Monday, August 29, 2011

Hello, Dragon!

Several months ago, I installed Dragon Naturally Speaking, version 11.0 (Premium), on my desktop at the office. I have been working Dragon into my practice since then, slowly but effectively. It is a remarkable program. Its adaptation involves a significant learning curve, but I've made my way up it to a meaningful extent, certainly enough to know that it is for me a very practical and useful innovation.

Recently I discovered that my trusty Olympus Digital Voice Recorder (the DS–4000), when loaded into its cradle on my desktop, can be linked into the Dragon software. Usually, my dictation travels by way of that cradle hookup to our office network. From there, one of the secretaries picks it up for transcription. She can either print out her transciption and walk it back to my office or let me know via email that I can look at it via the network. Now I have learned that instead of sending the recorder's digital file to the office network, I can direct that the Dragon software perform the transcription right my desktop.

This morning, then, I took my dictating device with me on my walk. When I take that walk, which is nearly 2 miles long, my mind is fresh, the blood is flowing through my brain, and all sorts of ideas and plans begin to hatch, especially on a Monday morning when I am well-rested. So as I walked, I dictated a "To Do" list. Later, when I arrived at the office, I popped the recorder into its cradle and had Dragon do the transcribing. I saw the text emerge on my screen before my very eyes. When Dragon completed the work in a matter of a minute or two, I blocked and pasted the Dragon document into a Word document, one that was already pre-formatted for my "to-do" lists. (I could have had Dragon transcribe directly into the Word document, but I am progressing slowly with this.) In just a few more minutes, using the keyboard in the traditional way, I made the list look like the ones that I prepare three or four times during the week to help me keep things straight.

I am interested to know whether any of the other Kith and Kin is using Dragon or is interested in doing so.

(By the way, using Dragon, I dictated directly into Blogger the first draft of this post.)


Sean Meade said...

thanks for this, Paul. i am really intrigued by Dragon. the simple voice-to-text in Android is like magic to me as it is...

Paul Stokes said...

I'll keep you up to date, Sean, via additional posts. Thanks for commenting.