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Dragon versus Vista Voice Recognition Battle

Page history last edited by Marin Dell 14 years ago

The Battle Begins:


Battle Background:

My name is Marin, and I am a law librarian.


Last summer, I had the carpal tunnels of both my hands collapse.  One side, the left (and my writing hand) crushed the medial nerve completely and I had....alternatively....(1) a numb left hand or (2) a "feeling like my fingers were on fire" left hand. 


While I waited for my primary care physician to believe this had happened (not easy), seeing a neurologist ("this is not common, but it happens!") and finally seeing THE hand surgeon in town ("let's get this done right away, how about two weeks?"), over a period of about 4 months, I had almost no use of my left hand. 


This impedes typing, working...and other fun things like filling out doctor's forms...considerably.   The neurologist's paperwork was, in a word, illegible.


Fortunately, (thank you, Circuit City's email advertisements) I was sent a very low rate for Nuance's Dragon Voice Recognition Software.  I realized this might be a way to get through the day while I was waiting for the surgeon to be free to chop my hand up.  Along the way, it was mentioned to me (thank you to Jon Lutz) that Vista has a built in voice recognition system.  Between the two programs, I was able to somewhat build up a level of computer work that got me through the surgery period and I am happy to report that my left hand recovered almost immediately from the nerve damage and the surgical cuts are completely healed.


Unfortunately, time fades memory.  So, while I would like to do an accurate assessment of the two programs that really helps everyone understand the use and practical application of these voice recognition software programs, I didn't think I would have a truly accurate recall of what happened last Fall. 


I thought I was thwarted, but my right hand decided to throw itself on it's sword....for the betterment of humanity....and go ahead and crush the medial nerve on the right side completely too, just in time for this post.  Way to go, right hand! ; )


Battle Preparations:

I remember the interesting things, like how Dragon crashes my 160G 2G RAM Netbook, no matter which partition I install it on, and how I can say a word over and over and over in Vista and even though it is a word like "word," I will be forced to spell it...after its constant attempts to understand what I said produce guesses go so far afield from what I originally said...I begin to wonder if somehow it has been set to another language...Greek, for instance.


Therefore, I will start fresh today.  I will reinstall and retrain fully, both the Dragon and Vista software and begin to document my new voice recognition adventures.  I see the hand surgeon this week.  I will know more on Friday how long the battle will rage on...




VoRec Battle preparations continue (4/30/2010):


I continue to make preparations for the Voice Recognition (VoRec) Battle between Vista and Dragon....Ohhhh....

(for those of you who have not seen the South Park Chinpokomon episode...never mind).


So far, I have the dates when things with my right hand will become mission critical.  First, the date of my surgery (May 17th), which will take out my right hand for approximately 2 months.  Coinciding nicely with this is the start of my summer online graduate courses at FSU and the accompanying constant demands on my hand for online posting and other online collaboration.  Fortunately, the Student Disability Services Department (lovely people!) have at their disposal the fully featured Dragon Nuance software, which is much more expensive than my version and with which I can try to determine even more the differences and features of each voice recognition application.


Another thing to throw in the mix is the Droid voice recognition application on my new phone (coming next week).  If it performs, I may decide to let it jump in the fray.



For now, I will go back to trying to figure out why Dragon is crashing my 2G/160G Netbook.  I will be installing a clean copy of Vista over the partitioned XP hard drive (which has been irritating me with how slow it loads an Itunes TV show anyway).


Desperate times call for desperate measures.









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