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December 2001
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Snap Shot: Christopher Cann

Snap Shot: Christopher Cann
Photo by Monica Bay. Location: ExCel Conference Center, London
VITALS: Parents were in the Royal Air Force, so I had 18 schools before settling down to boarding school life at Adams Grammar School in Shropshire at age 13. Law: Wolverhampton in the West Midlands, then to Chester College of Law for my "finals."

MILITARY: I tried to follow my father into the RAF, but they wouldn't take me as a pilot because I had hayfever.

A.K.A.: Canny (I don't know why.)

CURRENT POST: Systems partner at Martin-Kaye solicitors in Telford Shropshire. It is a regional firm, employing about 70 people, but now growing with more national work. Because I stopped having to keep our network up and running (in my spare time from a busy personal injury practice), I now troubleshoot for the managing partner, introducing systems into every area of the practice to improve efficiency and job satisfaction.

BAR ACTIVITIES: Secretary of the Claims Direct National Solicitors Association; past member of the Shropshire Law Society Committee. Past chair and secretary of Newport Rugby Union Football Club.

OFFICE TECHNOLOGY: All I.T. is outsourced to a managed service provider, called HUB, from the desktop to the servers. Processing and data storage is on mirrored Unisys ES7000 servers. Desktops range from an old 486 to my Hewlett-Packard Omnibook laptop, but all run Citrix "thin Client" and so enjoy Pentium processing speeds. Operating system is Windows 2000 data center, with Citrix clients running at the desktop end. We all have access to the MS Office 2000 professional suite and the Internet (including Outlook for e-mail and calendar). The back office systems are from Axxia Systems Limited, including their latest 32 bit accounts suite and "Fee Earner Desktop" program through which they can access client data, and electronically record their time. Our case management software also is from Axxia. We use Sage WinForecast for budgeting. I use Dreamweaver to maintain our knowledge base and Web site.

FAVORITE GADGET? My Palm Vx. It synchronizes with my office e-mail, calendar, and contacts.


HOME SYSTEM: I've just managed to network together the family's three computers and one laptop with a file and print server. Just got broadband always-on access to the Internet from BlueYonder cable company.

PAGER? None, but have a DECT phone in the office so that I'm always available.

FAVORITE COMPUTER GAME: Much to the dismay of my wife and daughter, my son has got me addicted to the online game called EverQuest. We now jointly have a level 36 Shaman on the Luclin Server.

FAVORITE SOFTWARE ON PDA? I really only have utilities -- my favorite is the program that allows me to synchronize with my Outlook desktop at the office.

CELL PHONE: Nokia 3210.

CAR: BMW 740 (with loads of gadgets-for-gadgets-sake).

LAST BOOK READ: Peter Hamilton's Night's Dawn Trilogy passed on from my son. My house is packed floor to ceiling with books.

WATCH? Much embarrassment: I'm currently wearing a freebie from Time magazine.

WHERE WOULD WE FIND YOU ON A SATURDAY AFTERNOON? Probably in the 19th hole of the local golf course where I try to maintain a 16 handicap. (I'm not bad on the course either.)

APPOINTMENT I NEVER MISS: Anything that sounds like it might be a new opportunity.

MOST IMPORTANT LEGAL TECH TREND? ASP/MSP, which has freed me from boring network maintenance, and allowed me to concentrate on business developments in the I.T. / systems arena.

TECH ACCOMPLISHMENT IN LAST 12 MONTHS? Development of our knowledge base (Intranet).

FAVORITE URLS: (EverQuest: Enough said.) (Reference database, allowing us to cancel our paper library updates.)


LAST VACATION: Golfing holiday to Cambridge with my wife (first time away without the kids!) The one I'm looking forward to is our skiing holiday to Whistler next year.

QUOTE: A constant reminder of the folly of trying to predict developments in IT: "640K ought to be enough for anybody." ­ Bill Gates, 1981

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