Okay, everybody. I've been reporting for 16 years and I've got to start doing realtime sooner or later. I'm a big, fat chicken and so I need some advice. Where do I start? What equipment should I get that will be foolproof to start off with? I'm usually pretty good with techy stuff but if I go to my first realtime job and something doesn't work, I'm going to assume it's because I don't know what I'm doing.
Should I go to a realtime job with another reporter and see how it's all set up, see how they fix problems, etc. or is it not that difficult? I've seen how it works in seminars, but that's different than being the one doing it all.
I keep getting passed up on good work because I won't take the plunge, and I've just got to do it. I thought about hooking up to my attorneys that don't care if I'm making mistakes just to get the practice and the feel for it, but . . .
Help me out. all you realtime pros!

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I know that it can be nerve-wracking to think someone will think you are awful, but attns who do RT are aware that not everything is in your dictionary. It's called attn education when they don't. I have been doing RT since it very first came out...and believe me, it does take a while NOT to be nervous, but I gave myself mental pep talks and refused to give up. There will be times when you can't solve the problems. I always double check my equipment the night before and arrive EARLY to take care of things on my end. There will always be attns who don't care or don't have the time to get there early and expect instant gratification, and there are problems with their computer, which puts a lot of additional stress on you because they expect you to solve it, and that it's your problem if you don't. In those cases, I've started just carrying an extra laptop for their use and just whip it out because I know it's working. That usually makes them sheepish because then they know absolutely it's their equipment and not yours. They are not dump at all, just used to being waited on. Some of them will even come in two mins. before start time and expect instant hookup with a computer they've never hooked up to before. Know the programs you need to check to be sure is off on their computers that could cause block problems. I think you are ready...it sounds like your nerves aren't quite there. At this point, it's jumping off time into the waters. You GO, Girl!

Remember, you are the Little Red Caboose...I think I can. I believe I can. I KNOW I CAN!
Dumb not dump (LOL)

I meant to add also...on one particular very difficult RT intellectual property job, there was one young attn (they are always the most critical because they are more technology savvy) at a break I thought was going to be critical of me. I had not been given a word list. In effect, I was having to fix on the fly or write naked at times. He looked at me and said, "I really like your software better. I can figure out what your briefs are. It's good." He had no idea that it was me inputting to make the software work! I just smiled and heaved a sigh of relief, relaxed, and told him thank you. I had my phonetic speller on, too. So you just never know what they are thinking.
I also think that attorneys who use rt a lot and who depend on it are much more appreciative of the fact of your skill. Like Patricia says, they've learned to read some steno and you'd be amazed at what they can figure out. My friend said that she was amazed that sometimes her judge can read her steno better than she can. It's funny. I guess they're under less pressure to read back perfect than we are.

You'll be glowing when you get your first compliment.
Go girl You can do it and you will love it. I am on StenoCAT. I freelance, mostly court work. I bought this tiny Acer laptop, carry it with me and if a Judge request it, I just DO IT I will admit, sure, I'm nervous at first, then I just have a little chat with myself and write! I use Bridge and Stenocast. I pay monthly for Stenocast so I was not out a lot of money up front. Take care, Irene
With the Stenocast wireless, evidently there is not a problem if everyone in the room has a different viewer. I don't know if when using cables it can get ugly with all the ports communicating, etc., because I haven't experienced that yet. I will find that out tomorrow at our meeting.

The book you get with Stenocast gives you a one or two-page explanation for what the attorneys' settings need to be set at for all the different viewing software.
I think you can go to their website and view the user manual for the X7 for the Client and you'll be able to see all those different pages that explains it.
It's a small manual so you can take it with you to each depo and have it for a refernce when you encounter problems with viewing software.

The only question I had was does the screen auto refresh no matter what CAT software you're using or does it have to have be Eclipse? I thought I read somewhere on the Bridge website that that only works if you use their reporter software. I could be wrong. That would be great if your globals/etc. would change on their screen, too, after you change it on yours at breaks and pauses.

If you're on Eclipse, Bridge will auto refresh to the attorneys' screens. Eclipse has offered the "codes" (or whatever it's called) to other software vendors, but as of now it's just Eclipse to Bridge will refresh. I understand, I think, that Case will auto refresh to their new viewer. Maybe somebody that's on Case can come in and confirm or deny that.
I think you would have to have multiple Stenocast if everyone in the room is on a different viewer. I could be wrong though.

My understanding is that if Attorney one is viewing through Caseview, then you're transmitting caseview on the one Stenocast. But if Attorney two is viewing through Bridge, he cannot get the same feed, you have to send a different feed from your software writing to the Bridge viewer. It's complicated and I don't think I can adequately explain it online w/out a PowerPoint presentation. Just kidding.

Like I said, I could be totally wrong.
Wow, Judy Runes, you're a sweetheart to say that.

Furthermore, I think you're selling yourself short. Your untrans rate is incredible and more than enough. I don't know if maybe you've been putting a lot of stock into a certain reporter's real realtime philosophy? Personally, my experience has been that the attorneys who want RT want it even if it's not perfect. So my philosophy is that we all should get out there and do it. Sure, some are more ready than others, but you sound, again, more than ready...as does Christy!

AFA CRR vs. CLR, Kyung's got it exactly right. The CRR (from NCRA) signifies you can write at a certain translation rate. The CLR (from LiveNote) signifies that you have been formally taught how to troubleshoot for the LiveNote RT viewer. The cost of the CLR? At the convention, they offered a "discounted fee" of $500, down from the "regular price" of $600. I think that's right. Please someone correct me if I've got my figures wrong. I actually gave a Bronx cheer right there in the room. Are you kidding me? Much if not most of the training, I understand, is the same material that can be found online in our forums and through sites like Dorothy McGrath's. So, several hundred dollars? Please. I'm with Kyung on that one.

Another thing I don't like about LiveNote is that it doesn't refresh like Bridge does. Big, fat bummer. Your globaling on the fly and at breaks applies only to steno you write after that point, not to all the steno that came before.

And around here, LiveNote dominates. In fact, I've never run into one attorney who isn't on LiveNote...that I know of, anyway. So I can't speak to the question about different port settings for different viewers. I can speak to at least the software setting. I was told once by a techie at an agency that the CaseView selection at 2400 baud works for all viewers, so that's always my setting.

I also agree with Kyung, and you other gals, that sometimes it just doesn't work, and the problem is on the atty's computer and not yours. Getting there early, as someone said, helps a lot with that. Also bringing a pre-printed instruction sheet helps, for some troubleshooting situations that arise that are complicated (for me, anyway!) such as reassigning ports.

To avoid all the troubleshooting and still retain the RT revenue, I've heard a lot of people suggest bringing an extra laptop. I've never had anyone take me up on that. "Let's just go ahead and do it the old-fashioned way," is what I hear. So no RT revenue on those jobs :-(. I don't know whether that's because my market is very fast-paced and impatient, whether atty's are comfortable only with their own computers, don't want their notes on my extra laptop, whatever. Since learning to reassign ports, btw, I haven't lost out on any RT revenue. :-)

AFA word lists, what are those? Ha! I rarely get a word list. Still, atty's have seemed happy. I've had some compliments and no complaints that I know of.

Here's the most important thing I can say about RT jobs. It's weird that I don't see this more. The speakers are usually pretty well-behaved. Yay! Watching the screen, they see how messy it can get. These guys actually want to be able to read it, so they tend to speak in a more orderly way and give out more admonitions as the need arises. That's what I've found, anyway.
You da bomb, Lisa O! I wish more reporters had your professional attitude (and ability).
Judy! I love you, man.
I also want to add that the feeling is mutual, Judy. I wish more agencies had your easy, organized way of turning in work as well as your regular, fast payment! I really appreciate that.
You just reminded my of my next chore... checks!


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