A Swing And A Miss

 Posted by at 12:31 am  Nick's Blog
Jan 022022

I spent part of yesterday setting up my new Lenovo ThinkPad laptop. I seem to go through a computer every three years or so, and I’ve set up many of them before with no problems, but this one decided to challenge me right from the start.

I plugged it in into a power source and turned it on, and a screen came up with the Lenovo logo and sat there. And sat there and sat there. I know that on initial startup a computer can sometimes take a while, but this one seemed to be taking longer than normal. After about ten minutes, there was a beep and a message saying there was a storage error and it was going into boot disk mode.

That’s above my pay grade, so I reached out to my friend Jennifer across the street because she knows a lot more about computers than I do and works helping medical offices with their software systems and such. She came over and tweaked a couple of things and got the computer up and running, and all seemed well at first. We connected to our Microsoft 365 account and tried dictating into Word just using the onboard microphone in the computer, and we were both impressed with how well it worked. Success!

Well, not so fast. It was more like a swing and a miss. After Jennifer left I dictated a few more things and all of a sudden, my speed was down to sludge again. Come on, are you kidding me! No, but I wish I was.

But I think I may have figured out part of the problem. When I connected to the Microsoft account, it immediately also connected me to OneDrive, Microsoft’s cloud storage. Could it be that our internet connection is just not fast enough to support reliable online dictation? I really don’t know, but if everything has to go to the cloud, and as slow as our Spectrum internet can sometimes be, there has to be some kind of correlation. I searched online to see if there were any versions of Word that would allow dictating while not being online, and apparently, there are none.

I talked to a Spectrum rep online, who said our basic service gives us 25 Mbps of speed, but they have plans offering 200 Mbps, 400 Mbps, and even one gig Mbps, all for more money, of course. She suggested I call and speak to a technical representative and ask if one of the high-speed plans would make a difference for me. I hope so because it’s going to really suck if I spent $2,750 on a new computer that’s going to leave me right where I started. ☹

In other, better news, my friend John Daulton is giving away the first book in his Galactic Mage series. John has a big following among science fiction fans, and once you try one of his books, I bet you’ll be a fan, too. Click the link and get yours today!

Today is your last chance to enter our Free Drawing for an autographed copy of The Oil Conspiracy by W.R. Hill. Things get complicated when veteran CIA operative Jack Wilder is called upon to discreetly investigate the assassination of a high-level OPEC oil analyst on the verge of announcing a startling discovery, and then another body turns up, this one Wilder’s best friend, also an oil analyst. Stonewalled at every turn, Wilder struggles to find motives for the two murders even as more deaths occur as he gets closer to discovering the truth.

To enter, click on this Free Drawing link or the tab at the top of this page and enter your name (first and last) in the comments section at the bottom of that page (not this one). Only one entry per person per drawing please, and you must enter with your real name. To prevent spam or multiple entries, the names of cartoon or movie characters are not allowed. The winner will be drawn this evening. Note: Due to the high shipping cost of printed books and Amazon restrictions on e-books to foreign countries, only entries with US addresses and e-mail addresses are allowed.

Thought For The Day – Chocolate is God’s way of telling us he likes us a little bit chubby.

Nick Russell

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

  4 Responses to “A Swing And A Miss”

  1. I have two thoughts. First, 25 mbps is way slow. Get at least 100 or faster. Second, you can still buy Office that loads on your computer and stores the data locally. I assume that it would allow the dictation but don’t know for sure. I sure wouldn’t want my work stored on the Internet and outside my control like happens with cloud computing. You could loose months of work if something happens.

  2. 25 MB is a bit slow. Also know that with cable internet that is basically the maximum throughput you will get. Since you share the line with many other folks, your speeds will often be slower than advertised. We have 500 MB at our S&B home and that is way too much! After living with the 500 MB for nearly a year, I find that 50-75MB is really all that a two person, non-gaming household really needs. Try the 200 MB offering and see if that does the trick for you. You can always switch back if it doesn’t do the trick.

  3. You kept talking about computer issues. I had no idea you were on standard (read super slow) internet. At 25 mbps you can’t get any work done. Kick it up to 200 or 400 and I bet you will see a world of difference in everything you do. At 30 mbps I could not dictate at all in Word.

  4. Hi Nick,
    I agree with Doug Sage about telling OneDrive to keep the files locally.
    Find the folder that the dictation files are kept, right click on the folder and click on the “Always keep on this device”.

    Bob Davis

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