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I can only speak, literally and figuratively, to part of this thread. More
than three years ago I suffered a stroke which left me without the use of my
left arm. There has never been big market for one-handed writers!
I now use Dragon Preferred NaturallySpeaking 5.0. I used an earlier version
and I also tried IBM Via Voice.
In a nutshell, stick with Dragon; IBM is a cheap, miserable product, IMHO.
Make sure your PC/laptop has a Pentium III CPU at 600-650 mhz or faster. If
you can fit in 256MB of RAM so much the better. Get a top-flight plug-in
microphone and never rely on the cheap built-in microphone of a lap top.
My software usage is basically confined to the MS Office Pro (work/personal)
and Quicken books (personal). With a trackball mouse and my good right arm
I can do most of the editing manually, re-dictating where necessary.
The major concession I have made because of my stroke-impaired vision is
that when I am in Word I use the 14- or 16-point Arial for writing. After
editing I shrink the finished copy to 11-point Courier New.
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----- Original Message -----
From: "Walter Crockett" <walter -dot- crockett -at- informix -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Sent: Wednesday, April 18, 2001 9:56 AM
Subject: OT: Voice-activated software
> Our 15-year-old daughter, Emily, has had a "relatively benign" brain tumor
> for the last nine years that has caused her to lose the use of her left
> and has also damaged her vision to the point that she is legally blind and
> can't read without putting her eyes right next to the text. In addition,
> is very sensitive to glare, so this poses a major problem for reading and
> writing on computer. Finally, she finds it much easier to deal with
> something in her lap, or on the coffee table in front of her, than to sit
> straight in front of a large computer monitor.
> We've tried a variety of tools with no success, including a magnifying
> device that projects the printed word onto a big TV screen, and Zoom Text,
> magnifying software that can also read back what you write.
> software brings its own problems because she can't see what she has
> As part of her special education plan we are trying once again to get
> that might help. The school system will buy her a laptop. We are looking
> into using a software called Preferred Dragon Speak. Has anybody had any
> experience with that? What sort of laptop should we get and how much
> should it have? She's going to have several programs on it, such as
> and music software. Does anyone know of any other features of the laptop,
> other software, that would be good to have?
> Walter Crockett
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