’s read on another blog, I Would Rather Be Reading (great title, Bryan!). I was interested to note Bryan’s post some time ago about how much he and his family love their Kindle e-readers, which, along with many other recommendations and a loan from another generous friend, is inspiring me to try one out.
In related news, the New York Times has an article on which gadgets we can get along without. What sites with technology tips do you find useful? How about book blogs? And for those of you with Kindles or other e-readers, do you love them as much as everyone else I know does? Anything you don’t like about them?