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Dragon 12 my thoughts

Posted by Darrell Hyatt on August 13, 2012

Hello welcome to the enabling abilities to appear podcast. I have recently upgraded to Dragon naturally speaking premium version 12, as I’m sure many of you existing Dragon NaturallySpeaking users have also done.

I have been Dragon user since about version 4 of the software and absolutely love the software, the more I use it the more I find it incredible and this latest version is no exception.

There are a great deal of enhancements in it not only in terms of the options that you have as an end-user but also in the performance of the software itself. One of the biggest things that I’ve found useful is the fact that they enhanced the web-based use of the product, for example you have much better control over using your web browser both Internet Explorer version 9 and above as well as Firefox I believe it’s version 12 and above and then Google Chrome as well.

They’ve enhanced the ability to search, they’ve also enhanced the use of Dragon when it comes to programs such as Gmail and Hotmail and since I use Gmail exclusively for my email, for both personal and business use I found this a very useful enhancement for me.

The dictation works much better, much cleaner much fewer mistakes in Gmail then in previous versions. Another feature that I particularly like is the dictation box where if you’re on a form or something that does not give Dragon total control over the text box Dragon will now bring up what it calls dictation box and you can dictate your text or your response to the text box into their dictation box and then there’s a button at the bottom of the box which says transfer and then it transfers whatever you dictated into the dictation box into that text field.

Now this makes much greater control and much more flexibility in terms of being able to enter text in fields on websites and so on, I found it very useful and a feature that I’m glad they’ve added.

I also found that I like their new interactive training format, it’s much more intuitive much more informative for the end-user. However I did find some of the examples in their interactive training did not work for me, and I don’t know whether it was just my particular voice that day or what the scenario was.

But overall I love the program and since I’ve also recently upgraded my computer to a much higher end machine I’ve found that some of the commands in previous versions of Dragon that did not work i.e. some the office Natural Language Commands had been disabled.

When I installed Dragon due to the system that I had, have now all been enabled and that as well has enhanced the performance of Dragon. I noticed over all the response time of Dragon as you dictating is much better, the error rate is much lower as your dictating I’m not correcting nearly as many mistakes as I dictate and therefore my productivity has gone up significantly.

I do recommend that you spend the time and do an initial training and setup, it will enhance your overall usability of Dragon NaturallySpeaking. I would be interested in hearing from other users of Dragon how they find this new version in comparison to earlier versions that they have tried.

If you have any comments or questions please feel free to email me at darrellh @enablingabilities.com you may also visit my website which is www.enablingabilities.com Thank you very much.

Happy Holidays 2011

Posted by Darrell Hyatt on December 11, 2011

It’s the holiday time again and I would like to take this opportunity to wish everyone the best of the holiday season whatever that means for you. In my case it means spending time relaxing, doing things with friends and family that I don’t get a chance to do as often as I would like.

This holiday season may indeed have a lot of hustle and bustle, things that we all think that we have to do but the thing that I always try to remember at this time of year when things get hectic is what’s the real meaning of this time of year.

For me it means being with those that I love and want to spend as much time as possible with. Once again I wish you all the happiest of holiday seasons and I hope you get the opportunity to do all the things that you like to do with the people who are most important to you.

I also hope that 2012 is a good year for you with everything you want and would wish for. Thank you very much.

Have I outgrown my software

Posted by Darrell Hyatt on June 12, 2011

Welcome to the enabling abilities to appear podcast. How do you know when you’ve outgrown your adaptive technology hardware and software, this is a question that many people face at different times.

This is an important question and there are many factors which may lead you to feel like you’ve outgrown your adaptive technology and need a more advanced or different solution. Some of the keys that I found to answering this question, does your existing equipment do what you need to do in the most efficient and effective way for you.

If the solution works well in the beginning and now you’re having to fight with it, or your having to do things differently than you did six months ago, three months ago, or even a month ago it may be time to look for an update to what you have now, a fix or workaround which may be out there already that would be my first suggestion is check for an update to see if it will fix the problem which are currently having.

If you are faced with I have reached the limit of what the program will do for example, if you have word abbreviations and expansions and you’re only allowed to store say 10,000 of them within your existing program and you have need of more than that 10,000 then this may be an indication that you’re ready for a different piece of adaptive technology or a different solution than one you’re currently using.

It may also be that the features that you need and functions that you need now are not available in the current software you’re using due to for example, you are now going to school and you need speech capability and your existing software does not provide that, or does not provide that to the degree which you need then again it may be time to look for another solution.

Now the question is do I look for a separate solution to meet this one particular need that I have and use my existing software for everything else, or do I look for one complete solution that does the speech as well as everything that I have in the equipment that I’m currently using.

This is a question that you yourself as the user are the only one who can answer that question. Having multiple solutions for each of you needs may be cumbersome and hard to work with, instead of one single solution that does everything. however it may be difficult to find one solution or piece of equipment that does everything. Some experimentation and exploration on your part will be the key to finding the solution or solutions that works best for you.

If you have any questions, comments, or concerns please feel free to e-mail me at darrellh@enablingabilities.com you may also want to check out my website which is www.enablingabilities.com. Thank you very much.

Gmail & Dragon Naturally Speaking do not talk to each other

Posted by Darrell Hyatt on May 12, 2011

Welcome to the enabling abilities to appear podcast. As many of you know I use Dragon NaturallySpeaking to do the majority of my dictation work as well as create the transcripts for all of my podcast.

One of the other things that I used Dragon for exclusively is doing my text entry for my e-mails, and recently I switched to using Gmail as my main program for email because of the fact that it allows me mobile access to all of my e-mail accounts when I’m away from my office teaching and so on.

The other day I had received an e-mail and I wanted to the reply to it, when I tried to use Dragon for writing the reply I found it didn’t work at all, in fact I got very unusual results I went into a variety of different programs based on saying very common things that had nothing to do with the other applications that got started.

This got me thinking and I went in to Google Docs started a text document tried using Dragon and it worked very very well. I also went into the Google spreadsheet and tried entering numbers and so on, and once again it worked reasonably well.

There were some mistakes were made in the spreadsheet but over time I’m sure that with some training I couldn’t correct those types of errors which again told me that it’s not Dragon potentially that may be the problem.

But for the most part I’m very surprised that this did not work given the popularity of remote mobile applications such as e-mail, document creation, presentation creation and so on.

I’m not sure what the answer is in the case of Gmail, I do know however that I have tried Dragon with Microsoft Outlook and with Mozilla Thunderbird and in both those applications Dragon worked well.

Hopefully this situation can be resolved so that I don’t have to switch to another e-mail program yet again. I will keep you posted and I would certainly like to hear from anyone else who’s encountered this problem or something similar.

If you have please leave me a comment, feel free to visit my website is http://www.enablingabilities.com Thank you very much.

Wordq first look

Posted by Darrell Hyatt on March 31, 2011

Hello welcome to the enabling abilities to appear podcast. I’ve been evaluating a program called wordQ the program is for word expansion, abbreviation and completion.

The software is very good has several interesting features that I’m very impressed with, the program works well in the environment that I was testing it in. I are used it for about a week and a half just experimenting looking at the various things the program does.

One of the things that I really liked was the fact that you could create your own abbreviation expansions so if you got words and phrases that you use a lot for example your name, your address, your e-mail address all those kind of things you can create your own abbreviations and over time you would learn those and that would just become second nature.

The other thing that I liked the in the word list as your typing and it comes up with the five or six words that it thinks you may be thinking of, you can customize that in ways such as the font you want to use for the words. you can also customize the number of words that appear on the list you have complete flexibility on items such as how many spaces to leave after a period, one or two. You can also have it set to auto capitalize the first word in the next sentence.

This program is also designed with speech capability and reading capability in other words as your typing you can have it speak the words that you are typing, you can also set it if you don’t want to speak every word it will speak complete sentences and then it’s got the reading feature where if you select text and click the read button using a variety of computer voices it will read the sentence or the text that you selected.

Which is great for those of us who are not writers and who have difficulty with English and does what I’m writing sound correct and sound the way I want. Using the read feature you can have the software read it for you, so for someone like me who is not a writer it gives me the opportunity to listen to what I’ve actually written and so I’m able to pick up quite a lot of my errors in terms of I have used the wrong word, I typed a word twice all those kind of things and so it makes the overall product of my writing much better.

Over all I love this program and the one downside that I would say is there’s an add-on-for this program called speakq which is a voice recognition add on which allows you to speak and the software will convert your speech to text.

The problem I have with this is that it has to be a separate add-on for the program. I use a program called Dragon NaturallySpeaking for my voice recognition and I’m not able to use the Dragon software in conjunction with the wordq software.

If I want the voice recognition part I have to go with the speak q which means that I would have to learn an entirely new piece of software. But as I say overall I’m very impressed with the program and like its overall function.

If you have any comments, questions or concerns please feel free to e-mail me at darrellh@enablingabilities.com you may also want to visit my website which is www.enablingabilities.com. Thank you very much.

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So much information !

Posted by Darrell Hyatt on January 28, 2011

Hello everyone I don’t know about you but I’m finding that there’s so much information available out there today in a variety of places such as the Internet and so on that I’m finding I’ve got information overload, and yet as I try and sort through the information that is on the Internet on blogs and in various places that I visit regularly.

There’s so much of it that I would like to keep for future reference or ideas for projects things like that, for the longest time I wondered how could I captured this information and keep it readily available and yet make it easy to update as more information or new information came along.

I’ve been using the system for a while now that I thought I would take this opportunity to share with you because I’m finding it quite effective as well as simple to start and simple to maintain. The best news is you probably already have everything you need because the solution that I’ve implemented is to simply use my word processor which in this case is Microsoft Word version 2010.

I create a document and then as I find articles and information that I want to store I simply copy that information with any headings and so on from the article into word and I make the article title a heading two item in word and then I have categories for information say on Windows, a section on Word, another one on Excel.

Several other categories that I use based on for example the programs I teach and so on but the categories are totally up to you based on your needs and I make those a heading one and I start each of the new heading one items on a separate page.

Then what I do to tie all of this together at the begin of the document is to create a table of contents and then using the table of contents you can select to have the table of contents show your heading one heading two and heading three items and that way when you create the table of contents it will then list all your heading one items and then any heading two items are below that so you end up with a very nice table of contents.

Using the table of contents you can simply click on any item and you will go right to that article and then as I put articles in to this document I then save it which updates everything and that I simply store this document on my desktop which makes it very easy for me to access so what I’m looking for any of the information I can quickly flip through the table of contents to see if what I’m looking for is there.

If it is I click on the item and I go directly to it and I can refer to it as often as I want and with this created I now have a way to store valuable information and this can be quickly and easily updated, I can also put it on a flash drive if I need to take this document with me anywhere so it’s very versatile and easy to maintain.

I hope this tip is helpful to you if you have any comments questions or concerns please feel free to e-mail me or leave a comment add to the bottom of this post.

Thank you very much.

Note Each time you add something to the document you must update the table of contents before saving the document for the change to the table of contents to take effect.

Happy Holidays

Posted by Darrell Hyatt on December 7, 2010

The holiday season is here and I wanted to take this opportunity to wish everyone the best of the season and may it be everything that you want and more. No matter how you celebrate this happy time of year I just hope that it is everything that you want and more, I look forward to spending time with friends and family catching up and enjoying some of the festive things that we as a family like to do.

I also want to take this opportunity to spend more quality time with my wonderful wife who is as always there and we never seem to spend as much time together as we like because of our hectic schedules and everything else, the same as many of you.

This time of year gives us a chance to slow down regroup and realize how privileged we are and how many things we have to be grateful for. I want to slow down and recharge my batteries and make 2011 my best year both professionally and personally the best it can be.

I look forward to interacting and working with many of you in the new year so I will close simply by saying have a happy holidays and may 2011 be a wonderful and prosperous year for you. Thank you very much

Tips on using a voice recorder with Dragon Naturally Speaking 11

Posted by Darrell Hyatt on November 7, 2010

Welcome to the enabling abilities to appear podcast. I wanted to talk about using a voice recorder with Dragon Naturally Speaking version 11, in earlier versions of Dragon Naturally Speaking using a voice recorder was not all that good for recognition.

However after some experimentation with the new version of Dragon I am pleasantly surprised at the results. There are a few things that would be helpful to know for those people just starting out with Dragon and attempting to use a voice recorder.

First of all I found that I had to create a new user profile for my voice recorder because the one that was transferred over from an earlier version of Dragon Naturally Speaking did not seem to work properly, I couldn’t get it to allow me to transcribe a recording that had been previously saved on my computer.

So after taking the time to create a new user profile I was able to transcribe a recording, one of things I also found was holding the voice recorder close to your mouth does definitely enhance the recognition, as opposed to having the voice recorder some what further away or even using a clip on microphone attached to your voice recorder didn’t work well either.

You will want to have the voice recorder set at its highest and best recording level to get the best output possible. I also noticed that you will still have to do some editing of the transcription file it’s not 100% and it’s certainly not as good as using a regular microphone with Dragon Naturally Speaking.

But if you’re a person that uses a voice recorder extensively having this feature will definitely allow you greater flexibility in the work that you do and the amount of dictation you get transcribed using Dragon, overall I think it’s a useful feature and many people will benefit from it.

If you have any comments, questions, or concerns please feel free to e-mail me at darrellh@enablingabilities.com you may also visit my website which is www.enablingabilities.com Thank you very much.

Dragon 11 First Look

Posted by Darrell Hyatt on September 29, 2010

Hello welcome to the enabling abilities to appear podcast. I have started using Dragon Naturally Speaking version 11 which came out recently, in the time that I’ve been using it which I must admit is fairly brief at this point there are a few things that I thought would be of value to those of you who are Dragon users.

The first thing I found is that the recognition is greatly increased from version 10 which was very much better than previous versions. I also found if you are a previous user of version 9 or version 10 your user files can be directly imported over and used in Dragon 11 so you don’t have to re-train the software to be able to use it.

Previous versions that I’ve used have been the preferred version of the software with version 11 however, I’m using the professional version which has many more functions than the preferred version. One of which is I can save the audio file of my dictation to have someone else actually correct the dictation by listening to my audio as I dictated it.

This would be useful if you’re having someone else do your correction of your dictation, I would however like the ability to be able to separate the audio from the dictation and go ahead and then edit the audio file as a separate file it would make doing podcast much simpler because I could end up with the text as well as the audio file for the podcast itself all-in-one step.

But at this point that is not available Dragon 11 apparently works much better with portable recorders. I’m in the process of testing this particular feature at the moment and I will talk about that in a follow-up podcast which will be out shortly.

If you have any comments, questions or concerns please feel free to e-mail me at darrellh@enablingabilities.com you may also want to visit my website which is www.enablingabilities.com. Thank you very much.

Ibooks (reading with Ipad)

Posted by Darrell Hyatt on August 29, 2010

Hello and welcome to the enabling abilities to appear podcast I. found a rather interesting application for my ipad  recently, it’s one that I have looked at before and had not bothered to actually install and use because I thought I would have to pay for a lot of the items.

The application that I’m referring to is the iBooks application, this is a book reading application and when I first looked at it I thought there not that I have any free books so I won’t bother tying up space on my ipad.

Well I looked at it recently and found that there was a wealth of free books available on almost any topic you want and even if you’re looking at a paid book they are the same cost as if you had gone out and purchased them from a bookstore.

However I find having books on my ipad much more convenient, much easier to read because I can adjust the size of the text on the page which makes it easier for me to read.  There’s also the convenience of having the books available to me any time anywhere as long as I have my ipad with me which has now become an indispensable item.

When I looked through the list of free books I found that a lot of be classics such as Moby Dick, Three Musketeers, Grimms Fairy Tales, The Art of War, The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes were all available.

This leads me to the thought that having an ipad with iBooks may be particularly useful for children and teens with disabilities who have difficulty manipulating a book, and have difficulty say turning the pages or even holding onto an actual physical book.

Having an ipad with these books loaded on it may make it significantly easier and more enjoyable for these individuals to actually sit down and read the books which in turn will open up new worlds and new possibilities for them.

Overall I think the iBooks application is a very good one it’s very well-thought-out and is a good tool for anyone who likes to read and likes to have that material readily available to them any time they need it.

if you have any questions, comments, or concerns please feel free to e-mail me at darrellh@enablingabilities.com.   you can also visit my website which www.enablingabilities.com.  Thank you very much.