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Taming The Dragon
The most recent Christmas present from my husband has been sitting on a shelf on my desk for six months. A couple of days ago, I took it down, blew the dust off of it and decided to take a good look at it.
I remember the moment that I asked for this gift or rather said something along the lines of "it would be kind of cool to have speech recognition software." In my mind it was akin to saying someday I'd like to take a trip to Antarctica or lose 50 pounds. Neither of those things were likely to happen in the near future. I forgot to take into account my husband’s techno selective hearing. It had been a near miss the previous year when my husband thought a Kindle would be the perfect Christmas gift. He told me I would never guess what he was getting me... And I said that as long as it wasn't a Kindle I'd be happy. His face acquired the same expression as a kid who's been told there is no Santa Claus.
I'm not completely heartless, so when I unwrapped my Christmas present this year I was ecstatic and then promptly put it on the shelf of my desk.
My original intention, back when speech recognition software was a fantasy, was that I could curl up in the chair in my backyard beneath the stars and compose in a free flow fashion, all the silly thoughts that are forever floating in my overactive brain. I am a pretty fast typist, but sometimes even my fingers have a tough time keeping up with the thoughts that I have. I was convinced that my lack of speed was impediment to actually completing a written piece.
While partially true, the original thought came when I had all 10 digits available for use. Sadly, that is not the current situation.
A week ago, I had an accident involving a 50 pound dog, a 20 pound cat, a back door and a 47-year-old klutz(me). The end result was a fractured right wrist. Simple things like dressing myself, opening containers, signing my name, slaughtering monsters in the name of the horde with my level LXXXV not Roman numerals Ker 85 thank you... Warlock, and typing had a source of immense frustration. He for come after had. Period.
As you can see, speech recognition software is not without its issues.
What I was trying to say was that all of these things that I took for granted had become impossible. Or at the very least, impossibly slow.
At some point I remembered my Christmas gift. What a perfect opportunity to test it out! There was no whole hell of a lot that came in the package some directions the actual CD... It although I'm not technophobe the thought of actually trying to use this was a bit daunting. After the original installation and my husband's assistance in hooking up the microphone and headset, the start was pretty self-explanatory. It wanted to know what type of English I spoke, how old I was... In other words it wanted to profile me. Then for the next half-hour it asked me to read several pieces to it and asked permission to my personal e-mail and previously written material so that it could get a feel for me.
I was rather amused by the idea that a piece of software could "get a feel for words and expressions that I commonly used" by accessing all of my previous Word documents. I'm really glad now that I didn't write anything in cloak legal speech code look we'll... Colloquial. I guess I haven't used the word colloquial before.
This is the first piece that I have ever written using Dragon. The staff took that my brain is addled with Percocet (oh sure it knows drugs) should make this a very interesting. Oh my God I just read that last sentence. Let's try this one more time...
The fact that my brain is addled by Percocet should make this interesting.
I think this is the first time I had smiled over week.
The dictation process seems to be pretty straightforward. I'll little confused by some of the commands or actually when to use what I suppose that will come with time and practice. This definitely beats playing one-handed angry birds on my iPad. Almost.
I still don't see myself losing 50 pounds or getting to Antarctica anytime soon but I can see myself using Dragon over the next 6 to 8 weeks...
Dragon's Amusing Translations
For satisfied that father lies not his bones are coral made: Shakespeare
The census taker once tried to test me ate his liver with some baba beans and a nice Chianti: Hannibal Lecter
I still of Easter baby: the Terminator
Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious: Mary Poppins
Oh say can you see the dawn's early light what so proud Harley we hail at the twilight's last gleaming whose broad stripes and bright stars through the tab will list five or the red parts we watched were so gallantly streaming and the rockets red glare the bombs bursting in air gave proof through the night that our flag was still there oh say does that star-spangled and then there are yeah way or the that and of the free and the home of the brave: Star-Spangled Banner
Two all beef patties special sauce lettuce cheese pickles onions on assessed and seed bun: big Mac
Frederick Jacques Frederic Jacque door made food gourmet food summer mama Tina some alumna Tina ding ding Don ding ding dong: French children's song
Peter piper picked a peck of pickled pepper scummy pickled peppers did Peter piper pick: tongue twister
DVDs done dirt cheap: AC/DC
Ah yes so much fun to be had with my Dragon. I may not write anything that makes any sense, but then again is that anything new?