Hi, I have been trying to hookup to attorneys on and off for about 4 years now, but in the area I generally report in, there are so few attorneys who request realtime hookup that I am having a hard time getting consistent results. Just when I get it down, something changes in the hardware department.

I was wondering if someone would walk me through what they do as far as troublshooting, equipment, etc. to be successful with LiveNote or Summation. I have been using a 4 port USB hub, so that I can allow for additional hookups. From the hub, I have a USB to Serial cable that connects to my multi-line with 5 serial cable outputs, that then have to have Serial to USB cables on the end of that to fit into the attorney's laptop because no one seems to have a serial port anymore. If you can imagine what that looks like, troubleshooting can be quite a challenge with all of those cables. Most of the time attorneys ask me to get them started with their software, i.e. LiveNote or Summation and I do not know how to get them started on their end. I probably need to take a LiveNote class or seminar for that part of it.

Any input would be great. I know there are successful hookups happening out there. Thanks, Jennifer

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First of all, if you are using your serial to usb adapter to put into the attorney's laptop, they have the have the drivers of that usb-to-serial adapter in their computer ---- are you installing the drivers of your adapter into their computer?? Because I know that if my attorneys don't have a serial port, then I have to install the drivers of my usb-to-serial adapter into their computer.....which takes 2 seconds....but you still have to do it......maybe that's why it's not working......................also if you want to do the easy thing, then just carry an extra laptop with you so that they can view the realtime and then there's no problems because they are using one of your computers.
thank you so much for taking the time to reply. It is great to work via this site with other reporters. I really appreciate your input.
As is mentioned in another thread on this site, if you really want to ensure a connection, then why don't you buy an extra laptop (or two or three) and bring it. That way all of the kinks will be worked out.

Hi Judy:

Thanks for your response. I've got to be honest, thinking about lugging around one more item, especially another laptop, is not what I would most like to do. I think I will keep looking for a way to get around all the messy cable issues. Thanks for your input and response to my call for help.
Hello Kelli-
I will check into this product. I currently use the StenoCast XI - Lithium to hook up to my own laptop cable free and I love it. I will go to their website and look into the X7. No more cables!!!!!
Thank you for taking the time to respond.
Stop using the hub.
StenoCast is THE way to go. Works with all softwares, all computers, and all writers. Call me for Qs. 949-589-4242.
Thank you Maggie. I do love the StenoCast product. The only problem I've had with it is having an attorney present who can't seem to use their own laptop to download the driver. I've done it myself with other laptops and it only takes a minute. Big law firms sometimes send their associates out with a "company laptop" and they have all of this strict confidential protection on it. The associate can not unblock the system to copy in the driver. What I've been doing when I have the chance ahead of time is just emailing the driver to the attorney the night before and asking them to load the driver with the help of their tech person if need be. That's been the only issue with connecting with StenoCast.
I recently visited with Michael Appelman and Dean Taylor. They have come up with a fix for this. Give support a call. It is something like having the driver on a Flash Drive. Tell them you talked to me, if you will, and I'm sure they will come up with a good solution. They are really good people.
I agree with the extra laptop suggestion, to a point. If you just bring one extra laptop to a realtime job, and someone accepts ... what about the other guy? If he wants realtime, he's SOL without a computer. So in my opinion (probably my opinion only), offering realtime to someone without also offering them a computer to view it on is like not offering RT at all. That might be their view too ... and it was in a deposition I took a few years ago. I offered one side RT, but the other side said, if I can't have the same as HE has, and you can't accommodate that request, I object and we'll call the judge, because EVERYONE's supposed to be able to have the same thing. He won -- NO ONE got realtime that day because I didn't have an extra computer for him. From that day forward, I've carried two. Today, I take four to every job. And I can assure you I have made many, many, many, many (is that enough?) times the cost of those four laptops. Realtime is a specialty that goes far beyond 99.5% clean writing, so yes, I'd definitely suggest you take a class to learn everything about troubleshooting.

Suggestion: PLEASE reconsider taking just the LiveNote class. It's interesting and all, but you'll learn much more in another class that touches all the bases other than LiveNote. LiveNote is NOT realtime. LiveNote is NOT realtime. LiveNote is NOT realtime. LiveNote is a court reporting company as well as all the other fingers in the pies down the line. Realtime is what you're interestsed in so keep it generic. Just a suggestion.

Hi Mary Ann!
I am so late in this Realtime game but really want to join in! I am one of the scaredy-cats out there but know I have to JUMP IN! When you say you bring 4 extra laptops around, please tell me they're netbooks, right? I'm interested in using Bridge since I'm on Eclipse and just LOVE IT and can only imagine Bridge is great as well. Also wanted to ask if you had any suggestions on where to get the RT training, simply RT training...
Thanks for your input!
I second the Stenocast suggestion. Since my agency bought one that I can use, I can't imagine ever going back to cables again. I have had no problems with their devices at all, very good company.

I hear you loud and clear about bringing the extra laptops. I work in downtown Chicago so I have to lug everything on the train. My solution has been to change to a Lightspeed steno machine and to bring with an ASUS eee netbook. My agency specifically states that if they don't want to use their own computer, the reporter will bring an extra netbook. No one has complained yet when they've used it. If they have their own computer, I can offer the netbook to the other side. I can comfortably fit everything I need in a computer bag and a tote, no rolling cart needed.

In my experiences so far, 95% of the time when I'm troubleshooting realtime with cables, the problem is that the wrong com port is set. Also, if I change settings too many times and I'm sure I've got it right but it still doesn't work, sometimes rebooting all the computers works like a charm.


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