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Saturday, February 03, 2007

February 3 - Dragon Naturally Speaking 9

This is a totally honest review, of what happened when I received Dragon Naturally Speaking 9 to review... Not quite what I'd been expecting!

dragon9.gifFirst Impressions
Brilliant! The spiffy box arrived at my house just a few days before Christmas. On opening the box, I was greeted by another brown cardboard box, this one more tightly sealed. Inside lay a bubble wrap bag containing two CD pouches with the installation discs inside. A users guide and ‘Quick Reference’ book were also included, along with a wired headset. So far, so good! In goes the disc. Okay, okay… I got through the installation process till the ‘Select a drive to install your copy of Nuance Dragon Naturally Speaking 9 on’, or something like that. I had lots of trouble installing the software, as it was claiming I had insufficient space on my main hard drive. Infact, I had “22.6 GB of free space” on my computer, and I finally got it up and running, after repeatedly retrying to install the software. The installation itself time took a reasonable amount of time and I quickly registered my product with Nuance. (Nuisance! Ahem...)

Training
I did about 30 minutes of training no problem. I was told to read the sentences that appeared on the screen so that the software could ‘calibrate’ my voice pattern. Thinking that everything will be fine, I opened up Dragon’s special dictation software, ‘Dragon Pad’. In the English language, there are a couple of things that are considered ‘standard sentences’.

The Quick Brown Fox Jumps Over The Lazy Hen.
You want to see what Dragon Pad thought I was saying? No, you really don’t… But for the purpose of providing an honest review, I have to post the results. ‘My thick round ox jumped over my daisy’s pen.’ Hmph... All in all, I can type a lot quicker and more accurately than that anyway. Since I was delivered the software, I’ve used it over 20 times. I must have done the training that many times too. The software crashes every single time I use it. I’m kind of fed up now, after many unsuccessful attempts. Okay, my PC isn’t state of the art, but it’s only a year old, and has twice the recommended amount of RAM, and a 3.3Ghz P4 processor, far more than needed to run a program like this.

Overall Impressions
I’m sure that the software really is a good product, and I know it’s had outstanding reviews from many top-class websites, but for me, it’s just not worked out. I’ve had heap loads of problems, and only a few sentences of garbled text and a new Skype headset to show for it. Maybe next time I’ll have better luck...

David Wilkinson, 12-year old geek, signing out!

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8 Comments:

Blogger Timothy Williams said...

That must mean QVC are talking a load of rubbish.

1:51 pm, February 03, 2007  
Blogger David said...

That really wouldn't surprise me... ;)

2:42 pm, February 03, 2007  
Blogger Seshi said...

*Is laughing hysterically at the thick round ox thing*

2:39 am, February 04, 2007  
Blogger David said...

Haha! :D Glad you liked it?

9:04 am, February 04, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dragon isn't designed to cope with Kids voices - really you are voice should have broken for it to work properly.

10:39 am, February 04, 2007  
Blogger David said...

That'll be why then. :) Thanks for clearing it up.

I also heard from a few other people, mainly people who are University students who'd bought this for their studies, that it wasn't working well for them either.

But if you say so...

11:49 am, February 04, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The main acoustic model in Dragon is created based collected ADULT voices (hundreds of hours...). However, when creating a new User Profile, you can choose the "Teens" speech model instead of the default. This enables many schools to let their young students use Dragon successfully.
Also, note that if using Dragon to write a school paper, you'll want to take advantage of Dragon's ability to "tune" its lexicon by processing texts similar to the paper you intend to dictate--by default, the software's language model is geared toward business text (memos, contracts...).

9:39 pm, February 04, 2007  
Blogger Seshi said...

*gigglesnort* Har-di-har. xP
Still, David has an ox! =O
:: o_O;; Less sugar for you, Seshi-sama. ::

11:25 pm, February 04, 2007  

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