Me And The Dragon

 Posted by at 1:00 am  Nick's Blog
Nov 052017

Because I have arthritis in my hands, typing can become painful after a while for me. So two years ago I bought Dragon NaturallySpeaking software, and it has really increased my ability to churn out a lot of words in a day. I’m a two finger typist at best, and on a good day I might be able to get out 3,000 words, but then I would pay for it the next day. But with Dragon I can easily do 5,000 words or more in a day, and on a few occasions I’ve managed up to 10,000 words.

But we have a love-hate relationship. The program is not nearly as perfect as the TV commercials would have you believe. It has a lot of problems with similar sounding words such as their, there, and they’re. It confuses the words in and and all the time. The same with the words if and of. And for some reason, it doesn’t like certain words at all. It always wants to make Gypsy Journal into one compound word, gypsyjournal. And about half the time when I say Winnebago, it says win a bagel. I’ve done all of the voice training the company recommends and it didn’t help the problem. But even with those quirks, it’s still a lot better than typing for me.

Lately, the program has developed a new peculiarity. Once in a while, when I want to work in a Word document, Dragon will not respond. Sometimes I have to close Dragon and reopen it to make it work. Other times I have to close the Word document and reopen it before Dragon will work. Other times I have to close both programs. And, just to muddy the waters a little bit more, while it won’t work in Word, it may work in my email program, or on Facebook. Other times it won’t. I’ve tried unplugging the microphone and plugging it into a different USB port on the computer, and again, sometimes that works and sometimes it doesn’t. There is no continuity in what resolves the problem. A few times I’ve been forced to completely reboot the computer. Like I said, it’s a love-hate relationship.

I’m on my second Logitech USB headphone/microphone, and one of these days I want to upgrade to a better quality, I’m just not sure what to get. I tried the Logitech wireless headphone/microphone, but couldn’t get it to work consistently. Does anybody have a good recommendation for a USB or wireless unit that might be better? I’m always open to suggestions.

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Thought For The Day – Retirement is like a long vacation in Las Vegas. The goal is to enjoy it to the fullest, but not so fully that you run out of money.

Nick Russell

World-Famous, New York Times Best Selling Author, and All-Around Nice Guy!

  6 Responses to “Me And The Dragon”

  1. I got Beats bluetooth headset with Mic. It was expensive, but works great. It cuts out the outside noise coming in thru the overear earpieces and has some sort of filter in the Mic. I’ve only used it as my phone headset and for dictating some messages and facebook posts using the Mic app on the phone, but the results were good. Got it at Best Buy. There is a comparable headset by Bose, but I liked the shape of the ear pieces of this one better.

  2. Nick, dont know what mic to use, but my doc at the VA gave me 7.5 mg daily pill of Meloxicam for arthritis and it works great for me.

  3. Have you tried something like a Steno-mask
    It’s the same thing you will find a court stenographer using.
    Now, I’m only referring to the mask type apparatus not the recording portion of it.
    I think a lot of voice recognition software is influenced by the air atmosphere around the person. A fan and air conditioning the noise of the computer running. Echoes off-the-wall
    a noise canceling Mike seems to only help a little bit.
    I think the way to test that theory is to make a dunce cap and put the pointy end down towards the microphone and read a standard sentence with and without the dunce cap?
    When I use apples Siri Voice recognition software. I have a lot of mistakes due to my accent my diction or being tired or not being close enough to the microphone
    Although when I use android/Google voice recognition on my phone it comes out a lot better. Not perfect but a lot better.
    So if you temporarily fabricate something like a steno mask, and if that works
    It may be something you could look into.
    Now if I could only get Voice recognition to put the ( . , ! ? )In the appropriate place I’d be happy.
    I’m sure you’re not alone in the voice recognition software maybe some of the other authors might have a better solution?

  4. Nick,
    The only thing you didn’t mention trying is looking to see if there’s a software update for your Logitech mic on their website. That may or may not fix the issues you have, but it doesn’t hurt to try.
    Other than that, I’ll commiserate with you on Logitech products. The wireless mouse I have from them isn’t playing nice with Windows either, and causes me all sorts of headaches. I’m considering whether I should buy some other brand, even though I’ve always favored Logitech keyboards and mice.
    Maybe I should just give up and buy a Microsoft mouse.

  5. I too would suggest Bose. God awful expensive but it is really good stuff. I think they have a decent return policy so might be worth a try.


  6. After spending 40+ years in technology I developed term of the problem you are dealing with. “Running your teeth along the curb” tends to picture the feeling of working with technology the spuriously malfunctions. In so far as wireless head sets, take a look at Plantronics. My experience with their equipment has been good with stable communications and little flakiness.

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