Question: I see a lot of people use and recommend voice recognition software,do any of you guys who use it have to share an office, or are you all lucky enough to have your own private space? I ask because I’ve suffered a return of ‘RSI-like’ (term used by my physio) symptoms, but rather than emanating from my right shoulder, this time my hands, fingers and arms have been in pain. Probably brought on by a bout of hard work, bashing at the keyboard for hours.
The Occupational Health Nurse has told me that if I want voice recognition software, they could provide it. However I share an office with up to 6 other people and I doubt whether I could get along with it. It’s not just the personal emails, but also any other work that I don’t necessarily want everyone to know about. I think I’d feel self-conscious and vulnerable.
Answer 1: I use both DragonDictate and Dragon NaturallySpeaking in an office of about 100+ people. We have high partitions to separate us into groups of around 4-6. Two things for you to consider; firstly, you can train either Dragon product to respond to a lower volume level, so that you can almost end up mumbling into the microphone – it does work, but you’ll need to find the optimum level of voice vs. background noise. Secondly, you could do what I do.
Use the VR software to dictate regular documents, and type personal or confidential stuff with the keyboard. Unless you’re spending your whole day doing personal e-mails, an occasional bit of typing won’t be too bad, and you’ll still be saving your hands from the majority of the typing you’re currently doing. Also, you might find you can dictate the confidential stuff, if you manually type sensitive words (such as people’s names) in the middle of your dictation, or dictate in separate sections that don’t give too much away if listened to ‘out of context’.
Just an idea. Hope it helps. I can thoroughly recommend Dragon NaturallySpeaking for dictating long documents. The continuous recognition is 85%+ accurate, even on what seems like complicated stuff.
Answer 2: What I plan to do is alternate. My boss is willing to have me work at home for a couple of days a week. That’s when I’d use the voice recognition software. Then the rest of the time, use ergonomic hardware. If that hadn’t been possible, I would have tried to work it out with flexi time. Come in early or stay late, to work as much as possible when others aren’t around. Of course, if you can’t type or use the mouse At all, then that’s not a satisfactory solution. I know what you mean, though.
I share an office with others, and besides not feeling up to sharing the way my brain thinks when I work,I also wouldn’t want to distract others from their work. Although I used to do tech support and discovered that it is possible to get used to talking out loud 80% of the time and having others on hand to hear.
Answer 3: No, I don’t bother with Dragon whilst writing code…far too fiddly. I believe there is an add-on for DragonDictate that is aimed at developers, but I don’t have it. I use the VR software for documentation and e-mails (NaturallySpeaking), and on a bad (RSI) day I use DragonDictate to control my whole Windows environmnent, except for typing code. I daresay that would be possible to set up a number of macros in DragonDictate to help with writing code, such as providing a skeleton If…Then construct, should you have the time. I would be interested to know if anybody has used the developer add-on for DragonDictate.