You know what happens when you work in a high-stress, highly computerized environment, right? Murphy's law (well, seems like Murphy himself) is always right there over your left shoulder.
Whether it's a USB cable that goes bad, the battery on a computer or a steno writer, your rechargeable battery charger... Whatever it is that you ONLY HAVE ONE OF, that's what breaks down. The solution is easy - but not cheap - have two of everything.
For the longest time I've had two of everything - two steno machines, two backups (digital recorders), two computers, two power packs, you name it - but when I switched over to voice writing, I got slack. I have only ONE mask with the smart mic. I have only ONE USB Andrea translation device in my pack.
What went wrong? Well, everything. Seems my USB connection got a little wonky and sent staticky (is that a word?) sound through to my VOX software; ergo, no translation. And, seems my split cable has a bad connector, so only ONE line out from voice. GREAT.
I now have two extra USB Andrea translating devices; however, only one - ONE so far - smart mic mask. I've been in court, so I have to order these things as I can.
The lesson? Have two of everything in your bag. You don't want to have to do things the "old fashioned" way. AND, should someone ever need to borrow something (like a steno machine), you have one you could rent out (to recoup some of your costs!)