Speaking Naturally with Dragons

 Posted by on 24 June 2002 at 1:37 pm  Uncategorized
Jun 242002

Dear Paul,

This is the first thing that I am writing using Dragon NaturallySpeaking. It is working fairly well although making a number of mistakes. There are ways to fix that of which I am not yet aware. Overall it is pretty cool and I’m looking forward to learning how to use it to write blog entries, philosophy lectures, and philosophy papers with it.

Sadly, this is a pretty dorky letter. But it’s hard to think of things to say when using this software for the first time. I am pretty impressed with the microphone, it seems to be working rather well. And the software is pretty cool too. If it makes a mistake, I can give it verbal commands to correct its errors. It even gives me a menu of possible alternatives, like a spell checker. There are all manner of features that I’ll need to learn to get this to work properly.

I suppose that I will post this silly letter on my blog. But if I’m going to do that I’d better tell people what I’ve actually bought. I bought a high-end Sony digital voice recorder, one that uses a memory stick and came bundled with Dragon NaturallySpeaking version 6 (ICD-MS515VTP). I also bought a USB digital headset from Plantronics. I have also purchased other headset, an analog one from Plantronics, to be used with the digital voice recorder that will arrive tomorrow.

For the benefit of people other than Paul: So why did I buy this stuff? Well first of all, I do have problems with carpal tunnel. Since I spend so much time at my desk everyday, I am looking forward to relaxing back in my chair, far from my keyboard, while I write. Second, I often find that I have interesting philosophical thoughts while I’m out and about, far from my computer, particularly while I’m listening to be taped lectures. I often carry a crummy digital recorder to record such thoughts, then translate them back at my computer. But that seemed rather inefficient. Third, I was fascinated with the suggestion of one user of Dragon NaturallySpeaking that his writing was better, more friendly, more conversational, less dry, less academic, thanks to using voice recognition software.

So far, I’m pretty impressed. At the moment it is taking me more time to speak this than it would for me to type it. But I’m sure my speed will increase. I’m not much of a gadget freak, but this is pretty cool.

Your dearest woo,


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