Play the (Virtual) Piano With Your Steno Machine

Before court reporting school starts back up on Monday, I thought I'd share with you one last piece of CR fun as a tribute to the quickly disappearing summer. I think a lot of steno people are either musicians, have played instruments in the past, or can be deeply moved by a piece of music. That said, here's one way we can get in touch with our musical side while putting some time in on the steno machine.

For those of you running Eclipse, go into your user settings (ALT-U) under the Realtime tab and click "add" before starting a realtime file.  From there, select "Keyboard macro" in the output format drop-down box. Make sure under Comm device that the COM port coincides with the port your steno machine is plugged into. Use the setup button and click on device manager if you're not sure which port you're using. (Not running Eclipse? Check your help file to see how to activate the keyboard output.) For CaseCatalyst, it's called Stenokeys and DigitalCAT, it's CatNip.

Now here comes the fun part: Go to Virtual Piano and once it's loaded, click "Enter" to start it up. Click on the keyboard. By writing different words and/or letter combinations, you can hear chords and notes as you practice word lists, finger drills, etc. Experiment, have fun, and try out different alphabets and outlines!

Let it Be
(Use your small letter alphabet for this. For me, it's the left side letter plus the asterisk key.)
1wtu 1wtu 5wry 5wry 6etu 6etu 5wry
4eti 4eti 1wtu 1wtu 3wru 5wry 5wry
4eti 3wru 2etu 1wtu

6etu 6etu 5wry 5wry 4eti 4eti
1wtu 1wtu 1wtu 1wtu 5wry 5wry
4eti 3wru 2etu 1wtu

For more songs, including Fur Elise (that one's fun!) and A Whole New World, click on Main Menu and then Music Sheets. One could probably even create a separate dictionary file with strokes representing actual chords. Maybe someday steno music could even become a new kind of competition at state and national conventions! Hey, dream big, right? ;)