Dennis Kennedy

Technology Law and Legal Technology. Dennis Kennedy is one of the few technology lawyers who is also an expert on the underlying technologies. Dennis an award-winning leader in the application of technology and the Internet to the practice of law. gives you access to a wide variety of Dennis Kennedy's resources on legal technology, his writings, his well-known blog, DennisKennedy.Blog, and information about how you can have Dennis speak to your organization or group.

Dennis Kennedy is one of the most knowledgeable legal technologists you will find. - Michael Arkfeld.

Dennis Kennedy, a lawyer and legal technology expert in St. Louis, Mo., has been a significant influence in the ever-evolving relationship between lawyers and the Web. - Robert Ambrogi

My New Laptop Computer is an iPod Touch – Part 3 – Analyzing Needs and Usage

Here’s the next installment in my multi-part series on my decision to buy an iPod Touch as my new laptop computer. The focus of this part is on how I looked carefully at actual needs and usage patterns to make my decision.
To review quickly and reset the scene:
I came to the conclusion it was time to consider buying a new laptop computer. I had broken the keyboard on my Tablet PC. My trusty Sony Vaio had just completed work on my book, but was five years old. And, this is a very important part of the story, I had a new employer-provided laptop to take care of my work needs.
Although my temptation was to just take advantage of the extremely attractive deals I was seeing on basic Windows Vista laptops, two things stopped me. First, the fact that by the time I configured a computer advertised at $600 in the way I wanted, the total was always in excess of $1,500. Second, I really wanted to try to focus on the way I use and I want to use a computer.
I’ve long had an interest in usability. Coincidentally, I was sitting next to a group of usability experts at work, giving me the chance to learn some practical details about usability and human factors analysis. And, at TECHSHOW, I had gotten the chance to talk about usability in this context with Ariel Jatib of RocketMatter, another usability expert.
So, I spent some time looking about how I actually used computers in non-work settings – home, travel, etc.
As usual, there were a lot of thought experiments and cogitation – the patterns I described in “The Best is the Enemy of the Good” still stay with me.
The key to my decision, however, came during the three days I spent at the Missouri Solo and Small Firm Conference, where I took two laptops with me (it was a car trip, not a plane flight).
I had the usual unusual projector problem – it took the second AV guy who came into the room to notice that there was some kind of translucent (yet clear-looking) lens cover on the projector. Funny, yes, but I now have one more thing to the long checklist I have made up of actual projector issues I have experienced.
I used a backpack to carry around a laptop. I used the wifi to check email, RSS feeds, web sites and to do some Twitter posts. I searched for available electric outlets and the usual stuff.
I talked a bit with Ross Kodner about laptops. I later announced to Ross that, after observing how I used my laptop, that I felt that the MacBook Air was the way I was going.
The more I thought about it, the more the Air made sense to me – except for the price, which felt a little steep, and the small hard drive. That, and the fact that any laptop made wearing a backpack around at conferences a necessity.
When I got back to St. Louis, I had to go to the Apple store to replace the power cord for my MacBook Pro, which had, incredibly, turned into a melted, frayed, non-working mess. Looking on the Internet, you’ll see quite a bit written about this problem. I saw some posts that said some Apple stores will replace the cord for free. My store happily let me buy a new cord at full price.
When they asked me if they could help me with anything else. I asked them to show me a few things about the MacBook Air. The more I saw and the more I asked, the less the Air felt like a fit.
I then asked, “Would you show me a few things about the iPod Touch?” In the back of my mind, I had the feeling that everything I did for three days at the conference with my laptop could have been done with an iPod Touch (and without a backpack on my back).
About 45 minutes later, I had the answers to all of my questions, including whether an iPod Touch would work as an eBook reader for me.
I didn’t make the purchase on the spot, for reasons I’ll discuss in part 4.
In the meantime, I thoroughly recommend Ernest “Ernie the Attorney” Svenson’s post on his recent experience using an iPhone on a trip while leaving his laptop at home. I saw lots of parallels to my own thinking.
[Originally posted on DennisKennedy.Blog (]
The Lawyer’s Guide to Collaboration Tools and Technologies: Smart Ways to Work Together, by Dennis Kennedy and Tom Mighell. Join the book’s Facebook Group here Now available on Amazon, too.
Technorati tags:

Permalink: My New Laptop Computer is an iPod Touch – Part 3 – Analyzing Needs and Usage

Comments are closed.

Dennis on the Web


Attorney Lawyer website design for Law Firms
Spry New Media Quality custom web site design, development and promotional services for Attorneys and Law Firms.