The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) has published “Introduction to Apple Mail with IMAP,” which is also called “Apple Mail Quick Start Guide v2.” This free download is available to everyone, and it covers all the basics of this program, including screenshots and a listing of keyboard shortcuts. Whether you are new to Apple Mail or you just want a refresher course, this resource is worth downloading and reading. You can download this Guide by clicking HERE.
If there is one product that can best demonstrate the creative possibilities the Mac allows, it is without a doubt Circus Ponies Notebook. Yes, it is a strange name, but it is a fantastic program. Its website describes it as “a combination outliner and free-form database that lets you clip, annotate, and share unstructured information.” Notebook takes advantage of the Mac’s simplicity and intuitiveness. When you open the program, it looks like a blank notebook. You can organize and use this program any way you want to, and the best part is that it is so easy that anyone can use it.
Notebooks can contain outline pages, free-form pages, or any combi￼nation. Its pages can contain text, graphics, audio, video, imported data — virtually anything you can imagine. You can copy and paste items into the pages, type information in directly, or even use “clipping services,” which allow you to automatically insert data into a specified notebook page, even if you are not using Notebook at the time.
One of the best features of Notebook is its automatic indexing of all information. Yes, all information placed into a Notebook is automatically placed into 14 indexes for easy location and retrieval later. These indices include: text, capitalized words, numbers, web addresses, highlighting, keywords, creation date, due date, etc. There is even a “Super Find” feature, which lets you search using multiple criteria at once.
Notebook can be used to organize information in the office or for use at trial. All of a file’s documents can be attached to a specified page, such as correspondence, pleadings, orders, etc. Witness outlines can include links to other pages or items (both within and outside Notebook). For instance, your notes on a given topic can include images, charts, audio clips, video deposition snippets, and other items for quick and easy retrieval. “NoteBook makes it easy to concentrate on what you need to present, rather than on how you should present it.”
Working on a Mac is soooo much easier than using a PC. Using a PC is generally slow and cumbersome, whereas Macs are quick and easy. For a great, useful example, let’s take a quick look at text clipping on a PC vs. Mac:
On a PC:
Select the text, right click, and select copy. Then, go to your desktop, right click, and select New / Text file, give the file a name, and click away. Now, double click the file to open it, paste the text in there, and save it. Whew, that was a lot of work, wasn’t it?
On a Mac:
Simply select the desired text, click it, and drag it to your desktop. Done. If you want to include this text clipping somewhere else, such as a Word document or an email, you simply drag the file from your desktop into the desired target, and your clipped text is automatically inserted. What could be easier?
Internet search maestro Google has many services and software available for Macs, including the following which I believe may be useful to attorneys:
- Mac-Only Search :: allows you to search for Apple/Macintosh-related sites using Google
- Google Notifier :: shows alerts in your menu bar so you can see when you have new Gmail messages or upcoming Google Calendar events without having to open a web browser
- Google Earth :: view maps and locations using satellite technology, now in 3-D
- Search History Widget :: keeps a log of your search history and allows you to search it as well
- Google Toolbar for Firefox :: gives you many useful functions, including a Google Suggest powered search box, Gmail integration, phishing protection, translation, spell check, form auto-fill features, and a lot more
- Google Send to Phone :: allows you to send text messages to any mobile phone
I recently came across the following useful (and free) software:
- GIMP – This is an open source photo editing tool that is comparable to Photoshop, but without the cost.
- iClip – This program gives MacOSX multiple clipboards for copying and pasting.
- Carbon Copy Cloner – Invest in an external hard drive and use this to back up your entire hard drive. As the name implies it makes an exact copy of your hard drive onto a target drive.
- MacTheRipper – Enables you to get around most encryption and rip a copy of any DVD onto your harddrive, from which it can be inserted into presentations or backed up onto another DVD.
The Self-Presenting Presentation combines three great Apple software functions to automatically present and narrate each slide of a Keynote slideshows adapted for its use. Specifically, this application uses AppleScript, Keynote, and Text-to-Speech to begin playback of the presentation; initiate the transitions, build-ins, and build-outs of the slides; and speak the contents each slide’s notes field.
How can this software be incorporated into your practice?
- Create demonstrative presentations to give to insurance adjusters in personal injury cases to get more favorable settlement offers;
- Produce informational slideshow to display in your lobby to tell potential clients about yourself and/or your practice; or
- Design a case summary to give a mediator prior to mediation to provide him/her with an overview of your case.
You can download and view the Self-Presenting Presentation application from Nyhthawk Productions, which uses itself to give an eight-minute tutorial which outlines how the application works. Basically, you create your Keynote presentation, install the Install Test Script script, and add tags to your notes to “direct” the application.
Apple’s website contains a case study which discusses how one lawyer organized video testimony into a concise digital presentation using Apple’s iMovie 2 and iDVD 2, and then presented the video clips in court using his Mac laptop computer. If you have a trial practice, you should read this case study, Using iDVD in the Courtroom, to find out how these programs can work for you too.
You have probably seen Apple’s commerical touting the fact that although there were 114,000 known viruses for PC’s last year, there were none for the Mac. If you know someone who is still using a PC, odds are that you know someone who has been exposed to a virus.
The simple fact is that PC’s are susceptible to having its operating system modified by a virus, often without the operator even knowing it is happening. On the other hand, Macs require you to type in your password before it allows any significant changes to be made.
PC users are compelled to purchase virus protection software to minimize the risk of attack. Even worse, this software is expensive, and it must be constantly updated. Many Mac users (myself included) have no separate virus protection software. I have never had any virus issues with my Mac.
I understand the need for security, but I believe that OS X’s security features are more than sufficient for my needs. Macs allow you to save money and have peace of mind. To find out more about Macs and viruses, read “114,000 viruses? Not on a Mac” at Apple’s website.
In case you haven’t already heard, Apple issued a recall today for 1.8 million notebook batteries because they pose a fire hazard. Although none of the affected batteries have exploded (as was reported with a Dell (PC) notebook), there have reportedly been nine reports of batteries overheating, including two reports of minor burns, but no serious injuries.
The affected lithium-ion batteries were manufactured by Sony and were used in 12-inch iBook G4, 12-inch PowerBook G4, and 15-inch PowerBook G4 notebooks sold between October 2003 and August 2006. Apple issued the following statement: “Consumers should stop using the recalled batteries immediately and contact Apple to arrange for a replacement battery, free of charge. After removing the recalled battery from their iBook or PowerBook, consumers should plug in the AC adapter to power the computer until a replacement battery arrives.”
To find out if your battery is affected by the recall, request a replacement battery, or get more information about this situation, you can visit the Battery Exchange Program webpage Apple has created.
Source: “Apple Recalls 1.8M iBook and PowerBook G4 Batteries” published at AppleInsider.
Would you like to have the ability to turn a web page or a text file into an eBook to use on your iPod? The iPod Notes Packager will handle this transformation for you quickly, easily, and free. You can choose any website or any text file, upload it to this site, and within a few seconds have your very own eBook.
This site could be used for Court rules, statutes, legal outlines, “to do” lists, client names and addresses, or many other uses for attorneys. Even better, it can serve as a legitimate reason to justify purchasing an iPod through your firm. And did I mention that it’s free? You can check out The iPod Notes Packager website by clicking HERE.