Gemini Revolution Grand first (and second) impressions

After a lot of deliberating and stalking all the information I could get on the Grand, I finally went for it. I was a little weary, since I had bought the LightSpeed last year and ended up returning it. I have a ganglion cyst in my wrist that returned after surgery, so I know that anything I can do to minimize stress on it is going to help lengthen my career.

So anyway.. when the Grand first arrived, I spend a few days practicing with it when I could, and would flip flop between loving it and being insanely frustrated with it. I'd get writing and then all the sudden I'd starting fumbling all over the keys, mistraning all over. After a couple of weeks, I decided it just wasn't going to work for me. I started to compare it to my 8000 and realized that part of the design of the Grand is that the vowel keys bars are extended, so the keys sit out further from the other keys. Because of that, the vowels press down further than on my 8000. I have really small hands, and extending my thumb is one of the most aggrevating things for my wrist. So I packed it all up, sent Jason an email saying it wasn't working, and planned to ship it back to him.

Jason got back to me the next day and we ended up talking on the phone about what tweaks would make it work for me. He suggested that we try raising the vowel keys up to the level of the other keys. So for the next couple days, I triple stacked the keypads on it and tried it out. It was a little awkward with that many pads, but I could tell it felt a lot better. So I sent it back, and now I've had it back and been practicing on it for a few days, just an hour or so a day, and it's PERFECT! It doesn't feel awkward or even different anymore, and my wrist feels great.

A couple other thoughts.. I LOVE the split number bar. I've always bit a bit sloppy with the number bar, so I was a little concerned that I wouldn't like it, but it's actually helping my numbers to be cleaner. The "semi metallic" color I got isn't really metallic at all. I was afraid to go with the metallic colors because I didn't want it to look like a bass boat, but if I was to do it again, I'd go metallic. The German silver that I picked does look nice though, and it's very sleek and professional looking. I was also pleasantly surprised that it came with a good quality Linksys bluetooth adapter for my laptop, so I didn't have to go buy one of those. And it can connect to eight bluetooth devices, so I can use it to add a wireless keyboard or mouse.

Bottom line, I highly recommend the Grand. The quality is great, the flexibility that they offer for customizing it awesome, and the customer service that I got from Jason even before I committed to buying it was great. I think they're the only company that I've dealt with in the steno world that responds to emails either the same day or the next day. Sometimes even within an hour or less. Thanks Jason!

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Wonderful!

hi there heather. i am a student who is about to buy a grand. not sure what they call the new one, I think IT. Am I dreaming or fantasizing if i think it might help me a small bit with my speed? I seem to be twisting my fingers around constantly on the stentura i own, and i noticed that i hesitate to write out difficult words because i know how much twisting i will have to do in order to get the word written out. thanks, tanya klein

 

Tanya, the Gemini definitely is awesome in that you can set the angle of your wrist to a more natural angle for you, which I could see helping with your issue.  If the problem is just getting your fingers stretched out too far, I dunno.  The keys are still a flat keyboard just like your Stentura. Although i would also note that as I think I mentioned in this original post, I have the raised vowels, and that helped me a LOT. I'm also still very impressed with the level of service and support at Neutrino. Jason always responds promptly and he was awesome when I needed to send it in to be rebuilt after it got smashed.  Long story. Anyway, I say go for it.  I wouldn't go back to a regular machine.  And they have a stripped down student version that you can upgrade later. If you have any other questions, feel free to post.  As you saw, there's lots of us on this board who love our Grands.
Heather, thank you so much for your informative and quick response. I really appreciate it. I think the raised vowels will definitely help me. I'm so glad you are enjoying your machine. In looking at my stentura keyboard, I noticed that the keys have really wide spaces in between them, and I think my hands might be on the small side. I am going to ask jason if he can possibly move them all in a tiny bit, although I am wondering whether this will cause problems with hitting multiple keys when I only needed to hit one. hmmm.. Also, do you use keypads, or do you just use uncovered keys? thanks t.

Tanya,

I have the leather keypads on my Revolution Grand.  I just move it over 'closer' to the other key, as in the * key and the DZ keys.  How long have you been a student?  I'm not sure you want them too close, as they may even stick to each other as you are moving along at faster speeds.  I'm awaiting my new machine but I've used this brand since Gemini2 and can never go back.  NO neck/wrist issues!  User since 2003!

Rho

I have been a student for 2 years, going pretty slowly. I am at around 140 because right after my first year in sten ed, i somehow ended up in a writing short school (long story) so basically I learned 2 theories back to back. It's been a little tough. I'm in simply steno now. Do you not feel that the pads are causeing you to drag your fingers a bit? I might try them, though, just to decide what I want to do. Right now, with no pads, my fingers slide all over the place. t.
 drag?   No.  Mine would get sweaty for tests and it was awful, LOL.  I can't work without pads now.  They keep my fingers on the keys and they don't slip or slide or stick to the keys, LOL.  I graduated in 2005.  Have been a freelance Court Reporter since then.  I used simply steno too in 2004!  I had only one class left in my school, or I would have continued in simply steno.  Marc is great!

cool. I am going to try the pads. they sound good. How are you enjoying reporting? ordering my machine today!!!! woohoo. what about the fact that it is paperless, do you ever have a problem? also, how important do you think it is to practice steno readback every day?

I'm worried because I am pretty much just focusing on speed building and have non of the academics. do you think that's enough? thanks. t.

 

LOVE CR!  I've been a hair stylist and have my AAS in Accounting too.  LOVE CR!  Love paperless!  I do use an Olympus WS-321M digital recorder for backup.  I also can backup my files to that, as it has a USB connection built into it.  Practice readback!  Is SO important!  Even just one speedtake a day, do SOME!  Practice w/just the notes too.  The academics, I guess would depend on your 'life experience' then.  Do you know lots of medical stuff?  Understand medical word building?  Understand legal terms?  Grammar is SO important!  affect/effect differences?  I would be getting some books and just studying some of that on my own.

I will reply more later, but please read this thread.  I have some more advice, but I wanted to quickly respond to the question regarding reading notes.  There are ways to print out computer notes if you don't have the paper tape.

http://csrnation.ning.com/forum/topics/1736041:Topic:17865?commentI...

Hope that comes through!

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