Top positive review
20 people found this helpful
I am an RSI sufferer... and this program works!
on 12 February 2006
For the last year and a bit I have been having a nightmare of a struggle with RSI (mainly tendonitis), and my challenge has been to make my computing comfortable and easy. Typing recently started to really hurt my wrists and arms, I can literally feel the tendons every time I moved my fingers. Not good... not good at all to a 2-years young bloke who loves martial arts and so needs full use of his arms.
I've ordered a goldtouch split keyboard from America, and got it very cheap so i'm looking forward to that arriving as I work as e-mail tech support for an antivirus company.
However, after doing some research I decided I would give voice recognition software a try. Having never used it before I was somewhat dubious as to how well it would work, after all voice recognition software doesn't have a track record as being particularly accurate or user-friendly, does it?
I went out and got myself a copy of Dragon Naturally Speaking 8 after reading lots of positive user reviews on Amazon and another website, and I can safely say the results have been nothing short of amazing.
The program is very easy to use and integrate with just about every application you can think of, whether it be e-mail, instant messenger, forums, or of course good old Microsoft Word. The product claims an accuracy rate of 95% straight out of the box, however, if like me you don't speak the Queen's English and happen to have a slight northern accent then you can expect around 80% to start with.
However, the true magic of this program is in the way it learns. If the program makes a mistake, you simply say aloud: “spell that” and the program analyses the last sentence or word spoken. You can then correct the spelling or tailor the sentence to what you intended, and also click the “train” button to repeat the sentence aloud and thus tell the program to recognise that word or sentence the next time you say it. Although it can be a little bit stop and start at first, gradually as you use the program and training more often, the less you need to correct it.
Another feature of the software is the ability to control computer functions using your voice, from opening folders to copying and pasting or simply accessing the start menu or opening and closing your programs, it allows a great deal of flexibility. Not the be all and end all, but certainly useful.
All in all, I am terribly happy with this product, and it is doing exactly what it says on the tin. I now no longer need to type away at the keyboard at home and my wrists are going to thank me for it!
I recommend it to anyone suffering from RSI or any computer-related injury, who finds typing painful or uncomfortable. It is now a permanent fixture on my hard drive... until the next version that is.
Oh, and did I mention that I used it to make this review?