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 thought she was saying her "tran" rate was .18 as a joke. I thought it was pretty funny - cuz she said "think that's good enough?!"
Anyways . . . if her UNTRAN rate is that good, heck yeah, she can do realtime. Good gravy.
Maybe I should have said my UNtran rate was .18. Sorry for the confustion, Christy. And, yes, my last job was a .18. They're usually less than .50, so that .18 was good, I gotta admit.

Christy, I think you've got what it takes. You've been in the business long enough, you know what to expect, been there, done that. What could they really throw at you that you can't anticipate? Yeah, there's the horrible day where your UNtran rate goes up. But, you know what, that's going to happen to these so-called seasoned so-called realtimers just as much -- if not faster -- than it's going to happen to you.

If your real fear is the hookup process vs. the feed quality, go out and buy yourself a couple of "throwdown" (that's what Mike Miller calls 'em, great name) computers and have YOUR favorite viewer installed so you can guarantee a connection every time. Invest $350 in your throwdown, just in case, and tell your agency you're good-to-go. Mike swears that they paid for themselves very quickly. And I think he has multiple throwdowns.

Aren't you the one that had twins just recently? If you can get through that, you can get through this.

By the way, how are the babies? You need to post pics.
I do have Bridge on a spare laptop. It's the actual feed when they're talking all over each other or the day when I just can't write the word "the". Sounds silly, I know, but some days I just can't write on that darn machine.

The babies are good. They're not letting me go to bed right now and I didn't get any sleep the last couple of nights, on top of trying to get rush jobs out, get caught up, period.

I've got to upload my latest photos and then I'll post. Been a tad busy! :-)
Hello everyone! So muchf un reading all the back and forth. Okay, I have a couple things to add in here too that I hope will help : )

I'm on Case CATalyst and the output to CaseView from CAtalyst will work whether there are multiple attorneys viewing with different software, i.e., Bridge, LiveNote, Summation, etc. That's one of the things I really love about CAtalyst. I used StenoCAT for ten years before I switched over about 12 years ago and that was not the case with them. The attorneys all had to have the same viewer...that may have changed by now.

I am currently a CLR and got that license a little over a year ago. Before that I had been doing hookup jobs for over ten years and there were a plenty of occasions that I was unable to get the attorney hooked up. I learned a couple techy things in the CLR course that have DEFINITELY helped me in resolving issues that have come up since. Now I almost always get them it working. When you take the CLR course (and I am not promoting it) you are provided with a full version of the LiveNote and LiveNote streaming software. The streaming software is nice to have as a reporter if you're doing internet realtime depos (although they don't come up too much yet). You can keep it loaded on an extra laptop and use that laptop as the server when doing the internet depos and that saves the agency a little trouble with the logistics of getting one to you...helps everyone. I actually am doing two internet depos next week. With LiveNote newest version, though, you can actually use your CAT computer as the server. I don't really like that idea, though.

I probably do an average of four hookups a month and love it! Average tran rate is .50 (or 99.5)...I said "average." It's not always pretty, and I'm not the cleanest, fastest writer, but we're not perfect and it's okay. It seems to me that most realtime jobs are for the bigger cases, patent litigation, etc., and so, trust me, the feed is not always perfect, but the attorneys who do realtime on a regular basis know what to look for.

Couple things to note: In addition to bringing an extra laptop to the depo with Bridge loaded on it (great suggestion!), you can/should also have Bridge on a thumb drive to load for attorneys should you not be successful in getting them hooked up to LiveNote and they don't want to use your extra laptop. Even if their laptop is locked down you should still be able to load thesoftware, just no hardware (i.e., driver for USB to serial).

I am currently using StenoCast for hookups and absolutely love it. The one downfall is that it does not auto refresh. It was less expensive to buy than CaseView's wireless software that does auto refresh. With CaseView you pay a yearly subscription, just like with your CAT software, and with StenoCast you have the option of either paying a yearly subscription (less than CaseView) or paying for the full subscription, which is a one time fee. I heard CaseView was amazing and the auto refresh would be great, but for now I'll stick with this. Two wonderful things about StenoCast are that it's wireless (love that !!!) and the receivers are USB so no more worrying about USB to serial adapters.

I would say there are two things that are most common in not being able to hook someone up. One is when the com port number for the USB to serial adapter is too high. With LiveNote 8.0 and below the com port assigned has to be 1-4. In LiveNote 8.1 and up, the setting can be 1-9. Very frequently the setting is too high. There is a way to force that number down and that is one of the things I learned in the course and have done several times and they're hooked up! The other is when the attorney's computer is locked down, as was mentioned above, and you cannot load a driver for the USB to serial or the driver for StenoCast (which does have to be loaded, of course.), and other than having Bridge on a thumb drive to load or the attorney having a serial adapter that you can hook straight into there's nothing you can do.

If an attorney does not have a LiveNote token and you are unable to get one right away, they can opt to use the "view only" feature in LiveNote. They can still see the text but they will not be able to Quickmark or scan up and down...but it is an option and it saves them money. Some attorneys just want to see the testimony and that's it.

Well, that's all for now.

Good luck!!!
Sorry for the typos! I just type away and send : )
Thanks, Judy!! : )
Okay, I'm taking the plunge. I had our realtime get-together yesterday in Dallas and now I know I can hook up with both wireless and via cable and change comm ports and the like, so I'm good to go.

My nerves are fairly under control because I have the personality to deal with the jerk attys that I might come across. It's just I know I have my bad days of not being able to write very well, and so I just hope my first realtime job isn't that day.

I know if I can get past the first day, I'll be good.

I'll come back and post again after I've done it to either cry or shout with joy and, just like y'all said, wonder why I didn't do it sooner!

Thanks, everyone, for easing this chicken's peanut-sized mind!


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