15 March 2012

Posted by DMC on 16 March 2012 in Diary |

Another absolutely beautiful ‘summer’s day. When the temperature in the mid teens and an almost clear blue sky, it was a repeat of yesterday’s weather when I really should have gone to the golf club left it too late to book with Ollie’s. Wheelchair Friendly Taxi Service.

I’ve had a couple of calls now to tell me that my blog is up and running again with no problems. Well, I knew that but it seems that some servers experience problems of their own, for example, Talk Talk, but that seems to have sorted itself out and the blog is getting through all right.

Another problem I had was with Dragon speech data. I have no idea how many of my readers use voice activation to operate their laptops. Obviously this is only of real interest to those, like me, who have lost the use of their hands, but I would also recommended to any reader who cannot type proficiently and has to pick out letter by letter. I’ve now been using the Dragon Preferred Naturally programme since it came out 20 odd years ago and although I’m having a long-running problem with the senior technicians in the UK over one particular issue, I would still have no hesitation in thoroughly recommending this programme.

Most of my friends, to whom I demonstrate this, are absolutely amazed at seeing the words spraying across the screen at the normal speed in which I speak. Provided I do not slur or stumble on a word the result is 100% correct. The programmer is not expensive and can be trained in 10 min or so. In addition, they do have a helpline with some very nice courteous technicians at the other end. This is supposed to be free. It is correct to say that the advice is free but what they omit to say is that the telephone call is not. In fact it is at a premium rate of 6 p per minute. No big deal unless you are on for one and a half hour session as I have been on a number of occasions, or you have over 50 calls trying to resolve a problem!. Regular readers will recall that I got so frustrated in the end that I even raised the matter with the trading standards office and may promised to draw it to the attention a of Nuance, Dragon’s Parent Company , and get them to make it clear that the caller is paying for the telephone call at a premium rate according to the officer I spoke to, Nuance agreed that they would take steps to amend its automated message. That was a couple of months ago and nothing has happened.

The reason I mention this is that my latest problem was over speech data collection. I have the latest version of Dragon, 11.5, and apparently it stores up to your speech and will play in back to you any time you are uncertain as to what you said, if an error appears in the written word on the screen. I thought there would be some way I could switch this off altogether as is something I do not use but apparently all you can do is to allocate a little more space to prevent a pop-up box appearing every minute or two telling you that your data box is full.

I hope I have overcome the problem by going into Tools; Options and then increased the space on the hard disk, specifically allocated for this purpose, from 100 MB to 1000 MB, bearing in mind that when I finish the session and close down this box is emptied. As I said I had no idea how many of my readers use voice activation so it would be very helpful to me if you were to let me know.

Apologies to all those of you doing this gobbledygook, the working of Dragon mean absolutely nothing to hear) If it is an insignificant number of the 3000 or so hits I get each day then I will not waste my time, or the readers. In dealing with any problems which might occur with that programme.

Having got through the day without mishap, I could scarcely believe my eyes when checking in the early evening I found that my site had  being hacked into yet again. I got onto my Webmaster, Richard Morris, who had been made aware of this earlier in the day and spent some hours eliminating this virus. Apparently in effect all of his programmes from the same domain name place. From this I can ascertain whether the source of the trouble with my program will whether I merely scooped up with the others, one which contains a virus. Anyway, I can only hope that Richard has a matter in hand and will try to avoid it happening again.

Alice had two friends for morning coffee, invited for 11 o’clock, knowing that they will have to go at midday when the carers come in. Both Beatrice Goldie and Frances (Archer as was)

I have known for a very long time so it was quite fun chatting to them. Interestingly enough like so many people in their 70s, they both declared an interest in having and operating their own laptop but thought the whole thing was beyond them. I tried to convince really was pretty simple educated step-by-step and I was sure that I could at least get onto e-mailing and surfing the net and quickly, after which and then got confidence in these two areas they would be able to expand the scope of what they use the laptop for, for themselves. However, I don’t believe I convinced either of them and they would continue to miss out on one of the great diversions for the elderly.

Went to bed at 9.30 this evening as Ross Nursing seem to me short of staff, due to illness, and we agreed to a change for a night or two whilst they sought themselves out.

At the problem with Dragon over the last six or seven months may well be attributed to a misunderstanding as the root of the problem, click here, to see how embarrassing miscommunication can be

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