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Cheap Dragon speech-to-text software


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http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... _-05032010

If you use a checklist report, this won't interest you. But if not, here's your chance to try this for a really piddly amount of money. This version of the software is slightly different from what I use, but I think the main difference is probably the exclusion of web-navigating commands. (I don't use those anyway) But don't take my word for it; check it out yourself.

If you are even vaguely interested in speeding up Word docs, narrative report writing -- or even lengthy emails -- you should try this out. Just be prepared to invest an equivalent amount of money in a decent mic for best results. Google "microphones for use with Dragon" and you'll learn all you need to know. Throw away the included one.

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That's a good deal. I'm using Dragon and it's getting better and better as time goes by.

What kind of mic do you use Kevin?

Wired mic is a Logitech Clear Chat Pro. It's a USB model. Works fine, but the wire can be a little bit annoying at times. I recently bought an Asus Travelite HS-1000W (($29 after rebate) and it works really well, although the battery life seems suspect. It does seem a little flimsy, but on the plus side it folds up into a nice, small travel case.
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Kevin,

Did you find that there was a learning curve associated with the transtion from typing to speaking? I find it very, very odd to compose with my voice. It just doesn't feel right. It's as if my fingers are part of the thought process. Did you have a similar experience? If so, how did you overcome it?

- Jim Katen, Oregon

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Kevin,

Did you find that there was a learning curve associated with the transtion from typing to speaking? I find it very, very odd to compose with my voice. It just doesn't feel right. It's as if my fingers are part of the thought process. Did you have a similar experience? If so, how did you overcome it?

- Jim Katen, Oregon

Major ditto on that!

I've been hesitantly trying to transition to Dragon for a several months now. Whenever I start dictating, the words don't flow nearly the same.

Talking and writing are totally different brain functions for me it seems.

I'd also be interested to hear how others cope with the differences.

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Kevin,

Did you find that there was a learning curve associated with the transtion from typing to speaking? I find it very, very odd to compose with my voice. It just doesn't feel right. It's as if my fingers are part of the thought process. Did you have a similar experience? If so, how did you overcome it?

- Jim Katen, Oregon

Major ditto on that!

I've been hesitantly trying to transition to Dragon for a several months now. Whenever I start dictating, the words don't flow nearly the same.

Talking and writing are totally different brain functions for me it seems.

I'd also be interested to hear how others cope with the differences.

I've dictated over 13,000 inspection reports with no boilerplate or software. I've dictated at least 2/3rds that number of other documents.

Try this: Put your pictures and notes in front of you and speak into a recorder. Don't touch the pause button and force yourself to keep the sentences going without saying ummm, ummm, ummm. Your brain will eventually shift gears (reprogram) and I'm sure you'll quickly find it easier than typing. "Good reports should be written as if you're speaking to your client". There's no better way to accomplish this than "speaking" the report.

I can't understand relying on software though. I e-mail my dictations to a typist and it's completed in usually 1 to 1.5 hours. She fixes my grammar, checks the spelling, questions contradictions and often types what I meant to say.

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Kevin,

Did you find that there was a learning curve associated with the transtion from typing to speaking? I find it very, very odd to compose with my voice. It just doesn't feel right. It's as if my fingers are part of the thought process. Did you have a similar experience? If so, how did you overcome it?

- Jim Katen, Oregon

I had no problems at all adapting to it. In fact, it was strangely fun to use at first -- kinda like a combination new toy and new tool. It's pretty entertaining at first to watch the words magically appear on the screen. The increase in speed is significant, and it makes handling busy days far less stressful.

For me, it's not that different from speaking to the client on-site, or speaking to anyone, for that matter. You simply have to form your thoughts prior to speaking.

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I'm such a terrible typer that getting used to Dragon was worth it. It didn't take me too long. With typing I have to look at the keyboard and I never took the time to train myself correctly.

Like Bill said, with Dragon I can look where I want and speak. At pictures, at notes, at the screen, doesn't matter. Just think first, then speak. I turn the automatic punctuation off and add it manually. That way I can speak half sentences, pause and continue the sentence after additional thought.

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