Does anyone have a suggestion for a mini computer or tablet that's in the $200 range that works well with Eclipse and provides good audio (I have Martel USB mic)?  It would only have Eclipse on it; no mail, nothing else.

I am buying the over-the-shoulder case they're selling with the new Passport and am told it will work with mine, too, but I need a very small computer.  I'm doing this because I'm just so tired of lugging a heavy case for the  Passportplus another heavy bag for my 15" laptop, and then see people with a Diamonte pack up in minutes and have a really manageable writer/computer case.

Suggestions are much appreciated!  Thank you!

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The worst education is the one gleamed from humiliation.  At least others are able to benefit from my article.  My humiliation was not in vain.

Thank you very much, Janiece!

One thing I will say, I agree and I disagree.  I, also, had the motherboard of my Stentura 8000LX (perfectly functional and with the latest function, except audio {which I don't need on a writer} and an SD card, but I have plenty of 3.5" discs for that first backup on the writer and, also, the writer BU's to a hard drive on the writer itself.  The writer is up-to-date and functional. TopCat also makes a "flippy drive" for those whose 3.5" drive has failed and who want to upgrade to USB technology, I believe.

With that having been said, I recently had the motherboard fail.  I chose to have it replaced, saving a lot of $, but I also now carry a spare writer with me.  Yes, we must have dependable equipment.  I now have dependable equipment and a backup writer.

Concerning computers, I know of people who use a $200 netbook as their main computer.  I agree that this is not a good idea.  Much better to have the computer you are writing to be made extremely well.  Buy the Business model of the brand you prefer.  More money, yes, but generally of better quality.

A netbook's 10"-11" screen - or, even, a computer's 14" screen - is plenty large for an atty to read.  

Back to the writers - and to the point of "have your professional equipment match your professional appearance" - I have recently been considering buying either a new Diamante or a new Passport.  At a soon-to-be-held convention, I hope to be able to test-write both of them.  However, I have read SO MUCH BAD PRESS, bad reviews from owners of Diamantes, maybe 50% of the pro and con people whose reviews I have read, that I am QUITE FRIGHTENED to spend thousands of $ for a machine WHOSE MOTHERBOARD has failed after one year or two years.  This is not good!  So I am back to considering an older writer, prior to the creation of the Diamante.

So there are pros and cons of "the equipment matching one's clothing."  I do think we, at all times, need to carry backups of all equipment, computers, etc. - yes, even writers - pain in the butt, i know - but, even with the allegedly newest and greatest (as proved many times over with the Diamante's motherboards failing) - "newest and greatest" are not necessarily so.

Some people have heavy personal monthly expenses (rent, mortgage, etc.), and there is only so much expendable income.  Of course, our image is most important, but one has to meet one's monthly obligations first; then, upgrading perfectly-functioning equipment second.

I recently had a videographer look askance at my IBM laptop using XP.  Absolutely ridiculous!  Shows the person knows nothing about the quality of the IBM computer or of XP, particularly since his own Apple Mac computer was 3-4 years old and he had done the same thing as I, upgrading the computer's memory and RAM, rather than running out and buying "the newest model."

So we must have good intentions, but we must also temper those with our individual financial obligations and the necessity of  carrying backup equipment, and that's true even if our equipment is "brand new."

Let's stop being judgmental.  Of course, good realtime looks nice on a fancy new iPad, but good realtime looks much better on a 10"-11" netbook or 15" computer than does bad realtime on a fancy new iPad.

and to the point of "have your professional equipment match your professional appearance" - 

So there are pros and cons of "the equipment matching one's clothing."

Dean, I am assuming you are reflecting on my article.  I think you misinterpreted some of the info.  Your professional appearance and your professional equipment represent to your clients the professional you are.  If you are a reporter making $30,000 a year (or less) and you do average reporting, your equipment should at least be in dependable good working order.  Your clothes should be at least "church going attire."

However, if you are a reporter who does expert depos, heavy high quality trials, (i.e. high quality work with high quality attorneys) you need to be playing at their game level.  That game level includes your equipment - to do their work - and your professional attire.  Those attorneys are paying you.  They have certain expectations.  One, your equipment is competitive to the next reporter's.  Two, you don't dress like their office staff (their secretaries).

I failed.  A $200 netbook is not sufficient. It's asking for trouble.  A $30 dress and cheap shoes are exactly that.  They are an embarrassment.

I can assure you, when you go to a depo, they are checking you out, your clothes and your professional equipment.  And those attorneys are making assumptions about you based on what they see.

I agree with your comments re. professionalism and clothing.

I stand by my comments re. financial obligations (at any level of deposition reporting) and always carrying backup equipment, even if brand new, and, of course, good realtime looking the best, being the most professional, regardless of equipment, and bad realtime looking bad on any equipment.

My mother always said, "You don't have to have new clothes.  They just have be clean."  Rather than the most expensive clothing, arriving wearing a suit or a nice dress, not low-cut, not too short, wearing blazers, shined shoes, unspotted clothing, hosiery with no runs, is preferable to short skirts, leggings, etc.  That's what gives us the professional clothing look.  Doesn't have to be designer.

And, of course, professional demeanor.

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