Category Archives: technology

The verdict is still out on Nuance Dragon voice recognition program

Greetings, readers. I have tried the brand-newest version of the Dragon NaturallySpeaking voice recognition program, which the creators call a solution. So far I like it. It’s obviously the same product only better. A couple of months ago, The Nuance company sent me a notice that they are discontinuing my version of the solution, and gave me a choice about what I wanted to do. I could continue to use my current version, number 13, without tech support and updates or I could actually purchase the newest version, number 15, at a big discount. I chose the latter. For a hundred six dollars and some cents I could own a three hundred-dollar product. I said yes, please.

I’ve tried it out a few times already and there are a few improvements I’ve noticed right off the bat. For starters, it did not have to relearn my voice. I believe when I was installing 15, it learned from the previous version before replacing it. That is awesome. I just wish when I am creating a new blog entry in the new post screen on my WordPress dashboard, that I could dictate with the voice recognition program. I still have to dictate in a word program then cut and paste it if Rebecca is not here. That is not that hard to do, but it is an extra step.

The one thing that I did that I actually regret – and it goes to show how impatient I can be – I downloaded the digital copy instead of ordering a disk through the mail. Somewhere in the downloaded content, I’m sure, is the instruction booklet with all the commands and other information about what’s new in the product. I’m quite certain I’ll find it somewhere.

The following paragraph has spoilers for the novel Four’s a Crowd, the book Darren Taylor wrote based on my play Kimberly. If you haven’t read the book yet but want to, you can skip the next paragraph. It is a fantastic novel.

Yesterday Rebecca and I were doing some research on a major health issue for the elderly. My new writing project very well could be either a brand new play or TV pilot script, Five’s a Family, based on Four’s a Crowd. The timeline would be approximately five to eight years from the end of the novel where Kimberly gave birth to Emily Alice. I would want the child to be old enough to interact and be an integral part of the family instead of just sitting there and being cute. The issue is can Alice still have the health to be living in the house as one of the main characters, or would she have to be in a nursing home, only seen once in a while. After a little more research, I will know what I can and cannot do plausibly.

And welcome back to anyone who didn’t read the previous paragraph. Both Rebecca and I seem to be unusually distracted today. Distraction number one is the multitude of construction noises from next door. Number two is my rather naughty kitty cat, Princess Josie. And number three is stopping to find the right words for the blog entry, which are not coming as easily as usual, so we have to keep stopping to find the right words and phrases for a clear meaning. But, we trudge through. Yes, we did have a moment there where we had to re-word almost the whole previous paragraph. We were almost finished with it, when Rebecca pointed out what a major spoiler it was. Oops, can’t do that. That is why she makes the big bucks. She catches things way before I do. Could I edit my own blog? Sure. Would it be edited as well? I don’t think so.

As I begin to wind this blog post down, Josie has finally located a comfy spot. Now she settles down. Haha. I guess it is a comedy of errors today. As I’m trying to dictate the next sentence, the jack hammer outside is wreaking havoc with my concentration. The construction progress of said seven-story building will take at least a year or more. When it is completed, I fear I will have no pretty view left. I took this eighth story apartment for the view. Dang it.

There is today’s entry. We’ll be back next Wednesday with more written goodies. Take care, have a wonderful weekend, give someone you love a hug, and happy reading.

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I scored a good pair of computer speakers this morning

Greetings, readers. This morning at the corner store I spotted a very reasonably priced pair of computer speakers from a brand called Creative. I read the box and they seemed to be of good quality, so I nabbed them. Rebecca helped me unravel everything, take twisty ties and plastic off, etc., and so far I think they sound great. It will take me a little while to get used to the volume knob which seems a wee bit sensitive.

My Altec Lansing speakers, which I had for years, finally gave up on me. I had them at least 6 years, so I’d say I got my money’s worth out of them. With all the music I listen to and the gaming I do in the mornings, good laptop speakers are a must. Plus, I need them for when I give performances for the folks at Addison Court. When Rebecca leaves today, I’ll hook them up and see how the old fishing game sounds on them, followed by a rousing round of My Summer Car.

Speaking of My Summer Car, the creator has added a stove in the kitchen which if you are not careful you can start a fire and burn the house down; yet another way to die. The creator, known as ToplessGun, is a mad genius. His sole purpose in life is to invent new ways to kill you in the game. When filling your gas tank while smoking a cigarette, you can actually start a fire and blow yourself up. I was watching a YouTube video of a gamer purposely trying to do just that. Why? To see if it worked. It did, gloriously.

My all time favorite booby trap, is when you are driving along, getting ready to cross the railroad tracks and you don’t hear the train coming until it hits you. Your windshield goes red with blood and they play the “You’re dead” music to laugh at you.

Moving on to another topic, the heat wave is almost over, thank God! It’s not going to be as brutally hot today and there is a chance of a thunderstorm later. If that happens, it will definitely cool things down. I’m not saying I am looking forward to winter, mind you, but days with temperatures F in the 60s and evenings in the 40s sounds very nice right about now. We’ve had upper 80s to near 90 for a whole solid week, one of the hottest stretches for the entire summer.

Keeping in line with the weather topic, thoughts and prayers go out to the flood victims in the South and the Gulf Coast. I know that New Orleans was bracing for another flood; I hope all the levees held. To me this hurricane season can’t be over fast enough. I’ve never been in one, but I have felt the remnants of a hurricane as a lingering passing storm moving through Pennsylvania. That is as close as I want to come, thank you. So if you are down South, please be safe.

There is today’s blog. Rebecca and I will be with you again next week. We both bid you a wonderful weekend, do take care, and as always, happy reading.

Update and goings-on with my speech recognition program

Greetings, readers. This is my second attempt to dictate a blog entry using my soon to be out of date speech recognition program, Dragon NaturallySpeaking version 13. According to the email I received the other day, I can pay $100 for an updated version to keep on using the product I’ve already purchased. That’s crazy!

I suppose that the money will go to continued support, upgrades and patches, especially after a Microsoft update. I am seriously considering paying the hundred dollars. What must’ve happened is I purchased the speech recognition program towards the end of its run. Perhaps a new product has come out. Either way, it’s either shop around, cough up the money, or use it the way it is until it stops working.

Things like this just happen to me all the time. I finally find something that works for me, and poof, it either stops working, or it’s almost immediately outdated. It’s funny, because as I’m using it now, it’s only made one mistake. Just as it’s learning my voice and mannerisms, the product version is becoming obsolete. Grr.

Again, this blog entry will be ready to go tomorrow morning around 11 AM. Rebecca and I will either edit it as soon as I’m finished, or she will at home later. It will be scheduled to automatically publish Thursday morning. Then tomorrow morning after I read it, I have to click the Facebook button. Yes, WordPress.com did change a few things, and the new entry does not automatically link to my Facebook page. For now, it still does to Twitter. I have a feeling though, that at some point, Rebecca or I will have to manually click all the links every single day.

Finally, I have to begin to figure out what’s going to happen with my monetary situation for this coming year. I was hoping to continue to sell books, and not return to my fast food job. Those plans might’ve already been thrown out the window. There are many places hiring around town, which is where I want to work. I’d love to find something within walking distance from my apartment. I shall probably have to find said job within a month. We shall see, and time will tell.

Until next Wednesday, I bid you a wonderful weekend, take care, and as always, happy reading.