Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Chandra’s IT page

At the moment I have a Dell desktop, one desktop computer and a Dell Latitude X1 laptop stripped down so it has outboard floppy and CD/DVD drive if needed ( to keep the weight down to 1.1 kg). These three computers are on a wireless network which is also connected via a WAN to a computer at my mother's as I often work there and all the computers can access each other through a remote administrator. I also have a Lacie 160 GB slimline external hard drive (0.8 kg, USB 2.0 powered) which I use as my back up and to hold most what I would use with the laptop which only has current work on it to preserve space. This also means that I can easily transfer very large amounts of material to a solicitor or client's computer during a conference.

I have two Dell 1600n Multifunction printers (Print, scan, copy, fax) and I scan all the papers on my cases (to tif though can do PDF as well if needed) using a 60 page ADF. I am aiming to get a higher volume scanner for bigger cases and am working on software to make filing, recovery, sending and archiving of files easy. I have another colour printer for photos and maps, etc.

I am setting up an FTP site to act as a virtual backup (password protected) and have used FTP sites for easy communication between myself, solicitor and clients for bigger cases. Basically all the scanned documents in the case go to the FTP site where it can be accessed by all the important people (including witnesses in civil cases) as and when they arrive which makes witness statements, instructions and cross-referencing much easier and quicker. If it is required you just send an email with a link, phone the appropriate password through for that case folder and everybody is connected. I also can put material on CD-ROM (up to 720 Mb) or DVD (4.7 Mb). If orthodox file transfers are required then my system will email very large files, but it depends on the receiver's email. FTP is much easier as the storage facility is virtually unlimited and while enormous files may take some time even on larger broadband it can be done safely and generally quickly.

I can also store and convert analogue video and audio (such as VHS and interview tapes) to digital format for analysis and easy transfer. As video files tend to be very large the transferee needs to have the appropriate set up.