Enter the Dragon

I spent New Year's with a dragon.

No, my husband didn't transform, and no, I don't mean dragon in the sense of pink elephants. Last weekend I read on Roslyn Carrington's blog that she adores the Dragon Naturally Speaking voice recognition software. I thought of the troubles I've been having with my left thumb (not really a typing finger but painful all the same) and wondered if typing might become more difficult for me in the future.

The reviews on Amazon were definitely mixed, with many 1- or 2-star reviews from customers who weren't able to use the product for one reason or another. But those who loved it said it worked for them within minutes. Their endorsements and Roslyn's were all I needed, so I headed on over to E-Bay. I got the Preferred version of version 10 (for a cool $65) and it was waiting for me when I got home from work last night. I suddenly was very glad that we'd decided against driving 20 miles into Illinois to attend a party (in 10-degree weather, no less). I had a new toy!

I got so caught up in playing with this that I damn near missed the arrival of 2009. It was 11:59PM when I looked up, and I ran into the bedroom, not slowing down even when my husband's snores told me he'd done his usual on those stay-at-home New Year's Eves, fallen asleep. I just wanted to be there when the year came in, whether he knew it or not.

I stayed up another hour dictating text and have already worked with it for a few hours this morning. All I can say is, what a marvelous invention!

Thanks, Roslyn!


Rhonda McKnight said...

Hi Bettye,

My husband has been using 7 years and loves it. He never learned to type so it was his saving grace through undergrad and nonw grad school. I haven't been able to use it. I have problems with my hands, writer's cramp they call it, so I tried, but it's going to have to get a whole lot worse for me to try again. Glad it's working for you.

Also, I receive the book on Monday. I'll probably sit down with it in a few weeks. Thanks so much and Happy New Year!

Roslyn said...

It's great, isn't it? Even with my West Indian accent, it works fine, as opposed to version 9, which occasionally had a problem with a few commands, unless I faked an American accent! It's still not as fast as typing (when I'm going at a clip, I can hit 1,000 words an hour on hand) but my sore hands are much better. I'm sticking with it.

shelia said...

Happy New Year Bettye!!! I rung it in watching Dick Clark at 11 (I'm in the central time zone) and then walking CNN at 12.

Rhonda McKnight said...

Interesting Roslyn. You know the funny thing is, my husband is from Jamaica and he is good with his accent. I'm from up north, clipped English and can't get it to work. My husband thinks it's hysterical.

bettye griffin said...

Glad you received the book, Rhonda! (Rhonda was a contest winner on one of the special holiday on-line festivals I participated in during December.) Be sure to drop me an e-mail and let me know what you thought.

I'm sorry to hear that you had problems with the Dragon. Like Roslyn said, she's using version 10 (so am I). Maybe you'd have more success with that one?

Roslyn, I'm so glad I read your blog, or else I'd still be typing! Eventually I might start connecting my handheld recorder directly to it and let it type what I dictated. I'm having lots of fun in the meantime . . . and I'm learning to speak very distinctly. Another couple of weeks and I'll be ready to broadcast the evening news!

Happy New Year, Shelia! I'm in the Central zone, too, and that is really weird, watching New York ring in the New Year when it's 11PM. I picked up a Chicago station to watch it locally at midnight.

Rhonda, I had a few problems with Dragon not recognizing my New York accent. That is kind of funny, when you think about it, that your husband and Roslyn have no problems.

Thanks for posting, all!