- April 6 - Open House in San Mateo from 4:00-6:30pm
- April 29th and 30th - CSPM&R Conference in Disney's
Grand California Hotel in Anaheim, CA (www.cspmr.net)
1st thru 3rd - WSIA Annual Conference in Yakima, WA (www.wsiassn.org)
6th thru 8th - PRIMA (Public Risk Managers Assoc.) in Milwaukee.
Renee Griffith, CEO of Zephyr-TEC, will be speaking at the
conference about speech recognition (www.primacentral.org)
10th and 11th - CSIMS Conference in Anaheim. A representative from
ScanSoft will be joining our booth on Friday, June 10th! (www.csims.net)
- October 5th thru 7th - PASMA 2005 Annual Conference in San
In an effort to get some feedback
from users on their experiences with using or upgrading to
NaturallySpeaking 8.0, we've been calling around asking, “So, what
do you think of Version 8?”
We are told
by users they are impressed with the improved recognition in Version
8.0. Everyone reports the accuracy is better than Version 7.0--
which was very good. ScanSoft boasts “25% better accuracy” which
seems like a lot; however, it’s how you crunch the numbers. ScanSoft
is citing the error rate, meaning there are 25% less errors. So if
you were getting 97% accuracy in 7.0, you should be seeing about
97.75% with 8.0. This is a subtle change, but it‘s enough of an
improvement for everyone we spoke with to take notice. And many
users find that the recognition accuracy of commands has also
Technical Support team reported that the upgrade installation is
much smoother than any previous release of NaturallySpeaking. In the
past, we have recommended users fully uninstall the former version,
install the new version and create a new profile (importing
vocabulary and macros from the former profile). With version 8 we
have found the upgrade process to be effective and “safe.”
Upgrading may take some time (we've seen up to 25 minutes)
but if you have multiple profiles the second and third profile will
upgrade faster. In our testing, we have both upgraded and created
new profiles and had good results either way. So, users now have a
choice whether to create a new profile to take advantage of the
improvements of the speech engine or just upgrade the old profile.
If you are a non-native speaker of English, you may be happier just
running the upgrade rather than creating a new profile in 8.0.
the new features, like the Roaming User and Variable Text Commands,
are proving to be useful. For users who, for example have both a
laptop and desktop but don’t want to have two separate profiles, the
Roaming User is great addition to Dragon. Another example where the
Roaming User is applicable pertains to medical professionals. The
Roaming User allows doctors to dictate in exam rooms (or any
computer on the network) and have their updated profile available on
Variable Text Commands allow “normal” or boilerplate text
commands to contain variable fields that can be spoken and
automatically filled in. For example, a doctor might say “normal
knee” and Dragon will type all the text about a normal knee.
However, there are measurements, like extension, that need to be
inserted in the body of the Normal Knee text. Now, a user can define
where and what those variables are they say “Normal Knee, 15, 12”
and those measurements will be inserted in the correct place in the
NaturallySpeaking Medical Version 8 has seen the most and
best improvements. With 14 specialty vocabularies, there’s no need
to buy 3rd party vocabularies – they’re already in Medical 8!
Improved language models help eliminate errors and now Medical 8
contains “accented” profiles for non-native English speaking
professionals. Accented profiles include UK English, Australian
English, Southeast Asian and Indian (India). This dramatically
improves recognition for these individuals.
ways to format dates and add special characteristics to words are
useful for a user with a technical or complex vocabulary or even to
dictate your recipes for cooking.
heard several people say that 8.0 appears to be faster in terms of
the response time from the moment you say something to when the
words appear on your screen. We also hear that Version 8 is very
stable and rarely “locks up” or crashes.
general, our clients report the experience of upgrading and using
Dragon NaturallySpeaking Version 8.0 has been well worth the effort
The Not So Good
Some of the
built-in commands for Outlook don’t work, especially in the message
window. If you are experiencing this bug we have fixes, so let us
In Outlook and Word (both 2002/XP and 2003) there can be
inconsistent capitalization. NaturallySpeaking doesn’t always
capitalize after a period or after the command “New Paragraph”. This
bug occurs in Outlook regardless of whether you use a Rich Text
editor or HTML editor. This capitalization problem also occurs
intermittently in Word, though closing Word and re-launching it
appears to improve performance for awhile.
seen inconsistent spacing both in Outlook and Word. These spacing
problems can occur in conjunction with the capitalization error, as
spacing rules are based on assumptions about capitalization. The
other spacing bug is left over from 7.0: intermittently when you
select and restate text, Dragon may add a space.
other problem we have seen occurs in both Word 2002/XP and 2003. You
may get a Windows error when you close Word. The Windows error
report dialog box appears and unless you click “Send Report” you
can’t get out of the loop of the error report. Once you send the
report the error message goes away.
all, these issues seem “not so bad” in terms of the bugs we’ve seen
in prior releases of NaturallySpeaking. We’ve been pleased with this
release and find our clients have been too. We are in constant
contact with ScanSoft regarding all of the bugs we report (or those
of our clients), so stay tuned as we hope to see a patch for these
“nuisance” issues in the future.
will be holding its annual Open House this year on Wednesday, April
6th, 2005 from 4:00pm to 6:30pm at our San Mateo office. The Open
House last year was well attended and a lot of fun for all who came
by. We had great giveaways (including SF Giants tickets and a
NaturallySpeaking Pro), nibbles and beverages. Our guest speakers
were Dr. Robert Markison, M.D. (hand surgeon) and Ilana Parker, PT.
Dr. Markison’s presentation was a multimedia feast, including a live
clarinet! And Ilana Parker, PT and Feldenkrais teacher, had us all
working on elbows and shoulders. Everyone had a chance to see our
new state of the art training facility too!
looking forward to another great event this year so mark the date.
Our Keynote speaker will be Gilda Haskell-Rottman
who will talk about the speech recognition training and
implementation programs at ChevronTexaco. Gilda, an
RSI sufferer, actually started the “grass roots” movement back in
1997 at ChevronTexaco to get speech recognition to employees who
could no longer type due to RSI related injuries or who wanted to
reduce their hours on the keyboard to alleviate RSI symptoms.
ChevronTexaco has become a leader in the implementation of speech
recognition to help injured workers return to work and prevent lost
time from work. With approximately 600 users globally and growing by
the day, ChevronTexaco has now started offering speech recognition
software to all ChevronTexaco employees. They have found that an
ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure when it comes to upper
extremity repetitive injuries. More companies are sure to follow in
ChevronTexaco’s footsteps as people like you, learn how a very large
company puts together a program like this. This is your opportunity
to hear how to get a program like this going at your organization or
Guest speaker will be Deidre Rogers, Nurses
Ergonomist, who will present the key findings of research on how to
best use shortcut keys to avoid additional mousing. She will discuss
how keyboard shortcuts and voice recognition macros in MS Outlook in
particular can save time and hand use. Deidre Rogers, RN, CAE, MS
founded Ergovera in 1996 and helps companies protect their most
valuable assets – their employees, by providing ergonomic expertise.
She has over 10 years experience in innovative educational training
and injury prevention.
has produced educational films and videos and has conducted over
1,000 ergonomic evaluations, including in-depth analysis of
libraries, coding machines, laboratories, dispatching departments,
and water treatment plants. Her clients include the Santa Clara
Water District, City of Palo Alto, The David and Lucile Packard
Foundation, Alien Technologies, and Packeteer, Inc.
Computing will have ergonomic equipment on display. We will present
demonstrations of our online web based training, lots of prizes
(including more SF Giants tickets!) and much more. We will again be
serving nibbles, snacks and beverages throughout the
Please give us a call at 650-655-2405 to reserve your
seat. We expect this event to be standing room only because of our
keynote speaker. Call early!!
miss it! April 6th from 4pm to 6:30pm in our San Mateo office
located at 1660 S. Amphlett Blvd. Suite 116, San Mateo, CA 94402 (at
the crossroads of 101 and 92 in San Mateo! Email Robin Ung:
Success story: John A. Karachewski, Ph.D., Weiss
Associates at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL)--
Environmental Restoration Division
December 2000, John was working on a Macintosh computer and a Sun
workstation and began having wrist pain. Even though he underwent
several ergonomic evaluations and workstation adjustments, his
repetitive stress injury continued to worsen until he couldn't type
a paragraph and his doctor suggested that he consider a different
attended a demonstration of Dragon NaturallySpeaking by Shelley Gage
of Zephyr-TEC. Her presentation demonstrated that an injured worker
could continue to be successful and productive with speech
recognition. John enjoys his work and did not want to change
careers. After doing some research on his own, he asked his
supervisors Mike Dresen and Fred Hoffman to purchase speech
recognition software to accommodate his injury. He switched to a PC
in order to use NaturallySpeaking.
attended a Zephyr-TEC training class at LLNL and had eight
additional hours of one-on-one training, so that he could work more
efficiently. John describes himself as a quiet person and even
though he works in a cubicle near a busy hallway, background noise
has not been a problem and his coworkers have not been disturbed by
Want to see a free live demonstration of
NaturallySpeaking 8.0 (including Professional, Medical and Legal)?
Did you know that Zephyr-TEC can demonstrate NaturallySpeaking and
its tremendous capabilities, live online or onsite? That’s right! Go
to www.zephyr-tec.com/webinarreg.html and sign up for
a FREE demonstration of the latest version of NaturallySpeaking,
As you may know,
you cannot upgrade Pro or Medical Version 5 to 8. Only versions 6
and 7 are upgradeable to 8. If you own Version 5, ScanSoft, the
makers of Dragon, now requires you to purchase a new full version of
the software. We have a very limited quantity of full Version 7 (Pro and
Medical) software available at steeply discounted prices. Just $399
for Pro 7 and $599 for Medical 7 . You can upgrade your version 5 to
7 then purchase the upgrade to Version 8 for just $165 for Pro and
$199 for Medical. This saves you nearly $230 off the retail price of
Pro ($795) and $295 off the retail price of Medical ($1095)!
mean LIMITED and once they’re gone, they’re gone for good. If you’d
like more information about this special opportunity, please give us
a call at (toll-free) 877-493-7497 (our So. CA office). A credit
card will be required for purchase.
are some useful tips for forcing NaturallySpeaking to use alternate
written forms (before or after numbers) or to force numbers to be
spelled out as a numeral when used. You can access these features
from the Vocabulary Editor in Dragon NaturallySpeaking
(NaturallySpeaking>Words>View/Edit). Find the word you want to
modify and click Properties.
Only use alternate written form (Before/After
Select this box to specify that Dragon
NaturallySpeaking will only type the alternate form when it appears
next to a number. You can choose to have the alternate form appear
either before the number ("pg. 6") or after the word ("6 kg").
Dragon NaturallySpeaking will not type the alternate written form if
you do not say it next to a number. Note that the "Units of measure"
check box must be selected on the Formatting tab of the Options
dialog box for this option to work.
when the word appears next to a number will Dragon NaturallySpeaking
type the alternate written form. In other situations, Dragon
NaturallySpeaking will type the written form (e.g. "page" instead of
Force numbers to be spelled as numerals when
Select this check box to specify that Dragon
NaturallySpeaking always types numeral instead of the word for that
numeral when it appears next to the word. You can choose to have the
numeral appear either before the word ("6 kilograms") or after the
word ("page 5").
forget that Zephyr-TEC offers two technical support options. Our
$3/minute tech support is great for less complex issues. But,
problem solving can and does take time. Our Annual Tech Support
offers 1 year of telephone, email or web support (total of 3 hours)
and is just $300, and is our best value for Tech Support. This
represents a savings of $240 based on the $3/minute option (180 min
x $3/min). Don’t be frustrated by a problem or perceived “bug” –
call us and see if we can help you get back on track! Call any
Zephyr-TEC office and we’ll get you help!