I just purchased the Dragon naturally speaking software over the weekend. It is the world’s best selling speech recognition software, and has been around since goodness knows when. They launched the latest version 10 in 2008, and obviously saw no need to upgrade it when the competition is practically non-existent.
I found it in a computer shop at Funan Centre, and it was going at a discounted price of just 109 dollars. Quite a bargain considering that it comes with a free bundled headset.
Of course as the popular saying goes, good things are not cheap and cheap things are not good. The headset was too tight for my L-sized head, giving me a terrible headache, and the thin cotton wrap covering the ear piece gave way after just one day of moderate usage.
Which was the perfect excuse to buy a new one. I checked out the Challenger computer superstore in IMM, which has a pretty good selection of computer headsets. After browsing through Amazon online reviews on my trusty blackberry handphone, I settled on the Logitech premium notebook headset.
So far, so good. It’s pretty comfortable, and the noise cancelling feature seems to be working fine.
Like most guys, I love my gadgets and tech toys. But the real reason I’m getting speech recognition software is because of my painful wrists.
Carpal tunnel syndrome used to be something I read about in the newspapers but now it’s something I experience on a daily basis.
It all started when I bought my Blackberry. I remember, there was this particular afternoon I was lying on the sofa, chatting with a friend on MSN. The messages flew fast and furious, and by the end of the session, and my wrists and thumbs were aching.
Soon after that, I would get occasional tingling sensations shooting through my wrists and even up my forearms. It got to the extent where I bought analgesic lotions simply to apply after a day of Blackberry.
My wrists then started hurting even when I’m not using my Blackberry. It would hurt when I use my mouse, especially the scroll wheel. It would hurt when I type on the keyboard. It would hurt when I use my ergometer (rowing machine).
I’m not sure I’m ever going to recover from this. My phone contract expires in September, and I’m seriously considering changing to an Android touchscreen phone instead (I can’t stand the iPhone – they’ve got enough rabid fans already).
I will definitely miss my Blackberry, especially the fantastic Blackberry messenger feature where I could text my overseas friends without incurring exorbitant SMS charges.
But my health is more important, so I’m pretty much resigned to my fate.
In the meantime, better be prepared than sorry. Hence the Dragon software and my spanking new headset.
Besides alleviating my pain, this also helps me to train my pronunciation. To my shame, I realised that I have been mispronouncing some words all my life. No wonder the program couldn’t recognise them!
By the way, this post was composed entirely by mouth. Just speaking my mind, what a refreshing way to blog.