Although LightSpeed is a great name for Stenovations’ keyboard, I could think of some others. By any name, though, I am spoiled and will never be able to go back to the key-dipping writers again.I’m into my fourth decade of court reporting, and there are certain milestones that are still vivid in my memory. Through all that time the stenotype keyboard hasn’t really changed.But three years ago came the LightSpeed.
For me it came just in time. After a career in freelance, I decided to accept a federal court officialship where every day is like a speed contest. Not getting any younger, I was regularly getting beat up writing realtime in the courtroom. The LightSpeed takes out the mechanical limitation of writing, leaving one’s skills to flow unbridled. Its speed is so evident even in the simplest of applications, such as when forced to double-stroke for speaker identification. I even tested my belief of its superiority by returning to my top-of-the-line writer one day. I couldn’t believe how much I was slowed down by having to depress even its sensitive keys and wait for them to return before starting my next stroke. The LightSpeed is here to stay.
– Nicholas A. Marrone, RMR, CRR, Atlanta
I have been a reporter since 1979. I have seen the advent of electric writers to computer-enabled writers, a huge difference in the capabilities of what you can do with the writer. About two years ago at a convention I saw this new lightweight writer with a wonderful touch system. I decided after stroking the keys just a little that I wanted one.
I finally got to get my “Pink Pearl” last October, and I’ve never looked back since. I practiced on it for a week, starting with finger drills, to acclimate my brain to the new stroke system and finger placement. Then I went on to write some old audios files, and finally to taking my Ms. Pink Pearl on the job. I use the realtime functions on every job I take.
After so many years, my hands and right shoulder used to start hurting about 3:00 p.m. on an all-day job. Now I feel like I could write forever. I have no hand or body pains. As a result, I feel less fatigued at the end of a long, hard deposition. I barely have to touch the keys, like a butterfly kiss. I can put the “Pink Pearl” on my lap or on its stand to give my arms a movement break.
I actually enjoy writing again. Plus, I am writing cleaner and faster than before because I’m not distracted by pain.
The LightSpeed method is a burst of lighton the field of court reporting with its innovative techniques. I equate it to the difference the iPhone has made in cell phones. I am just so totally in love with using this machine.
– Patricia Harris Vernon, Seguin, Texas
I got the Lightspeed writer and was up and runnning for a job the very next day. Wow! E-a-s-y to use and set up. It is so cool, how it writes. Got the bluetooth working as well.Response so far: Super Cool! (from my daughter and a couple of clients). The touch is perfect. I don’t use the finger pads. Like the software, a winner!I am one who used to have my writers purposefully adjusted to have as little key motion as possible. I discovered years ago that that is where a great deal of waste in energy and speed is. I was up and running the next day, in an all—day job, with no problem at all. EASY is hardly the term for the learning curve, but I don’t know a better word
– Mark Crossley
When I first laid fingers on the LightSpeed it was like coming home. The machine is light. The touch is lighter. Writing is a joy. I have received compliments on how quickly I set up for a job, since I don’t need to deal with tripods, paper trays, and separate power cords.But the best part is I no longer get a knot in my back nor pain in my wrist. After one month of using the LightSpeed those problems went away.
I am madly in love with my LightSpeed.
– Kathryn A. “Stenoray” Thomas, RMR, CSR-IL, CCR-MO
I have been using the LightSpeed since its debute in August 2007. I love this little gem.
It’s totally different from anything out there. It is feather-light and a dream to write on! Now my fingers barely move, and accuracy is improved with
quieter hands. Shoulder fatigue is a thing of the past, as is the need for a tripod. I carry two LightSpeeds with me at all times and still don’t come close to the weight I carried with the one standard writer. I throw a
bag over my shoulder and off I go. I’m a deposition reporter of 22 years, and I will never go back to a traditional steno machine.
– Brenda Y. Rogers, CSR (Oregon)
The LightSpeed has been the most important court reporting purchase I’ve made in my 15 years of court reporting.
When I purchased the LightSpeed, I had grown increasingly tired of reporting. I bought it sight unseen and received one of the first units.
I started using it the day after it arrived at my house. I’ve never looked back.
The LightSpeed has not only decreased the pain in my entire upper body, it has re-ignited my joy of court reporting.
I had been real-timing for a couple of years before I got my LS; however, it was after I got my LS that I really started to strive for the coolest techie type things I could find.
I went wireless on my real-time output, bought throw-down netbooks so anyone and everyone could get a real-time feed, and just started really
trying to be on the cutting edge of our great profession.
Sure, the pain-free days and nights are probably the best thing about my LightSpeed. But I sincerely believe it was the catalyst for me to
really start enjoying what I do again.
Thank you, Stenovations, and the twisted, beautiful mind that is Johnny Jackson, for the first truly next-generation jump in the steno machine.
– Steve Stogel, Austin, TN
In April of 1972 I sat down in front of a metal steno writer on my first day of court reporting school that my uncle, Harold Schulman, had given me.
Over the decades as a freelance reporter, I’ve written on many different writers. There were times, however, when I would be watching a presidential speech on TV or a scene from a trial when I would “pretend” to write what was said on my leg, or just in midair, to see if I could keep up.
I would think to myself, If only someone would invent a writer with the touch of a feather like that.
So when I saw the LS advertisement first appear in 2007, let’s just say I was more than intrigued. Then I tried one at the New Jersey convention in April of ’08 and discovered I could write on it. So I bought it.
I practiced on it for about an hour a day for three weeks before trotting it out at a deposition. I haven’t looked back since. I now go to depos with just a small shoulder bag.
Although I couldn’t prove it medically, my body is healthier for it. I can assure you your hands and elbows will thank you after writing all day. The LS touch is in a category it shares with no other.
– Al Lesky
The folks at Stenovations asked if I would do a testimonial about the writer, and I jumped at the chance. Not very many products I would recommend, but I love the LightSpeed. It’s like going from a manual typewriter to an IBM Selectric (for you old timers). You young reporters should jump at the chance to stay with the technology.
It took me a couple hours to get used to the touch, but I haven’t looked back at the “old style” writers since. I can write 300 plus pages in a day and the only thing sore on me is my rear end from sitting all day. I would highly recommend you give it a try. I been a reporter since 1990.
– Vance Jarvis, RPR, CSR
I’ve been a freelance reporter since 1977. I began searching in early 1999 for a new software system. I chose DigitalCat after talking with the owner, Johnny Jackson, a reporter himself. I have now been using the software for
over 10 years. It’s rock solid, completely dependable and absolutely cutting edge.However, the most remarkable thing Johnny has developed is the revolutionary new LightSpeed.
To me it’s everything a reporter could wish for in a writer – light, no moving parts, and almost effortless to use. I have been writing on it for over two years now. There’s no way I’ll ever go back to one of the mechanical machines again.Using the LightSpeed, the long days aren’t physically draining like they used to be. Compared to writing on a traditional writer, the difference in the fatigue factor is just enormous. It has to be experienced to be believed. So much of our energy has been wasted with the up-and-down motion of the traditional steno machine. A very light touch from your fingertips is all that’s needed to stroke your outlines. Simply fantastic.
Thanks, Johnny. Can’t wait to see what you come up with next.
– Mike Camp, Mobile, AL
Prior to my using the LightSpeed writer, I had kept Ibuprofen in my desk drawer in the courtroom, because after sustained periods of writing on my old writer I tended to get horrible shooting pains through my arms.I had carpal tunnel surgery over 20 years ago while I was still in school, and was in a car accident seven years ago, both of which had left me less than 100 percent and prone to having pain on long days of writing. With the need to work for at least another 20 years, I was concerned that the repetitive stress I experienced during writing could disable me before my planned retirement.
I purchased my LightSpeed in August of 2007 after a lengthy conversation with the owner of Stenovations and creator of the LightSpeed, Johnny
Jackson, who is also a fellow court reporter. Though not really able to visualize what the LightSpeed looked like, I realized that not having to pound on a machine would greatly increase my longevity in the court reporting field.
Today I no longer have the horrible pains in my wrists or shoulders. I am a much faster and more accurate writer because I can adjust my LightSpeed writer to my personal writing habits and not having to wait for keys to travel
down and back up. I am so glad that I made the commitment to not go back to my old writer and to take the time (less than a week) to get used to the
I am a certified realtime writer, and I use the LightSpeed exclusively. The LightSpeed writer is truly a gift to all in the profession of court reporting.
-Sonia Boughton Rogers
I was introduced to Stenovations’ CAT software in 1994 at an FCRA convention in Salt Lake City while I was serving as a trainer for another
prestigious reporting software company. I was very impressed. I got a demo copy of the software and began playing with it. I quickly switched over
completely. Under the circumstances, I decided it best to not continue training for the other company and ceased training.
I feel lucky to have used DigitalCat from its infancy, having seen how dedicated Johnny Jackson has been to the development of a complete,
uncomplicated, easy-to-use, powerful and reliable reporting software. It has all of the features anyone could ask for while still maintaining friendly usability.
Then Johnny created the LightSpeed writer.
I consider myself lucky to have gotten one of the very first ones. I have been using it for over two years. I kept one of my old stenos as a backup,
but have never had to use it. The LightSpeed is such a tireless instrument to use that I don’t think I could ever go back to an old manual keyboard.
I would highly recommend the DigitalCat software and the LightSpeed writer to anyone.
Why not use the very best!
– Larry E. Marks, CP, CM, FCRR, Oklahoma City