Letters to the Editor

August 31, 1998

Embraceable WWWho

Nick Holmes, Director, Information for Lawyers Limited

`33% [of practices have] a website’ Law Firms Embrace Computer Technology,June/July 98 issue p24 – I think not.

33% of practices who responded to the Lawnet/James & Cowper survey maywell have a website, but this is in no way reflects the position in theprofession as a whole.

The Infolaw database of law firm websites tracks all firms on the web and,while it may miss a number of very new or low profile sites, can claim to bepretty comprehensive. At 7 June there were 399 records for England and Wales and53 for Scotland, with 54 barristers chambers in England and Wales also having asite.

So the interesting statistic is that the quoted statement is out by a factorof 6.

Firms wishing to come out of the closet can check the lawyer indexes at www.infolaw.co.ukand submit details of their website.

A better keyboard layout?

Richard Strother, consultant with McCarrahers, Southampton

Typing my article on the European Computer Driving Licence has reminded me of my weak keyboard skills. My sonhas a book Fantastic Facts by John May which says ‘the layout of the letterson computer keyboards dates back to the birth of the typewriter in the 1870s.The first such machines couldn’t keep up with quick-fingered typists and as aresult the keys kept on getting tangled up. The inventors couldn’t find a way ofmechanically solving this problem, so they had to slow the typist down, bydesigning the most inconvenient and confusing arrangement of typewriter keyspossible. The so-called QWERTY keyboard (named after the first six letters onits top row) has survived as standard’.

There are better keyboard layouts and Windows 3.11 supports the DVORAKlayout. I leave you to search ‘Dvorak keyboards’ using a search engine. Youwill be surprised at what you find. If anyone reading this actually uses theDvorak keyboard, I would be pleased if they would contact me at RichardStrother@compuserve.com.