Babble, NaturallySpeaking, and Windows Utility Suites

Last Updated on September 30, 2010 by Dave Farquhar

Thanks to those of you who wrote in. I’m glad someone agrees that there is more to life than these computers and the Internet. A computer (or a room full of them) is no substitute for a good five-friend rotation, a car, or someplace to go. Had I waited a few more hours I probably would have said things differently, but I think Sunday’s vent served its purpose.
Just to quell any speculation: No, I’m not depressed, distraught, or anything of the sort. Slightly frustrated, yes, because I can’t do all the things I once did, and that can’t help but affect you, even in other areas of life that shouldn’t have anything to do with it. Will this pass? You bet.

Dragon Naturally Speaking 5.0. The new version is now out, and the usual suspects (,, and, at least) are shipping it. I bought Preferred, just in case I needed it. Now I’m told that Standard (about $60 less) is probably fine for dictation and that Preferred adds computer-control functions. I wanted that, so I probably bought the right thing.

I mentioned last week. They shipped my order that day, so I should have it by Tuesday. So far I’m very impressed with this vendor–prompt answers to questions, a strong presence in Dragon’s forums, testing mics for suitability before deciding to carry them… And a price of $65 with free shipping for an Andrea ANC-600 mic is hard to beat.

I expect all my gear (mic, sound card, software) to arrive by midweek. I’ll keep you posted on the developments.


From: al wynn

Subject: Best WIN98 settings for NU’s SpeedDisk and FixIt’s DefragPlus (to optimize the hard drive)

What are the best WINDOWS 98 settings for NU’s SpeedDisk and FixIt’s DefragPlus, to optimize the hard drive ?

The settings haven’t changed since I wrote Optimizing Windows for Games, Graphics and Multimedia. It’s pretty long to duplicate here. Advice on using Norton Utilities is on page 97; advice for Fix-It is on page 101, and Nuts & Bolts is on page 103. I covered both hard drive and registry optimization.


From: John Doucette

Subject: typing avoidance

Hi Dave

Nice to have you back in action. Other than voice recognition did you look at using something like a tablet and hand writing software like Jot so you would not have to type.



Not with my handwriting. My dad was a doctor, as were both of his parents. I didn’t inherit their love of biology but I sure got their handwriting. Writing by hand can also aggravate CTS, though not as quickly as typing.

That’s a good suggestion for people who have decent penmanship, but not me.

Thanks for the welcome back.

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