You may find it odd that someone who loves scratch baking, weaving, knitting, and other somewhat retro activities so fully embraces new technology. But as far as I’m concerned, anything that improves quality of product, performance, or existence in general is welcome in my life. After all, I wouldn't be here on this blog writing to you if not for the internet!It took a while before I could have important intimate phone conversations with the use of a headphone but now I find it more immediate than the old-fashioned receiver and besides, it saves my neck! (No more crunching the receiver between ear and shoulder—perish the thought.) Years ago Elliott told me I should be using voice activation software for which he developed the vocabulary and protocol in radiology. As a 180 word per minute typist I was resistant. Then some years later I had a violent reaction to the powerful antibiotic cipro. It was administered for a minor infection and turned out to be the equivalent of hitting a mosquito with a sledge hammer! It resulted in a thankfully temporary neurological incapacity that made it difficult to type. This served as real motivation to try out the voice activation software that had been sitting on my computer for years. I will always be grateful to Marc Cohen of www.spokencomputing.com for coming to my aid. Marc lives in San Francisco and is an expert trainer for speech recognition software. He responded to something I wrote about my typing problem on the blog with a kind and invaluable offer to help me get over the hurdle. He told me that his partner had made their wedding cake from The Cake Bible and that in gratitude he wanted to be of help to me. I cannot sing the praises of voice activation more enthusiastically as it has saved my fingers and given a new voice to my writing. When my mother was still alive I often would read articles I had written over the phone to her. It was a way to give her my time, entertain her, and still get my work done, but the added benefit was that invariably, once I heard my prose out loud, I would change something in the flow of them. I think that the spoken word and the written word need to be in balance and the best way to achieve it is by speaking your writing into the computer and then reading it back! Often I revert back to my fingers because I type faster than I speak and old habits die hard. BUT, my favorite headphone company (Hello Direct) has come up with a new version of their light-weight and fantastic wireless headphone that can switch back between phone conversations and voice activation on the computer. I’m sure that will make it much more encouraging to use. And somewhere down the line, with Marc’s help, I’ll try out tape recording my notes as I test recipes, plugging it into the computer, and allowing the voice recognition software to transfer my words to the recipe document. That would be the ideal way to test recipes and record all the nuances faithfully.
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