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Senior Lawyers
The newsletter of the ISBA’s Section on Senior Lawyers

February 2014, vol. 5, no. 2

Technology for seniors

This is the latest of what has become a regular column in the ISBA Senior Lawyer Section Council newsletter. Hopefully you will take a turn in contributing a section on your own “Best Practices” or problems you have in using technology. Please let us know what you need.

iPad Mini with Retina Display

Some of you may remember that we talked about the iPad mini when it first came out (Oct., 2012). Since then, Apple has introduced the same device, but added the Retina Display (previously only available on the full size iPad), the A7 chip and M7 co-processor (previously only available on the iPhone 5s & iPad Air), more “storage” (up to 128 GB) and iOS7. As it turns out, it is the increased speed from the chip and co-processor that, in our opinion, offers the best reason to upgrade. Putting the two devices side by side does not really show much display difference (at least to these “senior” eyes). There is an increased sharpness, but not as noticeable as hoped. That said, it is certainly a device you should consider. It can do anything that the iPad Air can do, at a quarter pound less weight, with not much less in display size (7.9” vs. 9.7”). It also fits in a jacket pocket.

Speaking of the iPad Air, it’s weight and thickness have been significantly reduced making it a very useful “computer” for use in your practice or just for “surfing” the internet, dealing with e-mail, calendar, “ticklers,” and with available apps for just about anything else you could think of or want. To compete with Microsoft, Apple is now offering free productivity apps (Pages, Numbers and Keynote), which equate to the Office programs Word, Excel and Power Point, and the ability to convert to Word or .PDF formats.

Whether you like the full-size or smaller tablet offered by Apple, you now have virtually everything you can do on your PC with you in a portable and user-friendly device. In the opinion of this senior, there is virtually no need or reason to buy a PC any longer. If the keyboard bothers you, you can purchase a portable Bluetooth one (wireless) that is almost full size (or use the voice recognition feature that, along with Siri, obviates the need to type). A few years ago, we urged you to try a tablet for fun. We now suggest that you use it in your practice for your calendar, research, e-mail, document production, etc. Think of the money you can save on a briefcase! And, of course, you can still take photos, play games, and even do those FaceTime calls with the grandchildren.

Computer Basics for Senior Lawyers

On October 18, 2013, beginning at 10:00 a.m., our committee conducted a very successful three hour hands-on “Computer Basics for Senior Lawyers” program at the National Lewis University Computer Lab in Chicago.

Our fine faculty demonstrated while senior lawyers practiced on 24 computer keyboards with their mouses doing basic typing/word processing (using Microsoft Word program); responding to e-mails; and accessing the Internet (using Mozilla Firefox/Internet Explorer).

It was so successful that we are planning another one for this Spring. We also hope to have our committee members available at the Annual Meeting to help senior lawyers do hands-on learning. Our faculty has discussed how to improve our next program since some of our students needed larger fonts and other help.

If any of you need or want other assistance in using computers or tablets, please send us an e-mail or snail mail. ■