Monday, September 26, 2022

Monday, September 19, 2022

Cantonese Steno!

Over on the Plover Discord, on our #multilingual channel, there's a very cool thread called 中文速錄(官/粵) (Chinese Steno - Mandarin/Cantonese), in which several Plover users (kaoffie, Jen, Samuel, KAEPBS, and others) have been developing MaaJik (which translates poetically to "a pair of wings"), their own Cantonese steno theory.

Check out Jen's fantastic diagram:

diagram of Cantonese steno theory labeled Maajik Cantonese Steno

Most of the metadiscussion about the theory on the channel is in English, so it would probably be helpful to know both languages if you want to collaborate with the developers. Very exciting stuff!

Monday, September 12, 2022

A Steno Learning Card Game

Last year around this time, I blogged about a word game my kid got for his birthday that I thought I might be able to turn into a steno learning game. I'm afraid I never got very far with that. The kid has learned a little bit of steno since then, but not a huge amount. There's a card game called Stenophonatic, made by the people behind Dictionary Jumpstart, a venerable but rather expensive proprietary dictionary-building app (with a pay-per-word-list business model). I really like the idea of a steno learning card game, and I have to admit I'm a little bit tempted to get it, but I'm on the fence, primarily because it's $35. My realtime-all-the-time steno sensibilities sometimes conflict with my parental instincts to make stuff offline and analog for my kid whenever possible. He does have an Android tablet (that I keep meaning to install Dotterel on; haven't gotten around to it yet), but I often think it's helpful to make pedagogical tools physical and concrete. Anyone have any ideas about ways to bring steno off the screen? If I do wind up getting that card game to play with my kid, I'll certainly let y'all know how it goes.

Monday, September 5, 2022

Steno on an Xbox Controller?!

So I've vaguely been following the saga of a mysterious person known only as 🎮 over on the Plover Discord Server for a while now, who's been doing steno... On an Xbox controller! How the heck does that work? You might ask. So did I. Well, like this, apparently:
diagram of xbox controller steno mappings
Still hard for me to imagine actually doing it, but apparently 🎮 does between 80 and 100 WPM this way and thinks it'll only get faster with practice. What do y'all think?

Monday, August 29, 2022

3D Uni Layout Key Display

Not a huge update today, but check out this incredibly cool 3D key display by gfixler, created with Maya and Inkscape for the SVG Layout Display Plover plugin. Wow!! I'm not sure if this is available anywhere or if it's just for private use, but I have to say it impressed the stenopants off me!

Monday, August 22, 2022

Uni V4 Open for Pre-Orders!

The Uni, a beautiful little machine that I bought with my own money (though I'm always honest in my hobbyist machine reviews, even when given complimentary units!), and which has sold out multiple times since its kickstarted inception, is open yet again for pre-orders in its new improved v4 version! Excellent design and manufacture. Highly recommended!

Monday, August 15, 2022


Making yet another appearance on this blog after two recent posts on her work, the amazing SKWREPB is at it again, this time with an open source CAT system that's compatible with Plover: AlleyCAT!

As SKWREPB says:
AlleyCAT is a free, open-source computer-aided transcription (CAT) system for stenographers. It lets you write and edit documents such as court transcripts and translation dictionaries on both web and desktop. AlleyCAT originated as a free alternative to professional CAT software, which is proprietary and very expensive.

CAT software allows you to write documents, usually court transcripts, using stenography. Each steno stroke is stored in the document alongside the text it translates to. The CAT system also lets you modify the document's layout, fix spelling errors or mistranslations, create cover pages and indexes, and more.

When you write into a CAT system with a steno writer, the steno notes are immutably linked with the translations, so that even when you go back and edit the document, the original steno notes remain intact. This is especially important for court reporters, since the steno notes are considered the primary source of truth.

While CAT software is primarily used by court reporters, some of these features could still be useful to students and hobbyists: for example, having all of your notes in one document linked to the original steno is great for identifying areas of improvement after a practice session.