Friday, October 21, 2011

"Hello, Computer"

~~Did you hear Mr. Scott, AKA the late, great James Doohan, say those words as you read the title? If you love all things Star Trek, you did. For the rest of you go HERE for a clip of that immortal line. ; )

~~Before you get worried about my sanity, let me tell you about my newest toy, Dragon NaturallySpeaking, an advanced speech recognition program. I've wanted to be able to dictate my writing for years. Lately, my wrists have made it a priority. I tried the built-in program that came with my Vista operating system, but it and my pronounced southern accent didn't get along. Dragon, on the other hand, allowed me to select American English and Southern Region during installation.

~~I'm very impressed even though I'm still learning to use it. can't go straight from brain to screen though. I've always had to draft longhand first, but once it's on paper, the dictation is easy. I'm sure can type a bit faster, but not for any length of time. Now I can just write without dreading typing. Who knows? I might even get 50,000 words written during November's NaNoWriMo.

~~ If you're interested,  go to Nuance's website, and check it out.  They've been running a sale, but I got it half price at my local Staples.

~~ Next on my must-have software list is  Scrivener for Windows. According to the website the beta version runs out early in November. Here's hoping the full version is available soon.


  1. I have often wondered about those voice activated/recognition programs. Do you find it awkward at first, and does it get easier? Thanks for the info.

  2. I love that line!

    I can't wait for scrivener for windows. It was supposed to be available this year sometimes. I'm still saving my NaNo code from last year to get it 1/2 off.

    Yay on Dragon. I hope it helps you.

  3. @Susan--Yes, it's awkward at first, but I'm getting the hang of the basics. Sometimes when I don't have it on, I find myself talking to the computer and wondering why no words are appearing. : ) I've got a lot of learning to do yet though.

    @Sara--I know you're excited about Scrivener. I wish I had a code. ; ) So far, I'm tickled with Dragon.

  4. I wonder if it would work for me? I'd lose that extra editing step of typing the handwritten scenes... And I couldn't read some of my scenes with DH listening!

  5. Deniz,
    Ha! I do edit as I go, but I won't if it makes typing it in easier. Of course, I scrawl in the margins and strike out and write above. Makes for interesting reading sometimes. ; ) As for *those* scenes, I wouldn't read them if my husband was here. Though I do let him read them later.

  6. "Just use the keyboard."
    "Ah, yes, the keyboard. How quaint."

    Love that movie.

    I had dragon software about four or five years ago, but I lost it when my desktop crashed and I couldn't find the disk. I loved it; it was really helpful.

    Hope yours proves as useful as mine did.


  7. Hi Zan,

    With a carpal tunnel diagnosis a couple of months ago, I bought Dragon Naturally Speaking as well. I am having a hard time giving up the keyboard but not because I don't like the program. It's just hard to break old habits and form new ones. Glad to hear you are enjoying it so much!

  8. @Dan--Yes! That's our favorite Trek movie. We can rewatch it over and over. Sorry you lost your disc. I'm guarding mine.

    @inluvwithwords--I hear you on the old habits. ; ) I still highlight what I want to correct sometimes, but I'm getting better at letting the program do it.

  9. I remember my mother got one of the first versions of that type of program, and it was horrible. The things it came up with!

    I'm glad you found something to help out with the wrists. I may break down and get it one of these days.

  10. I delayed getting this program because of my problems with the one that came with my computer, but I'm impressed with this one. I need to train myself as well as add some vocabulary and I think I'll be very happy with it.

  11. I had one of the earlier versions and it didn't work well. I'm glad to hear they've improved so much. :)

  12. Jennifer,
    I'm glad I waited when I hear that. ; )


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