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Dragon NaturallySpeaking gives me a Helping Hand – Review

 

Dragon Naturally Speaking Logo

Before I get going on this post, I want to let you know that as I was finishing up my post, I saw something on Dragon NaturallySpeaking Facebook page & I felt that I just had to share this with you: TODAY ONLY (11/29/12) Dragon Home Home Edition is on Sale for today only at 50% off!  here is the link and while you are thinking of getting this, consider that it comes now with a free gift of Family Tree Maker Genealogy Software and a free headset! Look for the “Home Holiday Bundle” on their website. :)The sale is not on the version I am working with, but it hits all the basics…the sale is on the Home Edition. I am using the Premium Edition which adds on Social Media Features and more.

Have you heard of Dragon NaturallySpeaking, the software that has voice recognition and will type for you? Let me tell you some about my history with it as well as my newest version that I have received for a review.

Hi folks, back in the 90’s (about 1996) I was given a gift by 2 online friends that I love to chat with online. My friends Keith and Sharron sent me Dragon NaturallySpeaking (version 2 I believe) when the problems with my Neck (resulting in terrible pain in my shoulders, arms and hands as well as my neck) got best of me. I began spending a lot less time online chatting with my friends as a result. Since Sharron’s son Michael has a terrible disability himself, Keith and Sharron knew of a great solution for me, they knew that my disability had already cut into my social life with the chronic pain and not everyone understanding it so well (people can start to disappear in your life as a result of a disability and worse yet having several invisible illnesses didn’t make it easier for people to understand)… my online friends sent me a wonderful gift in the mail one day and it was Dragon NaturallySpeaking.

When I received Dragon NatuallySpeaking, back then, it was a new product and speech to text was a new technology, but I have to say it was still a big help as I continuously trained the program. I loved the program so much and it was such a huge help. Since getting back to being online more and more once again, I really have missed my Dragon and needless to say my injury to my neck that causes the nerve pain going down my shoulders, arms and hands hasn’t gotten better, nor has the chronic pain gotten any better over the years, as a matter of fact it’s gotten worse. I admit it, it has been difficult to work on the blog and think through my reviews and giveaways as my dyslexia also gets harder to control when my pain level is up.

Nuance LogoI contacted Nuance the makers of Dragon NaturallySpeaking and asked them if they would be interested in a review from me, since I had previously used their product when it had first come out. I was tickled pink when they wrote back and said that they wanted to send me a demo copy! Yay Nuance you are truly my hero’s, thank you thank you! 🙂

You have choices with Dragon Naturally Speaking, from the basic Home Edition, Premium Edition and Dragon Dictate for Mac. I will be talking about the Premium Edition in my review.

I received my Dragon shipped to my house in great condition, I received version 12 Premium Edition of dragon, it now even includes a headset complete with your microphone. Then I noticed that it now has a tutorial, I don’t recall Dragon having that in the past. but lets face it it’s been years since I last had Dragon.

The install was easy, I went with the full install, I just didn’t feel like messing with the program typical settings by using the advanced settings for it to adjust it to my liking, as I usually do with programs. Hey and anyway I can tell you this way about what the full install works like, perhaps later I will adjust what programs I have installed.

When you finished installing, expect to register, validate your program and account with Nuance. Then it will take some time, but you have all the help you could want to create your Profile for Dragon. The software will check out your audio devices, microphone etc…

Did you know that you can not only use your microphone to speak to Dragon, but you can also use an external recording device send the recording to your computer and use that to have Dragon Transcribe for you? Well, it’s not recommended in the beginning… remember Dragon does need you to use it via the microphone as you and Dragon both learn together… but wow, how cool is that?

Later on you will begin Training your Dragon (hmmm sounds rather like a movie I once saw… lol … yes some of us old people that are young at heart still like children’s movies!). In this step you can pick one of the texts to read, I decided to start off with the top most one, the easiest and I went back to this later, training it with more. Oh and I was tempted to do the teenage reading on the very bottom it was a fantasy text… that is more like me. lol I will get to that one eventually.

The program then uses your documents and emails to check for your usual writing style and add names from contacts too! I changed some of my documents on my computer to txt files for Dragon to read since I am using Open office and Thunderbird (open source free programs) currently there are some limitations on what Dragon will use for your writing style, but it does recognize these programs when you go to dictate to them which was a wonderful surprise. 🙂

Oh and speaking of surprises… I forgot to tell you something… and I bet you were wondering about this as you’ve been reading my review.  I am currently using Dragon to post this review and I have to say it’s really nice that it has tools for use with the most popular browsers out there… in Firefox (the browser that I use) a nice little area with common commands comes up, like a cheat sheet. A little dictation box comes up for use and then when you are done (I do this in increments as a habit … do you know SASO? (SASO means Save And Save Often and is a great tip for when you are using a new program or you worry about losing your work).

The biggest problem with using Dragon? Is ME! I am not used to dictation yet, so I admit as I learn to think in this new way, I am sometimes going in and correcting a lot by voice. I do have faith that this old dog here (me) can indeed learn new tricks.. after all my 11 year old fur kid (Mr. Peanut my dachshund) can, so why can’t I? Since you can correct via voice it does save on the arms and hands, however I get frustrated with myself and cheat using my keyboard and mouse instead at times… yes you can do that too. But I will tell you the more you use the voice dictation the easier it gets and you are cheating when you do this by hand and as the saying goes for test cheaters, the only one you are cheating is yourself… and this is so very true when you are trying to learn Dragon.

I love how well Dragon recognizes my voice, how easy it is to work with… I tell you if you tried it years ago at the birth of voice recognition in the 90’s you will be so surprised at the wonderful advancements made in the program. Dragon continues to grow and develop into a very user friendly program and I was so very surprised at the advances Nuance made in the development of the program, the product was perfect on first use right out of the box… simply amazing! 

I love the way this program has helped me I hurt myself years and years ago and I am currently in a chronic flare that has been going on for a month, I made the pain in my neck, shoulders arms and hands worse by trying to paint walls for a review recently, and then as it was starting to settle down I over did it with my preparations for a lovely Thanksgiving Dinner with my parents visiting Rick and I. I should know better but I am a Taurus and I get stubborn when I get my mind set on something. What Dragon is allowing me to do today? I am sitting here with a sling on my one arm and ice on my shoulders right now… I flared up the other shoulder by over compensating for the one in pain. Anyway I can sit back, relax, let myself heal some and still get my work done!

 

OH yes and guess what? 50% off Home Edition with Gifts Today only 11/29/12 (I am so glad I spotted this on their facebook page today so I could share it with you), $49.99 for Dragon, what a bargain especially since it also comes with special gifts of the Family Tree Maker Geneology Software and a microphone headset! You can find the link at the top of this post. So if you have wanted one for yourself or know someone that would/could use this now is the time to order. I have to wait for my husband to get home and see if he wants a copy for his computer since he’s now blogging too and has been watching me use mine and sounded tempted to get one of his very own.

Disclaimer:
Mariah Lockwood personally reviewed this product. I received a Demo Copy of Dragon NaturallySpeaking from Nuance for this product to test. I was under no obligation to review it if I so chose. Nor was I under any obligation to write a positive review or sponsor a product giveaway in return.. All opinions are mine and belong to me solely. My thoughts and opinions may differ from yours. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commissions 16 CFR, Part 255 Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising. The photo’s used in this review were provided by Dragon Naturally Speaking (website and their facebook page).

 

Pain Relief the Natural Way with Noxicare – Review and Giveaway

I have had the privilege of trying an exciting new (to me) product that is Natural Noxicare for pain relief folks and I am so happy to say that at the end of this review we will be giving away 2 of the same product, one per winner! Yay!

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