Over the past year I’ve noticed that my hands and wrists are becoming sore from typing. Not just the soreness from overuse but there’s been some nerve pain too. So I started looking up speech recognition software on the Internet, reading reviews and talking to friends who use them in their offices.
I didn’t hold out much hope for me in the speech recognition department because my SIRI always wants to order me a pizza when I ask her to ring my friend Elise.
The one everyone recommended was Dragon Speaking so this morning I went down to Officeworks and brought it. At $249 it wasn’t cheap. It’s cheaper on the internet but my hands didn’t want to wait. As soon as I got home I downloaded it onto my computer. No problems. I did the tutorial. I found it easy to follow.
And then I put it through its paces. I’d been working on a story that needed the last bits of editing done. There were a few little teething problems. Mine, not its. My problem was not knowing what the commands were to move the mouse up or down, how to delete certain words, how to select words. As I worked through the help menu or the sample commands in the instructions I started to get into the swing of things. A lot of the commands are intuitive.
After an hour and a half, including downloading and doing the tutorial, I finished editing my story … and I’ve written this blog. It is definitely quicker than typing.
What I have noticed is there is a fine difference in the way I write sentences with speech recognition software. Because the software likes you to speak in sentences I have to form my sentences before I write them rather than let them form AS I write them. Whether this will have any bearing on the way I write I’m not sure yet.
Unlike SIRI, this guy gets me. In that hour and a half he probably only misunderstood five words I said. It’s only early days yet, but I’m looking forward to getting to know him better and to a long and painless relationship.