Tuesday, December 31, 2013

This is a blog to chronicle my attempt to learn machine stenograpy using Plover, which is open source software to turn your QWERTY keyboard into a steno machine. 


A good QWERTY typist can average about 70 words per minute. A professional court reporter can type at over 225 words per minute. Plover's website gives a number of reasons to try it. I figure I'll give it about an hour or two of effort each day, and we'll see where I am in a month. If I can start writing this blog faster in steno than I can using a normal keyboard, I'll probably continue learning.

The Equipment

One major barrier to widespread adoption of steno is the incredible cost of equipment. The cheapest student machine on the top google link for "steno machine" is $1495. With Plover, I can take a $40 Microsoft Sidewinder and hopefully learn just as well. I attached the laser-cut steno keys to my Sidewinder, and I'm ready to go.

The keyboard on the left is the Sidewinder with laser cut keys. The one on the right costs five grand. I have the one on the left.
I'm using Zack Brown's Learn Plover! to get the basics of steno down, and I'm going to figure out how to progress further from there.