I’ve
just started to play with a new “toy” that I bought recently. So far, it seems
like it may be one of the coolest computer things I’ve done since I changed
from PC to Mac.

It’s
a software package called MacSpeech Dictate, and the amazing thing is, it
actually works! I’ve used computer dictation software before, and spent far
more time correcting errors than dictating. With this thing it gets it right
first time, pretty much all the time.

I
love gadgets, and in particular, I love gadgets that work and do their job
well. And this seems to be one of those. Although I can type at a reasonable
speed, sitting down at the keyboard is always a bit of a mental block for me.
Looking at the screen and seeing the words that I am saying appear on it, is an
absolute pleasure, and seems to encourage me to write even more.

You
will notice that it is quite some weeks since I have posted anything on my
blog, and the keyboard block definitely has something to do with this. I was
writing quite consistently for a few weeks (or at least a few days), then
stopped and discovered a huge mental mountain I had to climb to get started again!
With this thing, I can actually enjoy putting stuff together, because I can
just talk as I think, and get it down on the page as fast as my mind lets me,
which has always been a problem in the past.

I
don’t know about you, but I find my typing speed is a lot slower than my
thinking speed, and as result I find it difficult to keep up with my thoughts
as I type. That in turn results in my thinking getting bogged down by the typing.
It’s a complete pain in the arse!

Often, I end up writing my piece by
hand, and then typing it into the computer, but my touch typing isn’t good
enough to be able to just read what I’ve written and type as I read, so again
it slows me down and puts me off. I’ve tried dictating a piece I’ve handwritten
using this software, and it works a dream. I can get it into the computer as
fast as I can speak it, which is probably three or four or more times faster
than I can type it!

All this, and I have probably only used
it for less than an hour so far, so I guess as I get to know it, and it gets to
know me and my voice, things will get even better!

It
isn’t perfect, but it is a vast improvement over any dictation software that
I’ve used before. So I’ll be using it to blog from now on, and will see how
regularly I manage to put post as a result. I’ve even got a dictation app by
the same people (Nuance) on my iPhone, so I have no excuse any more not to blog
even when I don’t have my MacBook with me! Check out Dragon Dictation at the
app store, again it seems to work very well, and best of all, it’s free!

Anyone
with experience of these, or other dictation packages, or tips or tricks,
please add your comments below. And that includes pointing out any typos (or should that be speakos?).

 

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