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.

Monday, August 8, 2022

Plover Resources at ReadTheDocs

SKWREPB aka Sammi (of Steno Explainers fame and a recent guest poster on this blog, as well as an all-around beloved community booster and contributor) has a great resource guide over at ReadTheDocs, both for people Learning Steno and for people who want to contribute to the development of the Open Steno Project. It's really thorough and well organized. I can highly recommend it, especially as a first link to send to people who are entirely new the project!

Monday, August 1, 2022

Plover Ninja!

Plover Ninja is a new Plover Plugin by Jladd that can give you specific custom information about your steno habits and give you ideas on how you might improve them!

From the plugin description:

Plover Ninja notes the words that you steno and how long it takes to write these words. Based on this information, it is able to do some neat analysis. The plugin can:

Determine which words take the longest to write on average

Determine which words you haven't ever written before

Based on this kind of information, Plover Ninja can make some practice recommendations. In order for its suggestions to be useful, Plover Ninja keeps in mind which words are used most frequently (based on this data). With this information in mind, the plugin can suggest:

Words that are worth practicing, because they are both slow and are fairly common

The most common words that you have never written before

While there are several tools that can help you practice steno, Plover Ninja is unique in that all of its feedback is based on the things you actually write. If you write an email and hit a tricky word, Plover Ninja will see that and be able to point that out later. If you've never used a common word, Plover Ninja will let you know so that you can grow your vocabulary with useful words.

Monday, July 25, 2022

NCRA Convention Guest Post by SKWREPB!

The annual NCRA Conference and Expo is one of the best ways to learn about new developments in the court reporting and captioning industries, get advice on improving your skills as a stenographer, and most importantly, meeting and networking with other students and professional stenographers.

This year's conference was held in Orlando, Florida, over the past week, and I had the opportunity to visit for the first time, as a student. As a SimplySteno student, I went primarily to meet up with Marc Greenberg, the owner, and some fellow SimplySteno students, but even if you don't know anyone there, it's a fun experience, and a great opportunity to meet new people in the field.

My conference badge, with the words 'Plover / 200wpm' written in marker under my name, and ribbons stuck on the bottom edge that read 'Student', 'First-time Attendee', and 'Computer Geek'

Professional reporters are very enthusiastic about students, and everyone really tries to encourage you to keep going and get certified. Those of us coming from a non-traditional route, such as self-learning through Plover, are in just as good of a position as every other student -- the industry is in dire need of new people, so anyone who has the skills is encouraged to join.

Just from those few days, I've already received several offers from professional reporters, firm owners, and a potential school owner, who want me to work for them once I get certified. I'm now testing into my 200s, working towards my RPR, and going to the conference gave me the motivation I need to get through the final push to 225.

If you're at all interested in stenography as a career, either in court reporting or captioning, I'd strongly recommend you go to an NCRA conference. You'll definitely find me at next year's in Houston. 🙂

And it's a fairly small space, so you just never know when you might run into a celebrity:

Me standing next to Mark Kislingbury, FAPR, RDR, CRR, author of Magnum Steno, and Nancy Silberger, official court reporter in New York

Monday, July 18, 2022

Recent Release

Not exactly new, since I haven't been staying entirely on top of the Plover continuous releases, but a little over a fortnight ago, we got a new version. Changes mostly include minor bugfixes and UI tweaks, but we always appreciate testing from users. If you're so inclined, please give it a try. Many thanks as always to all of the devs for their marvelous work!

Monday, July 11, 2022

Nolltronics Multisteno!

Nolltronics has followed up the popular Ecosteno with a new machine: The Multisteno!
The Multisteno is our new steno keyboard that adds enough switches to saturate the Gemini PR protocol, allowing it to work with most steno theories (especially some non-English ones that require more keys).

Monday, July 4, 2022

Open Steno Mid-Year Survey

Take the new survey! We only used to do them once a year, but we've grown a lot recently, so we've decided to do another one!