Machine shopping...need some tips, advice.

Hello Everyone,

I am in the market for a more updated machine than my Stentura 8000LX which I bought in '99. I reported from 2000-2003, then took a five-year break from reporting and just came back a little over a year ago. My 8000LX is in need of servicing but I'd rather invest money in a new machine.

After several days of considering my options, I've narrowed it down to two machines: Elan Miras A3 and the G2. Is there a significant difference between the two other than the audio capabilities in the A3? I'm considering purchasing a refurbished machine. I've spoken to Kerry from (nice & helpful guy) and to a gentleman at Anywhere else, other websites, I can look at for used and/or refurbished machines? Any additional tips, ideas?

Thanks & have a great 4th of July weekend!!

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Comment by Glen Warner on September 15, 2009 at 19:27
Hi, Ann.

I was going to try to steer you away from the Mira as well (floppies are so ... yesterday!).

When you get a chance, you might want to take a look at a couple of my articles on my (cheap and sleazy) website: Technolust and Techolust II.

Both articles cover the different writers that have come out since 2004.

As for the Netbooks, you'll want to check the Depoman forum -- or better yet, "let me Google that for you."

Pardon the snarky question in the search page that shows up ... but if you look through those links, you will find a whole lot of information on netbooks, which on Depoman are referred to as "throwdowns" -- as in, you "throw down" your netbook in from of an attorney, give him/her a taste of realtime, and after an hour, tell them it's available for the rest of the day -- for a price.

The Depoman forum denizens seem to be having a lot of success with that tactic!

Finally, when you're out searching for a throwdown of your own, ensure you don't buy one with Linux on it.

Linux is great -- and can even be made to look just like Windows -- but to make it run your CAT software, you will need Wine ... and Wine can't do USB just yet, and Bluetooth is iffy as well ... so ensure that the throwdown you're getting has WIndows on it -- and preferably XP.

Good luck!

"For a Good (steno) Time ....."
Comment by Ann Morales on July 4, 2009 at 12:52
Thanks!! Yeah, after second thought, I think I was jumping the gun. My husband also thanks you for helping me come to my senses and not purchasing something I don't really need and adding an unnecessary expense at this!! Anyway, I will look into those netbooks and buy the bluetooth and tilting tripod and get my 8000LX serviced which is a great machine, just needs a good ole' servicing done. I also want to get it shimmed. And then I should be good to go!!! I'm so glad I "consulted" with you guys. I've learned so much in the past few days. I honestly didn't know any better and thought a new machine was the way to go. Thanks for better informing me! Hope you all have a happy 4th of July!!
Comment by Deborah M. on July 4, 2009 at 11:53
I think you made a smart decision. I used my Smartwriter for almost 20 years before finally buying a new A3. And I can just about guarantee the A2 isn't going to work great for 20 years like the Smartwriter. I had it serviced every year by Ken Goodwin (L.A. Stenotype) and it still works well except it got awfully hard to find 720 floppy disks. Welcome back to reporting,
Comment by Aleece DePuey on July 3, 2009 at 14:03
Steno Doctor shimmed my 8000LX for $25.00, and they were done in 5 minutes. They are the best on the planet.
Comment by Ann Morales on July 3, 2009 at 13:12
By the way, I'm reading up about netbooks and I see that it is a "streamlined mobile device" designed for the internet and they do not have the full capabilities of a laptop, etc. Could someone fill me in on how you use them in this line of work? Is it only for realtime? Can I scope/edit my files on it? Thanks!
Comment by Ann Morales on July 3, 2009 at 13:04
Thanks for all the tips and advice!! It has helped me immensely!! Being that I just returned to reporting a little over a year ago, I'm still a little out of the loop with all the updated technology and new machines, etc. I'm surprised to see how much technology has improved in the last several years court reporting. When I found out about wireless, I was almost shocked!! You mean there is a solution to those annoying realtime cables???

I had to repurchase the Martel mic when I first returned and I could not figure out the problem with my mic and laptop/software. The quality was so low and terrible. I tried everything to fix it and was about to purchase a new laptop when someone recommended the amplifier usb mic from Sound Professionals and I purchased it. It is great! The only problem I'm having right now is that it makes little static noises, sometimes louder than others, especially recently. I'm going to start playing with it to see what the problem could be. Maybe I have it too loud or what I'm thinking is that maybe it's picking up the A/C noises.

I really appreciate all your advice. Honestly, I'd rather save money. I'm going to get it serviced which it needs it BADLY and get new pads for it, get the wireless thing, get a tilting tripod, and I should be good to go for now! Thanks everyone!!!
Comment by Ann Morales on July 2, 2009 at 23:36
Can I make my 8000LX wireless? I also saw on Anita Paul's website that I can buy a wireless/audio/dual backup device for any machine (Neat!) but it's like $1,300. I'm wondering if I can make it wireless for a lot less. The machine is in desperate need of servicing! I'm going to take it to the Steno Doctor as soon as I can, unless I decide to go for a new machine. Well, not new. I prefer refurbished/used. I've only used my machine for about three years total and I let a friend borrow it for a year when I wasn't reporting. It's a good machine. I just hear so many things about the Mira (good and bad) but I like the idea of that nice, light touch. I am going to hold out for now. But if I see a good deal, I would like to go for it and maybe keep the LX as a backup. Thanks! And it is good to be back to reporting. I really missed it. I love my job!!

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