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Something for the long weekend: New words, printers & parties

We've had such a good response to our proposal for a No List aka the Legal Technology Losers Awards that we are holding it back until next week when we will have the time & space. In the meantime here's a quick run-down of everything frivolous and non-newsworthy to read while you try to watch the football over the drone of vuvuzelas…

• We learned two new words/phases today:
Duvet day which is apparently the American equivalent of “throwing a sickie” in English. One UK law firm that recently merged with a US firm found itself perplexed when the US HR department asked if the new HR software could handle duvet days.
Fact finding visit to Dubai – the legal IT equivalent of Private Eye's “Ugandan discussions”

• We were also asked to give this party date a mention – we did say: Are you mad wanting to publicise this, but he insisted..

David Gallagher – 25 not out celebration. It’s true! David kicked off his career in Legal IT when he joined Miles33 back in July 1985 as a Support Consultant. He progressed to being their Customer Services and Operations Manager before moving to Timeslice as an Account Manager and then on to Admiral Legal Systems as a Business Development Manager. David subsequently moved from poacher to gamekeeper by creating his own consultancy business in 1997 and began working directly for law firms. This business matured into Aurra Consulting in 2000 and that in turn was purchased by Tikit. David’s now CEO at the business and legal IT consultancy Saturn27. To celebrate the fact David Gallagher has been in Legal IT for 25 years, we’d like to invite you to join us for a little celebration. Please join us, 6pm onwards, 7th July, at: The Counting House, 50 Cornhill, London EC3V 3PD Please let us know you are coming by dropping a note to Footie fans need not worry – The semi final will be on the big screen !

• Our opinion of legal PR consultants plummeted yet further when Winscribe revealed they didn't understand the concept of embargoes and Kroll Ontrack asked if I would like to interview them about the new ESI questionnaire. I said actually I'd like to interview Kroll Ontrack about their corporate future, who is going to buy them etc and about the Bloody Sunday Inquiry overspend (being as for about 5 years you couldn't attend a legal IT or lit support conference without Kroll Ontrack running a session on the bloody Bloody Sunday Inquiry technology project they had worked on). Kroll made their excuses and ended the call.

• Finally for the techies among you (and thank you to Joanna Goodman for providing the link) here is the Lego/felt-tip pen printer video with the technical FAQs…


Lego felt tip 110 printer connected to an Apple Mac. This is not
mindstorms, I designed/built/coded it all from scratch including analog
motor electronics, sensors and printer driver, the USB interface uses a
“wiring” board.

FAQ: Track name? “Christopher and Raphael just
popper Shinichi Osawa distortion disco edit”

FAQ: How long did
this take? Hard to say, maybe 3 weeks working evenings.

You're a student and this is a university project? I'm not a student,
this is just a hobby project.

FAQ: Just a remake of the 1092a?
No, I'd never seen the 1092a until now. However some of the parts came
from a 8094 kit amongst others many years ago. It is made to my own
design, but I acknolwedge influences and the great work of the official
lego designers !

FAQ: Does this use mindstorms? Nope, wiring
demo board + homemade analog electronics and sensors.

Dots per inch? Approx 75 DPI

FAQ: PPM? Pages per minute? Not even
1! I sped things up a little in the video editing to keep it
interesting to watch 🙂

FAQ: Helvetica? Yes of course, my respect
to those who noticed 🙂

FAQ: Full color version/more colours?
Originally I was going to do 3 colour version, but I had to simplify as
only have 4 lego motors.

FAQ: Open source, schematics etc? Yes,
I'll try to get around to this soon. Unfortunately I'm pretty busy at
work at moment and documenting this project to a good standard will take
a while. Sorry 🙁

FAQ: Wrote your own driver? Yes, uses standard
Mac OS print mechanism.

FAQ: Are you using some sort of MCU
demo board(the black pcb)? Yes. [1]

re: Mac vs PC abuse? Video not meant as a Mac advert and I'm sorry if
the Apple logo offends anyone. I just find them easier to use.

Felt tip damage drying up? Yes this is a problem, but one felt tip
usually lasts for quite a few pages.

FAQ: Felt tip auto-capping?
Nope, sorry.

FAQ: Sensor info: Horizontal positioning using
homemade shaft encoder (black/white rotating lego squares you see in
the vid) with a SY-CR102 photo reflector from Maplins, (only £0.89 or
$1.30). This is into a sampled analog input as I couldn't get full
enough saturation to trigger the ext interrupt pins. There are also push
buttons built into lego bricks for left and right end stop detection.