Fwd: GigaLaw.com Daily News, April 16, 2009

>From another list...
Cyndi
>U.S. Bill Would End Tax-Free Shopping on Internet
> If a little-known but influential alliance of state
> politicians, large retailers, and tax collectors have their way,
> the days of tax-free Internet shopping may be nearly over. A bill
> expected to be introduced in the U.S. Congress would rewrite the
> ground rules for mail order and Internet sales by eliminating what
> its supporters view as a "loophole" that, in many cases, allows
> Americans to shop over the Internet without paying sales taxes.

_,_._,___

Automating document assembly

I want to do the following:
1) Send out a lengthy fillable form to unsophisticated computer users
who have no specialized software on their computers.
2) Have an easy way for them to send the data back to me, perhaps as an
email attachment.
3) I receive the attachment and somehow plug it into a standardized word
processor document in which the same data automatically gets used again
and again in different places.

I want to do it for free or nearly free. I already have Office 2007 and
Adobe Acrobat 8, and I think it may be possible with just these two
programs, but I can't quite figure it out. I can make a PDF form that
sends itself back as a XML file. I can make Excel populate a table
using that XML file. But I can not figure out how to get Word to
automatically populate documents with that data.

One thing I dislike about using Adobe Acrobat for this is that it seems
to depend upon the user using Outlook or Thunderbird or some similar
mail program. I would prefer something web-based for data collection.

I found a few document assembly programs that do this, but they all cost.
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Camera for trial advocacy training.

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RE: Camera for trial advocacy training.

Glen,

If your primary complaint is the memory transfer process, what about keeping the cameras and using one of the Eye-Fi cards for data? It's a wi-fi enabled SD memory card, so you should be able to transfer the videos with removing the card.

http://www.eye.fi/cards/

Jon Larson
Systems Administrator
University of Washington School of Law

From: teknoids-bounces@ruckus.law.cornell.edu [mailto:teknoids-bounces@ruckus.law.cornell.edu] On Behalf Of glen mcbeth
Sent: Tuesday, May 19, 2009 2:07 PM
To: Teknoids
Subject: [teknoids] Camera for trial advocacy training.

We use the NITA method for trial ad instruction.
One aspect of it is that they need to record their efforts and review it privately with an instructor, so that they can see their own performance.

We used to do it with webcams and laptops, but have shifted over to flash memory camcorders, which generally have much better images and sound, and are much easier to use*, and are more easily mounted on a tripod. (*Trial ad adjuncts with unknown technical expertize operate the cameras.)

I really like the camera we have been using, the Samsung MX20, but I wish I could switch out the flash memory without taking it off the tripod. As it is, the class pauses while the files are offloaded to a computer with a USB cable. 25 seconds per 5 minute clip, which is OK, since we do the transfers during class breaks.

Does anyone have a better camera for this purpose?

Ideal specs:

1) Cheap- I need to be able to leave these in a classroom during breaks. <$300
2) A low-rez/high-compression mode so that the files transfer quickly. (High-def mode would be a nice extra for other times)
3) Ordinary file format for movies. wmv, mpg, mp4, etc. (I have another camera that creates files with a unique format that requires special software to view.)
4) Flash memory access other than on the bottom.
5) Tripod mountable
6) Quality sound and image.
7) It would be nice if the camera could stream live directly to a PC, but this is not essential.

Any candidates?

RE: Automating document assembly

If you can get the data into Excel, would a simple Mail Merge not work to populate a Word doc? http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/word/HA100819761033.aspx?pid=CH1006262...

Jeff Whitcomb
Technology Services Manager
Cumberland School of Law - Samford University
205-726-4662

 Think before you print

-----Original Message-----
From: teknoids-bounces@ruckus.law.cornell.edu [mailto:teknoids-bounces@ruckus.law.cornell.edu] On Behalf Of glen mcbeth
Sent: Thursday, April 16, 2009 2:26 PM
To: Teknoids
Subject: [teknoids] Automating document assembly

I want to do the following:
1) Send out a lengthy fillable form to unsophisticated computer users
who have no specialized software on their computers.
2) Have an easy way for them to send the data back to me, perhaps as an
email attachment.
3) I receive the attachment and somehow plug it into a standardized word
processor document in which the same data automatically gets used again
and again in different places.

I want to do it for free or nearly free. I already have Office 2007 and
Adobe Acrobat 8, and I think it may be possible with just these two
programs, but I can't quite figure it out. I can make a PDF form that
sends itself back as a XML file. I can make Excel populate a table
using that XML file. But I can not figure out how to get Word to
automatically populate documents with that data.

One thing I dislike about using Adobe Acrobat for this is that it seems
to depend upon the user using Outlook or Thunderbird or some similar
mail program. I would prefer something web-based for data collection.

I found a few document assembly programs that do this, but they all cost.
_______________________________________________
You are currently subscribed to teknoids as: jmwhitco@samford.edu.
To unsubscribe send a blank email to teknoids-leave@ruckus.law.cornell.edu
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Automating document assembly -resolved

Jeff is right, mail merge does it.

I was having problems with it because I could not get over the naming
conventions they use. "Select recipients" should be "select database", etc.

Whitcomb, Jeff wrote:
> If you can get the data into Excel, would a simple Mail Merge not work to populate a Word doc? http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/word/HA100819761033.aspx?pid=CH1006262...
>
> Jeff Whitcomb
> Technology Services Manager
> Cumberland School of Law - Samford University
> 205-726-4662
>
>  Think before you print
>
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: teknoids-bounces@ruckus.law.cornell.edu [mailto:teknoids-bounces@ruckus.law.cornell.edu] On Behalf Of glen mcbeth
> Sent: Thursday, April 16, 2009 2:26 PM
> To: Teknoids
> Subject: [teknoids] Automating document assembly
>
> I want to do the following:
> 1) Send out a lengthy fillable form to unsophisticated computer users
> who have no specialized software on their computers.
> 2) Have an easy way for them to send the data back to me, perhaps as an
> email attachment.
> 3) I receive the attachment and somehow plug it into a standardized word
> processor document in which the same data automatically gets used again
> and again in different places.
>
> I want to do it for free or nearly free. I already have Office 2007 and
> Adobe Acrobat 8, and I think it may be possible with just these two
> programs, but I can't quite figure it out. I can make a PDF form that
> sends itself back as a XML file. I can make Excel populate a table
> using that XML file. But I can not figure out how to get Word to
> automatically populate documents with that data.
>
> One thing I dislike about using Adobe Acrobat for this is that it seems
> to depend upon the user using Outlook or Thunderbird or some similar
> mail program. I would prefer something web-based for data collection.
>
> I found a few document assembly programs that do this, but they all cost.
> _______________________________________________
> You are currently subscribed to teknoids as: jmwhitco@samford.edu.
> To unsubscribe send a blank email to teknoids-leave@ruckus.law.cornell.edu
> --
> See the web interface at http://ruckus.law.cornell.edu/mailman/listinfo/teknoids to get your list password, unsubscribe, and view your list settings.
>
> ------------------------------------------------------------------------
>
> _______________________________________________
> You are currently subscribed to teknoids as: glen.mcbeth@washburn.edu.
> To unsubscribe send a blank email to teknoids-leave@ruckus.law.cornell.edu
> --
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Automating document assembly

On Thu, Apr 16, 2009 at 12:25 PM, glen mcbeth <glen.mcbeth@washburn.edu> wrote:
> I want to do the following:
> 1) Send out a lengthy fillable form to unsophisticated computer users who
> have no specialized software on their computers.
> 2) Have an easy way for them to send the data back to me, perhaps as an
> email attachment.
> 3) I receive the attachment and somehow plug it into a standardized word
> processor document in which the same data automatically gets used again and
> again in different places.
>
> I want to do it for free or nearly free.

One free approach is to use OpenOffice.org and its X-Forms support.

Here is a tutorial in PDF format. . I link
the PDF version because you may not have a program that supports ODT
format on your system. The original document in OpenDocument ODT
format. is here. .
The ODT file includes an appendix which is an example X-Form. The
tutorial is 19 pages long and includes many dialog screen grabs.

Here is the introductory paragraph from the tutorial:

"Let’s say you’re in charge of a database of chartered clubs for an
amateur sports association. Club directors send you papers like the
one in Appendix A, and you enter the data into an XML file, which is
used to create an online searchable database of the clubs. Clearly,
the better option is to send the club directors a machine readable
document with form fields that they fill in. The directors then click
a button on the form and have the data sent to a server, so you don’t
have to decipher their handwriting and re-enter the data."

The data thus gathered may be stored as an XML document, transformed
to other formats, piped to a relational database, sent to a data
repository server, etc.

OpenOffice.org is a free download for you and anyone you want to fill
in your form. I recommend the Go-OO.org build. ,
the build that ships with most Linux distributions but is also
available for Windows. A version of the Go-OO.org build is also
available for OS X, NeoOffice, which is also a free download.
. There are also builds
of OOo available for other operating systems.

J. David Eisenberg's OOo and X-Forms tutorial was created with OOo
2.x, but the relevant user interfaces are similar in OOo 3.x. I used
his tutorial to create my own test X-Form on 2.x to see how difficult
it was to create a form and the necessary bindings. I'd rate it as a
task for a word processor power user, although someone with lesser
skills who is stubborn enough to stick with the task could get it
done. (I'm not a frequent OOo user and someone more familiar with the
app might have an easier time of it.)

X-Forms is the W3C successor for HTML forms. There are many
implementations. Wikipedia has a good overview of X-Forms with lots of
links, lists of apps that support it, etc.
.

Best regards,

Paul

Automating document assembly

Take a look at Acrobat Professional 9 and it's integration with
Acrobat.com ( a free service). You can build forms in Office, convert
them through Adobe's PDF distiller in Acrobat Professional 9, then
format the PDF form to send the data to Acrobat.com for collection.
You can then log into Acrobat.com to analyze the collected data and
export to your document of choice.

We are looking into this method for our school as a means of
collecting data for internal use and for student/teacher evaluations.

Thanks,

Tom Black
Webmaster
University of Arkansas School of Law
Office: 479-575-2100
Cell: 479-935-5296
tcblack@uark.edu

On Apr 16, 2009, at 2:25 PM, glen mcbeth wrote:

> I want to do the following:
> 1) Send out a lengthy fillable form to unsophisticated computer users
> who have no specialized software on their computers.
> 2) Have an easy way for them to send the data back to me, perhaps as
> an
> email attachment.
> 3) I receive the attachment and somehow plug it into a standardized
> word
> processor document in which the same data automatically gets used
> again
> and again in different places.
>
> I want to do it for free or nearly free. I already have Office 2007
> and
> Adobe Acrobat 8, and I think it may be possible with just these two
> programs, but I can't quite figure it out. I can make a PDF form that
> sends itself back as a XML file. I can make Excel populate a table
> using that XML file. But I can not figure out how to get Word to
> automatically populate documents with that data.
>
> One thing I dislike about using Adobe Acrobat for this is that it
> seems
> to depend upon the user using Outlook or Thunderbird or some similar
> mail program. I would prefer something web-based for data collection.
>
> I found a few document assembly programs that do this, but they all
> cost.
> _______________________________________________
> You are currently subscribed to teknoids as: tcblack@uark.edu.
> To unsubscribe send a blank email to teknoids-leave@ruckus.law.cornell.edu
> --
> See the web interface at http://ruckus.law.cornell.edu/mailman/listinfo/teknoids
> to get your list password, unsubscribe, and view your list settings.

_______________________________________________
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Fwd: Automating document assembly

Here's a video podcast describing Adobe Acrobat Professional 9 to
Acrobat.com method for you.

http://creativesuitepodcast.com/index.php?post_id=356103

Thanks,

Tom Black
Webmaster
University of Arkansas School of Law
Office: 479-575-2100
Cell: 479-935-5296
tcblack@uark.edu

Begin forwarded message:

> From: Thomas Black <tcblack@uark.edu>
> Date: April 16, 2009 2:37:23 PM CDT
> To: Teknoids <teknoids@ruckus.law.cornell.edu>
> Subject: Re: [teknoids] Automating document assembly
> Reply-To: Teknoids <teknoids@ruckus.law.cornell.edu>
>
> Take a look at Acrobat Professional 9 and it's integration with
> Acrobat.com ( a free service). You can build forms in Office, convert
> them through Adobe's PDF distiller in Acrobat Professional 9, then
> format the PDF form to send the data to Acrobat.com for collection.
> You can then log into Acrobat.com to analyze the collected data and
> export to your document of choice.
>
> We are looking into this method for our school as a means of
> collecting data for internal use and for student/teacher evaluations.
>
>
> Thanks,
>
>
> Tom Black
> Webmaster
> University of Arkansas School of Law
> Office: 479-575-2100
> Cell: 479-935-5296
> tcblack@uark.edu
>
> On Apr 16, 2009, at 2:25 PM, glen mcbeth wrote:
>
>> I want to do the following:
>> 1) Send out a lengthy fillable form to unsophisticated computer users
>> who have no specialized software on their computers.
>> 2) Have an easy way for them to send the data back to me, perhaps as
>> an
>> email attachment.
>> 3) I receive the attachment and somehow plug it into a standardized
>> word
>> processor document in which the same data automatically gets used
>> again
>> and again in different places.
>>
>> I want to do it for free or nearly free. I already have Office 2007
>> and
>> Adobe Acrobat 8, and I think it may be possible with just these two
>> programs, but I can't quite figure it out. I can make a PDF form
>> that
>> sends itself back as a XML file. I can make Excel populate a table
>> using that XML file. But I can not figure out how to get Word to
>> automatically populate documents with that data.
>>
>> One thing I dislike about using Adobe Acrobat for this is that it
>> seems
>> to depend upon the user using Outlook or Thunderbird or some similar
>> mail program. I would prefer something web-based for data
>> collection.
>>
>> I found a few document assembly programs that do this, but they all
>> cost.
>> _______________________________________________
>> You are currently subscribed to teknoids as: tcblack@uark.edu.
>> To unsubscribe send a blank email to teknoids-leave@ruckus.law.cornell.edu
>> --
>> See the web interface at http://ruckus.law.cornell.edu/mailman/listinfo/teknoids
>> to get your list password, unsubscribe, and view your list settings.
>
> _______________________________________________
> You are currently subscribed to teknoids as: tcblack@uark.edu.
> To unsubscribe send a blank email to teknoids-leave@ruckus.law.cornell.edu
> --
> See the web interface at http://ruckus.law.cornell.edu/mailman/listinfo/teknoids
> to get your list password, unsubscribe, and view your list settings.

Automating document assembly

Google spreadsheets/forms

have not done it myself, but if you want free, it's probably your best bet.

John

On Thu, Apr 16, 2009 at 2:25 PM, glen mcbeth <glen.mcbeth@washburn.edu> wrote:
> I want to do the following:
> 1) Send out a lengthy fillable form to unsophisticated computer users who
> have no specialized software on their computers.
> 2) Have an easy way for them to send the data back to me, perhaps as an
> email attachment.
> 3) I receive the attachment and somehow plug it into a standardized word
> processor document in which the same data automatically gets used again and
> again in different places.
>
> I want to do it for free or nearly free. I already have Office 2007 and
> Adobe Acrobat 8, and I think it may be possible with just these two
> programs, but I can't quite figure it out.  I can make a PDF form that sends
> itself back as a XML file.  I can make Excel populate a table using that XML
> file.  But I can not figure out how to get Word to automatically populate
> documents with that data.
>
> One thing I dislike about using Adobe Acrobat for this is that it seems to
> depend upon the user using Outlook or Thunderbird or some similar mail
> program.  I would prefer something web-based for data collection.
>
> I found a few document assembly programs that do this, but they all cost.
> _______________________________________________
> You are currently subscribed to teknoids as: jmayer@cali.org.
> To unsubscribe send a blank email to teknoids-leave@ruckus.law.cornell.edu
> --
> See the web interface at
> http://ruckus.law.cornell.edu/mailman/listinfo/teknoids to get your list
> password, unsubscribe, and view your list settings.
>

Automating document assembly

I love it as a data collector, but I don't see how I can get the data to
automatically populate forms. Thanks for showing me this though. It
can export the results in about 5 formats.

John Mayer wrote:
> Google spreadsheets/forms
>
> have not done it myself, but if you want free, it's probably your best bet.
>
>
> John
>
>
> On Thu, Apr 16, 2009 at 2:25 PM, glen mcbeth <glen.mcbeth@washburn.edu> wrote:
>
>> I want to do the following:
>> 1) Send out a lengthy fillable form to unsophisticated computer users who
>> have no specialized software on their computers.
>> 2) Have an easy way for them to send the data back to me, perhaps as an
>> email attachment.
>> 3) I receive the attachment and somehow plug it into a standardized word
>> processor document in which the same data automatically gets used again and
>> again in different places.
>>
>> I want to do it for free or nearly free. I already have Office 2007 and
>> Adobe Acrobat 8, and I think it may be possible with just these two
>> programs, but I can't quite figure it out. I can make a PDF form that sends
>> itself back as a XML file. I can make Excel populate a table using that XML
>> file. But I can not figure out how to get Word to automatically populate
>> documents with that data.
>>
>> One thing I dislike about using Adobe Acrobat for this is that it seems to
>> depend upon the user using Outlook or Thunderbird or some similar mail
>> program. I would prefer something web-based for data collection.
>>
>> I found a few document assembly programs that do this, but they all cost.
>> _______________________________________________
>> You are currently subscribed to teknoids as: jmayer@cali.org.
>> To unsubscribe send a blank email to teknoids-leave@ruckus.law.cornell.edu
>> --
>> See the web interface at
>> http://ruckus.law.cornell.edu/mailman/listinfo/teknoids to get your list
>> password, unsubscribe, and view your list settings.
>>
>>
>
>
>
>

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