NOTE: Years ago, after I gave an all-day, everything-you-need-to-know-about-computers presentation, someone said after seeing my course materials, "You ought to publish this stuff!" I began to put together "The Law Office Computer Survival Guide," which I intended to sell and keep up to date as a loose-leaf reference service. It never was published, as I set it aside to get "Corporate Update" out the door. This is the beginning of my efforts to do a "brain dump" of information and opinions, and to keep them up to date. The good news is that you won't have to file the pocket parts, and I won't have to ship it to you. The bad news is that I haven't figured out how to charge for it. Stay tuned, and feel free to ask questions, answer questions, or make suggestions. -- Jim Eidelman

Many lawyers spend all day on the phone. I have always felt that automating as much as possible with a telephone system is a good use of resources.

For a single user with a modem attached, I strongly recommend that the PC be equipped with a modem. In addition to surfing the Web and other traditional email modem-based activities, you can use the modem to:

The application that I see as most important is integration with a PIM to dial the telephone, take notes from the call, and record time and expense entries.

I also suggest using a telephone headset while you use your computer.

We are working on advanced telephone applications using the Microsoft Telephone API. Here is more information about that and what some vendors are doing with it:

Topic Resources and Information
Microsoft TAPI
Telephone Resources Univ. of Mich School of Public Policy -- Telecom resources on the Internet, including comprehensive list of resources.
Northern Telecom Microsoft:

Northern Telecom:

Commence Integration with Caller ID Commence is a PIM/WIM I have been using since version 1.0. Version 4.0 is about to be released. (2/97) TidyCar is one example of a company that has integrated telephones with Caller-ID and Commence in a way that calls up the customer's record on the screen when the call comes in. For more information, click here. (Law firms use Commence too. Click here for Case Study involving McGuire Woods.)
Mitel Mitel Personal Assistant, a single line phone connected to a PC that does everything.
Lucent Lucent Technologies Smart Solutions communications system, a "breakthrough" technology that will ship in Fall, 1997. First system to use multiplexing to carry 4 lines over 1 pair to a "smart phone" that does everything and connects to a PC through a USB (Universal Serial Bus) port.
Intel Intel's TAPI documentation.

Speech Information:

CMU Speech CMU Speech Page with Collection of FAQs and links about speech recognition, synthesis, etc.

(c) Jim Eidelman 1997

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