What timing!! Right below your post is the one for DigitalCat (which is Stenovations). I just posted about an hour ago. Go to the discussion below titled DigitalCat. That should give you quite a lot of info.
On my (cheap and sleazy) website, you will find a few articles on digitalCAT. There's one on file management, another on making using the Commands feature to make the automatic formatting of numbers work, a chat with a Stenovations rep, where a lot of questions were answered ... and finally, there's one on (dictionaries ... and I am currently working on an update to address that pesky leasing problem mentioned in the thread Mary Jo was talking about.
That said, while I am not a working reporter, I find the software to be very user-friendly, extremely easy to learn, with a "clean" user interface (say "look").
While I'm not happy with the changes made to the student version, I still recommend digitalCAT.
Hi, I am a user of their cat software. The company is Stenovations. Their software is called DigitalCat. The company is owned by a court reporter, Johnny Jackson, from West Virginia. He offers a 90-day free trial of the software. I have been on it for probably five years. What I personally decided to do once I made a decision to go on it was to lease the software at $79 a month. For the $79 a month I get all of their updates and tech support whenever I need it. Some of the additional features that I liked is being able to get my scopist and proofreader the software, nontranslation, for 45 bucks. If you are a student, there is a very low fee. There might not even be any fee. I'm not sure. I know there are some really fine reporters that use this software, as there are who use all the other cat software products. The audiosync is very clear. The software was easy to learn. There are so many features to this software, I would be surprised if anybody uses all the features that are
available. Whenever I am bored, I go into the features and add a couple more just for the hell of it. I don't know what else to tell you, but if you want to know anything else, let me know.
I have a friend on this software and she loves it. I guess it is super easy to learn. I would not like the idea of never having the software paid off, however. That would get old. I talked to her about the software maybe about three years ago. Maybe things are different now and you can buy it outright. Good luck.
You always could buy the software outright. Leasing is just an option they allow. As a matter of fact, they will apply all the money you paid in on your first year of lease against the outright purchase of the software. That is also an option that has always been available. After getting stuck with software that became obsolete and "not supported" any longer, I had the comfort of knowing that that will never happen to me with this company. The reason I chose the lease is the support and updates is automatic on the lease. $79 x 12 is what I pay. I don't know anymore, but what do you guys pay just for updates and software support? Deduct that from my lease payments, and that is what I really pay. I knew going in that each software is good. There really is no bad software. What is important to me is the company I am dealing with and how easy they make it for me to be a user.
From the discussion the problem with leasing is discussed, the lessor was not informed that after that first year of paying $79 a month, she was now in a leasing agreement -- wherein her monthly payments did not apply to the purchase price after that first year.
After a few years, her hearing began to go, but she continued paying that $79 a month until she could no longer report, thinking that she owned the software.
When she had to produce a transcript, the software would not open for her, as her (presumably monthly) code had expired.
When she called to get another code, they wanted to charge her back payments of $300 to cover those months she didn't pay the lease -- when she, again, thought she had already paid enough to own the software, which, by the way, she had.
This is my big worry about StenoCAT's payment option ($650/year lease, or $54/month): What happens for the reporter who, after paying that $650/year for 20 years, retires? How much would they have to pay to access their transcripts, if there never was a chance for the reporter to actually own the software?
That's why I don't advocate for readers of my (cheap and sleazy) website to enter into a leasing program ... and also why I am in the midst of an update that addresses what to do if a student wants to continue using digitalCAT when they finish school -- that is, after their first (free!) six months.
Just two points, GDW. I have always known upfront that I am only leasing the equipment.
I have never ever thought I would own it by paying lease payments. I made that decision because of the amount of time I had left to report. The other part is you have to have support.
That support, I think, runs between 400 to 600 with the other vendors. That is just a guess. I think I am in the ballpark on that. So what the lease really costs me about 500 annually, which I get to write off. I am not saying that is the best way for everybody to go. I mean, they don't care if you lease or buy. For me it has worked out. And, of course, I can deduct every thing I pay in from my gross. I don't know what that brings the lease payment down to, but it does bring it down some more. I haven't spoken to Stenovations yet, but if after I retire and I get a write up, I don't think they will charge me for allowing me to use the editing
function of the software. If they do, I think it will be something like 40 bucks and that's it.
I am not getting any remuneration from Stenovations. I just appreciate how they treat their users and want to express that. The only criticism I have about the software is I wish my numbers came out as well as I have heard numbers come out on the Eclipse and on the Case Cat software. I still come out a bit wobbly on that. Probably my fault.
I haven't been to your site in a while. I have always appreciated your intelligent approach to obtaining and providing information.
I was a reporter for ten years and stopped like 22 years ago. I am technically a student. I have free access to DigitalCat Student. I had activation for like six weeks before I actually got it going (remember, I needed that adapter).
I have unlimited time use for DigitalCat Student. I have it in an e-mail from last week. When my 151 days are used up, then I e-mail them and get a new activation code.
As for LuAnn, from what I remember in her comments, she felt that after paying for four years she should have free use because her least payments were comparative to the buying cost. Looks like LuAnn is looking for someone to blame. She can read. I'm sure she had been to the website numerous times, and it's right in their literature. No one tricked her.
Good observation, Mary Jo. That is a fair comment. DigitalCat does not finance their software for purchase. They want their money up front. That is another reason some people prefer to lease. The first year of lease and a purchase thereafter is like a no-interest loan for a year, really, if you want to look at it that way. They are totally upfront about everything they do. I would bet that if Johnny had a writer coming out that had a lot more features than their present w
riter, Johnny would tell you to hold off on your purchase because a new and improved writer is coming out. That is just the way they are. I know that when the Diamonte came out, there were some people who had just bought the older model writer. The salesmen say they didn't know about the Diamonte, but the company knew. If I had been one of the people who had paid for the older model, I would be rather pissed. That is what I'm talking about.