|Kick off meeting for the DOJ NaturallySpeaking
- 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
- 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.:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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
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
- 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
Selects all the words starting with "starting word or words" through "ending
word word or words"
- INSERT A x BY y TABLE
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