Friday, December 23, 2005

Speaking ... naturally

I recently read a post on PBWriter's blog extolling the virtues of Dragon naturally speaking version 8. The last time I tried this piece of software it was at version three or four and the kids and I spent a happy hour confusing it utterly. It reciprocated by confusing us just as much.

With faster processors, more ram, more hard disk space, I suppose it was only natural (no pun intended) that the software should have improved over the following five versions. So, armed with almost $200 Australian, I bought a copy from eBay. It arrived today so I plugged in the headset and microphone, installed the software and spent 20 or 30 minutes training it.

All I can say is what a huge difference five versions makes. My accent is a mix of British and Australian and I tend to speak very quickly. Despite that, the software seems to know what I'm trying to say. (which is more than I can say for my kids when there are chores to be done.)

I'm quite looking forward to writing a short story or a chapter of my next novel in this fashion. One benefit is that you can gaze out the window and dictate without even looking at the screen. One negative is that talking to yourself can be taken as a sign of madness.

In summary, I would wholeheartedly recommend this software. I have already caught up with half of my e-mail backlog without laying a finger on the keyboard more than once or twice. I just dictated this entire blog entry and only had to correct two words. Not bad after only 20 minutes training.

In case I don't post again before Christmas, have a good one.

Simon Haynes is the author of the Hal Spacejock and Hal Junior series (Amazon / Smashwords / other formats)


Bernita said...

Wishing you the Bestest New Year ever, Simon.

Simon Haynes said...

Thanks for that, and I hope yours turns out brilliant too.