Author Topic: 300+ wpm Stenotype (Chording) Machine? Why not a standard?  (Read 15698 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Popkeymon

  • Thread Starter
  • Posts: 55
300+ wpm Stenotype (Chording) Machine? Why not a standard?
« on: Wed, 06 April 2011, 05:32:17 »


So, this is a real fast way of data input with proven track record. All speed demanding data input jobs employ the steno machine. It costs $5000 to have one dumb looking piano like machine. It takes weeks to learn the ABC. And once mastered, you could easily type as fast as you speak! Or it might be faster than your thinking!

So why it is not a standard keyboard? What makes qwerty layout a superior data input device?

Offline strum4h

  • Posts: 270
300+ wpm Stenotype (Chording) Machine? Why not a standard?
« Reply #1 on: Wed, 06 April 2011, 05:41:08 »
Because it takes weeks to learn how to use one and they cost 5000$
[SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
Filco Tenkeyless with Browns  - SIIG minitouch GHSS

Offline Keymonger

  • Posts: 196
300+ wpm Stenotype (Chording) Machine? Why not a standard?
« Reply #2 on: Wed, 06 April 2011, 06:45:17 »
And because people rarely need to type that fast.

Offline Proword

  • Posts: 237
  • Location: Perth, Western Australia
300+ wpm Stenotype (Chording) Machine? Why not a standard?
« Reply #3 on: Wed, 06 April 2011, 09:02:43 »
It actually takes YEARS to learn before you can do 300 wpm.

There are only 22 keys so you miss out on some letters.



Plus it is designed, as was pen shorthand, to capture sounds, not words.  Homophonic words, such as "read", "reed", "red", "read", "wood", "would",  etc would need to be "translated"  later to give the "correct" word, based upon its context.

This list gives over 400 homophonic pairs.

http://www.bifroest.demon.co.uk/misc/homophones-list.html

It's almost like having to learn another language.



Although the new computerised steno machine can translate the shorthand into English, you'd be much better off creating your own shorthand based upon a word processing package.

WordPerfect is far more able than any other package at doing this.

Joe
« Last Edit: Wed, 06 April 2011, 09:06:10 by Proword »
Maltron 3D Dual Hand (x4)
Maltron 3D Single Hand (x2 - L & R)

Many people think their lifestyle comes at a cost - but they are quite cool with that as long as somebody ELSE pays it.

Offline graywolf

  • Posts: 181
    • http://www.graywolfphoto.com/
300+ wpm Stenotype (Chording) Machine? Why not a standard?
« Reply #4 on: Thu, 15 September 2011, 13:34:05 »
I have been looking at stenographic machines lately. You can actually get a new student model realtime one for $1200.

However, a stenographic machine is not just a keyboard. Modern ones are a keyboard with a build in computer, a dictionary of chords (words or sounds), and translation software. So you are not just paying for a keyboard.

It takes a couple of years to learn court reporting, but that is a whole lot more than just using the machine. That is a full business course with and emphasis on court reporting.

A stenographic machine uses cords for words, phonetics, and personal short cuts. Entering a "t" for instance is instantly translated to "the". That of course means that there are thousands of shortcuts to remember. With a standard keyboard all you have to do is learn where the key is for the letters you already know how to spell with. It is interesting to notice that using a stenographic machine is only about twice as fast as typing, 200+ would seem to be a more common speed. 300+ is about like typing 150 words per minute, not a lot of folks can do it. I am going to assume that someone who took two years of typing classes could type 100+ words per minute (secretaries used to have to do that transcribing from their shorthand notes to get hired).

My conclusion was that I am too old to bother. I used to be able to copy text at 35wpm on an IBM Selectric with 100% accuracy, doubt I could do that now, too used to rattling along and correcting it afterwords. But, I thought I would pass on some of the info I found in my research.
« Last Edit: Thu, 15 September 2011, 13:36:25 by graywolf »

Offline itlnstln

  • Posts: 13093
300+ wpm Stenotype (Chording) Machine? Why not a standard?
« Reply #5 on: Thu, 15 September 2011, 13:35:04 »
Wow, a blast from the past.  How are things, graywolf?


Offline graywolf

  • Posts: 181
    • http://www.graywolfphoto.com/
300+ wpm Stenotype (Chording) Machine? Why not a standard?
« Reply #6 on: Thu, 15 September 2011, 13:35:15 »
I have been looking at stenographic machines lately. You can actually get a new student model realtime one for $1200.

However, a stenographic machine is not just a keyboard. Modern ones are a keyboard with a build in computer, a dictionary of chords (words or sounds), and translation software. So you are not just paying for a keyboard.

It takes a couple of years to learn court reporting, but that is a whole lot more than just using the machine. That is a full business course with and emphasis on court reporting.

A stenographic machine uses cords for words, phonetics, and personal short cuts. Entering a "t" for instance is instantly translated to "the". That of course means that there are thousands of shortcuts to remember. With a standard keyboard all you have to do is learn where the key is for the letters you already know how to spell with. It is interesting to notice that using a stenographic machine is only about twice as fast as typing, 200+ would seem to be a more common speed. 300+ is about like typing 150 words per minute, not a lot of folks can do it. I am going to assume that someone who took two years of typing classes could type 100+ words per minute (secretaries used to have to do that transcribing from their shorthand notes to get hired).

My conclusion was that I am too old to bother. I used to be able to copy text at 35wpm on an IBM Selectric with 100% accuracy, doubt I could do that now, too used to rattling along and correcting it afterwords. But, I thought I would pass on some of the info I found in my research.

Offline graywolf

  • Posts: 181
    • http://www.graywolfphoto.com/
300+ wpm Stenotype (Chording) Machine? Why not a standard?
« Reply #7 on: Thu, 15 September 2011, 13:40:05 »
Quote from: itlnstln;416684
Wow, a blast from the past.  How are things, graywolf?

More or less OK, for someone getting on toward 70 (couple of years to go). You?

Offline itlnstln

  • Posts: 13093
300+ wpm Stenotype (Chording) Machine? Why not a standard?
« Reply #8 on: Thu, 15 September 2011, 13:42:13 »
I'm doing well myself.  Staying busy, although it may not seem like it when I'm posting here.


Offline Playtrumpet

  • Posts: 275
300+ wpm Stenotype (Chording) Machine? Why not a standard?
« Reply #9 on: Thu, 15 September 2011, 16:02:32 »
I'm a steno fanatic, though I've been dormant on the subject lately. Schools that teach/train stenography report 2-4 years of training (it is like learning a new language) for the average person to reach the standard 225 wpm (with I think 98% accuracy). However, those with a real talent or skill or even just extra determination can take less time to become that proficient or more so (with good English language, grammar and syntax proficiency as well).

The main creator of Plover (a Linux based, open source program for steno - I've tried to get it to run natively on Mac (as have others, as well as attempts on Windows, but not many since it's not a hugely known project)) reached that speed in just a year and a half of school. I suspect that fast typists who can also learn other layouts with proficiency would be able to learn steno in this amount of time. By the way, she uses a Filco Ninja Majestouch-2 TKL when using Plover ('cause of the NKRO that you absolutely need when stenotyping). If I were a transcriber, but more importantly a licensed stenographer, this would peak my interest immensely. Even though I'm not, it still does. =P

OH! And for the interested, I do have the ENTIRE plover dictionary (cool to look/search through). Comes from the creator's personal machine dictionary and a standard steno dictionary I believe - but of course, ANY briefs and strokes can be edited, which stenographers do all the time.

https://docs.google.com/leaf?id=0BxDltXWEPRyKNTdiODI2MzYtYzE2Ni00OTk5LWJlZDUtNTQwZDliODBjM2U4&hl=en_US
Plain text file - over 124,000 different strokes/briefs. For many words and phrases, there's more than 1 translation. That's just a part of the language and because the author has many of her own programmed steno in there.

Keep in mind, the software that holds this info is usually hundreds if not thousands of dollars (which really makes up a lot of the price of the best machines). The dictionary was taken from one of the files in the plover-2.1.1 version, and I hope the author doesn't mind me sharing. They're always looking for people to use the program, find glitches, errors and ALWAYS looking to find a way to run it on Mac or Windows natively.

e. And on homophonic words, it does take time to learn the specific steno, but just like any shorthand program, YOU are the one who chooses the steno you want a word to be. It doesn't have to follow all the rules.
« Last Edit: Thu, 15 September 2011, 19:12:58 by Playtrumpet »
Das S Ultimate Brown | Dvorak

Offline graywolf

  • Posts: 181
    • http://www.graywolfphoto.com/
300+ wpm Stenotype (Chording) Machine? Why not a standard?
« Reply #10 on: Thu, 15 September 2011, 19:52:03 »
Hi Playtrumpet, I looked at Plover, even down loaded it. However have not tried it out as I do not have a nkro keyboard. It certainly looks interesting. One can run Linux in a VM easily enough, so it being for Linux is not a real problem. If it becomes at all popular steno keyboards are sure to become available, since Plover provides the other features of a realtime stenographic machine, just a straight keyboard is all that would be needed and I can not see any reason why one should cost more than $100. Do you know if Plover provides 100% of the features of a RTSM yet?

Your comment on homophonic words should have added that steno is primarily phonetic, but not 100% so. Therefore, it is easy enough to have different shorthand notation for various similar sounding words. Another, point is that many words are written with a single chord. That means if you have "pneumonoultramicroscopicsilovolcanoconosis" (sp?) in your medical dictionary you could type it by hitting hitting a single cord. They say that there are about 8 million possible chords one can hit on those 22 keys. BTW, one can type out the regular alphabet on the steno keyboard, only some letters require hitting more than one key at a time, there is no advantage to that, but it does allow words to be spelled out if needed.

The real problem is, as you said, that it really is a different language; so not a lot of your normal way of typing is transferable.
« Last Edit: Thu, 15 September 2011, 19:54:21 by graywolf »

Offline Playtrumpet

  • Posts: 275
300+ wpm Stenotype (Chording) Machine? Why not a standard?
« Reply #11 on: Thu, 15 September 2011, 20:31:19 »
Quote
One can run Linux in a VM easily enough, so it being for Linux is not a real problem.
Oh absolutely, and I run Debian via VirtualBox. But the appeal in running it natively to me is that running it through VB, I have somehow much less motivation to use and learn the language simply because it requires the extra step of going out of my regular OS and into Linux, with which I'm totally unfamiliar.

Quote
Do you know if Plover provides 100% of the features of a RTSM yet?
I'm not familiar with Real-time System Management or its relation to typing/transcribing so I'm not sure. If it can operate in a Linux system then I don't see why not. With Plover activated, the steno strokes are translated and the text is then displayed wherever it's used. The creator even used it on Typeracer.

Quote
Your comment on homophonic words should have added that steno is primarily phonetic, but not 100% so. Therefore, it is easy enough to have different shorthand notation for various similar sounding words. Another, point is that many words are written with a single chord.
Yes. I couldn't think of the word phonetic for some reason. =\

It is a different language, but stenographers, court reporters, transcribers, etc. - everyone adapts new vocabulary, even non-standard (or non-existent) words and lingo. That's one area in which steno machines and programs have an advantage because they allow the reporter to add words and briefs/strokes on the fly as they type/transcribe. HOWEVER, these hurdles can be overcome and Plover is still evolving. The creator has demonstrated the ability to program commands rather than simple translations into her everyday steno (example - rewinding an audio clip 1.5 seconds for transcription with a single stroke or pause/play). I really should learn python..

And if you want to try out Plover, you need not have an NKRO capable keyboard to learn the basics. Most computers/laptops have at least 4-5 key rollover, and there's tons of steno you can do with that many keys. Also, "arpeggiating" chords requiring more than that many key presses at once is cheap sidestep to the NKRO problem which I found somewhat effective when I first tried the program. I have not used it much or learned steno since then because of how busy I am and again the lack of (what is inefficient to me personally) convenience. ALSO - to anyone who is going to try Plover, take the program with a grain of salt. There are plenty of bugs to work out. Hopefully the project will get actual funding and we may see drastic improvements, but the creator is currently working with little to no help. =P
Das S Ultimate Brown | Dvorak

Offline Tony

  • Posts: 1201
300+ wpm Stenotype (Chording) Machine? Why not a standard?
« Reply #12 on: Thu, 15 September 2011, 23:59:30 »
This keyboard is specifically designed for English-speaking court reporting only. It is too language specific and have little uses.
Keyboard: Filco MJ1 104 brown, Filco MJ2 87 brown, Compaq MX11800, Noppoo Choc Brown/Blue/Red, IBM Model M 1996, CMStorm Quickfire Rapid Black
Layout: Colemak experience, speed of 67wpm

Offline Playtrumpet

  • Posts: 275
300+ wpm Stenotype (Chording) Machine? Why not a standard?
« Reply #13 on: Fri, 16 September 2011, 08:02:29 »
Quote from: Tony;416976
This keyboard is specifically designed for English-speaking court reporting only. It is too language specific and have little uses.

Of course you're forgetting that it's also used for CART services, general transcription and regular typing (where plover is trying to bring it). If by language specific you mean limited mostly to English, steno is not incredibly widespread to every country, but the most common languages have it available. If really you mean to imply the dictionary itself is limited to court language, then you are mistaken. The schools themselves focus primarily on court reporting and the skills and language it utilizes, but the technology is used way out of that spectrum. For stenographers to caption live TV, they're using a completely different language, all under the technology's capabilities. In CART services, the stenographer is at a class with a hard of hearing student, captioning verbatim the professor's lecture. The dictionary and stenographer learn and grow, simply making the typing experience faster and more useful.
Das S Ultimate Brown | Dvorak

Offline graywolf

  • Posts: 181
    • http://www.graywolfphoto.com/
300+ wpm Stenotype (Chording) Machine? Why not a standard?
« Reply #14 on: Fri, 16 September 2011, 18:10:36 »
Court Reporting is the main use, and the most highly paid.

However, Real Time Stenotype can be used for any thing where you want something written down. In the old days when you had a cryptic paper tape that had to be translated into a readable text that was not likely, because the translation was done on a typewriter anyway. Real time systems are automatically translated into readable text as input, usually on an attached laptop computer. The closed captions you see on the news, are being entered by a steno operator in real time, that delay is often because the stenographer is probably working at home maybe half the world away listening and typing it in. From some of what I see, English is often not their best language.

Shorthand existed at least as far back as Ancient Greece; but until real time systems became available, not all that long ago, it was only usable by specialists and had no advantage in writing. It was only used for taking down speech. Today, it can allow a writer to input text about twice as fast as he could type. If someone was paying me to write stuff like this, it would be worth my while to learn it.

So, nope, it is not only usable for English Court Reporting.

Offline Playtrumpet

  • Posts: 275
300+ wpm Stenotype (Chording) Machine? Why not a standard?
« Reply #15 on: Fri, 16 September 2011, 20:27:43 »
Honestly, if I didn't know what I wanted to do with my life already, I'd be very willing to go to court reporting school, get a job and have that nice, simple career. It's weird to think that I'm actually in a path that has less certainty (relating to "job placement"), costs more in equipment, takes years more practice and stress, and is many times less likely to bring me the life I imagine than a court reporting career. I think if I do end up in good success and I have the time, I'll learn it anyway. It's too strong of an interest for me to ignore it forever.
Das S Ultimate Brown | Dvorak

Offline Proword

  • Posts: 237
  • Location: Perth, Western Australia
300+ wpm Stenotype (Chording) Machine? Why not a standard?
« Reply #16 on: Sat, 17 September 2011, 05:03:59 »
Quote
e. And on homophonic words, it does take time to learn the specific steno, but just like any shorthand program, YOU are the one who chooses the steno you want a word to be. It doesn't have to follow all the rules.

Only if you are the person who has to transcribe your shorthand into English.  Until the invention of the computerised "scoping" system, each writer had to use the same shortforms (as in penwriting).  Sometimes the transcript might not be needed for days, if not years, and the original writer could even be dead, which was why it took so long to gain proficiency.  

It was a bit like the texting system used on the SMS.  The person who is receiving the text message has to know what the abbreviation means for it to make any sense.  Using this system

http://proword-transcription.blogspot.com/

you can have 5 different people in the one office doing machine shorthand, but each will have their own system of abbreviation, which the word processor expands immediately so nobody needs to know what somebody else's abbreviation will expand to. I've got a "dictionary" with about 7000 abbreviations, plus a series of "hot keys".  It's not really a case of "remembering" anything.  I just ask the question mentally "what's a good abbreviation for this word/phrase?"  And I use that.  Sometimes I'll do an abbreviation I created back in the last century and haven't used it since, but it pops up correctly and surprises me.  8-D

I've been using this system since the early 1990s, and it's quite easy to transcribe at 160-180 wpm, and get an accuracy of better than 99%, even before proofreading.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pYJtF1I3PRs

Joe
« Last Edit: Sat, 17 September 2011, 05:09:09 by Proword »
Maltron 3D Dual Hand (x4)
Maltron 3D Single Hand (x2 - L & R)

Many people think their lifestyle comes at a cost - but they are quite cool with that as long as somebody ELSE pays it.

Offline Playtrumpet

  • Posts: 275
300+ wpm Stenotype (Chording) Machine? Why not a standard?
« Reply #17 on: Sat, 17 September 2011, 10:10:40 »
I have no doubt that other personal abbreviation systems are  effective and worth looking at. But I think english steno is still the most unified. You learn how to spell phonetically and from most schools, you're meant to reach and test at an average of 225 wpm, and for further licensing people average even higher. But I don't just want to use speed as my argument for steno. The logic behind the language is widespread, published and effective. Personalization comes in to improve upon an already solid system and language which are my reasons for being such an advocate.

If you're arguing that one's own abbreviation system is great because others cannot and would not be able to use it as logically or effectively as the person who created it, then I don't see any potential for that system to spread.
Das S Ultimate Brown | Dvorak

Offline graywolf

  • Posts: 181
    • http://www.graywolfphoto.com/
300+ wpm Stenotype (Chording) Machine? Why not a standard?
« Reply #18 on: Sat, 17 September 2011, 14:00:50 »
And, I used to use a personal short hand in a word processor to type in things, then that word processor was left behind as I moved to CPM, then MS Dos, then Unix, and finally, kicking and screaming in protest, to MS Windows. Even if I still had those old 360Kb 5-1/4" discs, I would not be able to read the notes on them anyway as SuperScripsit is so long dead. Therein lies the advantage to a standardized system, you can go back to it later.

This thread is giving me delusions of youth. I have reloaded VMWare Player, will load Ubuntu, and Plover and give it a try. Ms Knight (the originator of Plover) claims you can get to 120wpm in about 6 months, then you kind of hit a plateau and it takes another year and a half or so to reach that 225wpm level. I figure it will only take a week or so to find out if my old mind is capable of learning new tricks. You never know until you try.

What would be very neat, to my mind, would be something like a netbook with a steno keyboard instead of a regular one, that seems like it would be a cheap all in one solution for maybe $400. Actually, while I think about it, one could probably build a oneoff steno keyboard that output the same keycodes Plover uses for a hundred bucks or so in parts.
« Last Edit: Mon, 19 September 2011, 11:23:26 by graywolf »

Offline Playtrumpet

  • Posts: 275
300+ wpm Stenotype (Chording) Machine? Why not a standard?
« Reply #19 on: Sat, 17 September 2011, 14:24:29 »
Very possible. I remember even getting tempted to buy a cheap steno machine off of ebay a while back just so I could feel a real steno keyboard. I believe what the few actual stenographers do while using Plover (I say few because it's still a small, lesser known project and yes I've emphasized this enough already =P) - what they do is put steno key pads right onto their computer keyboard. Makes it easier to hit more than one key at once with a single finger (I think some strokes even require a single finger to hit 4 keys at once).

The claim of 120 wpm in 6 months of training with Plover makes it tempting, but it's important to note that those 6 months don't include just knowing the layout and practicing regular typing over and over, but rather they include learning how to think in that special phonetic language and then transferring that to steno chording.

It's taken me 2 months so far to reach an average 90 wpm with Dvorak, so Steno is tempting still. I may start to read the old manual posted online mentioned by a member of plover's google group. http://www.archive.org/stream/stenotypy00indi#page/n0/mode/2up - It's an older manual and so doesn't include the more refined real-time techniques of modern day stenographers, but the basics are all there, and the basic language remains the same (again, standardized and widespread system - big bonus). I'm gonna start reading and learning from that ('cause I'm cheap - steno manuals/textbooks are easily accessible on ebay and such).
Das S Ultimate Brown | Dvorak

Offline graywolf

  • Posts: 181
    • http://www.graywolfphoto.com/
300+ wpm Stenotype (Chording) Machine? Why not a standard?
« Reply #20 on: Sat, 17 September 2011, 15:59:58 »
about canning with can ait

That line is the first random entry using Plover. Typed on my Model M keyboard. The "ait" appears to be an unfinshed word.

Playtrumpet, a point I did not think to make when you said you did not want to have to reboot your system to go into Linux. With VMPlayer (a free application from VMWare) you do not have to do that you just open VMPlayer like any other application, click on the Linux installation (Ubuntu in my case, selected because that is what they say they are developing Plover on), and it opens in a window on your desktop. From there you just use Plover by clicking on the big P at the top of the window.

Of course it helps a bit if you know a bit about Unix/Linux when installing the Plover software, but it is not really that hard to figure out. The only problem I ran into is that "aptitude" was not installed by default and I had to install it before I could do the Plover install. Note: I have never even seen a Ubuntu installation before, and I had no real problems installing it and Plover.

So, now all I have to do is go through Ms Knights Steno 101 stuff which explains the keyboard, then actually learn Steno....
« Last Edit: Sat, 17 September 2011, 16:02:14 by graywolf »

Offline Playtrumpet

  • Posts: 275
300+ wpm Stenotype (Chording) Machine? Why not a standard?
« Reply #21 on: Sat, 17 September 2011, 23:17:35 »
Oh, no. I don't have to reboot, I do just run Debian in its own window. In earnest, I'm just being lazy. =P

It's similar to how I put off learning Dvorak for... a few years before I started. Plover is readily available to me, but I'm just giving myself excuses not to seriously start teaching myself (ex. It's best taught from professionals, with proper texts and dedication, I don't know anyone in real life who knows steno (and few who even know OF it), it takes months to learn it and I'd be an amateur, all alone trying to teach myself a professional language, etc.). I've got plenty of excuses, but I PRETEND that accessibility and convenience are my actual excuses.

Soon, though.. I'll get up the courage to begin for real. Learning multiple disciplines is an intimidating prospect and it just stresses me out a bit is all..

But for anyone NOT being classically/intensely trained in a discipline (it should be relatively apparent that I am saying I'm a musician in the toughest year(s) of my training right now) I strongly encourage trying to learn steno. I'm certain that so FEW people actually learn the standard language on their own and it would be exciting to hear from the earliest self-taught, proficient stenographers as I hope there will be many more in the future.
Das S Ultimate Brown | Dvorak

Offline Proword

  • Posts: 237
  • Location: Perth, Western Australia
300+ wpm Stenotype (Chording) Machine? Why not a standard?
« Reply #22 on: Sun, 18 September 2011, 04:04:06 »
Quote from: Playtrumpet;417644

If you're arguing that one's own abbreviation system is great because others cannot and would not be able to use it as logically or effectively as the person who created it, then I don't see any potential for that system to spread.

I'm actually arguing quite the opposite , and that is to not worry about what other people do, just work on your own system, based upon how your own mind works.  The simple question I ask myself "What's a good abbreviation?" works both ways, in creation of the abbreviation and using it later.  The trick is not to think about the answer, just do it, simply because the same mind is asking the same question, so is likely (in my experience almost invariably) to come up with the same answer.  There's no "right" or "wrong" answer.  

And there's no single answer.

eg one of the first sets of words I worked with was "became, become, because".  There are (at least) two ways of doing the shorthand, one using "hot keys" and the other "abbreviation."

For hot keys I could have chosen the keystroke combination "Alt+B" for "became" (there's an "A" in the command "Alt") Ctrl+B for "become" (there's an "O" in the command "C[on]tr
  • l") and for "because" I could use "Shift+Alt+B" as there's an "S" in "shift" and an "A" in "Alt".


If I choose (as I eventually did) to go down the path of using abbreviations for "became" I used "bca", for "become" I used "bco" and for "because" I went to a hot key combination of Ctrl B.  

Neither way of reaching the correct expanded word is better than the other, they both work, and if somebody chooses yet a different way of doing the same thing, and it works, that's fine.  I won't criticise them.

I actually started building my system back in the early 1980s on the Apple II program called "Zardax", but due to its very small size (about 32 KB) there was extreme limitation on how far I could develop.  When I moved to WordPerfect for DOS I used macro commands, and devised a "reverse reading macro" system whereby I typed in the abbreviation then hit a single keystroke, rather than the normal "start macro play function" [AltF10] type "macro name" [Enter].  If I changed machines I had to transport my macros, but since I only used one computer at a time it wasn't a massive problem.

When I moved to the Windows environment I looked at both MS Word and WordPerfect and found that the limitations of MS Word, whilst not preventing the use of shorthand (using the Autocorrect Function), were such to make WordPerfect much more effective.  

It's much simpler to 'port from one machine to another since there are only two files to copy, the *.uwl (user word list) and the *.wpt (WordPerfect Template) files.

I imagine I could reproduce something on most word processing packages that have either an automatic word replacement function or macros, but from looking at MS Word and Open Office it would be very difficult crack 120 wpm simply because I think I'd need to use so many "work arounds".  

But probably the abbreviations would still remain the same, just the method of execution would be different.

I did a 12 month assignment as the secretary for a group of forensic pathologists, doing both microscopy reports and autopsy reports.  Since most of the stuff was very formulaic I eventually found I could transcribe 10 to 15 seconds of audio recording with about 7-8 keystrokes, and I calculated once that I was going at something between 2 and 4000 words per minute.  I still had to play the 15 seconds of audio though to check and make sure that there wasn't something different in there, so the putative "high speed" was pretty pointless.  This was using MS Word and whilst not as good as I would have achieved with WordPerfect, it was certainly streets ahead of keying everything manually.

I demonstrated to a stenotypist a few years ago that it would be quite simple for her to translate her shorthand abbreviations into the word processor, and have them work fine, but unless she was able to find a way to plug a steno keyboard into the PC then it would be a retrograde step because she would lose the ability to "chord" her keystrokes.   Using the Maltron keyboard, I am able to press up to 10  keys simultaneously and (usually) get each character, but can't guarantee that the characters will appear in the same order each time.

So pressing the (10) home keys simultaneously

aes intho
ea sinthor
aethor si
aethor si

gives me different strings each time.

Thus I stuck with sequencing the keystrokes.

If WordPerfect does disappear off the scene then I'll have to look elsewhere I suppose, but I think by the time that happens I'll probably be well and truly retired, and in any case, I've still got Dragon speech recognition to fall back on, although that isn't always the preferred option.

Joe
« Last Edit: Sun, 18 September 2011, 04:08:18 by Proword »
Maltron 3D Dual Hand (x4)
Maltron 3D Single Hand (x2 - L & R)

Many people think their lifestyle comes at a cost - but they are quite cool with that as long as somebody ELSE pays it.

Offline Playtrumpet

  • Posts: 275
300+ wpm Stenotype (Chording) Machine? Why not a standard?
« Reply #23 on: Sun, 18 September 2011, 11:20:07 »
That's a very cool system you've made, Proword. I want to ask, do you have to program a new shorthand for every new word you encounter? And how long did it take you to build your dictionary to the point where you can type most normal sentences? (disregarding medical lingo, proper names, etc. - as those always have to be made anew when first encountered)

I ask because, while I like your system and idea of personalized shorthand - using what makes most sense to YOU for your typing, my concern is the length of time one would have to dedicate to make his or her dictionary ready for fast transcription. Like I mentioned, standard steno dictionaries are filled with more vocabulary than one can ever learn word by word. Plover has over 120,000 strokes which I estimate is around 75-100,000 words and phrases in total. The benefit I find to the language, is that you don't actually have to learn each stroke/word individually, and it is based on the logic of the language, so it makes sense to those who learn the general system and practice. And of course, with the base knowledge of the language, people still make their dictionaries their own, with their own shorthand that, like your system makes sense to them personally. The difference I'm trying to emphasize is that there is that important base language, logic and extensive dictionary under which more people can learn and effectively type any word they want without creating as many new shorthands/shortcuts.
Das S Ultimate Brown | Dvorak

Offline graywolf

  • Posts: 181
    • http://www.graywolfphoto.com/
300+ wpm Stenotype (Chording) Machine? Why not a standard?
« Reply #24 on: Sun, 18 September 2011, 11:51:09 »
Proword, your Steno friend must have been a long while back. AFAIK, all real time steno systems are computer interfacable, first with a serial port, and currently with USB.

Playtrumpet, I was thinking about how to go about learning Plover last night, and came up with this idea. First, I will learn the chords for the alphabet, then move into the shorthand part. Reasoning, that way I can actually start using Plover day to day, typing the shorthand as I learn it, and typing letter for letter for the words I do not know the shorthand for yet. I see no reason why typing using the Plover Steno positions on the keyboard should not be just as fast as typing using Qwerty. Maybe even a bit faster as you would not have to stretch your fingers as much.

Everybody, if you think learning the shorthand stuff is daunting, you probably are using it quite often already. I noticed in my comment to Proword, I used the acronym "AFAIK". What do you think an acronym is? Yep, it is shorthand, in that case for "as far as I know". It seems that on a Steno machine, you would be able to type AFAIK with one keystroke (chord). Bingo, you have just written 17 characters (counting spaces) with one hit on the keyboard. Boy, I seem to be talking myself into learning this, don't I?
« Last Edit: Sun, 18 September 2011, 12:09:05 by graywolf »

Offline graywolf

  • Posts: 181
    • http://www.graywolfphoto.com/
300+ wpm Stenotype (Chording) Machine? Why not a standard?
« Reply #25 on: Sun, 18 September 2011, 12:51:02 »
Along with the other thinking, I have been doing some research on making a custom USB Steno keyboard. (Hey we are really on topic for this form now, right.) Off the top of my head, in a post above, I said I thought I could make one for about $100.

Well, the research tells me I was right on the money. There is a USB gaming encoder that is programmable with up to 32 inputs. The inputs are individual so no need for a matrix, just wire each keyswitch to the encoder.

Some silent tactile keyswitches, a mounting plate, and a box to mount it in. It would have to be some off the shelf box. Because even if manufacturing a 100 or so of them, a custom molded case would be prohibitively expensive.

One off, point to point wiring would be OK. In larger quantities, a printed circuit board would be easier to deal with, but in quantity 100 or more printed circuit boards are not expensive.

The keycaps would be the most difficult problem. On a one off, I guess you could grind some standard keycaps down and glue something to the top; but in small quantities custom molded keycaps would be very expensive. The one nice thing is that except for the number lock keybar that I think you could use a spacebar for, there are only 3 sizes of keycaps needed, and they have no markings on them.

Another thing about the keycaps. Regular keycaps are designed so you will not easily hit multiple keys at the same time. But with a Steno keyboard you want to be able to hit as many as four keys with one finger, but still hit only one at a time if needed.

Still, all in all, it would not be too difficult to make a dedicated Steno keyboard.
« Last Edit: Wed, 28 September 2011, 13:15:59 by graywolf »

Offline Playtrumpet

  • Posts: 275
300+ wpm Stenotype (Chording) Machine? Why not a standard?
« Reply #26 on: Sun, 18 September 2011, 12:55:18 »
I'm not so tech/engineering savvy, but that is an AWESOME project you're conceiving. Also, I'm so glad I knew what AFAIK meant. ^_^
Das S Ultimate Brown | Dvorak

Offline graywolf

  • Posts: 181
    • http://www.graywolfphoto.com/
300+ wpm Stenotype (Chording) Machine? Why not a standard?
« Reply #27 on: Sun, 18 September 2011, 17:05:42 »
Well, it did not take long to find out two things.

1. Nope, can not type in single letters, at least without more knowledge than I have. I would imagine I would have to go into the dictionary and replace all the single letter entries with the single letters.

2. Nope, can't use my Model M keyboard. -FPLT which is supposed to be space comes out "-FRPBLGTS". Of course Ms Knight may have that tied to an acronym in Plover, but it looks more like an error to me. Of course that is the first 4-key entry I tried deliberately. Hum.... I just tried entering that with only a max of two letters at a time, and still got the gobbly-gook, so maybe I don't know what is going on.

Offline Playtrumpet

  • Posts: 275
300+ wpm Stenotype (Chording) Machine? Why not a standard?
« Reply #28 on: Sun, 18 September 2011, 17:10:29 »
Weird. Have you tried some of these? http://stenoknight.com/STPRRPTS.jpg I remember they worked for me.

There are certainly glitches, but most words should come out correctly. If those in the picture don't work, you should re-install the program.
Das S Ultimate Brown | Dvorak

Offline Proword

  • Posts: 237
  • Location: Perth, Western Australia
300+ wpm Stenotype (Chording) Machine? Why not a standard?
« Reply #29 on: Sun, 18 September 2011, 21:28:23 »
Quote from: Playtrumpet;418128
That's a very cool system you've made, Proword. I want to ask, do you have to program a new shorthand for every new word you encounter? And how long did it take you to build your dictionary to the point where you can type most normal sentences? (disregarding medical lingo, proper names, etc. - as those always have to be made anew when first encountered)

I ask because, while I like your system and idea of personalized shorthand - using what makes most sense to YOU for your typing, my concern is the length of time one would have to dedicate to make his or her dictionary ready for fast transcription. Like I mentioned, standard steno dictionaries are filled with more vocabulary than one can ever learn word by word. Plover has over 120,000 strokes which I estimate is around 75-100,000 words and phrases in total. The benefit I find to the language, is that you don't actually have to learn each stroke/word individually, and it is based on the logic of the language, so it makes sense to those who learn the general system and practice. And of course, with the base knowledge of the language, people still make their dictionaries their own, with their own shorthand that, like your system makes sense to them personally. The difference I'm trying to emphasize is that there is that important base language, logic and extensive dictionary under which more people can learn and effectively type any word they want without creating as many new shorthands/shortcuts.

The basis of my system works pretty much in reverse to the stenotype language model in that the user starts out being able to type English "normally" ie keying every word in full, and then as one gets a handle on a particular topic, eg law or medicine, one starts creating abbreviations "on the fly".  So if for example I come across an expression which occurs a couple of times in a single page, I may look at it and mentally say that looks like it might be worth abbreviating for the future, and quite literally I'll let my fingers key in an abbreviation without further thought.  If nothing happens then that abbreviation has not been used for anything else, so then I just create the abbreviation in QuickCorrect (the WordPerfect equivalent of MS Word's AutoCorrect) and that's all I have to do, because next time I come across that expression, I'll hit that abbreviation and bingo!  It's done.  Whilst it does happen, it's very rare that I will execute an abbreviation and have something different come up.  So then I just look at the two expressions, decide which I'm likely to use more often and go with that.  If I have to create a different abbreviation because the "old" one is too useful, then so be it.  It only takes a couple of goes before the new one is in my fingers.

I've noticed that over the last couple of years, I've grown so used to doing shorthand that I'll run a (non-existent)  short form without even thinking about it, and if that happens, then I'll create it, even if I don't think I'm likely to use it often, because, hey, I've generated the linkage, so why not use it?  

It's pretty hard to be precise, but I think the best explanation is I'm teaching myself a new way of "spelling" something.  When I'm typing (and other people have said the same thing) there's a big difference between keying in the letters "f-o-r-t-u-n-e" and the word "fortune", no matter how quickly and clearly the individual letters may be spoken.  I merely have learned how to spell "fortune" with the keystrokes "f-t-u".  I spell "fortunate" "f-n-u" and I spell "fortnight" "f-n".  And once I get a single abbreviation I can build on it.  So "f-n-y" will give "fortnightly", while "f-n-u-y" gives "fortunately", and "u-f-n-u-y" becomes "unfortunately".  There can also be a crossover between hot keys and short words.  I use Ctrl+L to give me "able"  and Ctrl+M to give "ment".  So "lamentable" becomes "L-a-[Ctrl+M][Ctrl+L]".   But I can also make a short form of "l2" for "able to" and "u-l-2" expands to "unable to".  And so it goes.

Unlike MS Word, WordPerfect has a couple of very nice tricks.  One is the "keyboard map" which shows in one screen every keystroke combo available, unlike MS Word, which only shows one set of keystrokes at a time.  The other lovely one is being able to save each keyboard map, and change it at will.  I may be wrong, since I haven't done too much serious experimentation, but the keyboard map in MS Word is attached to the document template and can't be changed without opening a new document with the new map.  

Using this function I can have a large number of different keystroke sets for different topics, so in one keyboard the keystroke combo of "Alt+H" may mean "hepatic" but swapping to a different keyboard "Alt+H" may mean "high voltage".  I have a "basic" set of hot keys, which are attached to the "Ctrl" functions, while "Alt" functions will vary depending on the topic.  So in ALL of my keyboard maps "Ctrl+A" gives me "ation", but "Alt+A" will (or may) be different in each one.

Further, by changing the "language" setting I can have different expansions for the same abbreviations.  So in one language file, "fta" might expand as "further talks" but changing to another language "fta" could be expanded to "fixed tangential axis".  Whilst I've never needed more than three language files, WP will support roughly 30 different languages, so there's a huge flexibility.

Changing the keyboard (or language) in mid-document is very useful, because, as I mentioned I worked in a forensic pathology practice doing autopsies, and when I left there I returned to working in court, which included Coroner's Court, and this involves the pathologist reading from their post mortem report on a deceased person, so when the doctor gets into the witness box, I simply switch to my medical files while he or she reads aloud,(I had a different set of files for each of the three pathologists) because I've got much of the report already abbreviated.  It was a weird feeling, but I actually had to transcribe in court a PM report which I'd done while working for the pathologists the previous year.

When I first got serious about doing shorthand back in 1990, I showed my boss (who was a reporter herself, so knew the value of it) what I'd achieved and I wrote that whilst I currently had upwards of 150 macros, I could see no reason why I couldn't get to 500.  But now I'm in the vicinity of 7000 and still generate one or two new ones every day on average.  

To answer your question about how much time I dedicate to make my dictionary ready for fast transcription, well, on average I suppose it would take between 5 and 10 seconds to create an abbreviation.  If I've already typed the full expression in I simply select the text, open the QuickCorrect function (I've a dedicated clickable button in the tool bar) type in the abbreviation (the full expression will already be in the appropriate column), click on OK, and it's done.  So it's not a case of sitting down and having a brain storming session of creating hundreds of abbreviations, but just doing what seems like a good thing at the time.  Although there will be times when I'll take on a new topic (say I'm typing a university thesis on engineering, like stress in concrete which I can recall from long ago) I'll read through it, ask the client if there are any particularly difficult, obscure or frequently recurring words or phrases I'm likely to come across, then I WILL create a unique set of abbreviations and hot keys.  But this will usually consist of taking an existing word list, copying it and renaming it, then going through and replacing existing (uncommon in this context) abbreviations with useful ones, so I wouldn't make one up from whole cloth.  But when I've finished that topic I delete that language's word list and the linked keyboard map so I can re-use them later on.

Quote
Proword, your Steno friend must have been a long while back. AFAIK, all real time steno systems are computer interfacable, first with a serial port, and currently with USB.

Yes, Graywolf it WAS some time ago.

Hope that helps you.

Joe
« Last Edit: Sun, 18 September 2011, 21:35:58 by Proword »
Maltron 3D Dual Hand (x4)
Maltron 3D Single Hand (x2 - L & R)

Many people think their lifestyle comes at a cost - but they are quite cool with that as long as somebody ELSE pays it.

Offline Proword

  • Posts: 237
  • Location: Perth, Western Australia
300+ wpm Stenotype (Chording) Machine? Why not a standard?
« Reply #30 on: Sun, 18 September 2011, 21:32:21 »
Quote from: graywolf;418141

Everybody, if you think learning the shorthand stuff is daunting, you probably are using it quite often already. I noticed in my comment to Proword, I used the acronym "AFAIK". What do you think an acronym is? Yep, it is shorthand, in that case for "as far as I know". It seems that on a Steno machine, you would be able to type AFAIK with one keystroke (chord). Bingo, you have just written 17 characters (counting spaces) with one hit on the keyboard. Boy, I seem to be talking myself into learning this, don't I?


This is something which I find both interesting and irritating is that we now live in an age when people THINK in abbreviations, yet when I've approached various educational institutes to TEACH young kids how to type in shorthand, I'm met with a wall of blank indifference, or even occasional hostility, especially when I explain that it only works properly on WordPerfect.  One would think that Microsoft owns the education system.

Joe
Maltron 3D Dual Hand (x4)
Maltron 3D Single Hand (x2 - L & R)

Many people think their lifestyle comes at a cost - but they are quite cool with that as long as somebody ELSE pays it.

Offline Playtrumpet

  • Posts: 275
300+ wpm Stenotype (Chording) Machine? Why not a standard?
« Reply #31 on: Sun, 18 September 2011, 23:09:59 »
Heh, I don't know if Microsoft owns the education system. I would certainly say Qwerty owns a significant part of the system, and once kids learn Qwerty, nobody seems to need or want to learn anything else and that's just human nature. And of course, kids begin typing at home before learning to type in schools. Qwerty's in our homes and in our heads and it hasn't the right..

I remember discovering stenography and shorthand so long ago and realizing just how much of an undiscovered gem it seemed to be (and remains). So few people really know about this stuff and it's sad because all of this is amazing to me and it just makes sense.

Wish we could go back in time and help gain these methods more popularity.
« Last Edit: Sun, 18 September 2011, 23:13:00 by Playtrumpet »
Das S Ultimate Brown | Dvorak

Offline graywolf

  • Posts: 181
    • http://www.graywolfphoto.com/
300+ wpm Stenotype (Chording) Machine? Why not a standard?
« Reply #32 on: Mon, 19 September 2011, 11:41:29 »
Quote from: graywolf;418264
Well, it did not take long to find out two things.

1. Nope, can not type in single letters, at least without more knowledge than I have. I would imagine I would have to go into the dictionary and replace all the single letter entries with the single letters.

2. Nope, can't use my Model M keyboard. -FPLT which is supposed to be space comes out "-FRPBLGTS". Of course Ms Knight may have that tied to an acronym in Plover, but it looks more like an error to me. Of course that is the first 4-key entry I tried deliberately. Hum.... I just tried entering that with only a max of two letters at a time, and still got the gobbly-gook, so maybe I don't know what is going on.


Had a reply to an email I sent to the Plover originator Mirabai Knight. She actually looked at our thread here and provided some answers.

1. According to her, to type individual letter, to spell out a word, you type them on the left hand side of the keyboard, and add a * to the cord. For upper case you also a a P on the right hand side.

2. She actually does have -FPLT set to "-FRPBLGTS", she says -FPLT is fairly standard as a period, and goes on to explain how to change that in the dictionary.

Offline graywolf

  • Posts: 181
    • http://www.graywolfphoto.com/
300+ wpm Stenotype (Chording) Machine? Why not a standard?
« Reply #33 on: Mon, 19 September 2011, 12:57:58 »
A few general comments.

Proword's shorthand system is an Abbreviation form (breifs). That has become more common since computer aided shorthand systems became available. The other type of system is the Phonetic form, which the original Steongraph system was, as well as the handwritten Gregg system.

An advantage of the phonetic system is you do not actually have to know the word to enter it, just enter what you hear. The disadvantage is that you have to learn a fairly arcane notation before it makes much sense.

The advantage of a breif system is that you can add breifs at will, and to start out it is easier to understand. The disadvantages of the breif system is that you have to actually memorize a lot of abbreviations, and individual breifs can be nonsensical to others; Ms Knight's FRPBLGTS being a good example.

Most modern systems seem to be a combination of both. For a beginner that would seem to be the worst of both worlds. Especially, in Plover which, for now, seems to have Ms Knight's own personal, highly modified, dictionary; when what we beginners need is a standard basic dictionary that will match whatever text books we can come up with. A hierarchal dictionary system that scans the basic dictionary, then the personal dictionary, then the legal one, then the medical one, and so on, and so forth. All but the basic dictionary, which would be what a student would need, being addable, replaceable, and removable as needed.

Keyboarding, the original Stenograph machine printed one word per line in the order they appeared on the keyboard. The transcriber was supposed to be able to read those and type them out in English on her typewriter as a transcript of the proceedings. The stenographer and transcriber may or may not have been the same person. In a modern real time system a computer does the transcribing. The point of this is that Proword said that when he hit a lot of letters on his keyboard at the same time he could not be sure they would come out in the order his system could transcribe to the word he wanted; in a real steno system that is not a problem, each word, or phrase is a combination of one set of letters, the order is not used to transcribe it.
« Last Edit: Mon, 19 September 2011, 13:05:40 by graywolf »

Offline graywolf

  • Posts: 181
    • http://www.graywolfphoto.com/
300+ wpm Stenotype (Chording) Machine? Why not a standard?
« Reply #34 on: Mon, 19 September 2011, 13:18:49 »
Quote from: Proword;418376
This is something which I find both interesting and irritating is that we now live in an age when people THINK in abbreviations, yet when I've approached various educational institutes to TEACH young kids how to type in shorthand, I'm met with a wall of blank indifference, or even occasional hostility, especially when I explain that it only works properly on WordPerfect.  One would think that Microsoft owns the education system.

Joe

Joe, I think the fact that you are trying to teach your own personal system is the biggest problem. The second problem is that most highschools taught shorthand at one time, but fewer and fewer kids enrolled in the secretarial program until it was eliminated. Correspondence you get from major corporations these days world never have been produced by any self respecting secretary. I recently took a class in Professional Writing (Business writing actually) at the university. How they taught would be executives to write a letter was about like most of the email you receive these days. As I said, no self respecting secretary would have sent out something that looked like that, but that was what the university was teaching, supposedly, to make your writing look professional. It seems like in today's society, if you want to get ahead, you need to look and act like a slob.
« Last Edit: Mon, 19 September 2011, 13:21:05 by graywolf »

Offline Playtrumpet

  • Posts: 275
300+ wpm Stenotype (Chording) Machine? Why not a standard?
« Reply #35 on: Mon, 19 September 2011, 14:16:49 »
Typing with plover right now. So hard.

That was a fun attempt. Some things I remember.. With a regular keyboard there are a lot of difficult positions for your fingers. There are plenty of glitches and confusing author-made changes to the basic language, as graywolf mentioned. It's still a fun challenge. ^_^
Das S Ultimate Brown | Dvorak

Offline graywolf

  • Posts: 181
    • http://www.graywolfphoto.com/
usb steno keyboard idea
« Reply #36 on: Mon, 19 September 2011, 18:41:06 »
I wonder what these guys use to draw keyboards. This is done cut and past. Unfortunately, I could not find an image of a spacebar that I could fit, so imagine a spacebar across the top.

[ Attachment Invalid Or Does Not Exist ] 26937[/ATTACH]

Guess I am going to have to load a CAD program and see if I can remember, of figure out, how to use it. It has been years and years since I last did. Anyway, I thought this would give and idea of what such a keyboard would be like.

Offline graywolf

  • Posts: 181
    • http://www.graywolfphoto.com/
300+ wpm Stenotype (Chording) Machine? Why not a standard?
« Reply #37 on: Wed, 21 September 2011, 10:54:45 »
Quote from: Playtrumpet;418708
Typing with plover right now. So hard.

That was a fun attempt. Some things I remember.. With a regular keyboard there are a lot of difficult positions for your fingers. There are plenty of glitches and confusing author-made changes to the basic language, as graywolf mentioned. It's still a fun challenge. ^_^


Well, you are farther along than I am. I have been spending my time trying to figure out how to build a dedicated keyboard. I asked on the main keyboard forum here how people were drawing the keyboard drawings they posted here on geekhack showthread.

Really need to take some time play around with Plover more. However, there does not seem to be much interest. There are you and I here, and about ten people over on the Plover Google Group. That is not a lot. It would be easier to use a standard keyboard if the letters were not offset, they are offset because on a mechanical typewriter the levers had to clear each other, strange we still have to accommodate that when such typewriters have not been made in decades.

Offline xwhatsit

  • Posts: 353
  • Location: NZ
300+ wpm Stenotype (Chording) Machine? Why not a standard?
« Reply #38 on: Fri, 23 September 2011, 23:02:41 »
Thanks for the heads up about Plover. Trying to make it work now (problem is I think it's Python 2? Archlinux uses Python 3 so trying to figure that out now).

Graywolf -- just twigged! -- you're the Graywolf from Rangefinderforum! Funny how these sorts of interests often seem to coincide.
Beam spring IBM 5251 (7361073/7362149) & IBM 3727 (5641316) | Model F IBM 122-key terminal & IBM PC-AT 84-key | Model M Unicomp 122-key terminal | Cherry MX Blue Leopold Tenkeyless

Offline graywolf

  • Posts: 181
    • http://www.graywolfphoto.com/
300+ wpm Stenotype (Chording) Machine? Why not a standard?
« Reply #39 on: Sat, 24 September 2011, 01:34:20 »
Quote from: xwhatsit;420656
Thanks for the heads up about Plover. Trying to make it work now (problem is I think it's Python 2? Archlinux uses Python 3 so trying to figure that out now).

Graywolf -- just twigged! -- you're the Graywolf from Rangefinderforum! Funny how these sorts of interests often seem to coincide.

Yep, that is me. I use graywolf, on any forum that will let me. Sometimes I think the reason I can not use it is because I had signed up on that forum years ago and forgot the password. I have more interests than I have time money or energy for.

I don't know, I have had no problem getting Plover to work. Just had to load aptitude, which was not loaded by default, to get it to load in Ubuntu. I used Ubuntu because that is what the programmer says he used to develop it. However, I do not see why it would not work on about any version of Linux, or BSD for that matter, as long as the required libraries were there. But, Plover seems to still be a work in progress. I is not really ready for prime time yet despite being labeled version 2.1.1. Although it seem good enough to get an idea if Steno is useful to you.

Offline Playtrumpet

  • Posts: 275
300+ wpm Stenotype (Chording) Machine? Why not a standard?
« Reply #40 on: Sat, 24 September 2011, 09:22:25 »
Yeah. My biggest concern besides the shape of a normal keyboard to do certain chords is the fact that the dictionary is not an unedited dictionary. I know I've read on a steno forum this same concern for beginners. If we could get a bare Plover dictionary with an untouched StenEd or Phoenix or even Magnum Steno theory, that would be ideal.

The libraries for python are the reason I can't get it to run natively on mac. I'm not a programmer, but I'm sure there's a way around it.
Das S Ultimate Brown | Dvorak

Offline graywolf

  • Posts: 181
    • http://www.graywolfphoto.com/
300+ wpm Stenotype (Chording) Machine? Why not a standard?
« Reply #41 on: Sat, 24 September 2011, 14:17:02 »
Yes, a basic student dictionary would be nice. But, I think the thing to do is when you find something you do not want is to go in and change it. Looks like it is usr/local/lib/pyhon2.7/dist-packages/plover/assets/dict.json

Also, I think it is based on the eclipse dictionary. Her briefs may all be at the beginning of the file, as it is pretty random, then turns alphabetical. I guess that makes sense as you would want the system to use your personal brief rather than the standard one, so it gets placed at the top of the list.

Offline Playtrumpet

  • Posts: 275
300+ wpm Stenotype (Chording) Machine? Why not a standard?
« Reply #42 on: Sat, 24 September 2011, 14:55:48 »
I was looking through that the other day actually and found that there are a bunch of sections throughout the file where her personal briefs seem to be located. Some are situated right in the middle of long strings of the standard dictionary so I don't think it'd be completely possible to find them all. I do wonder if Ms. Knight has a way of resurrecting the untouched software. =|
Das S Ultimate Brown | Dvorak

Offline staniel

  • Posts: 1
    • http://stanographer.tumblr.com
300+ wpm Stenotype (Chording) Machine? Why not a standard?
« Reply #43 on: Sat, 24 September 2011, 23:26:41 »
Quote from: Playtrumpet;417975
Plover is readily available to me, but I'm just giving myself excuses not to seriously start teaching myself (ex. It's best taught from professionals, with proper texts and dedication, I don't know anyone in real life who knows steno (and few who even know OF it), it takes months to learn it and I'd be an amateur, all alone trying to teach myself a professional language, etc.). I've got plenty of excuses, but I PRETEND that accessibility and convenience are my actual excuses.

Soon, though.. I'll get up the courage to begin for real. Learning multiple disciplines is an intimidating prospect and it just stresses me out a bit is all..

But for anyone NOT being classically/intensely trained in a discipline (it should be relatively apparent that I am saying I'm a musician in the toughest year(s) of my training right now) I strongly encourage trying to learn steno. I'm certain that so FEW people actually learn the standard language on their own and it would be exciting to hear from the earliest self-taught, proficient stenographers as I hope there will be many more in the future.

Hey guys,

I heard about this thread over at the Plover forum and would like to introduce myself and maybe answer questions you may have. I'm Stan and I am a self-taught realtime stenographer who quite literally started on Plover as my first ever CAT software. I started about a year ago (Spring quarter of my junior year in college, I think) and my speed in steno is currently in the mid 200s (like 200-220 WPM). I'm planning to take the official NCRA realtime skills test this November.

I guess I would be exactly the type of rare person Playtrumpet was referring to as I actually never used any textbooks of any kind to learn steno until fairly late in the game (after I had already bought a professional machine, etc.). But I just wanted to assure you that it is entirely possible to achieve professional speeds in machine shorthand by yourself.

In my early stages, I basically used that exact online book you linked on here to learn the alphabet. Then I learned the chords by experimenting with Plover and basically learning the outlines word-by-word by searching through Mirabai's dictionary. Once I got a professional machine and software, I continued this study tactic by downloading a stock dictionary for my theory and both learning from it and editing the **** out of it (yes, a lot of work!).

I practiced all summer long before my senior year and went into my classes (with my steno machine!) with a solid 100 or so wpm under my belt. You can imagine how helpful it was for taking notes. After like 2.5 quarters of using my steno machine in all my classes, writing essays with it, chatting on Facebook with it, and basically just chucking QWERTY (and Dvorak!) out the window in favor of using steno for everything, in my last few classes of college I was basically captioning lectures word-for-word at blistering speeds, sometimes 200+ wpm. Couple kids bought notes off of me or bartered them off me via coffee or lunch. Some even bribed me to transcribe their classes for them (because they didn't wanna go themselves, lol).

In reading your discussion regarding the steno vs. keyboard shorthand debate, for someone who is not thinking about stenoing as their career, I think it would be more beneficial to learn steno over a keyboard-based abbreviation system depending on what goals you have in mind for its use. For instance, steno doesn't really help me write formal compositions like essays or articles because I can't think at 250+ wpm to write an essay. So even armed with my steno machine, I'll still be sitting there next to my friend on QWERTY writing her essay until the crack of dawn because I'm thinking about word selection, connotation, tone, grammar, fluidity, etc. and I'm constantly changing stuff and moving things around. In this case, the keyboard system would be the way to go since you wouldn't have to reach up from the steno machine to the keyboard and mouse for copying/pasting/deleting and you probably are going to be using a somewhat restricted lexicon since you're writing on a certain topic. I would imagine keyboard shortcuts working very well here since you will probably be typing certain cumbersome key words and phrases over and over again so the added efficiency would be a benefit. But in careful writing, simply being able to write all words faster may not be one.

However, on the other hand, I love writing steno when chatting on Facebook because you're thinking at conversational speeds and you can bang out a response to someone's message as quickly AND efficiently you could have spoken it. If I have a lot of emails to respond to, I use steno because again, I am writing as fast as if I were speaking and as an added bonus, software takes care of all the capitalization and spacing.

The only glaring drawback I see to the keyboard system is the amount of time it would require to build a usable dictionary (and remember it). In this sense, steno is obviously at an advantage because there are stock dictionaries which come prepackaged with thousands of entries, most of which can be predicted easily using the rules of the system. Don't get me wrong, I do end up spending a great deal of time editing my dictionary and perfecting it. But I'm a careerist writer who needs to do that constantly in order to achieve the ridiculously high performance levels expected of certified realtime stenographers. For most people though, forgetting the brief for 'interrogate' and just relying on the phonetic entry IN/TER/GAIT is still a total of three phonetic key strokes vs 11 and thus quicker than typing it (or with the keyboard shortcut method, unless you can come up with something that's only three strokes long for 'interrogate' and had already defined a short for it in advance).

Plus there's no getting over the fact that steno is written in chords and keyboards can only register one letter at a time. With the keyboard shortcut method, the only way to reduce the amount of time and effort it takes to type something is to shorten it in length. But, the more you shorten, the more arbitrary it becomes and the more you have to memorize. Steno is sometimes also just as arbitrary; I can have the entire word "guidelines" or "in order to be able to" up on the screen in one stroke by hitting chords that are probably just as arbitrary as 'fnu' or 'ftu' (they're GLAINZ and NORBLT, respectively). But either way, you vastly reduce the number of strokes even while adhering to phonetic principles simply by virtue of the fact that one can compress more data per unit of time in steno, period.

Ex:

Keyboard system (parens indicate number of strokes):

became: bca (3)
become bco (3)
because: Ctrl + B (1)

Steno:

became: PWAEUPL [baim] (1) / phonetically: PWE/KAEUPL (2)
become: PW-PL [b-m] (1) / phonetically: PWE/KOPL (2)
because: PWAUZ [bauz] (1) / phonetically: PWE/KAUZ (2)

So if you don't mind having to bring a steno keyboard with you everywhere, it would be worth it if you're someone who has to take notes, type up minutes, or send lots of emails. The key is that the time it takes to physically input text has to be the limiting factor for steno to be worthwhile. If you're just lazy and hate writing "the voiced labiodental fricative" a gazillion times on a paper, but don't necessarily feel frustrated that your fingers can't keep up with your thoughts, then just stick with a keyboard-based system.

Anyway, I just wanted to put myself out there since I already feel like an ambassador of steno for the younger/future generation and I love spreading the word. I just don't understand why so many people either don't know about it or consider it an old lady's profession, an arcane and/or outdated technology. I feel like if this style of data input were harnessed elsewhere like in mobile phones and tablets, for example, that HIDs would be ****in revolutionized. Steno-Swype?!?! But alas, people are lazy, un/misinformed, or all the above. I guess that's why we stenographers have jobs (and make bank!).

Again, feel free to ask any one of us over at Plover if you have any questions. :)

And for those who have not seen steno in action before, here is a screencast I recently posted of me transcribing a certification practice test at 180 WPM. It should hopefully illustrate how the machine shorthand code corresponds to the translated output. Behold the power: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ey7VuAGmS8A.

Offline Playtrumpet

  • Posts: 275
300+ wpm Stenotype (Chording) Machine? Why not a standard?
« Reply #44 on: Sat, 24 September 2011, 23:59:50 »
No way! I've seen your videos. You are a rare breed. ^_^ Ever get asked weird questions about bringing in your machine to a class?

Your input is so valuable to me and I share your opinions about abbreviation systems vs chording and their different applications and usefulnesses. Finally someone else who can justify my seemingly weird and off-beat obsession.
Das S Ultimate Brown | Dvorak

Offline Proword

  • Posts: 237
  • Location: Perth, Western Australia
300+ wpm Stenotype (Chording) Machine? Why not a standard?
« Reply #45 on: Sun, 25 September 2011, 03:45:08 »
Quote from: staniel;421003
Hey guys,
...



In reading your discussion regarding the steno vs. keyboard shorthand debate, for someone who is not thinking about stenoing as their career, I think it would be more beneficial to learn steno over a keyboard-based abbreviation system depending on what goals you have in mind for its use. For instance, steno doesn't really help me write formal compositions like essays or articles because I can't think at 250+ wpm to write an essay.

...

The only glaring drawback I see to the keyboard system is the amount of time it would require to build a usable dictionary (and remember it).

... But either way, you vastly reduce the number of strokes even while adhering to phonetic principles simply by virtue of the fact that one can compress more data per unit of time in steno, period.

Ex:

Keyboard system (parens indicate number of strokes):

became: bca (3)
become bco (3)
because: Ctrl + B (1)

Steno:

became: PWAEUPL [baim] (1) / phonetically: PWE/KAEUPL (2)
become: PW-PL [b-m] (1) / phonetically: PWE/KOPL (2)
because: PWAUZ [bauz] (1) / phonetically: PWE/KAUZ (2)

...

Anyway, I just wanted to put myself out there since I already feel like an ambassador of steno for the younger/future generation and I love spreading the word. I just don't understand why so many people either don't know about it or consider it an old lady's profession, an arcane and/or outdated technology. I feel like if this style of data input were harnessed elsewhere like in mobile phones and tablets, for example, that HIDs would be ****in revolutionized. Steno-Swype?!?! But alas, people are lazy, un/misinformed, or all the above. I guess that's why we stenographers have jobs (and make bank!).

I'm at a bit of a loss as to what you feel needs to be "remembered" with keyboard shorthand.  With about 7000 short forms,  if somebody randomly selected 100 of them and asked me what the short form would expand into, I would probably only know about 3-4 of them, simply because there's no need to know that.  It's not important.  What IS important is what the full form can be reduced to.  It's not a question of being "arbitrary".  It's simply a question of each person working with the tool that they know best - their own mind.  It only seems arbitrary to a second party.  To the user, there's an internal logic at work which doesn't need to be explained to anybody else.

Put simply, there's nothing to "learn", because you're "teaching" yourself.

Your example of "become/became/because" isn't quite correct, as your keystroke count failed to include the "execute" keystroke.  The difficulty I initially came across was that what seemed to be the simplest abbreviation was in fact not always useable, because with both MS Word and WordPerfect the expansion of the Autocorrect/Quickcorrect function was tied to the space bar and/or punctuation symbols.  A simple example of the difficulty is the abbreviations for days of the week and months of the year.  I initially considered a logical system (ie MY logic) would be the first two letters, but June and July put the mockers on that.  I could have created an exception, but a system with exceptions is neither logical nor systematic, so I went to the first three letters, but several of the abbreviations were "real" words; mar, may, Jan, sat, sun etc, hence the moment I hit the space bar, I had an unwanted expansion.  The choice was to try and "think" my way out of it by creating an abbreviation which was unlikely to come up in the normal course, or devise a system which worked around that problem.   So I simply worked out how to move the expansion function from the space bar to a key of my own choosing, so that I could create abbreviations without any constraints whatsoever, except the unlikely chance that the abbreviation was already attached to a different phrase.  I suppose in 20 years I can only recall about half a dozen instances where an abbreviation was already "taken", and in almost every case I discarded the initial phrase and replaced it with the later one.  It is MUCH more common (probably by a factor of 10 or 15) to have several abbreviations for the same final form, which is not a problem, because it increases the chance of a successful expansion, and as time progresses I become used to using just one abbreviation, which then frees up the remainder.

Your point about creating a "usable dictionary" doesn't seem to be a problem, simply because the typist is ALREADY able to type everything in full, so you are then sitting on a baseline speed which you work up from.  As soon as you add a single short form to create your dictionary, it's usable, and there is an immediate (if miniscule) increase in performance.  As you add more, your performance increases.  There's no question of "editing the **** out of" an existing dictionary created by someone else.  The only editing (other than spelling correction) I've ever had to do is occasionally (eg once a year or so) go through my word list and delete anything which is unlikely to be used again, probably because it was a "case specific" abbreviation.  Unlike MS Word, WordPerfect has no limit on the size of the word list (my current major list is about 330 KB), so this clearing out is not essential, but useful nevertheless.  

Your point about using steno for chatting on line etc is one which I use myself.  The only requirement is that the program I'm using must have access to the Windows copy-and-paste clipboard.  I'll use my word processor with all its functions to generate the text, then a single keystroke macro copies the entire text to the clipboard, I switch to my chat program and then paste the text.  When I return to my word processor the entire text is still selected, so as soon as I hit a keystroke, the old text is replaced by the new.  (But it remains in the clipboard until I replace it, which has proven useful on one or two occasions.)

I don't say that keystroke short forms are any better (or worse) than Stenotype work, but simply that they both work.  Like yourself, I make a heap of money (or made, since I'm now retired but still do a small number of jobs to keep my mind active) using this technique.  It was interesting that in the 2-3 years before I retired I was on the books of a few secretarial agencies, and my two main ones had me on their books as a "stenographer", and they were still getting requests for my services.  For these two agencies I was the ONLY stenographer they had.  

And yes, like yourself, I always took my own keyboard (and eventually computer) to the offices.

To me the "glaring drawback" of stenotype is the amount of study which required "a lot of work".    


On your point "you vastly reduce the number of strokes even while adhering to phonetic principles simply by virtue of the fact that one can compress more data per unit of time in steno", I haven't checked lately (probably 5 years) but I estimated then that my keystroke saving was in the vicinity of 40%.


Below is an example I've cut and pasted from my blog

http://proword-transcription.blogspot.com/


****************************

HIS WORSHIP: Yes, thank you?

MR MONITOR: May it please the court, my name is Monitor, I appear on behalf of the first and second plaintiffs.

MS FEATHERN: May it please you sir, Ms Feathern for the defendant.

HIS WORSHIP: Yes, thank you.

MR FRANKLE: May it please you your Worship, I appear for the third party.

HIS WORSHIP: Yes, thank you. Mr Monitor?

MR MONITOR: If your Worship pleases, this is a copyright case involving an action by the plaintiffs as against the defendant, Richard Keith Haute. The case arises as a consequence of the second plaintiff, Homestead Holdings Pty Ltd, otherwise trading as Anthem Homes, being a builder that designed a set of drawings for a house to be built for the defendant, a Mr Richard Keith Haute. The - - I'll call them - - instead of calling them the second plaintiff, I'll call the second plaintiff Anthem Homes, if that pleases the court, the third party, Beeswing Holdings Pty Ltd, that company trades as Machard Homes, so we have Anthem Homes and Beeswing Homes. Gregory Thomas Ching, he is the owner of the copyright, the original architectural design, of a particular design of house, and he licensed the use of that to Anthem Homes. For the purpose of these proceedings, your Worship should have an amended particulars of claim, particulars of amended defence, amended statement of claim against the third party, and a re-amended particulars of defence by the third party.

What I propose to do is take you through the particulars of claim to start with. The first plaintiff is a building designer. He will give evidence to tell the court of his background and experience. The second plaintiff is a company that is incorporated. On the amended defence there is a denial of the Anthem Homes or Homestead Holdings Pty Ltd being an incorporated company. That denial is now withdrawn.

MR FRANKLE: Can I just rise, and I do apologise to my learned friend for interrupting him, but there's a minor housekeeping matter that should be dealt with at this early stage.

HIS WORSHIP: Yes.

MR FRANKLE: And that is for the third party. I simply seek a direction, that we haven't had one the past, although the case has been run that way, and the direction I seek is the direction that the third party's liability to the defendant be determined at this trial.


****************************************


Above is the published transcript. Below is what I actually keyed in. It looks a bit of a mish-mash but I'll try and explain my "code". Where you see an asterisk "*" followed by a letter, this is a key stroke combination. Eg *t means I pressed Ctrl (Or Alt) T to get the text string "the". However where you see a text string followed by a hash "#", this is a QuickCorrect expansion. Eg Yh# means I've typed "yh" and hit my expansion key to get "Your Honour".

As you can see there is a considerable saving in keystroking, an even greater saving when you take into account the "invisible" savings created by reduction in typing errors. An example is my proclivity to key the word "the" by typing t-e-h- [backspace] [backspace] h-e. So using the keystroke Ctrl T actually saves me typing more than one extra keystroke.

If this text appears to "jammed up" this is because when there is a change in speaker, the new paragraph spacing is included in the keystroke combo, as described above.

##################################

*1Yes, t*k? *3Miplc#, my name is Monitor, I ape# obhfo# *t ft# and sec# ptf#s. *4Mipl# y* sir, Ms Feathern for *t dft#.*1Yes, t*k. *5Mipl# y* yw#, I ape4# *t 3pty#. *1Yes, t*k. Mr Monitor? *3If yw* pl*s, this is a copyright case ivog# an acn# by *t ptf#s as ais# *t dft#, Richard Keith Haute. *t case arises as a cnsq# of *t sec# ptf#, Homestead Holdings Pty Ltd, otw# trading as Anthem Homes, be*i a bldr# *h designed a set of draw*is for a house to be built for *t dft#, a Mr Richard Keith Haute. *t - - I'll call *tm - - instead of calling *tm *t sec# ptf#, I'll call *t sec# ptf# Anthem Homes, if *h pl#s *t crt#, *t 3pty#, Beeswing Holdings Pty Ltd, *h coy# trades as Machard Homes, so we hv# Anthem Homes and Beeswing Homes. Gregory Thomas Ching, he is *t owner of *t copyright, *t orgl# archtl# design, of a pt# design of house, and he lcs#d *t use of *h to Anthem Homes. For *t pu# of *tse pcdg#s, yw# sh*o hv# an amdd# pt#s of claim, pt#s of amdd# dfc#, amdd# stm# of cl# ais# *t 3pty#, and a re-amdd# pt#s of dfc# by the 3pty#. *W I pps# to do is ty# thr*g *t pt#s of cl# to start with. *t ft# ptf# is a bldg# designer. He will give ev# to tell *t crt# of his bakg# and xpc#. *t sec# ptf# is a coy# ie# inc#d. On the amd# dfc# th# is a denial of *t Anthem Homes or Homestead Holdings Pty Ltd be*i an inc#d coy#. *h denial is now wdwn#. *5Can I *j rise, and I do apols# to mlf# for interrupting him, but th#e's a minor hskpgm# *h sh*o be dtw# this early stage. *1Yes. *5And *h is for *t 3pty#. I simply seek a drn#, *h we hvn# had one *t past, alth*g *t case has been run *h way, and *t drn# I seek is *t drn# *h *t 3pty#'s lbly# to *t dft# be dtm#d at this trial.

***************************
This transcript is from about 6-7 years ago, and I've increased my dictionary by about a third since then I would imagine, so were I to do it again today it would be even more efficient.




Joe
« Last Edit: Sun, 25 September 2011, 04:45:23 by Proword »
Maltron 3D Dual Hand (x4)
Maltron 3D Single Hand (x2 - L & R)

Many people think their lifestyle comes at a cost - but they are quite cool with that as long as somebody ELSE pays it.

Offline graywolf

  • Posts: 181
    • http://www.graywolfphoto.com/
300+ wpm Stenotype (Chording) Machine? Why not a standard?
« Reply #46 on: Sun, 25 September 2011, 12:40:41 »
Joe, one thing to think about, when you did your thing, the only way to do short hand was to buy a very expensive Stenographic Machine. Now there is a freeware Steno System that can be used on a normal keyboard (& if I have my way, in a few months, a USB steno keyboard will be available for it). You had little choice, people today have a choice.

Another point, with Plover, you can use it for all your keyboard input (only in Linux at that moment, unfortunately), not just with your word processor. My intention for the keyboard is that when it is plugged in Plover will automatically recognize it and take its input from the steno board, while the regular keyboard will continue to work normally because Plover will no longer be usurping it.

Also, real time steno systems all allow the input of your own abbreviations, so your type of system works perfectly well with steno. In browsing the dictionary in Plover I noticed at least one word where she had five different abbreviations for the same word.

The main advantage, and disadvantage of steno is the chorded keyboard. It is an advantage because you can type really fast with minimal hand movements. It is a disadvantage because you have to learn a new way of typing.

Real shorthand was devised as a phonetic language, and that remains the base of modern steno machines, but it looks like many people agree with you about the difficulty of using it, considering that most of today's steno's use an inordinate amount of briefs (abbreviations).

Offline Proword

  • Posts: 237
  • Location: Perth, Western Australia
300+ wpm Stenotype (Chording) Machine? Why not a standard?
« Reply #47 on: Sun, 25 September 2011, 19:19:07 »
Quote from: graywolf;421195
Joe, one thing to think about, when you did your thing, the only way to do short hand was to buy a very expensive Stenographic Machine. Now there is a freeware Steno System that can be used on a normal keyboard (& if I have my way, in a few months, a USB steno keyboard will be available for it). You had little choice, people today have a choice.

Another point, with Plover, you can use it for all your keyboard input (only in Linux at that moment, unfortunately), not just with your word processor. My intention for the keyboard is that when it is plugged in Plover will automatically recognize it and take its input from the steno board, while the regular keyboard will continue to work normally because Plover will no longer be usurping it.

...

Real shorthand was devised as a phonetic language, and that remains the base of modern steno machines, but it looks like many people agree with you about the difficulty of using it, considering that most of today's steno's use an inordinate amount of briefs (abbreviations).


In 1979, I started learning pen shorthand (Pitman's), with the intention of eventually moving to machine shorthand, but during my first year I bought my first computer (Apple II) and once I'd become acquainted with the concept of word processing software, I was acutely aware of how clumsy the whole idea of having to hand-write something, then re-type it, was, when I could see that by using the word processor I could enter text directly in shorthand of some sort, and have it translated immediately.  (At this time, the translation of the machine shorthand into English was performed by other people called "scopists".)

http://www.scopists.com/library/pro/scintro.html

Whilst my first software package, Zardax, was capable of doing a form of abbreviated typing, it was extremely limited, and it wasn't until 1990 when I first started using WordPerfect for DOS that the software became capable of achieving what I wanted.

I'd been using the Maltron keyboard for about 5 years at that time, so I was already capable of quite high "manual" speed with a great deal of ease and very little hand or arm movement so the two things, Maltron and short hand, complemented each other very well.  My keyboard short hand will work with QWERTY, Dvorak, Colemak or Maltron layout, but only Maltron has what I consider to be a high degree of ergonomic design and comfort.  Having become familiar with the Maltron's ergonomic qualities, I was further put off using Stenotype keyboard because of the extremely uncomfortable hand position.

I've linked to my video in a previous posting

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pYJtF1I3PRs

but it shows the relaxed position of the hands and fingers.

You and I are approaching the same problem from diametrically opposite directions.  We both want a single keyboard to do two totally dissimilar tasks.  Normal computer usage and short hand.  The only difference in our approach is that I have a couple of decades of practical experience.  You are still building yours.  That doesn't mean that one system is better (or worse) than the other.  I'm sure there are other people taking yet more different approaches.  I wish them good luck.

Joe
Maltron 3D Dual Hand (x4)
Maltron 3D Single Hand (x2 - L & R)

Many people think their lifestyle comes at a cost - but they are quite cool with that as long as somebody ELSE pays it.

Offline Playtrumpet

  • Posts: 275
300+ wpm Stenotype (Chording) Machine? Why not a standard?
« Reply #48 on: Sun, 25 September 2011, 20:02:41 »
An update for me. School's getting extra busy and I just can't dedicate time to trying to learn steno via Plover. So instead, I've decided to try an abbreviation system/program. Going well so far, but all I'm really doing now is creating and building my abbreviation dictionary. It's nice and I plan to always use it for my regular typing, but I haven't given up altogether on steno - just wanted to see what it's like on this frontier.

My thoughts: would be soo much better with either a Maltron or Kinesis keyboard where there are all those function keys right at your thumbs. The program I'm using is TypeIt4Me which works well enough, with maybe the occasional glitch but it works universally (in any application and you can set specific abbreviations for different programs if you want). I've of course found there are a LOT of words that start with the same letters, or are homophones or are in some way too similar, which is why I believe function keys would really help.

TypeIt4Me allows many different characters to expand the abbreviation (I have it set to pretty much any punctuation and it makes typing much easier).

Still getting used to the abbreviations I've created. I do try to make them so I won't have to think about it when I'm typing and I've come up with a system for suffixes. (ex. adding 'g' to the end of an abbreviation will add 'ing', 'd' or 'ed' will add 'ed' or 'ly' or 'y' and so on - the program has the option to just add 's' to the end of an abbreviation and it will pluralize the word and I use that as well.

So far I've created 830 of my own "clippings/abbreviations" and almost all of them are for common 4+ letter words. Here's a link if you wanna see my current dictionary (I add probably over a hundred abbreviations everyday). https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0AhDltXWEPRyKdERPUHRUSldpX3c2LV9wMXVRNEpUZ1E&hl=en_US

From that I've removed any personal abbreviations like my name, address, emails and such. It's obviously not a perfect system, but it does make sense to me, though I'm constantly editing it. Some abbreviations with apostrophes may not show the apostrophe. The first one isn't just "c" but rather "'c" for example. Anyway, I just wanted to try this so I had some basic knowledge and experience. Personally, I do think chording and stenotyping with a comfortable and proper keyboard would suit me better and once I'm willing to buy a machine of my own, I'll be learning the language non-stop.

e. Also, I've been trying a bit to tailor my abbreviations to avoid any awkward Dvorak strokes.
« Last Edit: Mon, 26 September 2011, 14:17:47 by Playtrumpet »
Das S Ultimate Brown | Dvorak

Offline graywolf

  • Posts: 181
    • http://www.graywolfphoto.com/
300+ wpm Stenotype (Chording) Machine? Why not a standard?
« Reply #49 on: Mon, 26 September 2011, 20:08:29 »
Well, I at one time used an abbreviation system myself. Also as I said in my first post on this thread, I would have to have a very good reason to learn RT steno. One of my hobbies is designing things, I have taken on the project of designing a steno keyboard for the fun of it. That gives me some motivation to learn to use plover.

Unfortunately, I am finding out that building the prototype keyboards out of new parts is rather more than I can afford, gainfully employed people would not have my problem with that. I have gotten some interesting quotes, to have custom key caps made, molds would cost $2000 ea. There are four different ones. Of course I had no intention of using purpose designed key caps in the prototypes, but still I am looking at about $500 to build 5 keyboards & probably $400 to build just one. I guess, now, I need to look into finding some old keyboards I can cannibalize for parts.

Back to Joe, you have a system that works for you, no reason in the world for you to change it. But, you seem to think people should adopt it because it works for you. Actually, the main reason they should not adopt it is because it is not a standard system. I even have a problem about the extensive use of personal briefs in RT steno for that same reason. There are ergonometric steno keyboards, I noticed when I was called in for jury duty that the stenographer had a vertical keyboard that she typed on from either side about like we do sitting in our armchair twiddling our fingers. I certainly looked to me like a real comfortable keyboard to use.