Anyone know anything about Dynavox Palm 3

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hopeandlove

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I think its a fairly newer product, but I'm curious if anyone has any experience with the Dynavox Palm 3? Ease of use, etc. Looking for something I could use to hold a conversation- but don't know if the stylist pen is ideal. I have my dry erase board and computer. Anyone invent my talking cell phone yet?

Bulbar ALS
 

georgia

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Smaller to carry if you are still walking. The Vmax gets heavy fast. Smaller keys will pose a problem with hands get bad. Cost the range as others for later use insurance pays for one. My understanding is it is best to make do with eraseboards or what ever till you need to use the better units. None of them are going to carry conversation as you knew it. Just a way to stay in touch. People will be on the next thought before you get it out. You do not realize how fast we talk till it takes you time.
 

hopeandlove

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Thanks. It's funny you wouldn't think it would take so long to type out your thought. And I think quiet pauses in conversations make people anxious. Just a random thought but I wonder how those court room recorders do it?
 

georgia

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Your last answer made me want to look it up. Interesting. Kind of like old fashion shorthand.



It's called a stenotype machine, and it's also used for captioning television broadcasts and general office stenography. The stenotype works a bit like a portable word processor, but with a modified, 22-button keyboard in place of the standard qwerty setup. Modern stenotypes have two rows of consonants across the middle, underneath a long "number bar." Set in front of these are four vowel keys: "A," "O," "E," and "U."
How does it work? Court stenographers can type entire words all at once by striking multiple keys at the same time. The left hand spells out the beginning of a syllable, while the right hand spells out the end; all keys are pressed at the same time, and the machine produces an alphabet soup that's incomprehensible to anyone who's not trained in machine shorthand.

Stenographers spell out syllables phonetically, but there aren't enough keys on each side of the keyboard to cover every sound. Certain combinations of adjacent keys correspond to the missing consonants: For example, there's no "M" anywhere on the keyboard, so you have to press "P" and "H" together to start a syllable with that sound. There is a "B" on the right side of the board, but none on the left—that means it's easy to end a syllable with "B," but for words that begin with "B" you need to hit "P" and "W" together.

Each court reporter might use different conventions to represent homonyms or other ambiguous words. At court-reporting school, you can learn one of at least half a dozen machine shorthand "theories," which teach different approaches and general rules. But any experienced stenographer will work out his or her own abbreviations, especially for words and phrases particular to a given job. "May it please the court," for example, could be shortened to a quick stroke, as could, "Ladies and gentlemen of the jury."

In the old days, everything the stenographer typed would print to a roll of narrow paper tape. Later on, the stenographer would translate the notes back to English, and sometimes another stenographer, called a "scopist," would check the translation. Now the translation is done by computer, and the fancier stenotype machines translate as they go. The paper tape still records the original notes, but an LCD display on the machine itself shows the words in regular English.

A court reporter typically saves the spellings and abbreviations he uses into a personal dictionary on his home computer. These personal dictionaries can then be transferred to stenotype machines, most of which have floppy-disk drives or USB ports. Machines can be further customized, down to the sensitivity of each individual key. These changes reflect the relative strength of each finger: The "L" key under the scrawny right ring finger is often made less sensitive, since that finger is more likely to sag and touch the key by accident.

Almost all stenographers have their own customized machines, which they take with them on specific jobs. A brand-new, top-of-the-line stenotype costs up to about $4,500. Cheaper training models are a bit over $1,000.
 

georgia

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The Professional Court Reporting College in Dallas, Texas, has a training program that is estimated at 2,700 class hours. The college notes that a few students have graduated in less than two years, but three-plus years is more typical. a student must be able to write at least 225 words per minute at 95% - 98% accuracy and pass all academic courses.
 

hopeandlove

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Interesting

I always wanted to know how that was done. Don' t you just love all the information available via the internet! This would be a handy skill to have too bad they don't have a 6 month program study from home.
 

BethU

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This is not state-of-the-art, but in the "making do" department, the LightWriter is very handy, if you can get one from an ALS loaner closet. It only weighs 1 1/2 pounds (but it is awkward to carry ... no handle or carrying case).

BUT ... the double screen (one facing the writer, the other facing the person you're talking to) is very efficient. I find that everybody watches the outward facing screen, and usually guess what I'm typing before I'm half way through. This is much faster than having to type out a long message and then wait for the robot voice to speak it.

It also keeps the person you're talking to engaged while you're typing. It doesn't have a lot of functions, but I've used it on the phone effectively several times. Put in a message in the LightWriter, then dial the phone, and when someone answers, I hold the phone over the LightWriter and press the speak key.
 

lovinglife

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About to get the Palm 3

My mom is about to get the Palm 3 to try out. We are hoping it will help her hold conversations in group settings and on the phone. I'll let you know what she thinks.
I have read that it is not a long term device. But I'm hopeful she will get to use it for a long time.
 

BarryG

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Hi, I've been using my Dynavox Paltop 3 for about 6 months now and while it's not as good as being able to talk like a normal person it is useful. From what I was shown it is the smallest unit around which means that I can take it with me, I bought a small camera bag to put it in. The small stylus works for me so far but I can see how it would be a problem for someone who's hands don't work well. And you're right, Georgia, it's not very fast, I find that by the time I type in a thought the subject has changed with the people I'm talking to. I guess I'll have to be a faster typist.

I have used it in group settings and as long as everyone knows to expect the voice that comes out it works. I was at an ALS meeting a while ago and made a joke about one of the doctor's labs (it's kind of like a mad scientist's lab) with my "talker" and it went over well. In a one-on-one conversation I sometimes (especially in a noisy place) use it as a tablet with the sound turned down and let the other person read the screen rather than have it speak.

One interesting experience I've had is the thing talking on it's own in my pocket like some kind of demented ventriloquist's dummy because of the combination of the touch screen and word prediction. You do get some strange looks when you're in a store and "Ryan" is blithering away by your side.:lol:

Anyway, I hope that you find the Palm 3 to be useful, I have. I've customized mine as much as I can with the names of family and friends and with some of the phrases that I find useful like my name and address so that it can give the info for me.
 

lovinglife

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I thought it was pretty neat

But my mom gets frustrated with it because she is still learning. It is like a little computer and I think it has MS office so it functions similar to the operating system most of us use. I noticed that she still prefers to try to talk and hope someone will understand her and she has this mini dry erase board she carries in her purse. I noticed her handwriting gets hard to read when she is tired. I played aroudn with the Palm for a bit helping her figure out some different features. It seems like the more she uses it the easier it is. It starts populating words and once you figure out where the preset talk buttons are- it is pretty easy to use. I liked its size and the way the stylis pen has a string tied to it so it doesn't get lost. My mom said it was heavy after awhile. I'm a bit disappointed with the voices- they are very computer sounding- I would have thought they would have been more life-like. There are better voices out there. Overall I liked it. Although I've never seen the other voice aid machines in person- so I don't have much to compare it against. I did hear that the price went up on this unit $2K (don't know why). Best of luck with your decision.
 

BarryG

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Palmtop3

Something else that I find useful with my Palmtop3, is that because it is just a Dell PDA with a big speaker and fancy speech software, I can also surf the internet and send emails with it too. It is what I'm using right now and I find it really helps me stay connected with family and friends whether they are in the room with me (using the speech software) or on the other side of the world using email. All you need is a wireless internet connection and you're all set.
 
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