I recently started using Dragon’s voice to text software to assist me in typing. For those who do not know me, I am afflicted with Muscular Dystrophy which is a disorder that slowly deteriorates the strength of all my muscles. Even my hands and arms are very weak, therefore, causing the act of typing to be a challenge. A few years ago in college, I was able to type papers without getting that tired but it did take me a long time to finish. However, since I graduated in 2013 I started to get exhausted after typing even a few sentences to a paragraph. I figured it was time to utilize this program to get more things done and specifically to help me write my autobiography. I have been working on this book for a few months and have about 25 pages typed so far. I believe that I could have typed more if I did not get so tired but soon I will be typing it at a much faster pace.
Now I would like to review this program and discuss the things I like and that I do not like. The download was very easy even though it was the older, version 10, of Dragon. It only took about 10 minutes and pretty soon I was in the tutorial. For part of the tutorial, I had to read all these different instructions on how to speak to the software and how to use voice commands. There were a lot of instructions and I actually cannot remember all of them. I guess it will take some time to get used to everything. The other part of the tutorial was basically tuning my voice in order for the program to understand me better. So far it has been pretty good but I have to make sure that I say every word clearly. I have experienced some funny moments when it has typed something that I wasn’t even close to saying. I was writing a blog a few days ago about John Brown, the man that basically started the Civil War, and in the beginning of a sentence I stated “Brown’s sons” and it thought I had said “Brown Renaissance.”
The only thing that I really don’t like is that I have to use a headset while I’m speaking to the program. It’s just really uncomfortable to wear for long periods of time and it has given me a headache a few times. I even tried to use the built in microphone on my computer but it did not pick up my voice all that well. I have heard that some people use a standing microphone and that it works well. I will buy this kind of microphone soon and hopefully I can use Dragon more comfortably. Another thing that I don’t like is that the program will not automatically place punctuation. There are certain commands you have to say to insert punctuation. Overall, despite the flaws, I’m very pleased with this program and it will benefit me in a variety of ways. It seems easy to get used to and this would even help me whenever I find a job. Now I’m less nervous about keeping up with my work whether it be at home or in an office.