Sunday, July 27, 2014
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Dictation software helps give the gift of gab

By
From page B10 | December 22, 2012 |

Most folks who read my columns must know that I am a “literacy freak.”

I believe it is essential that a person be able to read in order to realize freedoms the Creator has given to all humans. While we are able to learn in many different ways, reading is the most important means of accessing organized knowledge. History, math, literature and the like.

Most folks must be able to see in order to read. The ability to see what one has created is also an essential part of writing. I recently wrote that God had given me the gift of near blindness so that I would not forget what it is like not to be able to read. The frustration and anger that is involved. But if you are willing to adapt and find other means, God can lead you to help.

So it has been with me. As my sight worsened I began to see double, even with the strongest (6X) of my reading glasses. Friends and family started telling me about a computer program called Dragon. The program allows you to speak and converts speech into print and do it well.

I looked at my computer screen and saw the Dragon program on sale for about one-third the regular selling price so I bought it. I haven’t received it yet, but I am satisfied I can make it work for me. I am a copious maker of notes. I use a felt tip pen and write or print BIG. But if I don’t convert those notes very quickly, I am unable to read them. So many wonderful ideas are lost. Now, I will be able to talk to my computer and it will store or print my notes legibly for me. I can even review and edit them. The potential for me is staggering.

I have a book or two in my head. Now I can “write” the books verbally. That won’t make the books any better, but it will help me make them. As a sort of coincidence, Susan Winlow, the features editor at the Daily Republic, has been suffering from a torn rotator cuff. The injury makes it almost impossible to use that arm for anything, including typing. The major role of an editor involves modifying text, usually by typing. The Daily Republic ordered her a Dragon program. She will be able to edit (and write) verbally. She’ll be able to do it faster and without hurting her rotator cuff. Voilà! We have agreed to share our successes and failures and learn from each other.

The Nuance company makes Dragon. I have not seen anywhere in their advertising any reference to serving folks with any kind of handicap. People with vision problems like me or physical limitations like Susan. I have to wonder how many people out there enjoy communicating with friends but are unable to do it easily and effectively. Physical or visual problems make it too difficult. My nephew stopped using the computer after a stroke. There is nothing wrong with his voice.

By the way, you don’t have to be an author to use Dragon. You can use it to create and edit emails and simple stuff like that. Send messages to folks who can read but can’t hear. No, we’re not being paid by the Nuance people. But I will keep you posted on how easy (or hard) it is to use and what it can be used for. Interested?

Murray Bass can be reached at 427-0744 or mzb60@comcast.net.

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | No comments

The Daily Republic does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

.

Solano News

It’s a small world, after all, in Galen Tom’s photos

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: C1, 1 Comment | Gallery

 
County urges weed abatement

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A1, 1 Comment | Gallery

Cows graze unusual Rockville park location

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A1, 18 Comments | Gallery

 
Why today’s kids are such lazy sloths

By Brad Stanhope | From Page: A2, 17 Comments

 
 
Where are the Christians?

By Noel Reese | From Page: C3, 31 Comments

Military service a family tradition

By Adrienne Harris | From Page: A3 | Gallery

 
Kairos Family BBQ a success

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

 
‘Rosie’ the Shelby Mustang arrives at Jelly Belly

By Adrienne Harris | From Page: A5 | Gallery

Families camp out in Vacaville

By Adrienne Harris | From Page: A5, 1 Comment | Gallery

 
Trends in state, around town remain positive

By Brian Miller and Karl Dumas | From Page: B7, 1 Comment

 
Famous Creations comes to downtown Fairfield

By Barry Eberling | From Page: B7, 2 Comments | Gallery

Move toward higher drug co-pays gains steam

By Tom Philpott | From Page: B10

 
County graduates complete basic military training

By Nick DeCicco | From Page: B10

Fairfield police log: July 25, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

 
Suisun City police log: July 25, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

.

US / World

US evacuates embassy in Libya amid clashes

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

 
Utah couple, 78 and 80, wed at nursing home

By The Associated Press | From Page: C2

Scientists unlock secrets to boost metabolism

By Mcclatchy-Tribune News Service | From Page: C4

 
Northern California wildfire destroys 5 homes

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

California can’t say if it’s meeting drought goal

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

 
Promises of easier nuclear construction fall short

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

Plane hits truck as it lands on Nevada highway

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7, 1 Comment

 
Dutch: 1st victim identified from Flight 17

By The Associated Press | From Page: A11

Israel says it’s extending Gaza truce for 24 hours

By The Associated Press | From Page: A11, 2 Comments

 
Ukraine launches offensive to retake Donetsk

By The Associated Press | From Page: A11

American doctor in Africa tests positive for Ebola

By The Associated Press | From Page: A12

 
.

Opinion

Stop the insult of Native American people

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A8, 20 Comments

 
Bad week for representative government

By Glen Faison | From Page: A8, 1 Comment

Who’s cold-hearted?

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A8, 10 Comments

 
City’s PLA vote sets up wait-and-see scenario

By Daily Republic | From Page: A8

 
Sound off for July 27, 2014

By Daily Republic | From Page: A8

Editorial Cartoons: July 27, 2014

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Batson off mark in recent column

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A8, 7 Comments

 
We’re bordering on madness

By Thomas Sowell | From Page: A9, 1 Comment

Skip comparisons with Mexico

By Ruben Navarrette | From Page: A9, 3 Comments

 
.

Living

Roaring ’20s-themed weddings have all that jazz

By The Associated Press | From Page: C2

 
Community Calendar: July 27, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

Today in History for July 27, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
Comfort dog will join Grand Island church

By The Associated Press | From Page: C3

Horoscopes for July 27, 2014

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: C4

 
What can I do to get my brother to keep in touch?

By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page: C4

.

Entertainment

PUBLISHERS WEEKLY BEST-SELLERS

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
Texas Book Festival gives sneak peak at authors

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

Another author boosted by ‘Colbert Bump’

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
A troubled teen in flight from a nuclear meltdown

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

‘Up the Down Staircase’ writer Kaufman dies at 103

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
TVGrid

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B11

.

Sports

Kershaw throws 2-hitter as Dodgers beat Giants 5-0

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Courtney, Brittany Force No. 1 qualifiers at NHRA Sonoma Nationals

By Brian Arnold | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Raiders have high hopes for rookie Khalil Mack

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
 
Giants acquire righty Jake Peavy from Red Sox

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Martin wins Stage 20; Nibali set to win Tour, with 2 Frenchmen on podium

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Indians advance to league championship game

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B3

Mudcats win in extra innings

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B3

 
Gray wins 6th straight, A’s 4 HRs beat Texas

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3 | Gallery

Bocce Team results

By Daily Republic | From Page: B4

 
Ty Dillon races to 1st career Nationwide win

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4 | Gallery

Hall call: Thomas, Glavine and Maddux enter shrine

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

 
Torre, Cox and La Russa manage their way into Hall

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4 | Gallery

Baseball HOF cuts election eligibility to 10 years

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

 
Stars Recreation bowling results

By Daily Republic | From Page: B4

Jim Furyk opens 3-shot lead in Canadian Open

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6 | Gallery

 
Kevin Love withdraws from Team USA

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6 | Gallery

Son: Joe Paterno feared wrongly accusing Sandusky

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

 
.

Business

Pets’ amenities rising trend for homebuilders

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

 
Small talk: Fair Trade brings big sales and a clear conscience

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

Argentina debt talks deadlocked as default looms

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

 
Recalls this week: high chairs, cribs, bar stools

By The Associated Press | From Page: B12

After hybrid success, Toyota gambles on fuel cell

By The Associated Press | From Page: B12

 
.

Obituaries

Lester Buster

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

 
Marvan Russell Voshall

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

Ertha H. Reed Jr.

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

 
Mary Spingola Stagnaro

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

.

Comics