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Carol Perkins: How to tame a dragon

Previous Column: Fluffy Sam can't sleep

By Carol Perkins

I bought a Dragon. It is called Dragon Naturally Speaking Home version. When I complained about how much time I spent at the computer, typing and typing (I call it that), a young writer friend suggested this product. At thirty-years-old, he knows technology and I know just enough.

He explained how it worked and I was hooked. I bought a cheap version that was several years behind, but so is my computer. They matched.


I followed the download directions, installing all parts. Next, I had to practice speaking into the microphone on the headset(that came with the kit) so the software could understand my words and print them to a document. Over and over, I said the stated prompt and nothing appeared on the page except a message telling me the voice control could not hear me. I turned up the volume. One out of three words appeared on the page. I could write five books before getting this thing to work.

One of the prompts was "I must practice." I said it until it finally appeared on the page. Guy, who was in the living room, heard me shouting, "I MUST PRACTICE" without knowing the reason. He yelled, "What do you need to practice?" I said something about this stupid software and he said, "Could you practice a little quieter; the UK game is on."

I finally went through stage one and on to the next prompt, which included a comma and a period. By yelling into the headset microphone, the software picked up a few words by now. I had to say, "I need to practice period so the voice would place a period. Then I had another prompt that needed a quote. All of this I am yelling into the microphone with the door to my office shut. However, I hear Guy coming down the hall."

"Why don't you throw that piece of garbage in the trash and get something that cost more than $28. You get what you pay for," he said. "I'm getting jumping with all the periods and commas you're yelling at the computer."

The plug on the front of the computer for the audio might have been damaged when I dropped the computer face first years ago. It certainly crushed one of the two UBS slots. I could use the back, but I have my speakers in the audio slot. I need more slots.

"Get a new computer," Guy said. I don't want a new computer; this one is like being at home. I assured him I would stop yelling while he was in the house. So far, this dragon has done nothing but annoy me. I just haven't tamed it yet.


This story was posted on 2019-03-05 06:18:00
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