Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Adventures with the Dragon

A lot of people ask me what it's like to work with Dragon NaturallySpeaking. They want to know if it requires a lot of tweaking, like going back and fixing typos and how much fun AutoCorrect can be. So I decided that I would do a post that I would not edit. You're going to see my writing in all its Dragony glory.

May the gods help you all.

okay, so it's not that bad. sure, I have to go back and fix punctuation and capitalization far more often than you'd think. And a lot of times I have to add spaces between words, and I have to say things like COMMA to actually make one. And for some reason it consistently thinks that AMARA's name should be shouted. I'm not sure why, but it is a really fond of doing that.

to make new paragraphs you have to say things like "new line" or "new paragraph", and if that's what you actually wanted to type. You have to say it slowly so Dragon doesn't get confused. And I know some people have problems with Dragon not recognizing their accent. I haven't had that issue, although I have had to enunciate a little more clearly than I normally do. And when I get on a roll and the Mary South Philly slips out, Dragon can get a little confused.

Overall though, when my hands really hurt. And the last thing I want to do is move my fingers, Dragon is a godsend. All the little tweaks and fixes are worth it, cause I'd rather type a few words than 2000.

I would have to say for someone who wants to try it, make sure you get it good microphone. It makes a huge difference. As a gamer geek, I have a pair of Logitech G 35 headphones that work beautifully. The microphone is crisp and clear, picks up the sound of my voice really well, and they're comfortable to wear long-term. I can have my music going and not here. The distracting noises of my children and my husband.

I will admit, they aren't cheap. They ranged anywhere from $90 to $130, according to Amazon. but if you're going to be wearing something long-term (like 5 to 6 hours a day), the expense is worth it.however, for the purposes of using Dragon. The main thing is the microphone. Without a good microphone. You might as well be talking to the Cat. so if you do nothing else make sure that the headphones you pick up. Have an excellent microphone.

I have noticed when I hesitate in my speech Dragon will automatically put in a period. As you may have noticed above. One of the lovely things about AutoCorrect is that it tries to figure out your punctuation for you. So you wind up going back and fixing that. I'd say that takes up the largest chunk of my editing time when I use Dragon.

So that's it. That's Dragon in a nutshell. If what you're reading here is making your inner editor want to scream in frustration and break out the red pen, then the program may not be for you. But if you're like me and think that a day of fixing little quirks is worth the lack of pain, then give it a try.


Louise said...

Heehee. I have played around with Dragon! Mainly for my daughter with autism who doesn't like to put pen to paper. Ah, a good gamers mic headset. Takes me back to my WoW raid days. :-)

Carrie Ann Ryan said...

I use Dragon daily and love it. It refused to use my heroine's name, Bay, but other than that, it's really helpful with my RA. Sometimes it gets words wrong, but it's a lot easier to fix that, then cry in pain later when my wrists are burning.

Kallypso Masters said...

Thanks for sharing, Dana! It looks better than I would have expected and I hear the Mac version is better than the PC one (and the free iPad app is better than the two expensive softwares). But I don't have an iPad, so I'm going to try Dragon for Mac and see what happens.

My editorial team may be the ones screaming, tho, if I don't take time to go fix all the capitalization and punctuation.

Thanks again!


Favorite Quotes

"I had the right to remain silent, but I didn't have the ability." Ron White

"So let me get this straight. You want me to kill the little guys, kill the big guys, crowd control those I can't, buff the team, debuff the boss, keep myself alive, AND keep you alive, all while waving a stick and dressed in a towel?" - Anonymous Role Playing Gamer

"I think that statue over there is a statement on modern life. The statement is, "Well, shit." - Varric, Dragon Age II

"Why is it all claws and guns? Can't we piss off a fuzzy planet? Still dangerous, but hey. Bunnies." - Joker, Mass Effect

"Last night, I lay in bed looking up at the stars in the sky and thought to myself, "Where the heck is the ceiling?" - Dilbert

"Aim at the high mark and you will hit it. No, not the first time, not the second time and maybe not the third. But keep on aiming and keep on shooting for only practice will make you perfect. Finally you'll hit the bull's-eye of success." - Annie Oakley

"It is only when you fall that you learn whether you can fly." - Flemeth, aka The Witch of the Wilds, Dragon Age 2

"The very existence of flamethrowers proves that sometime, somewhere, someone said to themselves, 'You know, I want to set those people over there on fire, but I’m just not close enough to get the job done.'” - George Carlin

"I hear there's a wild bridge tournament down the street. And you know Bridge. It's a lot like sex. If you don't have a great partner, you'd better have a good hand." Barry Weiss, Storage Wars

"You know, I used to think it was awful that life was so unfair. Then I thought, wouldn't it be much worse if life were fair, and all the terrible things that happen to us come because we actually deserve them? So, now I take great comfort in the general hostility and unfairness of the universe." - Marcus Cole, Babylon 5, "A Late Delivery From Avalon"

"I aim to misbehave." - Capt. Malcolm Reynolds

"Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid." - Albert Einstein

“If you think you can or think you cannot, you are correct.” - Henry Ford