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Dragon NaturallySpeaking®
Users Group Meeting

for the California Department of Justice
Tuesday, February 11, 2004
Kick off meeting for  the DOJ NaturallySpeaking Users Group.
Michael Moser

Kick off meeting for  the DOJ NaturallySpeaking Users Group.
  • Meeting started at 10:35
  • Casey Lynn opened the meeting welcoming everyone and introducing the meeting facilitator, Michael Moser.
  • Michael Moser introduced himself and provided some background on the genesis of the Users Group Meeting  the goals for the current and future meetings.  

    As a vendor for the Department of Justice, providing Speech Recognition (SR) software and training services, Michael noticed there was little communication between the NaturallySpeaking users and very erratic success rates.  Some users were very productive with NaturallySpeaking and others were so frustrated that they used it little or gave up entirely.

    Michael discussed the problems and possible solutions with Casey Lynn and the concept of a Users Group was developed as a possible vehicle to provide the DOJ users with an opportunity to:

    • Assist each other with solutions for usage and implementation problems when using specific applications.
    • Identify common system problems and to promote their resolution.
    • Have on-going training presentations.
    • Increase their own productivity by taking advantage of tricks and tips developed by other users for dealing with DOJ applications.
    • Discuss and review other topics of  mutual interest
Michael offered to host and organize the User Group meetings until the DOJ NaturallySpeaking users themselves took over meeting management or until it was determined that the meetings were not providing any value to the users.

The goal of today's  the meeting will be to identify areas of concern and interest to the attendees.  Michael stressed that the contents of future meetings would be predicated solely on what the current users felt would be of sufficient interest or value to them to justify their time at the meetings.
  • Each attendee introduced themselves and their current level of use of (or frustration with) Naturally Speaking.

    The general consensus was a belief that NaturallySpeaking could and should be an effective productivity tool but that there were a number of issues preventing fulfillment of that belief.  Each had experienced sessions that could be classified as Great, Acceptable, Dismal, and  "Forget it", but differed in the percentage of time attained in each classification.  The belief was strong enough that several attendees had made several unsuccessful attempts over time to use NaturallySpeaking effectively.

    Casey mentioned that it was unfortunate that the more successful NaturallySpeaking users were not able to attend the meeting to provide feedback on where NaturallySpeaking was performing well or how some of the problems had been resolved.

  • Michael then provided a short demonstration with NaturallySpeaking showing how it should be working for each user.  The general consensus of meeting attendees is that they had never, ever, seen NaturallySpeaking actually working properly.  After discussion the problems seemed to be grouped into several areas.:
  1. One attendee had an apparent microphone microphone problem on a new computer that had not been yet reported or resolved. In general actual hardware or microphone problems seemed to have been quickly resolved.

  2. Several attendees mentioned problems with NaturallySpeaking and specific applications such as Lexis or West Law.  Apparently, extended usage tends to use up system resources to the point that the computer crashes or has to be rebooted.  Michael mentioned that other users had had good success using the Internet Browser access to Lexis instead of running the access software installed on the computer.  Several attendees were going to try it in their own office.

  3. WordPerfect has provided it's own problems.  Unfortunately, there has been a long history of known compatibility issues with WordPerfect.  The problems include the infamous "Jumping Cursor" problem, extra deletions or unexpected formatting changes during corrections, and annoying and sudden screen scrolling.  The good news is that the problems seem to have been resolved when using NaturallySpeaking 7.3 and WordPerfect 10 or above.  The bad news is that the DOJ is still evaluating and compatibility testing WordPerfect 10 and is still standardized on NaturallySpeaking 6.1.  Ongoing efforts are being made to resolve the QA issues for new programs but we are not there yet.

    An alternate solution is to use Microsoft Word or the DragonPad whenever possible and to cut and paste if necessary and appropriate. Both of these programs provide full NaturallySpeaking functionality and rarely encounter problems.

  4. Training issues.  During the NaturallySpeaking demonstration, most attendees were not aware or had forgotten many basic NaturallySpeaking productivity commands.  Several basic commands received a great deal of interest including:
  • INSERT BEFORE word or words
    moves the cursor in front of the "word or words" visible on the screen
  • INSERT AFTER word or words
    moves the cursor after the "word or words" visible on the screen.
  • "SELECT starting word or words THROUGH ending word or words
    Selects all the words starting with "starting word or words" through "ending word word or words"
    Creates a table with x columns and y rows.  Note: this is a Microsoft Word command and may not work in Word Perfect.
  • In a final discussion the attendees felt that the Users Group Meetings would work well for increasing productivity but that some of the system problems discussed need to be resolved first.  It was decided that the next meeting would not be scheduled until progress had been made in these areas, enabling the users to shift the focus from basic operation to increased productivity
  • Meeting adjourned at 11:50

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updated: 12/10/03
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