May 2004 SIG Notes

HAL-PC Multimedia/ MIDI SIG, Steve Kennedy Coordinator

The recent topic was digital photography, in particular the low end 1 mega pixel cameras, now under $100.  This was in conjunction with a new digital photography SIG which plans to meet monthly at the HAL-PC Clear Lake Satellite Center. While limited to print sizes of about 4"x6", these little cameras are still a valuable tool for online images, with no film or developing cost. Also, the images can be used to create interesting and fun multimedia presentations with applications like Kai's Power Show, a $20 item. Another approach is a Quicktime Virtual Reality (VR) panorama with Ulead's Cool 360, another under $20 item. All this can be emailed or sent on CD's, as the players are free.

We continue to look at all the elements of multimedia and MIDI ("Musical Instrument Digital Interface"), including digital video, audio, animation, photography and editing software: Adobe Photoshop, Poser (human figure animation), Bryce (3D landscape/environment modeling and animation), Lightwave (full featured 3D animation), Power Tracks Pro (MIDI and digital audio sequencing), etc., etc. Join us the first Saturday of each month at 10:00 a.m. at HAL-PC.

Legal SIG Notes, by Perry Radoff

(April Recap) "Virtual Law Office" is closer than you think. Gerald Zimmerer has taken steps which make it a reality. One of the techniques that Gerald uses is a program that combines voice mails and faxes. The faxes are converted to e-mail attachments which are forwarded to his e-mail address.

His staff consists of a retired legal secretary who offices at her home, where she doubles as both legal secretary and receptionist. Documents are exchanged between the two of them through email.

Gerald uses an on-line legal time and billing service, which convert his Excel documents into time slips, billing and accounting formats. They are returned to him as PDF files for review. Statements sent to clients request on-line payments, which are usually paid by credit cards.

An added advantage to his at-home legal secretary is that she bills for her time worked and is reimbursed and paid by Gerald based upon her hourly billings.

Gerald also has a "virtual scanner" that uses OCR software to scan his faxes (rather than have a physical scanner on a desk for doing the scanning).

The future is here now. It is possible for an attorney to practice wherever he and his laptop computer are currently situated.

May 2004

This will be our annual meeting regarding our latest experiences in both computer hardware and software. This meeting is very helpful and a valuable source of information sharing between those who attend.


Also visit: Tampa Bay Computer Society's (TBCS), Bits & Bytes Online

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