To the reporters, I'm curious to know what machine did you use during school? And as a professional, what machine are you using now? To the students, which machine are you using? I currently don't have a machine. I'm hoping financial aid will cover it when I start school next year, but when I was previously in school (2006-2008) I rented a steno manual (dirty beige color) from the school.

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Comment by Angelia Bell on November 9, 2009 at 8:23
Thanks Celena! I am considering the 400SRT. I've been watching ebay & craigslist. =) Hopefully financial aid will cover a machine but just in case it doesn't.....
Comment by Diane Hickman on November 4, 2009 at 11:15
Angelia, that is wonderful news. I will pray for your success in bidding for this machine. Keep us all posted on your progress.
Comment by Angelia Bell on November 4, 2009 at 11:13
I've been checking ebay. I found a manual writer (mustard color) with starting bid of $9.99, I couldn't believe it. I put in my bid for 10 bucks but there's still like 3 days left so who knows how high it'll get to?
Comment by Diane Hickman on November 4, 2009 at 9:05
First one was manual Stenograph (rented one month); second was a slightly nicer manual Stenograph (given to me by my cousin who dropped out) ; third was electric Stenograph (not sure how I got that one); fourth was Xscribe Ultra (bought by Uncle Sam thanks to NAFTA closing down my job and my retraining...long story); fifth, Stenograph 500, given as a gift (passed CA CSR & Nevada CCR with this one); sixth, Stenograph 8000 (currently using this one. Good machine.) Try looking at the bulletin board at school for anyone selling their machines. Try Craig's List (which is where I bought my 8000.)
Comment by Sharla Preciado on November 3, 2009 at 18:19
I used an old, ugly manual machine clear up to 200's. It made a bit of noise if I didn't keep my legs touching it on either side, but I love that darn thing and don't think I'll ever get rid of it. And it only cost me $50 on ebay...cha-ching!

I bought a Fusion from Stenograph when I was in 200's. I chose it because you can use it with or without paper, and at that time I was required to use paper in school but knew that I didn't want to use paper when I started working. Be sure to find out what the requirements are at your school. I also liked that it used a data SD card with tons of memory and that it had a screen I could look at if I wanted to but was small enough not to be distracting or in the way either.

The advice I got before starting CR school was to start with a manual machine for two reasons: First, the dropout rate in CR school is really high, and you don't want to put out lots of money on a brand new high quality machine and then find that stenography isn't for you. And second, the keys may be a little harder to depress on a manual machine, but if you learn that way and then switch to an amazing new machine when you're in high speeds, it gives you that extra little burst of speed right when you need it.

All of that said, if I could've gotten my hands on a better machine right from the beginning, I probably would've done it. But if you find you can't do that or financial aid doesn't cover it, don't worry about it at all. It won't make one tiny bit of difference at all in your my opinion, of course. :)

And remember, with that high dropout rate, there will be lots of barely used machines being sold and you can get a great deal. Just one more reason to start with an old one and wait til the right machine at the right price comes along. Best of luck to you!
Comment by Glen Warner on October 31, 2009 at 21:35
Alas, the Protege has a 50 page memory limit! You would be better off with a Flash or a Fusion.

"For a Good (steno) Time ....."
Comment by kathy - iamwrdsmth on October 31, 2009 at 21:15
I wrote on a manual writer all through school. One of my teachers
wrote on my manual writer once and said it felt like an electric, so
I figured I had a good manual writer and hung onto it. Still have it.

I purchased a SmartWriter, electric with floppy in bottom, but didn't
use it in school because it was heavy to lug around and didn't want
to take the chance I'd drop it or break it. I'm still using that same
SmartWriter today in court. after 15 years, it's still going strong.

A student sat in court with me last week, and she had a Protege
writer. Good looking writer and is realtime/computer capable, so
it would be good to take into the working world once you're out
of school. Look into that writer as well. You might be able to
find a used one. Keep your feelers out there, you should be able
to find something.
Good Luck,
Comment by Shannon Elisalda on October 31, 2009 at 16:56
Hello Angelia, I am a new student. I have been in school for 2 weeks now and I bought a 400srt. I love it!! My sister in law is a court reporter and she told me to start off with an electric machine that has the real time capability, so the 400srt was the machine I went with. Good luck!
Comment by Angelia Bell on October 31, 2009 at 11:09
I want something electric as a student. I hate pounding away on those manual keys (yuck)! So maybe a 400SRT? I guess it all depends on the financial aid at this point. I'd love to be able to get a Protege` or a Elan Cybra Student writer but I'll take a 400SRT if thats what I can get. :-) Thanks for the advice!!
Comment by La Toya Youngblood on October 31, 2009 at 8:27
Angelia, when I started as a student, the tuition included the Stentuta 200 SRT which worked great, but once I tried out a friend's 400 SRT, I was amazed with how much easier the keys depressed because it's electric. I felt it helped me to get done faster. I don't think it's necessary to buy a brand new machine at this point. As a professional, I have a Stentura 8000 which works fine for me.

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