Monday, June 25, 2012

Dragon Naturally Speaking Update

A few weeks ago I noticed that my microphone was not working correctly with my Dragon NaturallySpeaking software. The problem was every time I move my head the word 'him would appear in the text. Because th became a regular occurrence I decided that there was probably something going wrong with the headset, possibly a loose wire or similar fault.This I then decided to buy a new headset from

I opted for a USB headset  because many reviewers said that dragons interpretation of the spoken word improved dramatically with a USPS headset.
Plugging in the headset I found that I needed to reconfigure Dragon for a new user setting up a new profile and going through the original speech and level quality tests had used several months ago . I also took the opportunity to change the region settings on the menu in order to cover for my English accident rather than taking and American English setting which had been set initially with my first user profile.

 I have found in the last 10 days or so using the new settings and also the new headsets a dramatic decrease in the number of problems which I encounter . I nowfind that I am able to speak faster than I was before and Dragon is able to correctly interprets my speech patterns . I am not sure if I lost all the information from my previous user profile, but many of the problems I had encountered previously are now a thing of the past.

A valuable tip then is to check that your settings are set for the correct region for your accent. Do not accept the default American English setting if you don't have a full blown American accent. Use your home region, your original accent to give you the best results.

You can find a wide range of Dragon Naturally Speaking Software for English, French and Spanish at The Low Vision Store

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Masters Degree Update

This has been a tense week.

Last Saturday, June 2, I posted my final paper for my class, Seminar in US History I. The class was the fourth in my Masters degree classes and covered my favorite period of US History, basically everything up until the end of the Civil War.

My final paper was a literature review. A very different paper to the Research papers I have been doing even up till March this year. It seems National University moved more towards the literature review in April and so this was my first Literature Review style paper.

My topic was the "Rights of Englishmen" in causing the Revolution. The debate at the time of the Revolution was that the Colonists had a right to proper treatment under English Common Law but for the English themselves the Colonies were beyond the jurisdiction of English Common  Law as it was described at the time.  This enflamed fears of colonists that the British would treat the Colonies as mere provinces and not guarantee what they saw as traditional rights.

I thoroughly enjoyed researching the paper. Even though in the middle of the four week class I reached the depths of my blindness. The laser surgery occured in the second week of class, the massive swelling of the retina in the third.

My original draft was late and though it was accepted without penalty, it only rated a B. Reading was tough, and more than a few times I wanted to cry at the end of a reading session where nothing seemed to work out.

In the end however the final paper and all my posts were in. At the end of week 3 I had a high "B" grade going for me. It looked as if my run of forty-three "A" grades was about to come to an endd.

Luckily I knuckled down and made one final push. Hitting a 97% on the final draft of the paper and 98% on my final posts was enough to push me over the 90% overall grade for the class.

My record of straight "A" grades remains good for yet another class.