Pros: Can type up to 300 words per minute.
Cons: This will still make errors, if you don't watch for them.
Do you ever get tired of typing. Well, I do. I have talked with my wife several times about purchasing something that would type the words that you are saying. That is when for my birthday, she decided to go on-line and search for something in that line, that is when she stumbled across this program called Naturally Speaking 9 by Dragon. Created by Nuance. This is supposed to type approximately 300 words per minute. That is more words than I can read, a long time ago I used to have one but I could not get it to work properly. But that was quite a few years ago I am using this product to do this review. I have found that it is too hard to type it on the Epinions website, and so I am using it on Word Perfect and then I will copy and paste it to the Epinions website. You still have to watch for errors with this. My wife found this at Circuit City for $200, but when she went on-line to the actual website, www.digitalriver.com/nuance/cs . She found that she could purchase this for $150 on this website. It did not take long for us to receive this, a week to 10 days and it came in the mail. They also had a 30 day refund after the date of purchase.
This comes in a regular sized cardboard box, that is yellow and white in color, inside the box you will find a manual and two disks along with a headset. This headset will plug into your computer, and one plug is just for the microphone and the other plug is just for the headset. Both of the plugs and have a little insignia on it to tell you which one goes in which hole. I really don't know why there is one for the headset because there is an ear piece on there, but it does not do anything. This headset is adjustable. So that it will fit anybodys head size. When you talk into this you must keep the microphone about 1 cm close to the side of your mouth for the best results.
I have found that the hardest thing to do with this is trying to decide what to say before it starts typing, you should be the only one in the whole room to get it to work properly. The first thing that you need to do is put this first CD and follow the prompts. If it does not come up automatically. You will have to run the setup exe. Through your computer. Then basically just follow all of the on-screen prompts that they tell you to do. It will ask you if you would like to custom install or use a typical installation. I chose the typical installation since I have never used this before. I decided to let the CD and computer work in conjunction with each other. It will ask you if you would like to do a quick start, intern I also wanted this, it will add an icon on your desk top. So all you have to do is click on it, it looks like a picture of a red dragon. Once this CD is done it will ask you to install the second CD. This is basically simple. It takes a little while to do all of this. But when you are done you will be ready to go. When you are done installing the CDs, you will be asked to plug the microphone in and then of course you will have to create a user-name just like anything else and register the product. This is basically a simple list, following 1,2, and 3. Then you will have to train the program to recognize your voice. You are wonder if anyone else will be able to use this, the one who should have put it on your computer will be the only one that this program will only recognize that person's voice that it is trained to recognize. You can put it on different computers, but it will still only recognize the one voice that is set up to recognize.
All of this information might be a little overwhelming to some people. It was for me, but once I started training with this program. All I had to do was sit there and read what it printed up on the screen. This lasted for about 20 minutes you can keep going and you can keep training further and further if you wish. But as you use this, the more words that this program will recognize. Before you start to dictate whatever it is that you want to say, you must know how to turn the microphone on. All you have to do in that case is to click on the red microphone that is usually located in the upper left-hand part of your screen. Once you have downloaded this software into your computer. There will be a Dragon Bar as they call it, that will pop up when you double-click on the red Dragon. That is where you will see the little red or green microphone depending on if it is on or off. It will take you some time, as it has for me to get used to doing this every time I use this on Epinions website. Some of the words that the computer was picking up would make it do weird things. That is why I always do my reviews on Word Perfect. If this does make a mistake all you have to do is pick the word that is spelled wrong or whatever and say the words select that. Then there were that is spelled wrong will be highlighted in another box will come up with a bunch of versions of different spellings of the word. Then you just say, what is alongside of the correct spelling if the does not happen. And there is no word in the box all you have to do is say spell that, then another box will appear and you can spell the word however you want to spell it. Or you can ask it to un-select that or cap that. In which case, the latter of the two. The computer will capitalize what every you tell it to. You can do this with one word or a whole sentence. The hardest thing that you will find out is that you cannot talk as fast as this thing is typing. You have to know what you are going to say before you had it typed you also had to speak very clearly. Plus you will have to learn all of the commands to navigate this, once you've learned this, in turn is easy to do, I am still learning these basic commands soon. Once you start talking everything you save will appear at the top of your screen first, or in a little box right where the cursor is. The other problem with this is that if you were hardly typing before. This will sure slowdown your learning process on typing without looking at the keys.
Some of the features that this software comes with is the fact that you can put on different computers, but only one person is allowed to use it for loss. You can select different types of languages, just by saying were sent to tell this to turn off all you have to do is to add microphone to that phrase and it was shut down. If you would like to haven't stopped listening to you while you're doing something. Then you just tell it to go to sleep, and when you are ready to start using it again you just tell it to wake up. The basic commands were any punctuation is just tell it whatever you wish it to do. This program is amazing so far I have no problem learning how to use this. I have been using it for about three months and it does just about everything did I ask it to do. I just have to keep checking for errors.
I have found that you can use this for many tasks that you have on your computer. I am in the middle of writing my first novel, and this is coming in very handy. I never thought that it would be that hard to just sit and talk into a microphone and have your stuff typed for you. If you wish for somebody else to use this, you would have to create a new user and start all over again. Plus if you have somebody else is in the room with you, this microphone will not be able to distinguish between your voice and theirs, and intern it will just type whatever it feels like typing and this messes the whole process up. So it is better that you have no one else in the room with you when you are doing this.
What Can I Use This for
I have used this to write letters and send e-mails, post comments. These are just some of the stuff that I have been using it for since I've gotten this. You can also use this to enter information on spreadsheets and forms. You can also use a tape recorder, you can set the headset right along side it to dictate and it will do everything for you. You will still need to use your keyboard and mouse, because sometimes it is just easier to do that. You also are probably wondering what kind of stuff you have to have on your computer to run the software such as the system requirements Intel Pentium 4, 1Ghz processor or greater. They recommend that you have 1 GB of RAM, Windows server 2003, windows XP Pro or windows XP home edition, or Windows Vista home, basic and higher. A minimum of 650 MB of free hard disc space for a custom installation is required. A16-bit Creative Labs Sound Blaster or a compatible sound card capable of and set to 16-bit for audio recording. A CD-ROM drive, a speed or faster is also required plus the other minor stuff that you are probably going to have such as speakers and an Internet connection.
Well, what else can I say about this, I really like my birthday present. There is a lot more information in the manual that I can put in this review. There is so much so that I cannot decide what else to put. All I can say is that you will not be dissatisfied with this investment. I know this is quite a huge investment for some people but for $200 and or even $150, I paid is well worth it if you do the a lot of reviews or writing letters or whatever the case may be. Once you learn how to use this. It will make your life much easier, or your job a lot easier. You just have to keep working with it and keep checking for those errors, because the first time that you dont check for those errors. It will be typing something that you might not wanted it to type. For instance, there were several errors in this review, I would still have to retype or check or put in the proper pronunciation in my review. But it was still well worth it, I would still be typing three hours later, if I did not have this. On a scale of one to 10, I would give this a 10. Unless something else better comes along, I cannot see it beating this.