Scoping Equipment Start-up Costs

Here are some links for CAT vendors. The average cost for edit versions is around $1,500, I think. Digital CAT is free, but only if you have a reporter on Digital CAT that requests the software for you (I think... ) - Case CATalyst - Eclipse - ProCAT - Digital Cat - Cheetah TurboCAT - GlobalCAT - StenoCAT

Some places you can find classifieds where people are selling used CAT software:

While it might appear that going the used route might be cheaper, oftentimes it's not because you have to pay a license tranfer fee and also usually pay for support, so sometimes it's better to just buy it new.

For pedals, check out and eBay.

You might want a transcriber too, and eBay is a good place to find those. I got my Sony BM-50A on eBay for $36. It works great!

Here's a list of a few items to consider. They're listed in order of importance to ME. Others might place them in a different order. It's by no means a complete list.

CAT software
Filing and recordkeeping system
Internet access
Grammar reference (Recommend Lillian Morson's English Guide for Court Reporters and/or The Gregg Reference Manual )
NOTE: Some people do not consider this a MUST-HAVE item. I do.

Unabridged dictionary (can cost as little as $10 on CD-ROM)
Fax machine or modem

Reference books (medical, legal) Sometimes the Internet doesn't have all the answers!
High-speed Internet connection
Backup transcriber

When you have a significant outlay of cash to buy software and equipment, the first thing that comes to mind is to cut corners. Some things you need can be purchased used, i.e. a transcriber and books. There are some pitfalls involved when buying used software. There is a license transfer fee involved for most CAT systems, usually around $200. If you do not transfer the license, you cannot get upgrades and support. It is also illegal. If you buy new software, support is included. Stenograph's support with a new package is for one year. Advantage's is for three months and then you have to renew it. You need to factor the cost for the license transfer fee and the support package to evaluate the savings involved with buying used.

You can visit the free scopist classifieds to find a transcriber. The two most popular ones seem to be Sony and Sanyo. You will need to make sure the transcriber will play more than one speed. Mine is a three speed but you can make do with two and perhaps later have it modified. Make sure it plays standard cassettes. Most reporters use the standard size.

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