Saturday, April 7, 2012

The Set Up (Me and the Dragon)

At the prompting of my wife I now have a supersecret super awesome project. While it may do terrible things to my grammar and spelling, it opens up a whole new world of writing potential. What is my grandiose scheme you might ask? Simple. Using the power of technology, I will dictate a series of stories.

The above text was all written by speaking into a headset plugged into my netbook.  Pretty damned schnazzy, eh?  Honestly, I would’ve done more, but my wife’s trying to get the baby to sleep and I was told to ‘shhh.’  You can’t shoosh brilliance, sweetheart! 

Although, as I said, it was her idea.  I for one didn’t think it would work.  So far, I have been pretty excited with the abilities.  But come Monday, I’m taking this bad boy out for a field test.

The purpose of this particular project was to try and maximize my time so I’m not always feeling so pressed come 10pm to motivate myself to work and crunch out anything worthwhile.  But at the same time, I have at least an hour and a half commute every day.  This time is spent doing car karaoke and cursing the gods of traffic (You bastards!  You know who you are!)

This seems like a perfect win, right?   Well unfortunately, there are a few drawbacks.

First of all – who actually writes by dictating it?  Sure I can READ a story out loud like it’s nobody’s business, but thinking it up and speaking it out without a visual reference to reread lines that I just wrote is going to be… an adjustment.

Next order of business… anybody wearing a headset while driving down the road looks like a total douche.  I don’t care HOW attractive you are – if you look like you’re telecommuting to your call-center job from the car, it screams nerd.

…and now I understand why my wife thought this was a good idea…

But I digress.  In a week’s time, I’ll post up the results including accuracy and daily word-count for any of those interested.

On the plus side, it’s a relatively cheap investment.  I picked up the Dragon NaturallySpeaking 11 package from for $50.  It came with a headset, but I purchased a KOSS headset best known due to good reviews.  These were marked down to $17 when I purchased them.  Next-I already had an Acer Aspire One D255E with 1.66Ghz atom processor, 1 gig of ram and a 3 cell battery.  (but it was $220 when I got it), but it doesn’t have an external DVD rom.  I grabbed one for $22 (not shown.  Any external DVD rom drive will do)  and finally, I grabbed a car charger – opting for that instead of a bigger battery.  I’d prefer not to go into sleep mode while driving.  The netbook too…

Keep your fingers crossed I can boost productivity here and I’ll let you know how it turns out!

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