Friday, October 24, 2008

Look, No Hands!

Dragon NaturallySpeaking 10 Preferred Right now I'm typing this post and petting the cat at the same time. Now, when's the last time you could do that when you had your hands on the keyboard? And, that's the trick. No hands! I'm using Dragon Naturally Speaking 10 to type this post.

I wanted to do this post earlier, but as you all know, we were away from home, and I just didn't have a chance to do it. It figures that I go away and have to sit in meetings and classes and services right when I really need to test my new software. I'm talking about Dragon NaturallySpeaking 10, the software that allows you to type just by using your voice. And, of course, I couldn't be using my voice when I was supposed to be quiet and listening and not distracting the people around me.

I did manage to sneak away for a little bit and record a quick video showing a little bit about how Dragon NaturallySpeaking works. I apologize for the sound quality. It sounds decent using my head phones, but not so good with the speakers. So, if you really want to hear what I have to say, use headphones. (Edit: never mind, it was my sound settings.) If I have a chance, I may try recording a new video later. This one isn't exactly what I wanted, but my WebCam wouldn't work the way I wanted it to, so I tried a new screen capture software to record this, and it affected it really strangely. That whole Japanese movie, badly dubbed lip sync thing is kind of disconcerting too. Still, you get the idea. And, the sound was at least good enough for Dragon NaturallySpeaking 10 to hear me!

I used to be able to type about 60 words per minute, back in high school. Now, I'm really not sure how fast I type, but I know it's not as fast as I can using Dragon NaturallySpeaking 10. Take the Dragon NaturallySpeaking typing test! to see for yourself how you stack up to Dragon NaturallySpeaking 10. I took the test a couple weeks ago, and I'm way too embarrassed to tell you how badly I did. I haven't done it yet but I am so tempted to go back and try it again with my new software. Is that cheating?

Dragon NaturallySpeaking 10 allows you to type up to 150 words per minute. Simply talk, and the software does the typing for you. As you saw in the video, you can also do editing with Dragon NaturallySpeaking 10. The more you edit, the smarter Dragon NaturallySpeaking 10 becomes, and the less you'll need to edit in the future. Of course, you'll need to speak clearly so that Dragon NaturallySpeaking 10 can understand what it is you're trying to say in the 1st place, and that's not necessarily a bad thing!

So far, I'm finding that this software works really well, with just a little setup and training. It seems to work best in its own DragonPad software, which is fully supported by Dragon NaturallySpeaking 10. You can also use it to type into Microsoft Word, into your blogging platform, and other things. I foresee lots of great, long, interesting blog posts using this software. The faster I can type, the more I can say, right? For instance, this post was supposed to be a minimum of 200 words, and I just couldn't stop talking. Like I said in the video, I can get all the words on the screen as I'm thinking them without waiting for my fingers to catch up. Okay, I may not have said exactly that, but you know what I mean.

For more info, check out this New York Times Review, which made me laugh, and this video:


  1. Interesting... I wonder how much it would affect writing style. People tend to speak in a different format than write... How much editting did you have to do after you "wrote" this post?

    ...just curious.

    Happy Friday!! :)

  2. I tend to type/write whatever comes into my head, then I go back and edit and move and change things around, until I get it exactly the way I want it. That's why it usually takes me way longer than it should to post something. I think using Dragon NaturallySpeaking will help because I can at least get all my thoughts on the screen without losing any. Then, I'll go back and edit and move and change things around.

    I did "write" the whole post with Dragon NaturallySpeaking. It doesn't seem to work quite the way I think it should using Blogger and Firefox, so I typed it all into DragonPad and copied it from there.

    Most of my editing was the normal moving and changing around, but there were a few words I had to change. Overall though, it does a really good job of typing exactly what I say, as long as I speak clearly.

    So far, it's been a lot of fun to use, and both of my kids think they want to use it too. I think that the more I use it and become more comfortable with it, the more natural my writing/posts will be. Now, if I could just think in a straight line...

  3. That's quite good.. I used something similar a few years ago and it made so many mistakes I gave up with it.


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