What's Here


"Index" is the main page of ol' Cheap and Sleazy.

"Search Me!" shows you how to use Google to search ol' Cheap and Sleazy! Even better, the method works on other sites as well ... and best of all, this method means I don't have to devleop my own search engine! How cool is that?!?

"Got Fear" shows the reader a few (cheap and sleazy) tricks on the computer to make their computing lives a little easier.

"Good Stuff" (a.k.a. "Writers and Software and Laptops -- Oh, My!") guides the reader through the process of selecting a writer, a laptop, and CAT software.

"Erin Duncan, Captioner" contains notes I took when captioner Erin Duncan spoke my (now closed) school.

"Jill Driscoll, Captioner" is an article by working captioner Jill Driscoll, on how she reached Bunny Slipper Nirvana by becoming a captioner. Includes a few practice tips for the aspiring captioner (probably works for regular CR students as well)!

"Captioning Down Under" is an article by a self-taught captioner from Australia, and after a few months of begging and pleading, I was able to get her to write an article on how she went from the Phoenix Theory books and tapes and through speedbuilding on her own, to her first job as a captioner.

Did I mention that she's an official in Hong Kong's Colonial High Court now?

"Got CART?"is an article that talks about how to get a start in CART, by long time CART provider, Louise Becker.

"A Day in the Life" is an article by New York Academic CART Provider Mirabai Knight, in which Mirabai provides a glimps into what she does on a typical day.

"The Internship Process" is an article that talks about internships: What to ask, how to find a mentor, and what you should know at the end of an internship.

"Technolust" is a piece on all the new writers. It's a bit out of date ... so you might want to read Technolust II!

"Technolust II is an update to the original Technolust article. This one covers the newer writers: The Protege, the Cybra (student version), the LightSpeed, the Stylus II, the Passport, the Gemini Revolution Grand, the Diamante, and (briefly) the StarLight.

"Steno Stuff" teaches the reader how to clean his or her steno machine using about $20 worth of supplies.

"DIY Shim" is an article which shows you how to use some super glue, an old credit card, and a pair of scissors to give your (non-paperless) writer a more shallow stroke, thereby enabling you to (hopefully) write faster! Gotta love that.

"Create Your Own Bluetooth Realtime System shows you how to, as the title suggests, create your own BT realtime system -- including both how to RT to your writer, AND how to RT to an attorney's laptop! Big "THANKS!!" to Dorothy "Dotchie" Blankenship for allowing me to recreate her tutorial here.

Update (26JUN15)

Unfortunately, some of the items mentioned in this article are no longer available, and I have been unable to reach the author to do a proper update. One of these days -- I hope!

"Troubleshooting" tells you what to do when your laptop and CAT software stop talking to each other.

"A Wee Bit About Darwine" teaches the adventurous court reporting student that is using an Intel-based Macintosh how to use Darwine ... which allows that enterprising court reporting student (or the even more enterprising court reporter) to run Windows applications on their Macs ... without having to install Windows! Tres cool!

"Digital Flash Cards" tells you how to use several FREE flashcard applications out there to help you learn your briefs and phrases ... and, with a simple Google search, how to study for the RPR (HINT: Google the following, as written: "RPR" "flashcards" ...!)

"Little Word Machine" will help the reader practice those little words that sometimes trip the intrepid Student o' Steno up during dictation. This one comes to us from reporter Priscilla Trillo.

Note that this manual has been here for quite a while now (see the 09JUL08 update), and frankly, I had forgotten about it -- until I saw a post from Priscilla on Depoman recently ... then I did a search of my In boxes for "Priscilla," and what do ya know, I find that not only did she write this little program, but I wrote the manual that accompanies it -- and I ... well, forgot it was here!

So I fixed that by changing that manual into an article for Cheap and Sleazy.

"The Art of the Forum" teaches the reader how to behave on forums, with some handy Do's and Don'ts which would be good for all readers of Cheap and Sleazy adhere to!

Update (26JUN15)

Unfortunately, it appears that the only two CR forums left these days are CSR Nationand the CRF, thanks to Facebook ... so I guess I should really get to work on that one, huh? :o)

... and, speaking of which ...

"Facebook for CR Types" shows the reader why they should open a Facebook account if they haven't already ... and has a few helpful tips for the new Facebook user.

"Ink About It shows you how to re-ink your ribbon cartridges (those of you on Miras, Diamantes, Geminis, Infinity Traditional/Ergonomic and Passports are exempt).

"Save a Buncha Money" shows the reader how to save money on steno paper by taping together those bits and pieces of steno paper that you probably have lying around.

"Symbols" shows you how to get symbols like ° and ÷ into your document.

"Gemini" is a hands-on review of the Gemini Writer by one of my classmates, Charity Chainus.

"Gemini Revisited" is a second look at the Gemini -- or rather, the PDA that came with it -- a year later.

"Gemini Redux a Trois" is a final look at the Gemini and its accompanying PDA.

"Gemini Revolution" is a look at the new Gemini Revolution Grand, by writers Veronica Kubat, Mirabai Knight, and Rhoda Collins.

"Young Man With a Gemini is the story of how one determined young man here in the Pacific North Wet has modified his early version of the Gemini to run on batteries ... and it has a surpise ending! :o)

"The Infinity Traditional Writer Q&A is a selection of 25 questions about the Infinity Traditional writer from the gang at Depoman.com.

"The ProCAT Flash" is a review of my ProCAT Flash; it tells you why I bought it, and why it's better than an 8000 or a Protege.

"A Look at the ProCAT Stylus" is the story of reporter April Davis' experiences with the new ProCAT Stylus.

In "The ProCAT Impression,"California reporter Kyung Lee-Green shares with us her story of how she ended up buying the ProCAT Impression.

"The Passport" is a review of Advantage Software's Passport by veteran reporter Cheri Mays. The review was a long time coming (as was the writer!), but it seems to have been well worth the wait.

"The LightSpeed" is, as you might guess, a review of the LightSpeed writer from Stenovations, written by the author of the review of the ProCAT Stylus.

A review of the Stentura Fusion by CRAH student Graduate, Stacy Metz.

"Doing it eBay" is a basic piece on the pros and cons of buying steno machines through eBay.

"digitalCAT File Managment" shows my fellow DC using students how to avoid filling up the Transcripts folder with unneeded transcripts (do you really need to save that practice session from three weeks ago?), as well as avoid filling up the Dictionaries folder with job dictionaries that you probably don't need.

"digitalCAT Chat" is a transcript from StenoLife.com with some DC users and DC trainer extrordinaire, Greta Duckett.

"DigitalCAT: By the Numbas" shows digitalCAT users how to make their strokes for dates, money, and Social Security Numbas -- er, Numbers -- come out correctly using the Command Editor.

"It's Dead, Jim!" tells the story of a CART provider who's digitalCAT dictionary suddenly reported itself as being corrupt just before a big job ... and takes you through the steps I went through to fix her dictionary -- unfortunately after the fact -- and shows you how to do the same fix with less work.

" Mr. Ploverman" teaches you how to use something that Cheap and Sleazy contributor, Mirabai Knight came up with -- a new *FREE* steno program, which you can use to write into any program that accepts keyboard input. In fact, I'm using it to update Cheap and Sleazy right now!

... and it's a good thing, too, because my Mac's keyboard has a few issues ... like the A key being completely dead, the E key either not working or giving me two Es when I just needed one ... and both the S and the D keys sometimes works, and sometimes doesn't.

Unfortunately, one of Apple's Mac Geniuses says that my Mac's battery is going bad, and that's most likely what's causing the problems. He also reports that there's some kind of liquid inside (I suspect that's from the battery, since I pretty much baby my Mac), so it's going to cost me about $600 to get my Mac fixed.

Oy.

In the meantime, I'll keep using Plover to avoid those keyboard problems! :o)

Say ... did I mention that whole "FREE!!" thing?!?

And speaking of Plover, next up is an article by Cheap and Sleazy contributor Stan "Young Man With a Gemini" Sakai entitled, "Stanography, in which he discusses how he got his start in stenography, largely thanks to Plover.

"Gold" tells you why that odd box of old JCRs reporters sometimes drop off at schools are so valuable, and why you should look through those old JCRs.

"The Note Buddy" is an expanded look at something I discovered while reading through that stack of JCRs belonging to my on-again, off-again boss, which resulted in the article, Gold. This one came into being by special request from a highspeed student who was frustrated because she would often lose her place while transcribing from her notes, which cost her time. With the Note Buddy, she no longer loses her place!

You're welcome, Li'l Sis!

"Got Newt?" tells you how you can put a (relatively) cheap Apple PDA (say "personal digital assistant") to use in school and after.

"Cheap and Sleazy Mocha" shows the reader how to use a few commonly available items to make their own mocha (did I mention one of my classmates drank a few of these and, after being stuck in her 80s for a while, passed not one, but *two* of her three 80s tests in one week?). If you're a starving student who still spends too much time at your local Starbucks, you might want to check this one out.

The Cheap and Sleazy "Slow Mocha" started out as a post in a Facebook group called, "Court Reporters who Like to Cook," and feeling the pressure, I posted what I called a "bachelor simple" recipe for the Cheap and Sleazy Mocha ... and one of the reporters had a little fun with it.

"Life's a Peach!" teaches a rather elaborate method to make iced tea -- or more specifically, the Cheap and Sleazy Peach Iced Tea (as mentioned in the Cheap and Sleazy Mocha article).

As mentioned in the above article, I managed to figure out how to replicate McDonald's Sweet Iced Tea! Goes great with the below-mentioned Cheap and Sleazy Chili recipe ...

"Cheap and Sleazy Chili teaches you how to make chili in your crockpot, for those cold and blustery fall/winter months.

"Dictionaries 'r' Us" is a look at dictionaries: What they are, how to search them, and how to build your own -- specifically for Q&A.

"Different Dictation" tells you how you can use a cheap cable, a radio, and a VCR to record some very interesting dictation.

In "For Mary Ann," I go into more detail about a program called Audacity, which I discussed some in the above "Different Dictation" article.

"Mark Sez ..." is a page wherein Mark Kislinbgury explains how to build speed. Don't miss it!

And, speaking of Mark, "Melody's Practice Regimen" is an article describing the practice regimen used by Mark Kislingbury's numba one student (15 months from start to graduation!), Melody Among.

"Speedbuilding With Accuracy is an article from an early JCR by veteran reporter Donna Kanabay Harvey, in which she describes how she regained her speed after experiencing significant losses when she modified her non-computer-compatible theory to make it work with computers. I read it and asked her if I could share it with my readers, and here it is!

Liebe's Player goes along with the method espoused by veteran reporter Donna Kanabay up there, and it will allow you to load any dictation into it that you want, and change the speed to whichever speed you want ... so you, too, can now work on your "speedbuilding with accuracy."

"Homestudy" shows the reader how to do speed building when in an "On Your Own" self-study program.

"Steph Practice is the story about how one court reporting student went from 140 to 200 ... in three months! In this article, she tells you exacally how she did that.

"Da Dreaded Dueling Digit Duo Drills" is a series of finger drills I found in an out-of-print book entitled, "Student to Reporter: Court Reporting Student Journal," by Kimberly S. Fish, CRI. These should give your fingers a good workout ....

Congratulations! You Passed! Now, FAIL!!! is the story of the life of all court reporting students, written by a former student and current reporter who now writes for the President of the United States ... so yes, there is light at the end of that tunnel!

"Briefly Medical" is the result of a reporter who put together a .pdf of medical briefs, and a helpful guy who suggested that it would be easy-peazy to copy that .pdf into a text document ... and boy, was he wrong! ... which is why the article links to a .pdf.

"Got Medical?" is a reprint of a post by Greg Adelson from Readback.org that shows you how to prepare for a medical deposition, complete with all of his outlines, arranged in a nice table.

"Punctuation" is reporter Marla Sharp's list of grammar links that she put up on CSR Nation just before the site was hijacked. I missed grabbing it then, but I did grab it when Kelli got her site back and, with Marla's permission, I am sharing her links with you! I'll have to check with her in the not-too-distant to see if there are any new links that she likes ... but in the meantime, these should keep you busy.

"The Red Dot Focus Secret" is a method to maintain your conentration during a test from reporter Krista Burgeson. This one comes to you courtey of a discussion on Facebook.

"Learning Briefs" is a method created by soon-to-be graduated Mikey McMorran that shows you how to use a spreadsheet to learn new briefs. It may look complex initially, but once you get it set up, it will prove quite useful!

"On the Cool Side" shows you a Cheap and Sleazy method to keep your laptop cool ... with about $5.00 worth of supplies.

"The Drill Machine" is a page where you can download Steven "Court Reporting Help" Shastay's Drill Machine. I originally put this page up when the Drill Machine disappeared from Steve's page after an update, and people were e-mailing me about it. It was put back, but Steve told me it was okay to keep it here, in case it disappears again (which it seems to have done!).

"Push Back!, by guest writer Mary Ann Payonk, CRR, RDR, gives the reader a more realistic view of the state of court reporting than that given by the schools ... and is well worth your time!

Up next we have "Court Reporting Biz 101," in which you'll learn a wee bit about court reporting and taxes.

Continuing that business trend, new Cheap and Sleazy contributor Kyung Lee-Green shares with you a few tidbits about things that should be obvious, but may not be in her article, "The Art of the Obvious." This one should be updated from time to time, so check back every few weeks.

"The Search for the Perfect Bag" is a review of the ultimate steno bag, by Charles "Chuck" Motter. While this bag is not cheap, it does have some good qualities ... and Chuck was nice enough to put his experience with his bag together along with some pictures for your edification and delight.

"The Duet 2.0" is another review by Charles "Chuck" Motter who, after a few months, beat the crap out of his Tutto, and switched to the Duet, version 2.0.

Hmmm. It's been a few months ...! Maybe I should check in with Chuck to see if his Duet is still alive and kicking ...!

For those of you who are (cheap and sleazy) archeologists, I have archives of ol' Cheap and Sleazy on the various archive pages listed on the left and near the bottom of this page.

What good is a website without any "Links"? (update in progress!)

"Nikki Links" is a set of links provided by Nicolete Booth in her quest for speed!

"The Plateau" is a book-in-progress from the guys over at courtreportinghelp.com given the (cheap and sleazy) once over. It's a downloadable zip file, all about that nasty point in every steno student's studies where the student gets stuck at a certain speed -- or, in short, reaches a plateau. I'll update it as soon as new chapters become available.

The Plateau (Older Version) is, as you might guess, an older version of the above ... but there's a significant difference between the two!

The first one weighs in at 6 chapters and about 20 pages ... while the older version weighs in at 19 chapters, and a whopping 77 pages!

"More stenormation for your steno buck," as Stephen Shastay might say.

Well, okay; maybe not ... but he did promise to update this version of "The Plateau" when he gets the chance (and inspiration). That's a good thing, because there is a 20th chapter (not included, but I'll provide it if asked) that kinda ends in the middle.

"The Cheap and Sleazy Interview With Steve Shastay" is a woefully short interview I did with His Steveness back in my Theory days. Still kicking myself for not getting back to that ....

Here we have what I call "All the Incarnations of Steve Shastay's Blogs" ... which, as you might guess, are all the blog entries I could find, slapped together in one MASSIVE (as in, one hundred and twenty-six pages worth of MASSIVE) .pdf for your reading pleasure!

Your mission -- and you'd better accept it -- is to grab yourself a snack and a beverage, download this file, and start reading!

.... *AFTER* you finish that short interview, of course!

Some time back, I raided several early versions of courtreportinghelp.com (thanks to the Way Back Machine)and got a bunch of really interesting articles. I also saw a note that courtreportinghelp.com regular contributor Barb DeWitt had a website (now defunct), barbdewitt.com, and (of course) I raided that, too.

What that means for you is that I have taken all those interesting bits of court reporting student goodness, converted them to the universal RTF file format, and put them all into a compressed archive for your reading pleasure. You can get that archive here.

Update (26JUN15)

My original plan for those archived articles was to take them all and give them that "Cheap and Sleazy Look and Feel" that you're probably used to after reading the articles here on Cheap and Sleazy.

Unfortunately, I never actually got to that ... but I did manage to convert two of them: "How to Take a Test," and "How to Analyze a Test"

I'll try and get to the others as soon as I can!