Friday, January 27, 2006

Scott Fairholm Takes Policy Assignment

Scott Fairholm has taken on a new assignment as National Technology Policy Advisor with the National Center for State Courts. He will be focusing on national court technology policy issues including federal information sharing standards, coordination with Global and NIEM related activities and the development of a justice reference service oriented architecture.

A New Year for NCSC Technology

We are pleased to announce several new faces and changes in responsibilities for technology activities within the NCSC, all aimed at enhancing services to the court community while simultaneously bolstering the voice of courts in federal justice information technology initiatives.
Terrie Bousquin of Santa Fe, New Mexico joined as Director of Technology Services on January 1st. Terrie comes to the Center from four years as a partner and co-owner of Greacen Associates, LLC, following six years as the judiciary CIO for New Mexico.
Jim Harris of Orlando, Florida, joined as Senior Court Technology Associate. Jim has most recently been serving as a technical advisor for the Orange County Clerk of Courts in Orlando, Florida. He was previously Vice President and Chief Technology Officer for Court Specialists, Inc., a court case management product vendor.
Shirley Sutherland began as the Administrative Manager for Technology Services in late 2005.
Tom Carlson was promoted to Court Technology Associate and among other things serves as the primary technical representative from the court community on the XML Structure Task Force (XSTF) for the GJXDM as well as on the NIEM Technical Architecture Group (NTAG). Tom was responsible for developing the Wayfarer tool for navigating the GJXDM. It is currently available on the Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) website and on the NCSC website.
Technology Services has responsibility for analyses, recommendations, and support to the major national court technology groups and policy bodies, including the Joint Technology Committee (JTC), the Chief Information Technology Officers' Consortium (CITOC), COSCA, and NACM. Through its work with national and international courts, justice partners, and other NCSC divisions, Technology Services identifies, synthesizes, models, and tests court technology and associated business process, data, design, and implementation alternatives with potential applicability to the wider court community. Technology Services is the primary NCSC resource for creating and vetting XML solutions for court information sharing and for court technology standards development, implementation, and information dissemination. Technology Services presents major national technology educational and conference opportunities for courts and provides Help Desk assistance for GJXDM related questions from courts.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Tablet PCs Invade NCSC Technology Division

Like the old movie The Blob, a new type of computer has taken over our group here at the NCSC; the Tablet PC. Every technology professional in our group now uses either a convertible or slate style Tablet PC. For those of you who don't know, a convertible Tablet PC is similar to a laptop except that there is a hinge that let's one flip the screen around to lay flat across the keyboard. Our group currently has Tablet PCs from IBM (Lenovo), Toshiba, HP, and Fujitsu.
Some of the advantages to this format of computer that we have already found are first, one can use the computer on cramped airline seats. By flipping the screen ( Toshiba currently has a short commercial on their website that shows the flip ) one can use the pen to read, write, and work with applications like e-mail. A second advantage is that the convertible Tablet PC is a full featured laptop. So when I am in the office, I can use it with the keyboard and mouse as I am doing now to write this article. A third advantage is the ability to use the pen to take and save handwritten notes. I have Microsoft OneNote 2003 installed on my Tablet PC and one nice feature is continual file saving. When I write a note, it is automatically saved on the machine's hard drive; no more, click file, click save. Further, we recently saw Colorado Courts CIO, Bob Roper's Tablet PC where he has their entire judicial Bench Book organized in OneNote. We are planning to have Bob and a couple of Colorado Judges demonstrate their systems in December at the E-Courts 2006 Conference. Finally, we have found that the handwriting recognition is very good. Interestingly, for me it seems is more accurate in deciphering my left-hand cursive handwriting versus writing in block letters. And, OneNote lets me be able to search my handwritten notes even if they haven't been converted to text. In general the Technology group is just now learning what we can do with our machines; but from our first impressions, we are happy with out acquisitions. For a good website that collects user's impressions on the hardware, software, and accessories related to Tablet PC's see the Tablet PC Buzz website.