Equipment Recommendations

Laptop Computer


Laptop:  PC Compatible (no Macs, please)

Operating System:  Windows 7 and 8 Professional are the recommended operating systems for use with modern software like Total Eclipse.  Home versions are okay.  (The student version of Total Eclipse, by Advantage Software, Inc., is the computer aided transcription software we recommend and support. )  Macintosh operating systems are not supported. 


Minimum:  Intel i3

Recommended:  i5, i7   Note:  Students participating in the Voice Writing program will not be happy with the performance of Celeron processor due to its lack of L2 cache memory.  Voice recognition software is very labor intensive on the CPU.  The Intel Pentium i7 processor is ideal.


Minimum:  4GB (Gigabytes)

Recommended:   8 Gigabytes or higher


Hardware Ports: 

Serial Port:  Older steno writers typically connect to the laptop PC via a DB9 pin serial port.  Some of the newer laptops do not ship with a serial port as standard equipment.  If your laptop does not have a serial port, you will need to obtain a "serial – to – USB" adapter in order to connect your writer.  A serial to USB adapter can be purchased at electronics stores like Best Buy for around $35.00. 


USB:  Make sure you have at least one USB port.  A USB hub may be needed to connect multiple USB devices (external mouse, keyboard, writer, etc.) simultaneously. 


 Networking Hardware:  Either an internal or external wireless G capable networking adapter is recommended. 


Internet Access:  Study and practice material is frequently provided to students via our website.  The BRSCR campus provides free wireless internet access to students.  Internet connectivity from home is also recommended (DSL or Cable).


Storage / Drives:

Floppy disk: Some steno writers utilize floppy drives as a secondary means to transfer data from the writer to a PC.  With this in mind, you may want to consider having at least an external USB floppy drive for your PC if your stenowriter has a floppy drive.

CD, CDRW or DVD drive:  A writable device is recommended for backups and certification testing.

Hard disk:  A minimum size of 120 Gigabytes is recommended.  Most new laptops come with a much larger size.  A solid state drive (SSD) is recommended for voice applications.

USB Jump (pen) drive.  We recommend having a USB jump drive for temporary file transfer, backup and storage.


Software Utilities: 

o        Minimum:  AVG Anti-Virus

o        Recommended:  Trend Micro’s PCCIllin


Software Productivity: 

Discounts:  Dell offers discounts of 2 to 12 percent to BRSCR students, their family and friends.  Visit


Laptop Computer Recommendations, Last Updated:  04/19/2015


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