It's got a widget

Since I built my first crystal set at the age of eight, technology has been a fascination.

By the age of 12 my bedroom was wired for sound and much more besides. Visitors had to announce their identity over an intercom system. If I wanted to see them I would press a button on the control panel on my desk and a Meccano motor under the bed would open the door. If I didn't want to see them, a different button would send a mild electric current through the door-handle.

I rely on technology and gadgets in my work. I travel on business a great deal and currently have client matters in more than a dozen countries. I only take carry-on luggage, even for round-the-world trips.

Essential kit includes an IBM Thinkpad laptop computer and a pocket-sized fax modem. The modem enables me to send and receive e-mail (including Internet mail), and send faxes (using WinFax).

If I am going to a country with a GSM network, which includes France, Belgium, Australia and Hong Kong, I take my Nokia mobile phone. Failing that I resort to calling cards and a tone pad to access my voicemail. Armed with e-mail and voicemail it is possible to stay in contact with clients and colleagues from a "virtual" office anywhere in the world.

I also own a Psion Series 3a organiser which contains my diary, to-do lists and contacts.

For the last 12 years I have been able to specialise in computer and communications law and now work almost exclusively for clients who provide or use new technologies.

Since I find the technology and information age business fascinating, I am happy to keep up to speed with developments. I know no better way of gaining a basic understanding of a new technology than to be a user of it.

Hardly a week goes by without me coming across a new and inspired application of technology.

As a Mancunian, I was most impressed with the new cans of Boddingtons bitter which, thanks to a cunning widget built in by Whitbread, tastes just like the real stuff I remember.

Finally, with the arrival of the family PC at Christmas, I am now having great fun exploring a whole new world of multimedia "edutainment" with the assistance of my three-year old daughter.

I don't expect to get bored with technology or gadgets in the foreseeable future.

Christopher Millard is a partner at Clifford Chance and joint chair of the Society of Computers and Law.