Can Dragon Naturally Speaking enable you to throw away your keyboard and control your computer with just your voice? Basha consultant, Rose Rowland, a newly certified Dragon Naturally Speaking reseller, tries a week without her keyboard to see how far the limits of spoken technology can go.
I have been typing for a VERY long time. Just to give you a sense of how long, when I first took typing in high school, we all worked on manual typewriters and only the very best were allowed a shot at the fancy new electric IBM Selectrics. Now you can go play a guessing game about my age (no, not THAT old!).
Therefore, entering the world of computers and keyboards was no great challenge to me. I have never, however, up until this point had the wizard-like option of talking to my computer and having it do what I tell it to do. So, Harry Potter fan that I am, I was eager to try Dragon NaturallySpeaking.
Having passed my exam, I decided to spend a week with the Dragon.
On Monday, I started. First impressions. Much like wizarding skills, working with Dragon is exceptionally cool but mastering it does require a degree of patience. Not because the program is difficult to learn-far from it. It is one of the most easy to master out-of-the-box products I have seen recently, The difficulty stems more from the wizard than the wand. However, if you can stick with it, I am assured that it can speed up your work considerably. I can already tell that my searches, whether on the Web or in my computer are considerably faster using Dragon Soft. Check back tomorrow for my further adventures talking back to my computer.
NOTE from SETH: While working with “text” is easy, navigating the commands of a new program can be challenging. Your friend is the “mouse grid” command. Before you go on long adventures, be sure to keep a hand “command” guide at your ready or say “What can I say?”