Keeping abreast of technology can be daunting and intimidating at times. Just when you think you have your “groove” and your workflow is flawless, everything can change in the blink of an eye. It happens to everyone sooner or later!
Recently, my primary Windows machine had a Wi-Fi connection failure. While it was a mere two and a half years young, it is, after all, just a machine and I needed it to perform at 100 percent. Luckily, that particular laptop had an Ethernet port, so all I had to do to stay productive and get my transcripts out the door timely was to connect my Ethernet cable into the port. Few newer computers have that capability of hardwiring anymore — everything is going wireless.
Needless to say, I had some time to chart my next steps on the decision whether to upgrade my computer or turn to my backup computer. It should be a MUST for every court reporter to have a backup computer waiting in the wings for those occasions when the primary one fails, because it is an absolute that it will fail at some point.
Anyway, realizing my computer hardware was two and a half years old, the search was on for me to find the perfect new computer. I settled on an Ultrabook. According to an article from PCWorld, Intel has tightened its definition of an Ultrabook.
An Ultrabook must now be outfitted with a touchscreen, and Intel is encouraging manufacturers to build two-in-one convertible designs (notebooks with touchscreens that detach from their keyboards to become tablets). Also, no laptop can be thicker than 23mm (0.9 inches) if it’s to be marketed as an Ultrabook, and it must now be hardware-ready for voice command and control.
Okay, first step complete — yay!
Next step? Where in the world to start configuring my new Ultrabook so it has all of my data, software programs, and those valuable settings from the older computer. I always limit the number of software programs loaded onto my primary computer. My Mac is my go-to choice for everything in my business, excluding my CAT software and other related court reporting software, such as Min-u-Script.
One might ask: “Well, what about running CAT software on Windows 8 and its perceived and/or reported problems?” I am proud to report that I experienced no issues with updating the new machine whatsoever. All my software and settings are now successfully loaded on the new computer and it operates virtually identical to my old laptop with Windows 7.
All right, I know you’re wondering how I have such good news to report and what did I do to minimize the upgrade frustration and anxiety. The answer is: My good friend, Dropbox. Dropbox is a file hosting service that offers cloud storage and file synchronization and allows users to access files and information across multiple computers.
Of course, my first step was to install my CAT software. My software of choice is Case CATalyst. Since I’ve been keyless for a while and the company allows multiple computers to run the software with an up-to-date support agreement, it was simply a matter of using the link on their website to download onto the new machine. Remember to download the writer drivers, too.
Next, I backed up my entire CATalyst user directory, including settings. When prompted what destination folder to back up to, I browsed through until I found my desired Dropbox folder and selected it. The backup could take several minutes to upload to Dropbox, depending on the size of your directory and your Internet connection speed. Once that file is uploaded, follow these steps:
- On the new PC, navigate to the Dropbox folder that holds your backup file.
- Highlight the backup file and drag to your CAT folder. You may have to hover over some of your files in order to find the correct directory to which you want your files copied to.
- Once that file is copied, open your software and locate the backup file. Unzip the folder and the files from your old machine are now accessible.
The above process was essentially used to transfer my Min-u-Script data to the new PC as well. Click here for the complete instructions provided to me when transferring registration from one PC to another. One additional point to keep in mind for this program is that you will need your product code to complete the registration on the new machine. Just email the company if you don’t know what it is.
I’ve been working with my new Ultrabook for depositions and court for the past two weeks and have had no complaints regarding performance with my CAT software and related programs. The computer boots up more quickly, and that’s always a plus. There is a slight learning curve when starting with Windows 8. For my purposes, I feel the benefits of the new machine far outweigh the learning curve and I am pleased with my new Ultrabook.
My next blog post will delve into some tips and hints to help court reporters through the process of using Windows 8 on a daily basis for transcript production.
Technology is great!