Hiatus

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Updates and new blog posts will be erratic over the next few days due to an injury.

I sprained my wrist in a bicycle accident. It's a first for me, and I was a little surprised how an injury can skip over being painful and go straight to making me nauseous, sweaty, and light-headed.

I would deeply appreciate any tips about dictation software that works well for blogging. Thanks!

22 thoughts on “Hiatus

  1. The problem with Dragon software, is that it takes a lot of time to get it to learn your accent (you can also cheat and use Siri for some of it). I suggest that you use a combination. Use a tool that allows you to have shortcuts for words, i.e. option n = nook etc.. or if you say “your name” it automatically puts in a bunch of text connected to your name. This would speed things up a great deal. To help you get started, run a word map on your web site and create short cuts for all the major words or phrases that pick up.

    Hope this helps.

    Paul

  2. Hi, Mr. Nate, with those symptoms please monitor yourself and have your wife and/or family and friends do so. Do not try to be brave and “gut it out” if you continue to feel like that see a doctor. Listen to your body, my friend. Have a great day.

  3. I use an open source software called Dasher with a trackball much of the time. It is not dictation software, most of that works well on Windows, but I use Linux. Dasher learns what words you use most, and steers you to them. It also allows all punctuation marks. I have used it with both left and right hand mouse and trackballs, too.

    1. I was wondering about the Linux alternatives, Charles. Thanks a lot for mentioning Dasher. Shall go check it out myself. Oh, and get better soon, Nate. ;)

      (Nuance aka Dragon really has the corner on this market in WindowsWorld, sorry to say. No real alternatives.)

  4. The lightheadedness was adrenaline rushing into the system. The body saw the fall and impact as an attack and prepped you for fight or flight. ;)

    Take it easy and keep that wrist close in. If you’re an arm-waver try not to get too excited or you’ll be painfully reminded of the casual dings we routinely shrug off.

    If you can’t find dictation software to your taste (and Dragon would be my suggestion) you could try audio clips… ;)

  5. Get better soon! If you’re a workaholic, why not just start an audio podcast while you’re unable to write? I.e., record what you’d like to say and publish the audio file as a download.

  6. Ugh, get better soon.

    Dragon worked for me when I broke my arm. The only problem with any dictation software is that the thinking process for stuff you dictate is going to be different from stuff you write, because you’re using different parts of your brain to put the stuff down. So you may find you have trouble compositionally even if the software works fine.

    1. I pretty much do all my writing in German, English or French with Dragon NaturallySpeaking. Whilst it’s true that the process is different then when you write with a keyboard, I found that after an initial adaptation period, writing becomes much faster and more fluid (and frankly speaking a lot more fun).
      As with any type of text-production, first you need to map out what you want to write before you actually start dictating. I usually do this by dictating a small bullet point-overview of what I want to write first and then develop from that into a full-blown text.
      The revision process becomes much more important, particularly in the beginning when the programme has not fully adapted to your voice and accent yet. The software has in the beginning some difficulty to decide which of two words to use if they sound similarly but have different meanings.
      This can produce some funny results if you’re not careful (and they are sometimes easy to miss doing revision). The thing to remember is, that you need to dictate full sentences and phrases fluently, not word by word. That way it easier for the software to decide what you actually wanted to write as it takes into consideration the content of your dictate in order to decide what to transcribe.
      Having said that, I have found that, if you engage with the software and use it regularly, after only a very short period of time the results are getting better and better and certainly text is being produced at a much greater speed than if you were typing by hand.
      Hope that helps in your decision making process and best of luck with your sprained wrist.

      PS: this text was dictated and revised with Dragon NaturallySpeaking in less than 10 minutes (and I sometimes have a pretty strong German accent producing extremely funny results!!!).

  7. Nate, I’m a very fast typist & hate dictating, so I feel your pain and your frustration. Hope you feel better soon and heal quickly. As for dictation software. you are probably stuck with Dragon– it’s the best but not great. Example: had you used Dragon to create this post you might very well have announced to the world the painful fracture of your breast! (Actuall Dragon error shown to me by a colleague.)

  8. I use Dragon Naturally Speaking for scientific technical writing pretty successfully. It does take time to train the software and the writer but once that is done, and you leArn to ‘speak’ the punctuation as well, it works nicely. I broke my arm a few years ago when I began to use it, and like it well enough that I’ve continued to use it post injury.

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