Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Computer? Take a memo...

Today's post was almost an awesome thing. I've been reading about voice-recognition software, and was totally jazzed to try it. My laptop runs on Vista; the jury is still out about my feelings for it. However, one of the cool things about Vista is that it comes with voice-recognition software -- yippee! And the phones we have here in our house came with the a headset/boom mike, which is the recommended tool for the job. Yipp ... uh oh.

Yeah, I can't find the dang headset. I'm the one who used it last, and I just know that I put it somewhere safe, as I "am wont to do." This means that it won't see the light of day until I no longer want or need it.

The upside of my quick search is that I found the TV remote (control is back in my hands, a-hahahahaha!), the bag where we stuff the grocery bags for reuse, and an unopened package of epoxy. We need this last thing to fix the knob on our dryer, which cracked. Being resourceful, I have an adjustable wrench set to just the right opening to slip onto the stem (or whatever it's called). Now we just slip the wrench on, turn it, and those clothes start a'tumbling.

Back to my issue ... I found an old-timey microphone (think silver mesh on the top and very heavy), but the plug was old-timey, too, meaning that it was way too big. Special Ed has a cheapie mike, which looks like a small gray lollipop. It worked like a champ during the training, and I was cackling with excitement, thinking about how efficiently I'd be able to churn out my articles and these blog posts.

"Start listening," I said. These are the magic words that launch voice recognition. Nothing. I tried again. Then I tried again. Then I made it listen ... by hand.

"Open Word," I said. Nothing happened.

"Opennnn Worrrrdddd," I tried. Nothing. I went "tsk" and started Word by hand. Then I started dictating.

"This post is different from my previous posts ...," I said, before noticing that it was sleeping (the technical term for when the software, uh, goes to sleep). "Start listening. Start listening! START LISTENING! Damn it!" I made it listen ... by hand.

"... until software," the screen showed. Not even close.

I won't bore you [any more than I have already] by telling you about what came next, but let's just say that it didn't work, and my dreams of incredible productivity were dashed.

I never say die, unless it's to a mosquito, and then its, "Die, you damn bastard!" So I'll keep trying to teach my new dog new tricks until I can kick back, knit, and watch my computer take down all my deathless prose. I'll keep you posted.

Image by the wonderful Natalie Dee (Married to the Sea). Go to her site. Love her. Buy stuff.

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