I was just looking at Jennie's blog about her HP printer, and it got me thinking how if I never printed another transcript page in my lifetime, I'd be thrilled. I now send in all of my work via e-mail. I have come to take it for granted, I guess, how much better things are today than they used to be.
I can remember working on a transcript on my Baron Oz system. I bought it with another court reporter, because the monthly payments were about the same as a mortgage payment. I would then print the transcript on my dot matrix printer. That thing would shriek shrilly (say that three times fast) as it was slowly, slowly, slowly printing. Then when the printing was done, I'd have to tear off the sides of each page carefully so that they wouldn't tear. I remember the exciting day when my partner and I bought a burster and decollator to improve the manual process of separating the pages.
Before that terrific, new technology, I would dictate my steno notes into a dictaphone, and I would drive about an hour to get to my typist's house to deliver and pick up work.
Okay, I can go further back than that, too. Before dictating, I used to type the transcripts on the newest typewriter on the market, the IBM Selectric -- no, not the correcting one, the one before that. If it was a multiple-copy order, I'd stick the carbon paper in between each page and pray to God that I didn't make a mistake. When I did make a mistake, I'd have to take that white eraser that looked like a pencil with a little blue brush on the end of it, and I'd have to get the carbon all over myself while I went in and erased each copy. Then, of course, I'd touch my face for some reason, and then I'd be blue, literally. Imagine having a date after working on a transcript -- pretty!
Every once in a while, we'd have someone stop in the office that wanted something typed. I had one guy come in. He told me that there could not be one, single typo/correction on the page. He stood behind me as I was typing. First page in, type type type -- oops. Next, oops, oops, oops. Oops oops, oops. I ripped the pieces of paper out of the typewriter one by one, feeling the heat of man's glare burning through me. Wow! I might have a nightmare about that tonight. It was awful.
Today, though, I am a realtime reporter. I love my job. Wow, what technology has done for us!